Dr. Portal described as “regrettable” the speech given by the representative of the U.S. delegation on the second day of the 60th session of the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
“The U.S. government harps on accusing Cuba of alleged human trafficking for exploitation purpose, which they associate with those who work in the Cuban health system,” the minister condemned.
He assured these “are fake news we categorically reject, since they only seek to demerit the honorable work of our medical collaborators serving around the globe”.
He explained that Cuban medical collaborators have been “aiding 33 out of the 35 countries sitting in here. Any of those present could share experiences about what our medical collaborators do and how they are welcomed in communities and institutions where they provide health services”.
Nearly 264,000 health collaborators have been serving in these countries and providing over 1.954 million consultations.
Referring to the history of collaboration and solidarity that Cuba has been writing for six decades, he recalled that in all that time “we have always made our experiences and resources available to the Cuban people and also to others worldwide.
In this context, Portal acknowledged Cuba´s medical collaborators´ work, who are always “wherever a person needs medical assistance”, usually in the “far-flung and difficult-to-access areas, on a totally voluntary basis, in places where doctors from the same nations do not always go to work”.
Cuba’s cooperation “responds to express requests and is always supported by collaboration agreements that sometimes even include PAHO´s involvement.
Based on the experience that Cuba has gained from its cooperation in so many countries, the health minister insisted on the significance of all of us truly understanding “that these are times of solidarity and not of hatred.