Sunday, January 24, 2010


In response to the horrendous suffering of the Haitian people resulting from the earthquake and its many aftershocks, many Canadians have been wondering what is the most effective way to provide aid. The Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association of Toronto has proposed the Cuba for Haiti fundraising campaign which is also endorsed by the Canadian Network on Cuba as a national effort.
Read More Here ... 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where were the Cubans?

When the earth shook in Haiti: Where were the Cubans?

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. — Not even in the midst of this stressful situation have the Cubans lost their spark, and when I ask how it is possible that the 200-plus Cubans whom, at 4:53 p.m. today, January 12, were living here in this city managed to survive the deadly earthquake, some people tell me that it was divine intervention; others, with a half-smile, say it is aché (grace in the Afro-Cuban religion); others refer to good luck and how when "it’s your destiny, nothing changes that;" but most of them still can’t believe it….

(full story from Granma International)

Irish Times on Cuban Doctors in Haiti

'I never thought I would see such things'

"“Brigada Medica Cubana”, says the flag hanging from the building. While western aid agencies continue to be stymied by logistics and security hurdles, a handful of Cuban and Mexican nuns and doctors heroically care for victims of the earthquake, working on a folding table in the open air, beneath dusty eucalyptus trees, with little or no equipment."

"The Cuban open-air clinic is in Belair, one of the worst neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince, where police have played cat and mouse with looters for the past week. We hear shooting once or twice, and police cars speed by with sirens."

"Dr Gaston Bob Edem, a Haitian who trained in Cuba, stops to speak for a moment. He has been treating the injured since the night of the earthquake. “I’ve seen such horrific things, I couldn’t begin to list them. Mangled people . . . I never thought I would see such things. We are used to seeing dead animals in the streets, but not people, it is inhuman . . .”
The doctor is glad that the Americans, Europeans and other foreigners are in Haiti, “but they’re taking too long. They should do like us.”
(full story at the Irish Times)

Support Cuban Doctors in Haiti

Emergency Earthquake Appeal: Support Cuban-Trained Haitian Doctors

Give your donation staying power... with MEDICC and Global Links

January 17, 2010--The effects of the disastrous earthquake in Haiti will be long term. That's why MEDICC and Global Links (Pittsburgh, PA) are sending material aid to the Cuban-trained Haitian doctors on the front lines in Haiti's public hospitals and clinics. Now 400-strong, they were already on the ground when disaster struck, serving in 120 communities throughout the country, including the hard-hit capital of Port-au-Prince.

Graduates of the Latin American Medical School in Cuba, these doctors come from some of Haiti's poorest regions, and will stay long after the initial disaster response is over. Like the 370 Cuban medical personnel who work with them, they are committed for the long-term to improving health and health care in Haiti.

And so are Global Links and MEDICC: together, we are organizing a recovery and long-term medical assistance program relying on decades of experience in regional material aid cooperation, and with Cuba and Haiti in particular. We will be working with representatives of the Haitian graduates of the Latin American Medical School to identify needs for medicines, medical supplies and equipment. And we will get these supplies directly to them.

While US law does not allow Cuban doctors in Haiti to receive these essential medical materials--the US embargo taking its toll post-disaster--the MEDICC and Global Links team will help ensure distribution to the young Haitian physicians working in public hospitals and clinics alongside the Cuban team, seeing hundreds of patients daily.

(More info and online donation link:

VIdeo of Cuban Doctors in Haiti

Some videos I missed on Cuba's assistance in Haiti

With the Cuban doctors in Haiti...

The worst tragedy is not being able to do more
Leticia Martínez Hernández
Photos: Juvenal Balán

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti. — The little boy, with a drip attached to his hand — although at that stage it wasn’t helping him very much — couldn’t stop trembling. The fluid that perhaps in other circumstances would give him some strength was not passing through his collapsed veins. Lying on a piece of cardboard, his life was ebbing away while, at his feet, a Cuban doctor lamented not being able to do more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cuba / Haiti roundup

CNN video: Cuban Medical Personnel Providing "quality medical care". One of the few places in Port-au-Prince where Haitians can go for care and have a "reasonable expectation of surviving".

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Cuba now has 220 doctors and health staff working in the disaster relief in Port au Prince, Haiti along with ten tons of medicines flown in to meet the most pressing needs. Numerous young Haitian doctors who studied medicine on scholarships in Santiago de Cuba have joined in the effort, including 37 who arrived from Cuba on Saturday. Cuba News Agency reports on Sunday that planes carrying specialists in emergencies also bring shipments of medical supplies. On Saturday the equipment for three operating rooms arrived from Cuba to support the efforts of the medical brigade already working at several points in the Haitian capital. Cuba has an ongoing program of treatment throughout Haiti under an agreement with the host government. Besides the doctors concentrated in Port au Prince for the earthquake relief effort, another 227 provide services throughout the impoverished Caribbean country. (

Dr. Carlos Alberto Garcia, coordinator of the Cuban medical brigade in Haiti, said that the Cuban doctors, nurses and other health personnel work non-stop, day and night, after the critical situation left by the earthquake. He added that operating rooms are open 18 hours per day and that health care is also provided in the nearby departments of Aquin, Okay and others.

The Cuban experts are working in the University Hospital in Delmas 33 and also at the Rennaissance and Ofatma hospitals. The situation in the Haitian capital is critical and hundreds of unburied dead bodies remain on the sidewalks and streets, which – according to Dr. Garcia – could complicate the epidemiological situation.
(SolVisión Guantánamo)
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cuban Medical Teams in Haiti

Cuba is sending additional medical personnel to Haiti following the devastating 7.0 earthquake that rocked the island at 4:52pm on 12 January 2010. The new teams complement over 400 existing Cuban professionals (344 of those medical) who have been assisting Haitians for several years.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriquez says the information currently available indicates only light injuries among some of the Cuban personnel, with the remainder providing emergency medical services in the two Cuban field hospitals in Port-au-Prince. By early Wednesday evening, some 700 wounded had been attended by Cuban doctors and nurses.

Rodriguez says Cuba is prioritizing medical assistance to Haiti, with more personnel and medicine shipments to follow in the coming days.

Latest Edition of North of Havana Available Now!

The Canadian Network on Cuba's Winter 2009 newsletter "North of Havana" is now available here:

Highlights include:
  • The Cuba-Nova Scotia Art Exchange
  • UN condemns US blockage on Cuba
  • Report from the 2009 Che Guevara Brigade
  • Cuba: 50 Years of Achievements
  • Using Your Mastercard in Cuba

Celebrating 50 Years of the Cuban Revolution in Halifax

On October 2-3, 2009, Saint Mary's University hosted a symposium - Transformation: Latin America On the Move! sponsored by NS Cuba Association, PSAC, CUPW, Just Us Coffee Roasters, and the National Council of Latin American and Caribbean Women in Canada. For highlights of the symposium, please click here:

Teresita Vicente, Cuban Ambassador to Canada and Halifax MP Megan Leslie