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9 Oct

Red Molucca

In Memoriam
Comandante Che Guevara Lynch
Born June 14th 1928
Murdered 8th October 1967
45 Years Remembered

Che Guevara was one of the men of the 20th century. Born in Argentina (with the blood of Irish rebels flowing through his veins as his father said) he played a leading role with Comandante Raul Castro and Comandante Camillo Cienfuegos under the leadership of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro in the liberation of Cuba from fascistic dictatorship.

He helped build the socialist foundations of Cuba as Minister for the Economy and Governor of the Bank of Cuba.

He participated in the military defence of Vietnam against US imperialism and fought by the side of the greatest of all African leaders Patrice Lumumba (later assassinated by the imperialists) in the Congo.

Che Guevara led an uprising of the Bolivian revolution against dictatorship and in October 1967 he was captured by the forces of…

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Irán conmemora el 59 aniversario del Asalto a Moncada

29 Jul

Raul Castro en Rio +20

24 Jun

Revolutionary Doctors

23 May

Since the creation of the Venezuelan health mission Barrio Adentro, thousands of Cuban medical professionals have provided quality health care for some of Venezuela’s poorest communities. In Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba Are Changing the World’s Conception of Health Care (Monthly Review Press, 2011), author Steve Brouwer highlights the revolutionary health care practiced by Venezuela and Cuba. Brouwer lived in Venezuela in 2007-08 where he witnessed the results first hand. “In my little village of 700 people, there were nine young people going to medical school, in a tiny village in the foothills of the Andes,” says Brouwer.

see also: Pakistani medical students in Cuba

Pakistani medical students in Cuba

6 May

I was reading Fidel Castro con los intelectuales: Nuestro Deber Es Luchar. A fascinating dialogue between a number of individuals in struggle and the leader of the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro. I came across this bit as part of a discussion on Cuban doctors and medical system:

Cmdte (Fidel Castro): No se si tu sabes que desde entonces estan estudiando aqui case 500 paquistaníes que ya están a punto de hacerse medicos. Tremendos estudiantes! … están en Santa Clara, trabajando en los hospitales, y buenos medicos..

Abel Prieto: Son 906 estudiantes paquistaníes en Cuba.

Cmdte: En que grado están ya, en cuarto o quinto?

Randy Alonso: En cuarto ano, la mayoría.

Cmdte: Terminan este ano el cuarto, les quedan dos, pero ellos van a su pais para realizar las practicas. Novecientos seis estudiantes, y son muy buenos estudiantes.

The Cuban government gave nearly a 1000 Pakistani medical students a full scholarship, including tuition, books, boarding and lodging, and the Pakistani government provided 50 Euros per month as stipent…

So as to be expected, ’cause of the distance, cultural differences, and a host of other factors, not all went as planned during the first year – and there was even a protest against the conditions, especially at issue was if their studies would be recognized in Pakistan. The major issues were resolved, and the students are expected to return to Pakistan in 2013-2014:

ISLAMABAD – The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Wednesday said that Pakistani medical students in Cuba have shown remarkable performance among students from over 120 countries. Over 900 Pakistani students are pursuing medical studies funded by the government of Cuba. The results for the academic year 2010-11 show that the cumulative result of Pakistani students was 99.67 percent followed by Ecuador 98.28 percent, Bolivia 97.69 percent, China 97.28 percent and Nicaragua 96.77 percent, said a press release issued by the HEC. The scholarship of Pakistani students includes tuition fee, books, free laundry, halal food, lodging, health insurance and other miscellaneous expenditures. In addition, the government of Pakistan is providing a monthly stipend of 50 euros per month to all the students and return air ticket.

The first batch of 310 students has completed four years of medical study along with a comprehensive course in Spanish and their fifth year will start by the end of February 2012. The second batch of 602 students has completed three years of medical study along with a comprehensive course in Spanish and their fourth year will also start by the end of February 2012. The students would return to Pakistan in 2013 and 2014, after successful completion of their studies in Cuba. It is expected that these students would be able to make a substantial contribution to improve the health sector of Pakistan and would also further strengthen the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Cuba.


The 2005 Pakistan earthquake (also known as the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, the South Asian earthquake or the Great Pakistan Earthquake) was a major earthquake centered in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) near the city of Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. In the International response to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake many countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations offered relief aid to the affected regions. Cuba also offered 1000 scholarships in medicine for Pakistani students. The project was handed over to Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. HEC (Pakistan) has divided students into two batches. The first batch of approximately 384 students went from Pakistan to Cuba in February 2007 and second batch in July 2008. According to the ELAM rule for foreign students, they received a one-year language course in Spanish which also includes a premedical certificate. After the successful completion of their Spanish language course, all the students moved to the original campuses of ELAM (University of Medical Sciences). These ELAM campuses are highly ranked medical institutes attached to well equipped hospitals. For Pakistani students all the medical professors are specialists at least 30 years experience. These Pakistani students are studying with students of 50 countries and will receive an MD degree from Escuela Latino Americana De Medicina (ELAM) on completion of their medical course.

Mission of ELAM for Pakistani students is to make competent doctors with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, as offered to medical graduates in the USA and Canada. The Latin American School of Medicine is officially recognized by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and the World Health Organization. It is also fully accredited by the Medical Board of California, which has the strictest US standards – which means that qualified US graduates of the Latin American School of Medicine are eligible to apply for residency placements in any state of the US..

See also Salud a documentary on Cuba’s medical / health care system, and especially focused on Cuba’s internationalism.

The initial disorganization with respect to the Pakistani medical students were unfortunate, one would hope that care will be taken in the future – especially as relations between the peoples of Muslim majority nations and Cuba, and really all of America Latina, is relatively new, and still developing. No doubt there will be more road bumps ahead – but most can be prevented with some planning – and especially so that we don’t lose our respective focuses.