Venezuelan Opposition Attacks Cuban Health Workers

Map of Venezuela

Cuban doctors working in Venezuela since 2003 epitomize Cuba-Venezuelan mutual solidarity. Joined there by 20,000 other Cuban health workers, 11,000 doctors are caring for patients and teaching medical students.

Longstanding objections from Venezuela’s medical establishment are minor irritants in the face of recent violent assaults against Cuban health workers. They occur as part of anti-government protests that since early February have taken lives and damaged infrastructure.

Speaking recently on the 11th anniversary of Venezuela's primary health care initiative Barrio Adentro, Vice President Jorge Arreaza reported that 162 Cuban health care personnel had been attacked. Two suffered serious burns. José Manzaneda, coordinator of Cuba Information TV, blames “a gigantic campaign against Cuba created in the private Venezuelan media, [and] amplified by the international media.” As a result, “[M]any people firmly believe either that the Cuban government makes big political decisions in Venezuela or that Cuban health workers are really agents or spies.”

A Spanish news service, for example, commenting on President Nicolas Maduro's election victory in April 2013, cited the role of “around 46,000 Cuban collaborators who officially live in Venezuela, all with the mission of guaranteeing the Chavez revolution.” At the time, defeated opposition forces were engaged in destabilization, and the report served as context for attacks on 25 health centers staffed by Cuban doctors.

The full article continues at on People’s World’s website.