UN Elects Cuba to Chair World Health Assembly Even as Cubans Lack Aspirin, Basic Health
Cuban media hails decision; UN Watch condemns "UN handing propaganda victory to a dictatorship"
[ En Español ]
The UN today elected Cuban Health Minister Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda
to chair its 2014 World Health Assembly.
GENEVA, May 19 – The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch criticized the UN's election today of Cuba to chair the 67th World Health Assembly, with executive director Hillel Neuer saying the decision "wrongly hands a coveted propaganda victory to a dictatorship that imprisons journalists and brutalizes human rights defenders," and that it "enables Cuba to further perpetuate myths about a health system that is in fact crumbling, with desperate citizens reduced to asking tourists to bring them Aspirin and other basic medicines."
The consensus election today by 194 WHO member states chose the sole candidate, Cuban Health Minister Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda.
"Why is the UN placing the world's health in the hands of a government that practices medical Apartheid, with privileged clinics for medical tourists, while its own impoverished citizens are denied Aspirin and other basic medicines, with public hospitals that deny their patients running water or working toilets?" asked Neuer.
State-sponsored media has already trumpeted the anticipated victory, saying "Cuba has been chosen in large part because of the results and impact of its health initiatives, within the country and internationally."
While the Cuban articles claimed the Castro regime has achieved numerous health milestones, experts and international observers say the health system is in disarray.
Although Cuba has sent thousands of doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil, their doctors are considered poorly trained:
While Cuba claims to meet UN and other international health benchmarks, the data is known to be falsified by the regime:
Cuba's article on the election of its minister trumpeted its victory over diseases, yet Cuba has cholera:
According to Reuters and the BBC, Cuban hospitals are in terrible shape: