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Cuba continues to work to guarantee safe return of its kidnapped doctors

Source:  La Santa Mambisa

April 14 2020

Immersed in the great task of dealing with Covid-19, Cuba, its government and its president Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, do not forget for a second the two doctors, Assel Herrera and Landy Rodríguez, kidnapped in Kenya

Díaz-Canel, on his Twitter account, wrote that he had called the relatives of both doctors and assured them that, despite the current world situation of the covid-19, “we continue the efforts for their safe return to Cuba” .

The two Cuban health professionals were kidnapped in Kenya by the Al Shabab group, and taken to neighboring Somalia.

During all this time, Cuba has held systematic conversations with the governments of both countries, and its top leaders have assured the authorities of the Island that the collaborators of Medicine are alive, and all efforts are made for their release.

Coinciding with this first year of kidnapping, the spokesman for the Kenyan Executive, Cyril Oguna, assured the EFE agency that

“We work every day to make sure they come home alive.”

Asked if the Kenyan government has received any proof of recent life, Oguna replied: «Yes. We are working with our partners when it comes to sharing intelligence information. We have evidence that they are alive.

From the same day 04/12/19, in an informative note, the MINSAP announced that all channels were established with the Kenyan authorities, to reach a solution regarding the kidnapping of both internationalist doctors.

Two days later, on April 14, Miguel Díaz-Canel stated, on his Twitter account, that “Cuba is working tirelessly for the safe return of Assel (Herrera) and Landy (Rodríguez), our doctors kidnapped in Kenya.

With them and their loved ones we share the certainty that their humanitarian mission will be respected and recognized. We believe in the power of solidarity ».

On June 22 of the same year, on another Twitter, the president reported that he had “telephone conversations with the presidents of Kenya and Somalia, HE. Mr.

Uhru Kenyatta and Abdullahi Mohamed, as part of the permanent monitoring that we do of the actions to obtain the return of our kidnapped doctors Landy Rodríguez and Assel Herrera ».

On December 16 of last year, Cuba conveyed its gratitude to the Government of Kenya for the efforts made by that country to try to achieve the safe return of the doctors to the West Indian nation.

“The Kenyan authorities confirmed that both doctors are well and will continue efforts for their safe return,” said Inés María Chapman, vice president of the Cuban Council of Ministers at a press conference.

On December 30, 2019, Díaz-Canel held talks with the presidents of Kenya and Somalia, in which they exchanged on the current state of bilateral relations and on the efforts for the safe return of doctors to the Homeland.

During a meeting on January 17, 2020, with relatives of the doctor Assel Herrera in Las Tunas, the Cuban President reiterated to them the “full support” of the Government in the midst of the “unfortunately long and complex” process to obtain his return.

Then, on February 8, Díaz-Canel visited in Santa Clara the relatives of the Cuban doctor Landy Rodríguez Hernández, to whom he reaffirmed that Cuba continues to work constantly to guarantee the safe return of his compatriots.

Efforts continue to secure the safe return of abducted doctors

Source:  Granma
December 17 2019

Photo: Dunia Álvarez

“Kenyan authorities confirmed that both doctors, Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez, are doing well and that they continue efforts, as will our country, to secure their safe return to Cuba,” said Inés María Chapman Waugh, a Council of Ministers vice-president, speaking with the press regarding the recently held Ninth Summit of the Association of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP), held in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

“Our people can rest assured that the Cuban government, like the Kenyan government, is making a tremendous effort, paying special attention to this issue. The important thing is that our doctors return safely to our country. The priority is that that they return safe and sound,” she stated.

The Cuban delegation that participated in the ACP Summit held a meeting with the country’s health collaborators in this sister African nation, participating in a mission which has had “a very positive impact.”

Addressing the situation of the abducted Cubans, Inés María Chapman said: “The doctors are well, they are safe. Some doctors who were working on the border have been relocated closer to the capital. They are very committed to what they are doing and are willing to continue their tasks, with a commitment to our Revolution and also to the people of Kenya.”

The 9th ACP Summit was held in Nairobi, December 9- 10. During the high-level meeting, Cuba’s representative addressed the main topics of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including progress in implementing the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and the European Union, as well as prospects for cooperation between the two parties.

Chapman held a cordial meeting with the host President, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, and expressed the Cuban government’s appreciation for efforts being made by that country to achieve the safe return of doctors Assel Herrera and Landy Rodríguez. Bilateral meetings were also held with 12 ACP member delegations and with the European Union’s Commissioner for International Associations.

Speaking at the meeting, Chapman expressed Cuba’s gratitude to the peoples and governments of ACP countries for their traditional position repudiating the U.S. blockade, noting that in recent months the United States government has intensified its policy of economic war against the island. In addition, she commented on the noble, human work of Cuban doctors on medical missions around the world, and denounced the slander and lies spread by the U.S. government on this subject.

“Likewise,” she stated, “We are grateful for the recognition, expressed at the Ninth ACP Summit, for our country’s medical collaboration policy, and reaffirm our commitment to maintain cooperation with these countries.”

Some 100 Cuban professionals are currently serving on the medical brigade providing solidarity assistance in Kenya.

Díaz-Canel: Cuba is making every effort to secure the safe return of Assel and Landy

Source: Granma
April 15 2019

Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, tweeted that Cuba is working tirelessly for the safe return of Assel (Herrera) and Landy (Rodríguez), Cuban doctors abducted in Kenya, this past Friday

Assel Herrera and Landy Rodríguez. Photo: Internet

“Cuba is working tirelessly for the safe return of Assel (Herrera) and Landy (Rodríguez), our doctors abducted in Kenya,” stated Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, on his Twitter account, adding, “We share the certainty, with them and their loved ones, that their humanitarian mission will be respected and recognized. We believe in the power of solidarity.”

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla likewise tweeted, “I held a telephone conversation with the Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mónica Juma. We discussed the abduction of the two Cuban doctors and actions being taken by the government of this country given the unfortunate incident.”

On both of these Twitter accounts, it was made clear that other Cuban doctors are safe and fully informed of every step being taken to rescue their two colleagues.

Assel Herrera Correa is a specialist in Comprehensive General medicine from the province of Las Tunas and Landy Rodríguez Hernández, from Villa Clara, is a surgeon.

A communiqué released April 12 by the Ministry of Public Health stated that channels of communication were immediately established with authorities in Kenya to address the situation, and family members here are being kept informed.

Landy’s mother, Martha Hernández, told Granma, “I have full confidence that sooner than later, my son will return to the heart of his family. The Revolution never abandons one of its children, and this time, it will be the same.”

Despite the overwhelming pain, Martha insisted that solidarity, in Cuba and around the world, supporting the doctors’ freedom is key to their safe return.

She said that, since she heard the news, Party, government and Public Health authorities in the municipality of Placetas and on the provincial level, have kept her informed of every detail.

Assel’s family in Las Tunas is also receiving continuous support and all information available is being provided them.

In a statement to Granma, Grégory Antonio Pérez Héctor, deputy director of Public Health in the province explained that, upon receiving the news, a commission was immediately created, first to visit the home of his daughter, a high school student in the provincial capital, and then his parents in the community of Delicias.

“We have stayed in permanent contact with them, and not only on the part of Health, but political and government authorities, as well. Saturday, his parents were visited by Public Health officials who stayed with them most of the afternoon, explaining everything the country is doing to secure the return of their son. As elderly persons in poor health, they have been assigned the continuous support of a doctor, a nurse, and psychologist.”

Ruciel Tamayo Pérez, head of the clinic where Assel worked, told Granma that every day the administrator on duty visits the home of his daughter, who lives nearby.

“His daughter is finishing twelfth grade and tells us that she wants to be a doctor like her father. We have assured her that our government never abandons anyone.”

I do not want to “think badly”

Source:  Guajirita Soy
April 15 2019

By: Ana Hernández Hernández

from guajirita 1.png

During the last few months, some unprecedented events in the medical collaboration that Cuba has given, have happened one after another, which without the slightest interest in “thinking badly”, I do interpret that behind them can go the hairy hand of those who have always tried to discredit the human task, to bring life, hope and light, where others are present with missiles, bombs and military forces in the name of vaunted “Humanitarian Aid”.

First, once he assumed power in Brazil the  neofascist Jair Bolsonaro, discontinues the More Doctors Humanitarian Program, thus putting the Cuban doctors out of the South American giant, but not before proffering as many slanders and lies as possible  against the true professionalism of our doctors, while, at the same time, encouraging them to defect and assuring them employment.

Jair Bolsonaro, who stated,  among the many falsehoods, that the doctors were slaves of the Cuban government, assured employment to those who were willing to leave the mission and not return to Cuba.  Those who decided to opt for his call and his promises, today are the same ones who the passing of the months have found them unemployed and drifting away from what they can find to pay for their livelihood.

Second , just a few days ago, as a result of irregularities in the payment, by their country, to the Congolese scholars who are studying at the Latin American School of Medicine, ELAM, these students created a climate of violence and instability in the center. It transcended borders, where the intervention of  public order personnel was necessary  in order to control indiscipline.

A few hours after the events,   the future health professionals apologized to Cuba, for such a situation …, but notwithstanding that it is a problem that concerns the Congolese authorities and not the Cuban ones, an unusual event occurred and before the eyes of the malicious, manipulators of information, criticism appeared blaming the largest of the Antilles and its study programs that train medical and paramedical personnel.

Third , and only a few hours ago, they kidnapped in Kenya two Cuban collaborators that make up the Medical Brigade, which since last year has been serving in that African land, an unprecedented fact throughout the long history of Cuba, in more than 160 countries of the world, where they have arrived with their message of health, life and hope for the needy.

There are undoubtedly three significant facts, in different latitudes, but they could very well be marked by a single interest, although apparently they could not have contact points … and I do not want to “think badly”, but that interest and points of contact I see through the magnifying glass that guides my steps and my eyes towards those who, once and a thousand times, have tried to tarnish the human work carried out by the Cuban medicine world, and of course! They are the same people who, without scruples,  have given themselves to the task of  calling Cuban collaborators, like military men who arrive to indoctrinate the peoples.

I do not want to “think badly”, but behind this may be the hairy hand of those who do not like us … I just conclude thinking: That on earth there are more flowers than snakes …, not to “Think Bad”

Cuban Vice President Ines Maria Chapman to Arrive in Kenya Today

Source:  Prensa Latina

March 31 2019

Nairobi, Mar 31 (Prensa Latina) The vice president of the Cuban Council of State and of Ministers, Ines Maria Chapman, will arrive on Sunday in Kenya, the last stopover of a tour of three African countries.
The tour, which also included South Africa and Lesotho, contributed to fostering relations between Cuba and the African peoples.

The Cuban vice president was welcomed by the top government and political authorities in the nations she visited.

At each meeting, participants highlighted Cuba’s role in the independence of this part of the world, as well as its collaboration in several fields, particularly public health.

The vice president, in turn, expressed her country’s gratitude for the strong stance against the economic, commercial and financial blockade the United States has imposed on Cuba for more than six decades.

Kenya: Cuban doctors saving lives in terror-infested area


Cuban Doctors in Remain in Mandera as Local doctors Flee From Al-Shabab

Two Cuban doctors working in Mandera County have been forced to work on their own after their counterparts fled the area for fear of terror attacks.

The two; Dr. Herera Correa, a general practitioner and Dr. Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon; are however determined to stay put.

Dr. Correa sees 20 patients per day during his eight-hour shift while Dr. Rodriguez handles about 10 surgical procedures daily; they are on call 24 hours a day.

Local medics recently left in droves due to the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.

We have worked in far worse conditions

“Before I came here, I checked the internet and saw that Mandera is very dangerous with frequent attacks from Al Shabaab but we have worked in far worse conditions,”said Dr. Rodriguez.

The two Cuban doctors say they have already started learning Kiswahili and Somali since language barrier is their greatest challenge.

Luckily, one of the local doctors, Dr. Ali Osman who decided to remain with them was trained in Cuba.  He speaks fluent Spanish and is the one who acts as a translator for the Cuban doctors.

“They communicate easily in theatre using medical language and since they came, major operations have been very successful,” says hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Mohamed Adan. Ms Dekha Tawane had a hernia foetus growing inside her uterus and went into labour for four days in the bush.

“With the help of the team in the theatre, I managed to extract the baby in a bid to remove pressure from the mother’s belly. Both the mother and baby are in good condition,” says Dr Rodriguez, who performed the operation for two hours.

Mandera County Health Executive Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed says the Cuban doctors are a blessing because getting personnel in specialized cadres has been a huge challenge.

Havana is home to the most African embassies in Latin America

Source:  Granma

Photo: cadenagramonte.cu

Despite the geographical distance and economic limitations, regionally Cuba is home to the most African embassies, a continent with which it shares many historic and cultural ties.
With the opening of the Kenyan Embassy in the Cuban capital, set to take place this Friday March 16, there will now be 22 nations from Sub-Saharan Africa with diplomatic missions in the country, according to information by the Cuban Foreign Ministry.
Although African countries have embassies located throughout the region, there are less than a dozen missions in bigger and economically stronger nations on our continent, like Mexico and Brazil.

The Republic of the Seychelles

Meanwhile, an important event occurred in April last year with the opening of the Embassy of the Republic of the Seychelles in Havana, the island’s first in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Attending the inauguration was the country’s President Danny Faure, who studied Political Science in Cuba.

In addition to Africa’s roots in Cuban society, culture and history, the 1959 Revolution also inspired and supported anti-colonial struggles on the continent.
Cuban soldiers for example, gave their lives to help several African countries secure their freedom, while tens of thousands of doctors, athletes, and teachers have contributed, and continue contributing, to the social and economic development of these nations.

In addition to the vast number of young Africans currently studying on the island, Cuba has also trained thousands of students from that continent who now hold important and even senior political positions in their countries of origin



Cuba to Send 100 Doctors to Kenya

Source:  The Star, Kenya / TeleSUR
March 18 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks on direct engagement among African-Caribbean and Pacific countries during his state visit to Cuba, March 16, 2018. /PSCU

Kenya has announced that they will bring 100 Cuban medical specialists to fill gaps in county hospitals after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta ended a short visit to the Caribbean island.

One of President Kenyatta’s “Big Four Agenda” objectives is to implement universal health care for Kenyans, and that’s why medical assistance was one of their main discussion points during their visit to Havana.

Read: Kenya, Cuba bank on historical ties for stronger health, tourism sectors

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said Kenya had struck an agreement to bring in 100 medical specialists – with each county getting at least two – and that 50 doctors will be sent to Cuba for specialised training.


Kenya will also work with Cuba on collaborative research projects, develop training for primary healthcare workers and collaborate to build capacity to undertake genetic engineering and biotech work.

What we discovered is that Cubans are very concerned and very dedicated to research and have a very strong research department and they have had many firsts, they have eliminated malaria from the face of Cuba all together,” said Mohamed Ali, the governor of Marsabit, who also visited the island along with Kenyatta.

Ali also said they would bring livestock vaccines from Cuba to help Kenyan pastoralists without damaging the environment.

“Timelines are as soon as possible,” said Aman, who was part of the delegation that accompanied Uhuru to the Caribbean nation globally known for its leadership in primary healthcare.

Cuban doctors will need to be cleared by the Kenya Medical and Dentists Practitioners Board but Governors Anyang Nyong’o of Kisumu and Mohamed Ali of Marsabit, who were also in the delegation and back the deal, said they expected no problems.

Nyong’o had been to Cuba twice before when he served as minister in the Grand Coalition Government. He had been been party to health cooperation agreements that were never implemented.

The Governor said he wants swift implementation of the plan because health is at the epicentre of a growing Kenya.

The President ordered Aman to remain in Cuba until he delivers an agreement with extensive detail on cooperation with Cuba.

 Essentially, the agreement will cover a raft of critical areas. These include the secondment by the Cuban government of doctors to Kenya to fill crucial gaps in county hospitals and that of technical experts to operate equipment.

It also covers participation in research and advanced trials of medicines in areas in which Kenya is vulnerable. This will be through the use of therapeutic anti-HIV and anti-prostate cancer vaccines; vaccines to control influenza and meningitis; and control of diabetic foot ulcer amputation.

It will also cover the vector control in the fight against malaria.

Kenya will also look to Cuba for vaccines against ticks, guaranteeing healthy animals and cleaner environment due to a reduction of chemicals used in tackling ticks at the moment.

The sum total of these agreements is that Cuban experts will come to Kenya within the next few weeks and roll out a range of medical interventions that will radically change how we manage a large number of life-threatening diseases.

Related: Mobile app, study tours to combat crop-munching armyworm in Africa

If the recent political handshake had the potential to change political discourse, the agreement with Cuba will be of seismic proportions when it comes to the management of Kenya’s healthcare systems.

The key approach for the Cubans concerns preventive measures so the country stops the spread of disease before the economy is drained.

Collaboration with Cuba is likely to become a major strategy in how Kenya deals with the preventive options in disease management. The main goal is saving billions of shillings that go to global pharmaceutical majors each year for treatment, at the cost of growing the economy and delivering shared prosperity to all.

Read:  Kenya: Protesters Demand US Ambassador Step Down

Raúl receives President of Kenya

Source:  Granma
March 16 2018

Photo: Estudio Revolución

Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, yesterday March 15, received his Excellency Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, who is making an official visit to the country.

In an atmosphere of cordiality, the two leaders agreed on emphasizing the relations of friendship that exist between their countries and their intention to strengthen political ties and cooperation. They likewise expressed their mutual satisfaction with the opening of a Kenyan embassy in Havana and discussed issues on the international agenda.

Raúl thanked the government of Kenya for the help offered to support recovery efforts in the wake of damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

Accompanying the distinguished guest were Monica K. Juma, minister of Foreign Relations and International Trade; Rashid Achesa Mohamud, minister of Sports and Culture; as well as the Kenyan interim chargé de affaires in Havana, Anthony Mushiry; and Raphael Tuju, secretary general of the Jubileo Party.

On the Cuban side, also participating were Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, and Abel Prieto Jiménez – ministers of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Investment, and Culture, respectively – as well as ambassador Ernesto Gómez Díaz

Kenya: SDP and KCFS Welcome President Kenyatta’s State Visit to Cuba

Source:  Social Democratic Party of Kenya (sdpkenya.org)

March 13, 2018

The Social Democratic Party of Kenya (SDP) and the Kenya Cuba Friendship Society (KCFS) welcome the State visit to the Republic of Cuba by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Uhuru Kenyatta y Raul Rodriguez Cuba.jpgPresident Uhuru Kenyatta and outgoing Cuban Ambassador Raul Rodriguez

This visit further cements the good relations that Kenya has had with Cuba over the years. For instance, Kenya has consistently over the years, alongside almost all the Countries of the world, voted in support of the resolution to end the blockade that has been imposed on Cuba by US imperialism for the past 55 years. In 2016 Kenya opened her first embassy in Cuba (while Cuba opened hers in Kenya in 2001). Cuba has, and continues to offer numerous University scholarships to Kenyan students in various disciplines that include Medicine, Science, Engineering and Sports. Kenyan and Cuban Scientists, Sportsmen and Military personnel have in the past held joint projects and through such collaboration, both countries have benefited.

Both Kenya and Cuba are developing Countries which face common and uncommon challenges. Working together, both Countries can learn a lot from each other. Cuba, in spite of the unimaginable hardship caused by the 55-year-old economic, commercial and financial blockade, has managed to offer one of the world’s highest qualities of healthcare and education to its citizens, all for free. Cuba has made huge advancements in the fields of science, art and sports.

Even though such development can only be achieved, at such low costs, through a Socialist planned system (which is much superior to the Capitalist path that Kenya has taken), Kenya still can learn a lot from Cuba not only in these fields but also in the area of foreign policy, and in particular internationalism, south-south cooperation and African Solidarity. We acknowledge Uhuru Kenyatta’s independent foreign policy in this regard.

Kenya Cuba Friendship Society.jpgKenya Cuba Friendship Society has since the year 2003 fostered closer ties between the peoples of Kenya and the peoples of Cuba through people to people diplomacy, and we know that the visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta will not only strengthen the Government to Government relations, but also the People to People ties.

During his visit and after, the SDP and the KCFS ask President Kenyatta to reaffirm Kenya’s opposition to the US blockade on Cuba, and to demand for the return of Guantanamo Bay to the Republic of Cuba.

Long live the friendship and solidarity between Kenya and Cuba!

13 March 2018

Benedict WACHIRA
Secretary General – SDP
National Secretary – KCFS

Mwandawiro Mghanga
National Chairperson – SDP
National Chairperson – KCFS