Panama’s Government announced its unilateral decision to put an end to the medical help provided by Cuba to this country through the Operation Miracle free eye care program which returned the sight to nearly 50,000 citizens of this Central American nation.
Granma newspaper reports that the Cuban embassy in Panama City recently issued a press release stating that the island learned about the decision after the Health Ministry of that country made public its move ending the Cuban medical cooperation project over the beginning of a national program called “Visión 20-20” (20/20 Vision).
According to the report, the Cuban embassy confirmed in a series of meetings with Panamanian high-ranking authorities over the last 26 days that it is not a misunderstanding and that the Panamanian government’s unilateral call is firm.
“Time will tell if those who made the abrupt decision to put an end to the Cuban medical eye cooperation program on the grounds that it is no longer necessary because those services will be guaranteed in both public and private health sectors, are right or not.”
In compliance with the Panamanian decision, the Cuban government will proceed to immediately withdraw the medical staff and equipment from that country, according to the press
The note expresses the Cuban government’s satisfaction for “having contributed to increasing the quality of life of the noble and fraternal Panamanian people, particularly the most vulnerable and lower-income sectors.”
Granma announced that the Omar Torrijos Herrera eye center of the Luis "Chicho" Fábrega Hospital in the province of Veraguas, where the Cuban doctors are working, did not open thismorning, February 2. The news has reportedly generated a great repercussion on the media and
has caused people’s anguish.
It could have not turned out differently, especially because Cuban doctors have returned the sight to 49, 715 people, most of them poor farmers and natives, Granma concluded.