Evo’s government paid for the scholarships Cuba offers to study medicine, according to a report

Evo Morales and Fidel Castro in action in 2005.


The Cuban government promised in 2015 to donate scholarships to the specialty of Bolivian doctors, but the national government paid for everything from tickets to scholarships, according to a report revealed on Tuesday by El Deber newspaper.

Then-presidents Evo Morales and Fidel Castro signed an 11-point cooperation agreement in 2005. One of them indicated that Cuba would give 5,000 scholarships to young Bolivians to study medicine on the island.

“I am sure that Fidel and (Venezuelan Hugo) Chavez are commanders of the libertarian forces of America to liberate America and the world,” Morales said that day at the end of their meeting.

As stated, during the several years that Bolivians received scholarships to study in Cuba, the Bolivian state paid the tuition, tuition, accommodation, food, transportation, medical insurance and even clothing of the benefiting students.

According to the agreement, confirmed by the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, the Morales government signs agreements, but not to receive donations or benefit from the implementation of programs, but to help Cuba economically.

This agreement was signed by the former Minister of Health, Arianna Campero. This media contacted her in Cuba via WhatsApp, as well as sent two questionnaires to the Ministry of Health, which were not answered.

Former Defense Minister Ramy Ferreira said he was not aware of this agreement. The same was pointed out by his former colleague from the government, Carlos Romero, who, however, gave his opinion: “If we take stock, Cuba is a poor country, not because of socialism, but because it is an island.” After all, this was a country that restored sight to almost 700,000 Bolivians with the miracle operation, lifted tens of thousands out of illiteracy. They personally saved my life when I suffered dengue hemorrhagic which got complicated. I watched with great pain when the ignorant fascism of Agnes, Murillo, outed the doctors of the island as criminals.”

He highlighted the solidarity of Cuba and believes that “if we had supported Cuba in the overall balance, if we want to express quantitatively, Bolivia came out the winner, and if we look at it qualitatively, we won by a lot.”

Former Minister of Autonomy Hugo Siles told the Santa Cruz newspaper that it is “normal” that the scholarships do not cover everything. “Some are only for the content of the subjects, and the student has to pay other costs. I have no specific knowledge of the contents of this agreement, but in my experience it is. You can’t disqualify a scholarship for that,” he said. He mentioned that former Minister Campero and Minister Jason Auza are former Cuban Fellows.

According to the agreement signed in 2015, everything was paid for by Bolivia. The annex establishes that the Bolivian party must ensure that the payment to the Cuban party is free of taxes, free of bank transfer costs and any other discounts that may arise. According to Appendix Table IV, the Bolivians paid almost US$1.5 million for accommodation and food. The annual cost of the academic year for each student was US$17,000 plus another US$1,000 for enrollment.

The U.S. government had been giving Bolivia nearly $200 million a year in grants for economic development programs, democracy strengthening, anti-drug trafficking, health programs, and more, but Evo’s government stopped all of that.


The bilateral agreement was signed on September 6, 2015, by the then Cuban ambassador to Bolivia, Benigno Pérez Fernández, on behalf of Roberto Morales Ojeda, Cuba’s Minister of Public Health, and former Health Minister Ariana Campero Nava.

Article V specifies “confidentiality” and warns that the parties undertake “not to disclose, distribute or make public any information exchanged between them or to which they have access during the performance of this agreement, provided that such information not in the public domain. and unless required by law or mutual agreement between them”.

The confidentiality undertaking will, as the document says, be valid for an additional period of two years from the date of completion of all academic services contracted under this agreement.

“The parties, imbued with the desire to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of health, in accordance with the laws and regulations applicable in both countries, and mutually recognizing the capacity and representation to which they agree in this act, agree to sign this agreement “, in which the “rights and obligations” of both parties are established.

The object established in Article I says that its purpose is the academic training of Bolivian students in a postgraduate medical science career offered by the Cuban side in universities of medical sciences, “according to the amount, time and other conditions.” . While “the Bolivian party shall pay the agreed remuneration for the agreed academic services, in the manner and amount established in this agreement.”

In the scope of application, the agreement was concretized by providing academic services in the training of Bolivian postgraduate students, who will be taught by Cuban professors with adequate qualifications and an appropriate scientific and technical level in the performance of their profession, and its objective will be to improve the quality of health services for the population residing in the multinational country of Bolivia.

The Cuban side was obliged to provide post-graduate training services to Bolivian doctors. Provision of services in the selected academic institutions certified by Cuban universities, based on the current curriculum for each major, under the same conditions offered to other postgraduate students in terms of physical structure, equipment and other supplies.

It ensures that Cuban teachers have adequate qualifications, capacity and the necessary experience, as well as a high scientific and technical level in the performance of their profession, to do it qualitatively and ethically. Ensure that selected students acquire the necessary qualifications, skills and experience to fulfill their duties as healthcare professionals. Guaranteeing the provision of students with a certificate of academic results and titles obtained, duly legalized in Cuban universities.

Other responsibilities included welcoming and farewelling the fellows, transferring them to the universities, accessing the universities’ libraries, sports and cultural facilities and participating in various of their events. Support them in scientific advice for research work. Instruct them on the customs, traditions and laws in force in Cuba, medical ethics and report on their academic achievements, among others.

The Bolivian government, on the other hand, was required to select the students and ensure that they met all established requirements in terms of grades and physical fitness. Submit all documentation required by Cuban universities. Assisting students in obtaining their travel documents, legalization of visa documents and necessary immigration procedures.

Hence the economic obligations and Cuba did not take care of the transfer: Covering the costs related to the air transport of the students to and from Cuba, at the beginning, the end of the studies and in case of illness.

Guarantee payment to the Cuban party as compensation for the agreed academic services. In addition to familiarizing students with the customs, traditions, and laws in force in Cuba, make sure they have a stipend or something similar to cover their personal living expenses. Designate a representative to be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the agreement and to bear the cost of the annual health policy for each student according to Cuban law.

Article VI provides that the Bolivian Party shall pay to the Cuban Party the equivalent in Euros of the remuneration provided for in the Agreement. The exchange rate will be the one in effect at the time of the exchange. The parties agreed to conduct an annual evaluation of the terms of the agreement in order to make necessary adjustments.

Disputes between the parties are subject to direct negotiation “through diplomatic and friendly channels.” The document does not establish any possibility of going to arbitration. The agreement was for a duration of six years and could be changed by agreement of the parties, provided that they were not incompatible with the achievement of the objectives. They may terminate the contract at any time by notifying the other party in writing.

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