The government of Cuba promised in 2015 to donate scholarships to the specialty of Bolivian doctors. They gave them, but the leadership of Evo Morales paid for everything from tickets to scholarships. This is reflected in a confidential report to which this media has access.
On December 30, 2005, then Bolivian President-elect Evo Morales and the late Cuban President Fidel Castro signed an agreement of 11-point cooperation. 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.
For several years, Bolivians received scholarships for Bolivian students to travel to Cuba to study. But in this particular case, this Caribbean country did not pay a penny for them, on the contrary, Bolivia charges tuition, tuition, accommodation, food, transportation, medical insurance and even clothing of the benefited students.
This outlet had access to an agreement confirmed by the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, which confirms that the Morales government has signed 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 the Ministry of Health, He sent out two separate questionnaires that 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: “SIf we take stock, Cuba is a poor country, not because of socialism, but because it is an island. All in all, it 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 emphasized Cuba’s solidarity for this reason as well“if we had supported Cuba in the overall balance, if we want to quantify, Bolivia came out the winner, and if we look at it qualitatively, we win by far”.
The former Minister of Autonomies, Hugo Siles, in contact with EL DEBER, indicated 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 Campero’s former minister, as well as the current Jason Auza, are former Cuban scholars.
According to the agreement signed in 2015, everything was paid for by Bolivia. The annex establishes that the Bolivian side must ensure payment to the Cuban side is exclusive of taxes, bank transfer charges and any other discounts that may apply. According to Appendix Table IV, the Bolivians paid almost US$1.5 million for accommodation and food. The annual price of the school year for each student was US$17,000 plus another US$1,000 for registration.
The US government handed over to Bolivia donations of nearly $200 million annually to economic development programs, strengthening democracy, combating drug trafficking, health programs, etc. The Morales government stopped all that.
The International Interinstitutional Agreement for Academic Services was signed on September 6, 2015 by the then Ambassador of Cuba to Bolivia, Benigno Pérez Fernández, on behalf of Roberto Morales Ojeda, Minister of Public Health of Cuba, and former health minister Ariana Campero Nava.
Article V specifies “confidentiality” and notes that the parties shall “not to disclose, distribute or make public any information exchanged between them or who have access during the execution of this agreement, provided that such information is not in the public domain and unless required by law or mutual agreement between them.”
The confidentiality undertaking will have, the document says, a validity corresponding to an additional period of two years, cIt counts from the date of completion of all academic services agreed upon under this contract.
“The Parties, desiring 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, I agree to sign this agreement,” which establishes the “rights and obligations” of both parties.
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 country in universities of medical sciences, “depending on quantity, 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 application scope, the agreement was indicated by providing academic services in the education of Bolivian postgraduate students, those that will be taught by Cuban professors with adequate qualifications and an appropriate scientific and technical level in the performance of their profession and will aim to improve the quality of health services for the population residing in the Plurinational State of Bolivia”.
The Cuban side was obliged to provide post-graduate training services to Bolivian doctors. Provision of services in selected academic institutions certified by Cuban universities, based on the current curriculum for each major, in the same conditions in which they are offered to other PhD students in terms of physical structure, equipment and other supplies.
This ensures that Cuban teachers have adequate qualification, necessary capacity and experience, as well as a high scientific and technical level when performing 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.
Guaranteeing the reception and release of students at the airport, as well as their transfer to and from Cuban universities, at the beginning and end of studies. Direct them to health checks, residence permits, identity documents and exit permits.
Assist them in borrowing from the libraries learning materials that are essential for the due attainment of the agreed academic services, access to sports and cultural facilities of the universities and participation in its various events. Support them in scientific advice for research work. Instruct them about the customs, traditions and current laws in Cuba, medical ethics.
Also, submit to the Bolivian country an annual report on the academic results of the students, as well as the information related to the violations of discipline by the students, as well as the results of the inspections and the decisions of the competent authorities in this regard.
The Bolivian side 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 even take care of the transfer: Covering costs associated with air transportation of students to and from Cubaat the beginning, at 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. eappoints a representative who is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the contract and covers the costs of the annual health policy, for each student under 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.
Differences between countries they would submit to direct negotiations, “by diplomatic and friendly means”. The document does not establish any possibility of going to arbitration. The agreement was valid for 6 years and could be changed by agreement of the parties, provided that they are not incompatible with the achievement of the objectives. They may terminate the contract at any time by notifying the other party in writing.