Thursday, June 16, 2005

Giving too much credit 

In some of my prior posts on the Venezuelan health program Barrio Adentro I mentioned that while the opposition strongly opposed the program at the beginning since saw how popular it was and now claim to support it.

Apparently I was giving these clowns to much credit. Today it came out that the head of the Venezuelan Medical Federation, Dianela Parra, is again criticizing these programs for using Cuban doctors. With the new diagnostic centers of Barrio Adentro II the Cuban doctors, according to Parra, will be carrying out more sophisticated procedures such as interpreting x-rays, blood tests, and operations. She claims that as they are not formally licensed in Venezuela they should not be allowed to do these things.

This is a complete re-hash of the oppositions original objections to Barrio Adentro. First they claimed that there the Cubans weren't really doctors but were Cuban agents sent to indoctrinate and spy on Venezuelans (seriously, they actually said that). Then they claimed the doctors were incompetent. They actually made a big fuss about one youngster who died from what they said was malpractice by a Cuban doctor who had given him a defective pill. Of course, this was later revealed to be nonsense as an autopsy revealed the boy died from meningitis from which no doctor could have saved him.

In any event, Barrio Adentro turned out to be a great success and is highly popular. So now the opposition claims they like it. And I'm sure a year from now after Barrio Adentro II has proven its worth they'll claim they like it too. But that won't fool anyone. When Venezuelans go to the polls they'll remember who has consistently done everything they could to improve Venezuelan society and who has constantly done everything they could to stop and throw roadblocks in the way of those attempts.


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