Human Rights in Cuba

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The MINSAP calls for more blood donations, omits any mention of their
exportation
GERÓNIMO GARCÍA | La Habana | 10 de Mayo de 2017 – 20:56 CEST.

In April the organization Archivo Cuba censured the Cuban Government for
pocketing some 34,5 million dollars from the sale of blood plasma in a
single year.

As an apparent response to this complaint, which Archivo Cuba presented
in a report sent to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking
in Persons, María Grazia Giammarinaro, the Ministry of Public
(MINSAP) has initiated a campaign that includes the distribution of
brochures on the importance of the blood donations gathered, but without
mentioning their sale.

“It is incredible how we were never informed, by any means, whether by
the press or any health institution, about export as an ultimate
destination of many voluntary donations,” said Esther, Secretary of the
Communist Party (PCC) at her workplace.

“Why this silence on such a sensitive subject? Why do the people have to
find out last, and through unofficial means, that they were manipulated?
What the Archivo Cuba report says “leaves me perplexed,” said Cañizares.

For more than five decades MINSAP has called on the population to make
massive blood donations, under the motto: “Donate Blood, Save a Life.”
These campaigns are often activities for members of the PCC, the Union
of Young Communists (UJC) and the Committees for the Defense of the
Revolution ().

According to the details revealed by Archivo Cuba, between 1995 and 2014
the Government exported a total of 622.5 million dollars in human blood
derivatives.

Aníbal Henríquez, a port worker, questioned the final whereabouts of
those millions, which have never been reported as export revenues in
nearly 20 years.

“Where did all that money go and what is the justification for keeping
silent about those exports?” he asked.

“They won’t offer any explanations, and they won´t even blush. Like they
always do,” said Lietis Ronda, a Library Science student. “They will
allege that it is a new lie by the enemy to discredit revolutionary
victories. And they will also say that the independent media that
leveled these allegations are pawns of the CIA and paid by USAID. “

“More than deception, this is another way of exploiting the people,”
Ronda said.

Blood donation, a “revolutionary duty”

In recent decades the Ministry of (MINED) has also included,
as part of “ emulation” programs, blood donations from relatives
with children in primary school.

This was announced by Jose Ernesto Rodríguez, a municipal historian, who
criticized that the State’s campaigns for massive donations of blood,
“involve children and adolescents.”

“In schools our children are required to be part of the ‘socialist
emulation’ programs. Among the parameters to comply with this emulation
is parents’ making of blood donations. The children, pressured to win
the emulation competition for their classrooms, urge their parents to
give,” he explained.

Being a blood donor, along with the accumulation of hours of “volunteer
work”, surveillance shifts, and participation in “marches of the
fighting people,” continue being “theoretically voluntary but, in
reality, obligatory tasks and a demand of the revolution”, he explained.

A doctor, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said that she
did not understand “this astonishment” at the fact that the Government
has never informed people about its commerce in blood, condemned by
Archivo Cuba, which is based in Puerto Rico.

“This is not the only form of exploitation practiced by the Government,
however painful it may be to accept that,” she said. What did surprise
the doctor is the millions that these exports generated.

Workers at several municipal blood banks in Havana confirmed that a new
blood donation campaign has been launched, and that for the first time
they are distributing brochures with information for donors.

“But they say nothing about the destination and use of the blood,” they
pointed out.

Source: The MINSAP calls for more blood donations, omits any mention of
their exportation | Diario de Cuba –
www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1494442605_31024.html

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