On Tuesday, Cubans celebrate the 60th anniversary of the start of the solidarity actions that their doctors and health workers have carried out around the world.
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“Today is a day of gratitude for the opportunity we have had to be part of this great army of white coats that is making history in the five continents," said Idael Cabrera, a doctor who is part of a Cuban mission in Ghana.
"The whole world knows the value and commitment of our professionals, and we are grateful for that,” he pointed out on the occasion of the four decades of Cuban health cooperation in that African country.
On May 23, 1963, Cuba sent its first medical brigade to Algeria at the request of its Prime Minister Ahmed Ben Bella, who was leading a nation recently liberated from French colonialism.
"That initial solidarity mission created the bases for what would later become other similar collaborations in that country and in the rest of Africa," recalls Jorge Delgado Bustillo, a physician who has participated in many Cuban medical missions in Latin America and Africa.
"With his humanist philosophical vision, Fidel Castro, the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, considered solidarity with other peoples as a duty," he added.
The Algeria mssion began a tradition of health cooperation that has lasted for 6 decades despite the U.S. economic, political, and diplomatic blockade against the Cuban Revolution.
Since 1963, Cuban doctors and health workers have treated 3 million people and performed over 16 million surgeries in 165 countries.