Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cholera, Dengue and Totalitarianism in Cuba

A dangerous combination especially for dissidents.

Castro's Ministry of the Interior and a Cholera bacterium

Heavy rains over Cuba and reports over twitter of a dengue outbreak and the usual lack of official channels providing adequate information makes evident the need for a free press to report on what is actually happening with regards to the outbreak of contagious diseases.

The record of the current dictatorship in Cuba demonstrates that it is willing to cover up epidemics and even lock up doctors trying to warn of rising body counts as was done to Dr. Desi Mendoza in 1997 during a Dengue epidemic.

In October of 2011, although Dengue is a well known disease in Cuba, it was supposedly misdiagnosed in the case of Ladies in White leader Laura Pollán and was a contributing factor in her unnecessary death.

Now in the midst of a Cholera outbreak in the interior of Cuba one of the most prominent dissidents in the island Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas was killed on July 22, 2012 along with youth leader Harold Cepero under circumstances that Oswaldo Paya's family say are far from clear. They are demanding that an international organization conduct a transparent investigation to arrive at the truth. Oswaldo and Harold were traveling with two foreigners into the area where the cholera outbreak had occurred most likely to learn what was really happening when the supposed "accident" happened.

Cholera and Dengue on their own are terrible killers but when combined with a secretive totalitarian dictatorship, that claims health care as one of its achievements, the danger is multiplied. Not only do doctors, victims, and seekers of the truth have to worry about contagious diseases but also the state security apparatus imprisoning or murdering them.

For the dictatorship some secrets are worth killing for especially if it impacts their international legitimacy that is in part based on the propaganda fabrication that their health care system is one of the best in the world.

It is dangerous combination of factors for those in Cuba seeking to report the truth.

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