López Obrador and Cuba, a honeymoon that does not end

López Obrador and Cuba, a honeymoon that does not end

The first public intervention this Wednesday by Miguel Díaz-Canel was a message addressed to his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. “It was very pleasant to talk by phone with brother President López Obrador,” wrote on Twitter the Cuban president, reiterating “the deep gratitude to the people and Government of Mexico for the generous and supportive help provided to Cuba.” Both expressed, he says, “satisfaction with the excellent state of bilateral relations.”

Díaz-Canel did not specify what “generous and supportive aid” he was referring to, but he did confirm a fact: despite the historical cordiality between the two States, bilateral relations have never been so “excellent”.

The latest milestone is the hiring of 119 more Cuban doctors, as announced on Tuesday by the director of the National Social Security Institute of Mexico, Zoe Robledoin the usual “morning” press conference by López Obrador.

These restrooms will arrive in January “to provide their specialized services,” said Robledo, who reminded the 491 additional doctors that they are “in 11 states, in very difficult and marginal places, and help provide coverage 24/7 in the hospitals where they are stationed.”

At the beginning of this December, this newspaper verified that one of those areas for which these doctors were promised, the inaccessible and violent Mountain of Guerrero, continued without receiving the Cubans.

Beyond that, and the fact that neither of the two countries has made public how much money Mexico has spent in Cuba since López Obrador took office on December 1, 2018, the affinity of the Mexican president for the Cuban Revolution is clear, in speech and in work.

After his election as president, the man from Tabasco gave free rein to that old love, which, in the midst of the deep crisis in Venezuela, the island’s supplier for the last two decades, was immediately reciprocated

The honeymoon began in another honeymoon: the one that López Obrador spent with his first wifethe deceased Rocío Beltrán, in Cuba, in 1979, and continued with the importation of Sandino system of housing construction –extended on the Island after the triumph of the Revolution– when the current president was a member of the ruling PRI and director of the National Indigenous Institute of the state of Tabasco, in the early 80s.

After his election as president, the man from Tabasco gave free rein to that old love, which, in the midst of the deep crisis in Venezuela, provider of the island for the past two decades, it was immediately reciprocated.

As an example, the first official visit of Miguel Díaz-Canel after being appointed president: to Mexico, in October 2019.

The closeness, since then, has been characterized by controversy and opacity. In April 2020, medical brigades began to be sent to support, according to the Mexican authorities, the fight against the covid pandemic. Schools and public opinion questioned them for not being prepared to face the health emergency and working little. Later it would be known, thanks to investigations by the press and the opposition, that his presence in the North American country cost nearly eight million dollars. The own official Cuban press He has given the exact number of doctors he sent to Mexico for this contingency, between 2020 and 2021: 1,479.

Despite the controversy over these toilets, the Mexican government has earned new criticism for the turbidity of some scholarships for medical residencies abroad, started in 2020whose final destination would end up being only Cuba, and for which Mexico came to pay the regime one million dollarsas revealed at the time by the portal Latinus.

Another milestone was the presence of Miguel Díaz-Canel on the presidential podium during the celebrations for the independence of Mexicoin September 2021, where he was even allowed to give a speech, something that had never happened in the country’s history with any foreign head of state.

Last May, López Obrador was reciprocated with the José Martí Order, on his official visit to the Island – one of the very few countries to which he has traveled as president. For those days, and during the Havana Book Fair, in which Mexico was the guest of honorit had announced the opening of a branch of the legendary Mexican state publishing house, the Fund of Economic Culturesomething that would end up happening in August, precariously and without, again, knowing the amount invested.

The list of solidarity of the current Mexican Administration with Cuba includes the dispatch of personnel from Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the Secretary of National Defense to help put out the gigantic fire, in August, of the Matanzas Supertanker Baseand members of the Federal Electricity Commission after the passage of Hurricane Ian, in September, as well as the purchase of anti-covid vaccines -not yet approved by the World Health Organization-, or the import of Cuban gravel for the construction of one of the emblematic projects of López Obrador, the so-called Mayan Trainin the Yucatan peninsula.

The romance, of which neither Mexicans nor Cubans know the full cost, is far from over.


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