Why is Mexico bringing Cuban doctors?

Over the years, I've learned that Mexican presidents use Cuba as a way of keeping the domestic left quiet. 

Therefore, it does not surprise me that President López-Obrador is going to bring in some Cuban doctors, as I learned from Victor Becerra:

According to an article published on December 2 in the Brazilian newspaper Estadão, by the well-known Mexican journalist Verónica Calderón, which was quickly picked up by media from all over the world, since last September it is a deal that was negotiated between the Cuban dictatorship and the Mexican government, through Lázaro Cárdenas Batel, coordinator of advisers to López Obrador himself, with the intermediation of Celso Amorim, a former Brazilian official of the governments of Lula Da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, to bring three thousand Cuban doctors to Mexico.

The Mexican government would pay USD $6.5 million a month to the Castro dictatorship, amounting to a total of USD $80 million per year, an amount equivalent to, for example, the amount spent annually to bring water to Mexico City.

So what's the big deal?  What's wrong with Mexico importing doctors to supplement its domestic supply of health care professionals?

There is no problem, but this is not a routine "importation" of doctors.  As the article also pointed out, Brazil was paying US$3,500 to the Castro regime for each doctor.  However, the Cuban doctor only got US$900 and could not bring his family along.

You can do the math.  It looks like a great source of "hard currency" for the Castro regime and not a very good salary for the Cuban doctor.

President-Elect Bolsonaro of Brazil promised to kill the program because the Cuban doctors are exploited.  Apparently, President López-Obrador of Mexico does not see it that way.

A few hours ago, I spoke with a Mexican friend who is a surgeon in Mexico City.  I asked for his reaction to this and how the news is going down.  He said he supports the idea but only if the doctors are being paid directly and work free of the Cuban government.

What about public opinion? I asked.  He felt that most Mexicans would react negatively to people being used like this. 

Maybe this is why President López-Obrador is downplaying the move.

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Photo credit: Pixabay.

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