[News] Cuba-Trained Doctors Head to Standing Rock

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 2 10:54:36 EST 2016


  Cuba-Trained Doctors Head to Standing Rock

December 2, 2016

In a late Thursday Facebook post, a group of U.S.-based medical 
professionals trained at Cuba’s famous Latin American School of 
Medicine, or ELAM, announced they will head to Standing Rock “to humbly 
serve in solidarity with the Sacred Water Protectors on the front lines 
of the current human rights and ecological crisis occurring right now in 
North Dakota.”

Dr. Revery P. Barnes, a graduate of ELAM, said in a post on Facebook, 
“We answer the call to serve in alignment with the mission and core 
principles of our alma mater and dedication to our commitment to serve 
underserved communities in our HOME country.” The delegation will work 
in collaboration with the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council.

“While Cuba instilled in us an unwavering commitment to 
internationalism, with the acceptance of a full scholarship to medical 
school at ELAM, we made the moral commitment to respond to the needs of 
our most vulnerable communities here at home in the U.S.,” the statement 

On Wednesday, the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council – which has 
been providing emergency and chronic health care services to the 
thousands of water protectors gathered at Standing Rock – issued a 
warning about the grave health and safety threats posed by escalating 
use of violence by Morton County Sheriff’s Department and Dakota Access 
Pipeline security personnel, whom they described as creating “war-like 

While the Facebook statement did not give details about the size of the 
delegation or when it is expected to arrive, the announcement comes as 
thousands of U.S. Army veterans are expected to arrive at the Oceti 
Sakowin camp this weekend in anticipation of the Dec. 5 eviction notice 
given to the camp by the Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota 
Governor, Jack Dalrymple.

Health and safety concerns for the thousands of Water Protectors, who 
are asserting their Indigenous sovereignty in attempts to block the 
multi-billion dollar Dakota Access Pipeline project, are also on the 
rise as harsh winter conditions have been exacerbated by state law 
enforcement threats to cut off supplies and access to emergency services.

The Latin American School of Medicine was created in 1999 by the Cuban 
government and is one of the largest medical schools in the world, with 
approximately 19,550 students from 110 countries. All students receive a 
full scholarship, including room and board, and preferential treatment 
is given to applicants from marginalized groups who intend to return and 
practice in their own communities. The school plays a key part in Cuba’s 
widely-hailed medical internationalism, which has seen the socialist 
country send over 80,000 health care workers to over 94 countries to 
provide treatment and assistance to impoverished or underprivileged 

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