Sunday, May 30, 2004

Cuba: Seven and none filled

HAVANA, May ( - Dr. Dulce Leonor Torres slapped her hand to her forehead; she had just written seven prescriptions for an older patient and not one had been filled: the medicines were not available in the pharmacy.

Lupe Rabala, 75, who suffers from diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and nervous disorders, said she is tired of hearing "we don't have..."

Yet the government guarantees her the medicines needed for her treatment, as the ration card she recently received attests.

"It's a contradiction," she says. "How is it possible that they run out of a medicine that I have guaranteed by the card? Where do these medicines go? To the black market, to the resellers! There, you can buy it for 15 times its price. They have everything that they don't have at the pharmacy."
How can this be when the Cuban dictatorship has barred Fr. Fidencio of La Pastora Church from giving away donated medicines and such?


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