By Victor H. Becerra
A few days ago, it was announced that the new Mexican government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador had negotiated a deal with the Castro dictatorship to bring to Mexico the Cuban doctors that the regime is hastily removing from Brazil, in light of the eminent inauguration of new right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro.
Faced with the scandal, the news was denied by President López Obrador himself, who said that they are “blown up (lies) of my adversaries, who are liars.”
However, this would not be the first time that López Obrador says that something is false and, later, it turns out to be true. Examples abound in this regard. López Obrador is not a consistent politician; rather his positions and promises are modified as appropriate to conform to the whims of political opportunism.
It is more credible to think that the speed of this new scandal forced him to a hasty denial, but that the idea is there, waiting for the opportunity to announce it.
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.
The three thousand Cuban doctors (whose distinctive feature is that they are married heads of household) would be part of the eight thousand doctors committed by the Castro dictatorship to the Brazilian government, through a program called Más Médicos, implemented in 2013 by the government of then-president Dilma Rousseff, supposedly to attend to medical needs in remote regions, although there are multiple indications that many of said doctors fulfill the dual function of being agents of the Cuban government working in espionage and indoctrination.
In this regard, Cuban doctors have always been instruments of a war and expansionist strategy of Castroism. The Brazilian government pays USD $3,500 a month to the Cuban dictatorship for each doctor, of which each of them only receives USD $900. Meanwhile, doctors are forced to leave their family in Cuba and are punished with not seeing them again and not going back to the island if they desert the program.
Due to this evident violation of human rights, President-elect Bolsonaro proposed to establish new conditions in the operation of the program, beginning by giving the full salary directly to the doctors, as well as allowing them to bring their families and request political asylum, conditions which the Castro dictatorship opposed. They announced the termination of the program and the departure of all doctors. Today, just over fifteen days after the inauguration of Bolsonaro, 4,000 doctors have already left of the current 8,000, although the program has had 20,000 doctors in total.
The Más Médicos program is maintained by the Cuban dictatorship in 66 other countries, with a total of 55,000 active doctors. The dictatorship thus pockets USD $11.5 billion per year for this type of service (which also includes sports instructors and security agents), an amount that quadruples its income from tourism.
A striking feature of the Cuban program is that it is a copy of the system imposed in 1967 by North Korea, during the government of Kim II-Sung, grandfather of the current satrap, Kim Jong Um, a system that continues to this day, where inhumane conditions for low-skilled labor, which includes indoctrination, direct supervision by the regime in workplaces, prohibition of talking to the media, repression, espionage and kidnapping of workers’ families, to prevent desertions and rebellions. With this program, the dictatorship has financed its nuclear and missile program, as well as the “Economy of the Palace”: the luxurious daily life of the Kim family.
North Korea today maintains 150,000 low-skilled workers abroad, in countries and regions such as Russia, China, the Middle East, and the European Union, for which it obtains USD $1.5 billion annually. Experts on labor and human rights call this a “contemporary slavery system”, a slavery that has allowed the regimes of Cuba and North Korea to survive, which are, together with China and Vietnam, the oldest dictatorial regimes in the world.
There is another important issue in relation to the alleged deal between the Cuban dictatorship and the new Mexican populist regime: it is in the context of the belief that Mexican relations with Cuba will be “strengthened,” according to the Mexican government’s own announcement in Cuban official newspaper Granma. In part, this optimism has to do with the inclusion in the Mexican government of political figures clearly inclined to Castroism or committed to it for some reason.
One of them is chief of presidential advisers, Lázaro Cárdenas Batel, grandson of former President Lázaro Cárdenas and son of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, initiator of the internal rupture of the PRI in 1988 and, like López Obrador, a three time presidential candidate on the left.
The relationship between Cárdenas Batel and the Cuban dictatorship is longstanding: He studied in Havana, where he developed close contacts with the Castro regime. He has been alleged to be an agent of Cuban intelligence (like Jorge G. Castañeda, both sons of important figures of the PRI government), which would not be strange, given the importance that the Cuban dictatorship attached to Mexico in matters of espionage, as they turned Mexico City into their largest espionage center abroad.
That the PRI regime allowed its “cubs” to provide information and propaganda services for Cuba was, in that context, a kind of subsidy to the dictatorship, so that it would not be interested in the destabilization of the PRI regime.
On the other hand, Cárdenas Batel, when he was governor of Michoacán (2002-2008), hired 400 advisors sent by the Cuban dictatorship, who were accused of receiving privileged treatment, although as we now know from the case of doctors, the benefits they were going to offer directly to Castroism. Previously, Cárdenas Batel was also a delegate of the PRD (predecessor party of Morena, the party created by López Obrador) before the Forum of São Paulo (from 1990 to 1998) and already as governor of Michoacán, he was responsible for opening the doors to Odebrecht in Mexico. He has been linked to a case of corruption that is still being investigated.
In this regard, a few weeks ago I was speaking here about the role of Odebrecht as a financial arm of the São Paulo Forum. In this sense, the maneuver carried out by Lázaro Cárdenas to subsidize the Cuban dictatorship with resources from the Mexican taxpayer is not surprising: during his time at the São Paulo Forum he was able to see and learn how the great thieves of the Latin American left acted.
Cárdenas Batel is also linked to the corruption uncovered by the Bejarano-Ahumada scandal, one of the main political missteps of López Obrador, and identified as the one who helped Carlos Ahumada escape and then left him at the mercy of Cuban intelligence , to blackmail the then government of Vicente Fox and help López Obrador in his first presidential candidacy.
Slave labor, complicity in corruption, and attacks on “neoliberals” and enemies of López Obrador…all this reveals the real character of the new Mexican government.
This requires planning in anticipation of the disaster that will be the administration of López Obrador. The question is only to know at what moment such disaster will materialize: this seems to be taken for granted.