Cuba condemns US for denying visa to health minister

Campaign News | Monday, 25 September 2006

2nd year running that Minister is denied entry

Cuba's top diplomat in the United States on Tuesday, publicly condemned the United States for refusing to grant a visa to the Cuban Health Minister Jose Ramon Balaguer, to attend a Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) conference.

Dagoberto Rodriguez, head of the Cuban interests office in Washington, told the Cuban government newspaper Granma that the United States was making a mockery of its role as host of the multinational organization.

It is the second consecutive year that the United States has rejected a visa for the Cuban health minister to attend the conference, which runs from Monday to Friday of this week.

Rodriguez said it is absolutely wrong if the U.S. government thinks that its actions would silence Cuba and block the country's efforts to extend its international medical assistance.

Rodriguez called on PAHO to make a public statement criticizing the United States during the meeting.

Cuba currently has more than 30,000 health workers, helping in 68 nations, and it is also training 20,000 health professionals from 26 nations, the newspaper said.

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