An English translation of the blog Ciudadano Cero from Cuba. "Citizen Zero" features the testimony of two Cuban doctors disqualified for an indefinite period for the practice of medicine in Cuba for having channeled to the Ministry of Public Health the opinions of 300 public health professionals about their salaries. Dr. Jeovany Jimenez Vega, who administers this blog, authorizes and appreciates the dissemination by any means possible, of every one of his opinions or articles published here.

Six years ago, when Fidel spoke of increasing wages, we were all very excited because after several years of scarcities and needs this would help bolster our economy in the home. Substantial increases were expected, according to job performance and level of expertise.

The long-awaited moment arrived and as dentists we saw an increase of only 33 pesos (about $1.30 USD)  in our monthly salaries. The corridors were witnesses to the comments, to everyone’s anger and disappointment. My husband, Dr. Rodolfo Martinez Vigoa, and a colleague and friend, Dr. Jeovany Jimenez Vega, had the idea of writing a letter explaining the needs of workers in our industry, and comparing our wages to those of other sectors such as Cuba’s Security Services (SEPSA) for example. As a result of my helping them to collect signatures, I was fired from the position I had occupied for several years as Chief of Services for the Dental Clinic of Artemis.

To me, it seemed only right to sign that letter, to express my way of thinking, and so I rebelled and in this way came to know the gross and dirty ways used by this government and its party to maintain its “Revolution.”  A “Revolution” that preaches democracy, justice and respect for human rights. A “Revolution” that preaches that everyone pays according to their performance, according to their ability. A “Revolution” that does not practice what it preaches.

As a result of all this, my husband and his friend were declared ineligible to exercise their profession in late 2006. Would I sign this letter again? Yes I would sign it 100 times and I would also sign the letter from my husband and his friend in which they detailed every problem and every concern. I would do it again.

We are not slaves!

20 June 2011


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