Havana (CNN)Following widespread anti-government protests past month, the Cuban authorities is present receiving unprecedented disapproval from wellness attraction workers who accidental officials botched the island's effect to the pandemic.
Symbols of the socialist wellness attraction strategy pioneered by Fidel Castro, doctors and nurses are usually praised arsenic "heroes successful achromatic coats" by the island's state-run media.
In caller years Cuban wellness attraction workers person besides go a cardinal generator of hard currency for the communist-run government, which sells their services to countries that request doctors.
But arsenic Cuba deals with shortages of medicines and oxygen and hospitals are overwhelmed with surging coronavirus cases, tensions betwixt the authorities and wellness attraction workers --who are required to enactment for the state-- person boiled over.
During a sojourn successful August to the hard-hit state of Cienfuegos, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz blamed wellness attraction workers' deficiency of subject and "errors" for the breakdown successful aesculapian services.
Marrero acknowledged residents had complained astir a deficiency of medicines arsenic good but said "they are little than the complaints of mistreatment, of neglect oregon that [doctors] don't marque visits. That's incredible!"
The comments ignited a firestorm among wellness attraction workers who person borne the brunt of the pandemic successful Cuba, often portion having to acquisition their ain protective cogwheel and explicate to patients sick with Covid wherefore hospitals person tally retired of basal medicines and beds.
The Cuban authorities blames the US embargo for breakdowns successful the healthcare system, but critics constituent retired that the aforesaid US economical sanctions bash not forestall the authorities from investing successful a drawstring of shiny caller hotels.
"We conscionable inquire that they archer the truth," said Dr. Rosell Alberteris, successful a video posted online. "We lone request the supplies to dainty our patients with dignity and decorum."
"We privation to support working, we privation to support redeeming lives," said Dr. Daily Almaguer successful the video. "We are not liable for the sanitary illness successful our country."
At slightest 39 wellness attraction workers person uploaded videos from Holguín, a metropolis of astir 300,000 radical adjacent to the tiny municipality wherever some Fidel and Raul Castro were born, complaining of abysmal conditions successful hospitals overrun by Covid.
Some of the doctors recorded videos from wrong their hospitals, talking hardly successful a susurration arsenic they slammed their government's failures.
More Cuban doctors and nurses connected societal media from each implicit the land person expressed their enactment for the online protest, which is each the much singular arsenic the Cuban authorities connected Tuesday announced draconian caller measures that prohibited "fake news" and postings that harm the island's "prestige."
"We aren't acrophobic of the pandemic, we are acrophobic of the government," Dr. Rafael Alejandro Fuentes Sanchez said successful different video posted online. "How they could construe that we person travel retired to request our rights and the people's close to person bully aesculapian attention."
Cuba's main newspaper, the Communist-party regular Granma said the wellness workers were being utilized successful "new force campaigns" and being turned into spokespeople for an "anti-Cuban offensive."
Cuban officials besides looked to defuse the confrontation with their frontline workers arsenic the island's battered wellness attraction strategy confronts the astir precarious infinitesimal of the pandemic to date.
"Every clip it seems we are tired, exhausted, beaten from this agelong play of the pandemic," wrote Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel connected Twitter. "We deliberation astir however overmuch our doctors and nurses person given."
Officials person begun to bring backmost brigades of Cuban wellness attraction workers from postings overseas and admit that the concern is acold worse than the island's statistic fto on.
Amidst a shortage successful tests, Cuban Health Minister José Angel Portal Miranda told the state-run Invasor paper that lone radical who had a affirmative Covid effect astatine the clip of decease are counted arsenic having died of the coronavirus.
"Not each the fatalities are capable to instrumentality oregon get a PCR result," the paper concluded. "Death sometimes arrives first."
Magdiel Jorge Castro told CNN his gramps died connected Wednesday aft being sent location from the infirmary successful Holguín wherever helium was incapable to person results from a Covid trial helium took days earlier. Oxygen had tally retired successful the hospital.
Castro said his gramps suffered from a fever and fatigue and that different members of his household are sick with Covid-like symptoms. After his grandfather's death, Castro said his household struggled to hide him.
"The ceremonial services are collapsed. There aren't immoderate coffins," Castro said. "My household was successful despair to person a deceased idiosyncratic for 15 hours successful their furniture successful the tropical heat. The ceremonial location said determination were 16 cases similar his, radical without a spot to beryllium buried."