Operation Milagro

Date: 2011
Owner: Mesa Redonda
Source Type: Images


A group of doctors providing eye care through Operacion Milagro, a project dedicated to restoring vision to the sight deprived.  Begun in 2004 as a joint venture between Castro's Cuba and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, Operacion Milagro treats the main causes of blindness in developing nations, where sight deprivation is almost four times more common than in the first world. The main causes of blindness in Latin America are cataracts, vitamin A deficiency, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and various infectious diseases.

Operacion Milagro exemplifies communist Cuba's goals for humanitarian aid and solidarity throughout the developing world. The island nation has donated thirty seven opthalmological centers to eight different countries in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa that, between them, have treated over 750,000 patients. Cuban officials estimate that one out of every seventy eight Cubans has benefited directly from this program. Despite the U.S. trade embargo, Cuba has committed many of its resources to providing specialized health services that compliment its extensive primary care institutions. This emphasis on expert treatment for various specific ailments has provided an affordable means by which many people in the developing world--who would be excluded from capitalist medical systems--have the opportunity to be healed.