EBOLA: Cuba Sees a Crisis, and Sends Docs; The US Sees an Opportunity and Sends Troops

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Different responses to Ebola epidemic: Cuba sends doctors; US sends troops and trainers

By Dave Lindorff, Thiscantbehappening

How’s this for a juxtaposition on how nations respond to a global health catastrophe. Check out these two headlines from yesterday’s news:

Cuba to Send Doctors to Ebola Areas

US to Deploy 3000 Troops as Ebola Crisis Worsens

Reading these stories, which ran in, respectively, the BBC and Reuters, one learns that the Cuban government, which runs a small financially hobbled island nation of 11 million people, with a national budget of $50 billion, Gross Domestic Product of 121 billion and per capita GDP of just over $10,000, is dispatching 165 medical personnel to Africa to regions where there are ebola outbreaks, while the US, the world’s wealthiest nation, with a population of close to 320 million, a national budget of $3.77 trillion, GDP of $17 trillion, and per capita GDP of over $53,000, is sending troops — 3000 of them– to “fight” the ebola epidemic.

Okay, I understand that these troops are supposedly going to be “overseeing” construction of treatment centers, but let’s get serious. With an epidemic raging through Africa, where some of the poorest nations in the world are located, what is needed right now are not new structures. Tent facilities would be fine for treating people in this kind of a crisis. What is needed is medical personnel. The important line in the Reuters article about the US “aid” plan, though is that the US troops will

…”establish a military control center for coordination, U.S. officials told reporters.

“The goal here is to search American expertise, including our military, logistics and command and control expertise, to try and control this outbreak at its source in west Africa,” Lisa Monaco, Obama’s White House counter-terrorism adviser, told MSNBC television on Tuesday ahead of the announcement.

Cuba apparently does not feel that it needs to establish a military control center to dispatch its doctors and nurses, nor does it feel that “military, logistics and command and control expertise” are what are needed.

Anyone who thinks this dispatching of US military personnel to Africa is about combating a plague is living in a fantasy world. This is about projecting US military power further into Africa, which has already been a goal of the Obama administration, anxious to prevent China from gaining control over African mineral resources, and to control them for US exploitation.

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‘Refusing to kill their own’: Over 40 Ukrainian soldiers flee to Russia

RT

More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers have abandoned their military posts and crossed into Russian territory, stating that they refuse to fight against their own people, a Russian Federal Security Service spokesperson said.

At least 41 Ukrainian soldiers have made it to Russian territory after asking self-defense forces for help, the spokesperson from the Federal Security Service’s Rostov region border patrol unit, Vasily Malaev, told Itar-Tass.
“At around 20:30 Moscow time, 41 Ukrainian soldiers left their military bases and arrived at the Ukrainian border crossing checkpoint Izvarino. They appealed to the militia there for help to with cross into the Russian territory, in connection with the fact that they do not want to fight against their own people,” Malaev said.

All of the soldiers were able to cross into Russia at the Donetsk checkpoint, the spokesperson added.

A Kiev official confirmed on Sunday that over 40 soldiers abandoned their military posts and crossed into Russian territory, local Ukrainian media reported.

“Indeed, this took place,” Ukrainian minister of defense, Valery Geletey, told Inter TV channel. Earlier on Sunday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered an investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, a Russian hospital near the Ukrainian border has been treating wounded Ukrainian soldiers. Some of them have expressed their unwillingness to fight for the Ukrainian army, blaming mobilization laws for forcing them to do so.
“I wouldn’t want to. We don’t know who we are fighting. I have no animosity towards Russians. I am not a nationalist, I am not Right Sector,” Ivan, a Ukrainian soldier, told RT.
“What right do they have to make us fight? I was mobilized, I received wounds to my hands and now I have to go and fight again with cardboard equipment. They reuse old ammunition and make money off us. The country is falling apart, but for them everything is fine,” he added.


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