|Bolivian President Evo Morales announces extension of Operation Miracle,
allocating some five million bolivianos to the humanitarian program,
launched by Cuba and Venezuela, which has restored sight to 547,294
El Alto, Bolivia.—On November 13, Bolivian President Evo Morales
announced the decision to extend Operation Miracle, a humanitarian
program launched by Cuba and Venezuela that has restored sight to more
than 676,000 people.
| Photo: Archivo
“Today we are allocating some five million bolivianos ($719,000 USD)
to this operation and we will continue to guarantee support to provide
services to low-income families,” the president said at an event held in
the city of El Alto, adjacent to La Paz.
Evo highlighted the solidarity and unconditional support of Cuban
brothers and sisters, an example not only for Bolivia, but for the
He recalled that a cataract operation in a private health center in
this country costs about $1,000 dollars and that if all treatments
provided to date were added up, Cuba has saved the Bolivian people $338
The first indigenous president of the Andean nation highlighted the
support provided by Cuba and Venezuela since the early years of the
Democratic and Cultural Revolution, in sectors such as health and
Morales participated in the event to mark the tenth anniversary of
the inauguration of the El Alto ophthalmologic center, attended by
Health Minister Ariana Campero, representative of the Pan American
Health Organization, Fernando Leanes, and Cuban and Bolivian doctors and
Following the ceremony, the president and the Cuban Ambassador to
Bolivia, Benigno Pérez, toured the facility, where the president
underwent an eye examination.
“In this hospital alone, 104,071 patients affected by cataracts,
pterygium and other diseases have been provided surgery,” the Cuban
The diplomat also reported that of the 676,171 patients treated
throughout the country, beyond the 547,294 Bolivians, the number
includes more than 44,000 Argentines, 25,000 Peruvians, 59,000
Brazilians and about 300 Paraguayans.
Pérez recalled that Operation Miracle was an idea of the leader of
the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and the late Venezuelan President Hugo
Chávez, which began in 2004 with the goal of operating on six million
Latin Americans and Caribbeans within ten years.
Pavel Noa, national coordinator of the Cuban Medical Brigade (BMC) in Bolivia, told Prensa Latina
that the plan for this year is to perform 200 cataract and 100
pterygium operations each month in the ophthalmologic hospitals of La
Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.
The head of the BMC reported that currently 729 Cuban health workers
are providing their services free of charge in the nine Bolivian
He stressed that the anniversary of the El Alto ophthalmologic center
also coincides with the ten years of the presence of the BMC here and
50 years since the arrival of Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara to Bolivia.
Also see: WHO praises Cuban medical collaboration in BoliviaSource: Granma