Managua, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) A group of 41 Nicaraguans traveled today to Havana to receive free eye surgery as part of the Operation Miracle, a solidarity program boosted by Cuba and Venezuela.
Patients departed in a flight chartered by Cuban airline Aerocaribbean, which also returned to Managua 44 patients just operated on from cataracts and other eye affections.
"This Operation Miracle is a great thing for us the poor", told Prensa Latina Juan Francisco Sanchez, 80, resident of Masaya, 20 miles south of the capital.
Sanchez confessed that in the seven years he has suffered from cataracts he could never put together the 2,000 dollars that surgery cost in a Nicaraguan clinic.
Since last June, date when the Central American nation began to benefit from this program, over 1,650 Nicaraguans have been operated on free of charge in Cuba.
Another group of 600 were treated in Venezuela, said Marcos Lopez, of the Nicaragua Association of Democratic Mayors, entity in charge of coordinating the trips and selecting the patients.
According to Lopez, none of those interviewed who are first evaluated by a local physician, is asked for his political affiliation or required to pay anything before they are cured.
The program Operation Miracle intends to benefit six million of poor Latin Americans over the next 10 years.
In the case of Nicaragua, there are two weekly flights to Havana, with an average of 64 patients, while Caracas receives 100 patients per month from this Central American nation.
JG Comment: Thank you Cuba for giving the world Operation Miracle! A better world is indeed possible: one that is not ruled by money.