[col. writ. 12/17/09]
(c) 09 Mumia Abu-Jamal
As Congress wrestles over the parameters of a health care bill, amidst maddened catcalls of 'death panels' and 'socialism!', I am reminded of the experience of John Black, an old trade unionist, revolutionary activist and journalist.
Black, a fervent supporter of the Cuban Revolution, joined the Venceremos Brigades, an annual trek of foreigners to the island, who assisted in harvesting the sugar crop and other agricultural work.
Although he was in his mid-to-high seventies at the time, Black did his part, until the searing tropical heat, or perhaps the work (or both) took its toll.
Black was taken to a nearby hospital, and received what he called "excellent treatment." As he was leaving, he reached for his wallet, and began pulling out some bucks. The doctor looked at him quizzically -- and then told him to put his money away.
"We treated you because you were sick, Senor," the doctor explained, "Not for the money."
These words blew Black away, and this experience with socialist medicine moved him deeply.
What is even more remarkable is that Cuba was doing this during its 'Special Period:, a time of economic chaos when its biggest trading partner, the Soviet Union, stopped bartering things for things (as in oil for sugar, for example) and began demanding cold cash for trade.
As of 2006, Cuba had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $45 billion dollars--about the same as the Congo, or the Sultanate of Oman ($44.1bn).
The GDP measures the market value of goods and services purchased within a nation over a given period of time -- usually a year.
Do you want to know what the U.S. GDP was for 2007?
Over 13 trillion dollars. 13 trillion.
Guess which country provides free medical care?
The richest nation in earth's history can't agree on how to insure that its citizens get good health care, balking over the economic interests of insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
One of the poorest nations on earth (Cuba) not only provides free, universal health care, but it provides well-trained, humanistic doctors to developing and poor countries all over the world (in fact, there are more Cuban doctors helping people overseas, than there are from the UN's World Health Organization (WHO)
We need to stop rapping about so-called Health Care: and call it what it is: Wealth Care.
--(c) '09 maj
The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!
URGENT Need for Petition Signatures at: http://www.iacenter.org/mumiapetition/
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Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- has been released! It is available from City Lights Books: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100448090
If you are planning to organize an event or would like to order in bulk, you can also receive a 45% discount on any bulk orders of 20 copies or more. The book retails for $16.95, for orders of 20 copies or more the discounted price would be $9.32 per book, plus shipping and handling. Prepayment would be required and books are nonreturnable. If you or your organization would like to place a bulk order, please contact Stacey Lewis at 415.362.1901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's use the opportunity of the publication of this brilliant, moving, vintage Mumia book to build the momentum for his case, to raise the money we desperately need in these challenging economic times, to get the word out – to produce literature, flyers, posters, videos, DVD's; to send organizers out to help build new chapters and strengthen old ones, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREETS … all the work that we must do in order to FREE MUMIA as he faces LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE OR EXECUTION!
Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).
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