July 3, 2023 -St Vincent’s Prime Minister and National Security Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has expressed concern about the attack on a Cuban doctor in Kingstown, now warded in the intensive care at the country’s main hospital.
Police in St Vincent and the Grenadines are yet to comment on the attack which took place on Friday night as doctor Alfredo Batista Salgado was on his way home, but reports are that he received a cut across his abdomen exposing his intestines.
According to iWitness News, Salgado, who told police that he was attacked while on his way home after the calypso semi-finals, was found bleeding, outside the prison by guards.
Salgado, 53, is the district medical officer for the Marriaqua health district.
Speaking on local radio on Sunday, Prime Minister Gonsalves, who is also the National Security Minister said he feels terrible about the attack on the Cuban Medical Brigade member.
“I feel so terrible about this incident which happened where someone inflicted this very severe wound on a Cuban doctor,” Gonsalves said, adding that he is being kept updated by the police on investigations and by Health Minister Jimmy Prince as well as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Cuthbert Knights.
“It is of great concern and the Cuban ambassador has been in touch with us and we have been in touch with him,” Gonsalves said.
The Vincentian leader said he’s hopeful that Dr Salgado recovers from his injuries adding that “the Cuban people and the Cuban government know that we appreciate very much the work that they are doing and the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines show tremendous kindness to the Cuban professionals who are here.”
Gonsalves spoke of the excellent relationship between the Cuban medical professionals and the people and the other health workers in the Georgetown area, where many of the Cubans are based.
The prime minister noted that the attack on the doctor comes days after the announcement by Havana that it will grant 21 scholarships to Vincentians this year, an increase over last year’s figure.
He said he was surprised at the increase.
“Despite all their challenges under this wicked, illegal embargo that the American government has on Cuba. It is cruel and they have been helping us very much and we have to thank them,” Gonsalves said.
He said the scholarships are mainly in the medical field, including seven first degrees in medicine, seven degrees in nursing, four for postgraduate studies in different specialities in medicine and one in engineering.