“Problems with food.” That’s what a South African medical student recently expelled from Cuba cited as the main issue behind their protest and strike back in February.
Babalu has been following this story, which has been on a tightly-wound-up loop for two months. Up until now, the narrative has been totally controlled by officials in South Africa, and the students have been described as ungrateful and greedy malcontents who have shamed their nation.
Suddenly, however, one of the protesting students has begun to share his story with the press. As it turns out, simple greed was not driving them to ask for a larger monthly stipend. It was lack of food and proper nutrition. This will not surprise anyone who knows about life in the Castro Kingdom or is unlucky enough to live there.
Oddly, now that he has been “forgiven”, the chastened student revealed — in the process of apologizing — that his government, and that of the Castro brothers, have been lying about the real situation, and that he never asked to return to South Africa. Why he has been “forgiven” and where that “forgiveness” will lead is anyone’s guess, especially since he is apparently being sent back to Castrogonia, where the pickings are slim for anyone without extra cash.
Stay tuned. How this will all unravel remains to be seen.
From The New Age:
South African medical student “forgiven” for going on strike in Castrogonia
Lindani Magade, the only Eastern Cape medical student who returned from Cuba following a hunger strike in February, will return to the small island country following the department of health’s decision to forgive him.
The provincial department of health on Thursday organised an event in Butterworth to inform stakeholders of the decision to forgive Magade.
The authorities also said the event was aimed at encouraging Magade, in Cuba since 2011.
Magade, 22, said he learnt the “hard way” in participating in the strike.
“My family has been disturbed by this. I will never participate in any strike no matter the circumstances in Cuba,” Magade said.
Magade is from Chebe in Centane near Butterworth.
It is not clear when he will go back to Cuba. Health spokesperson Joe Maila said the department was yet to issue a statement.
Magade said: “We had problems with the food and we felt we needed an increase in the $200 (R1800) stipend because of the short supply.”
Magade has dismissed as “lies” that they opted to return to South Africa.
“That was only raised by the media. I never said I wanted to return. How can I say that when I know the conditions in my home? The issue is that there were problems with the food and students wanted an increase,” he said.
A former medical student from Cuba Mphumzi Mdledle, now a doctor at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha, said he was not surprised by the strike by the 187 students.
“I fully understood them (students). We once thought of staging a strike as well,” Mdledle said.
He said their situation was rescued by then ambassador to Cuba, Thenjiwe Mtintso.
Mdledle, who had come to support Magade, has been a doctor since 2009.