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NICARAGUAN Health Minister Sonia Castro warned that US imperialism would fail in its attempts to overthrow the Sandinista government, with the people fully behind President Daniel Ortega.
She was speaking exclusively to the Morning Star during a tour of the Manolo Morales Hospital in the Nicaraguan capital Managua to explain how the Sandinista Revolution transformed the lives of millions of people through its provision of free healthcare.
“This is a basic right of the people,” she said, as she detailed the government’s plans for new hospitals and investment in health promotion for all Nicaraguans.
The country has benefitted from 37 new hospitals built through a mixture of government investment and private companies.
“The sanctions have not impacted on healthcare yet,” Ms Castro, who has herself been subjected to individual sanctions, told the Star.
“It is part of a plan by the US to weaken Nicaragua and its people. But we will carry on with the Sandinista programme and continue our plans to improve healthcare.”
She explained that a further 14 new hospitals are planned for next year as she exhibited an impressive new $7 million (around £5.6m) emergency centre equipped with the latest in medical technology.
Hospital medical director Kenia Corillo told the Star that the hospital services one million people in the capital.
He said: “Before the revolution and in the time of neoliberal rule many people did not have access to healthcare.
“Now all Nicaraguans have this, and free education too. We now have more than 6,000 doctors who trained in our medical schools for free.”
Ms Castro made clear what was at stake for the people of Nicaragua, which is why she insisted that US intervention was doomed to failure.
She said: “[The US] have tried many coups in Nicaragua but they have always failed. Last year’s violence was just the latest attempt. But the people are behind the Sandinista government,” explaining the importance of today’s celebrations on the 40th anniversary of the revolution.
Thousands of Nicaraguans were making their way to Managua as the Star went to press as the city prepared for a huge rally addressed by Mr Ortega and attended by international guests.
Read the full interview with Ms Castro in the Star next week.
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