Alternative Natural Medicine is flourishing in Cuba.

Author: Joseph Nolberts
Photographer: Marlen Vistorte


Last winter, I visited my family in Cuba. I was indeed impressed that Cuba’s health system is robust and an example of cost-effective care despite the U.S.-imposed embargo, which dramatically limits access to a full spectrum of goods and amenities.

My young daughter is in first grade, and she mentioned that healthcare personnel working at research centers often visit her school to teach them about the herbs that are good for their health.


Glass cups with green tea and tea leaves isolated on white.

Research into alternative medicine has increased on the island over the last decade after a resolution passed in 2009 by the Cuban government to set up a legal framework for its development and use. Through the resolution, the Ministry of Public Health has begun to implement the use of alternative medicine through a variety of different programs. The Ecological Research Center for Sierra del Rosario Reserve, located in Las Terrazas, is one such institution.

In the pharmacies, modern drugs are missing, but the section with alternative natural extracts are full of them. A board containing the medicinal characteristics of each extract is available in each pharmacy. The embargo has been helping the health care administration to encourage the development of the alternative natural pharmaceutical industry. It has been proven for a thousand years that herbal medicine as an effective treatment for many diseases, moreover they have no side effects or fewer than new drugs.

Moringa is the essential herb, but they are all critical, as an extract of linden or passionflower help patients with insomnia. The extract of bitter orange is excellent for blood pressure problems. In Cuba, there is a Doctor in every fourth street, called the family doctor. I visited one in Playa Marianao close to the place I was renting, in search of something to help with sleeping, and the Doctor recommended first the alternative extract, and only after that mentioned that Benadryl could also be helpful. She said that typically, Cubans would look for an herbal cure and only after that visit their family doctor.

In order to keep up with demand at polyclinics and pharmacies of alternative medicine, government-owns farmlands dedicated not only to the production of food but also of medicinal plants to be refined for consumption. Production at these farms has been expanded to include common medicinal plants like oregano, aloe vera, mint, and moringa.

In tropical areas like Cuba, illnesses like the flu, stomach problems, or diarrhea are common. In turn, many different plants are cultivated to treat these ailments that doctors and civilians try to utilize before resorting to pills or other forms of modern medicine.

Cuba’s investment in the future of alternative medicine is the backbone of its healthcare system. Sadly, older patients have faith in herbal medicine, while many young people do not want to know anything about it. This is the main reason why healthcare personnel often visit schools to teach children as younger as seven years old.

There is another community on the island that is heavily invested in the uses of alternative medicine. Followers of Santeria, a religion that dates back to Cuba’s colonial past and blends Spanish Catholicism with Yoruba traditions, incorporate alternative medicine into their practices for both medicinal and spiritual benefits.

Cuba’s expertise with alternative medicine and its reputation in using it effectively is gaining the attention of foreign medical students, principally Africans, where modern medicine does not exist yet.

There are thousands of students at the medical school, and they are from all over the world. Cuba has developed a smartphone app compiling names and uses of medicinal plants. The app is one example of how alternative medicine has taken an essential place in Cuba’s culture.


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Protecting Americans and the American Way

We must defend against the left’s anti-American, anti-police narrative.

We must defend against the left’s anti-American, anti-police narrative.
In the early hours of June 2, amid violent riots in St. Louis, looters gunned down David Dorn, a retired African-American police captain who had responded to an alarm at his friend’s pawnshop. His last moments of service were captured on a passerby’s Facebook feed. In the days since, many on the left have defended destruction and rioting as a form of protest. “Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence,” one New York Times writer averred in a TV interview. And now many left-wing activists, cheered on by the media, are ready to do away with law enforcement altogether, campaigning to “Defund the Police.”

This radical agenda amounts to an assault on American life as we know it. And David Dorn’s tragic death is a stark reminder that the costs of this radicalism will be borne not by the many elites who advocate it but by the working class of all races — both those who are most vulnerable to crime and those who staff our police forces and protect our neighborhoods.

The truth is, American elites don’t fear violent crime because, increasingly, they don’t encounter it. Those below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to be the victims of violent crime as those with high incomes. Rather than make high-crime neighborhoods safe and habitable for the people who live there, urban elites demolish them and put up luxury high-rises for the upper class. And from the safety of a luxury loft, policing becomes an abstract concept.

But ask a poor senior whose pharmacy was burned whether she thinks violent rioters should be left unaccountable. Ask an immigrant small-business owner whose store was looted whether the protection of the police matters.

Or ask the victims of violent crime who can’t afford the private security of the wealthy. The FBI reports that African Americans suffer over half of all homicides tracked by that agency. Like all Americans, they depend on the police to keep them safe. And policing works. As the liberal news site Vox noted last year, in a survey of studies on the subject, “The research is clear: More cops = less crime.” That’s why one Democratic pollster found that the vast majority of African Americans and Latinos — more than 60 percent of each — favor increasing the number of police officers, not abolishing them.

In reality, Americans of all walks of life reject the left’s anti-American, anti-police narrative. Most Americans simply do not believe that America is, as the New York Times’ 1619 Project argues, a fundamentally racist and therefore evil nation.

And most Americans see what I saw as the chief law enforcer of the state of Missouri: that police work is vital work, honorable work, and noble. The men and women who sign up for it — most from working-class homes — are among the best of Americans. Law enforcement has its share of corruption, no doubt, but the police are not the foot soldiers of modern-day oppression. They are the thin blue line whose service and sacrifice makes life in a free republic possible.

But if Americans don’t support the Left’s agenda, that doesn’t mean we can afford to ignore it. This week, House Democrats introduced a bill that would federalize the 18,000 law-enforcement agencies in this country and kneecap our officers’ ability to protect the most vulnerable. In a Biden administration, this agenda would no doubt be a first-hundred-days priority. That means more cooking the books on crime by corrupt politicians to suppress crime statistics. It means abandoning the central duty of justice, the protection of the innocent. It means leaving the working people of our country to fend for themselves in the name of what the woke Left calls “social justice.”

Our founding Declaration asserts that “all men are created equal.” We have struggled to live up to that creed, and fallen short, and gotten back up to struggle again. But it is our struggle, all of us together. The work of achieving a more perfect union is, for Americans, a shared labor of shared love. That’s the story of America. And it is one worth defending.


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John Bolton says anti-Trump book will be released despite standoff with White House


Former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton vowed in a Friday statement to release his book going after President Trump, despite a standoff with the White House on whether it contains classified information.

“This is the book Donald Trump doesn’t want you to read,” Bolton’s office and publisher Simon & Schuster said, advertising a June 23 release of “In The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.”

Bolton was ousted last year after his hawkish views increasingly conflicted with foreign-policy leanings of Trump, with a final breakdown including disagreement on holding talks with the Taliban at Camp David.

Bolton volunteered to testify at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial this year, but ultimately wasn’t called. Since then, his book release has stalled with wrangling over whether it contains classified information.

If Bolton releases the book and officials claim some information is classified, he could face prison time and loss of book revenue.

“If [the government] deems even one word classified, Bolton can be prosecuted. Regardless, failure to obtain approval subjects him to civil liability,” said Mark Zaid, a prominent national security attorney and Trump critic who represented the whistleblower who triggered Trump’s impeachment for encouraging Ukraine to investigate Democrats.

Bolton lawyer Charles Cooper said this week that he received a letter on Wednesday from White House attorney John Eisenberg saying further revisions are required.

The defiant Bolton statement insisted the First Amendment allows Bolton to move forward with publication and teased barbs for Trump.

John Bolton’s book won’t be delayed again, despite White House claims

“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton writes in the book, according to the statement.

The statement says that, “Drawn from his personal participation in key events, and filled with perspective and humor, Bolton covers an array of topics — chaos in the White House, sure, but also assessments of major players, the President’s inconsistent, scattershot decision-making process, and his dealings with allies and enemies alike, from China, Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, Iran, the UK, France, and Germany.”

Bolton worked as national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. Trump often said he kept Bolton as an aide to play “bad cop” on foreign policy areas such as Iran, despite the fact that he and Bolton had sharp policy disagreements, including on whether the Iraq War was a mistake.

Throughout his tenure, media accounts relayed friction between Bolton and Trump, as West Wing foes of Bolton angled for his ouster.

The Friday statement claims that the White House is attempting hold up the book without justification, and that the opposition therefore will be ignored.

“In the months leading up to the publication of ‘The Room Where It Happened,’ Bolton worked in cooperation with the National Security Council to incorporate changes to the text that addressed NSC concerns. The final, published version of this book reflects those changes, and Simon & Schuster is fully supportive of Ambassador Bolton’s First Amendment right to tell the story of his time in the Trump White House,” it says


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Man arrested for feeding poisoned food to homeless people, filming their reactions


William Robert Cable, 38, of San Andreas, allegedly told victims they were participating in a “spicy food challenge” during a string of attacks in the seaside town of Huntington Beach in mid-May, according to the Orange County Register.

Instead, he gave them food laced with a caustic substance derived from chilies that’s twice as strong as pepper spray — causing them to suffer seizure-like symptoms, difficulty breathing and intense stomach pain, prosecutors said, according to the paper.

“These human beings were preyed upon because they are vulnerable,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “They were exploited and poisoned as part of a twisted form of entertainment, and their pain was recorded so that it could be relived by their attacker over and over again.”

Cable allegedly gave some of the victims beer to entice them to eat the meal, and several were hospitalized afterward, prosecutors said. They had no clue the food was laced with a substance called oleoresin capsicum.

The mayor of Huntington Beach, Lyn Semeta, expressed outrage over the disturbing attack, saying, “The cruel nature of these crimes shocks the conscience.”

Cable was charged with eight counts of poisoning and faces a maximum 19 years and three months behind bars. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

Prosecutors said there is no indication he planned to publicly share or sell the video footage, the Orange County Register reports.


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Video song set in Cuba reaches popularity on China’s social networks


Beijing, Jun 12 (Prensa Latina) The video song ‘Mojito,’ recorded in Cuba, is reaching popularity today on China’s social networks, where it obtained over 30 million views without having a 24-hour premiere.

Since its release on internet platforms on Friday, the song by popular singer Jay Chou has gone viral among his followers in the country.

The artist chose as the title of the romantic melody that of the famous Cuban drink Mojito, a mixture of rum, sugar, peppermint leaves, lemon juice and water.

In addition, he filmed the video in unmistakable places in Havana such as the malecon waterfront and streets of Old Havana, in the company of musicians from Cuba and traditional Chinese instruments such as Shamao.

‘Cuba has always been the place I want to go, because there are all kinds of vintage cars in several colors, everyone knows that I have loved the vintage cars of the past, so this time I also went to Cuba for the song Mojito,’ stated Jay Chou to the MV channel.

The also producer, actor and director enjoys wide recognition in his country, across Asia and among the Chinese diaspora.

He has sold over 25 million albums worldwide and in 2007 was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential People in China by the British ‘think tank’ Chatham House.


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Anti-Covid-19 vaccines offered to Chinese workers abroad


Beijing, Jun 13 (Prensa Latina) Workers from Chinese state companies sent abroad have been offered some of the inactive vaccines against Covid-19 that are currently on clinical trial, according to an official press release.

The communiqué says that two substances chosen for emergency used were developed by the Beijing and Wuhan Biological Products institutes, attached to the National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

The two vaccines have proved to be safe, have not caused relevant adverse reactions during the first and second phases of the trials in humans, and are about to start the third phase under the pertinent regulations and laws.

The vaccines were offered to those who must travel to member countries of the Belt and Road Initiative to work in several economic projects.

Their administration is totally voluntary, with the worker’s previous consent in writing, and the second dose will be administered 14 to 28 days after the first dose.

‘In special situations of emergency, a double dose would be administered once,’ says the press release, which was quoted by local media.

According to analysts, the process would help protect the Chinese personnel abroad and at the same time it would allow getting accurate data on the efficacy of the vaccines.

China plans to have one of six vaccines for emergency use ready in the autumn. Five of them were developed by domestic companies and the other one is a joint project between Fosum (China), BioNtech (Germany) and Pfizer (United States).


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