Fidel Castro, the iconic communist dictator has outlived several American presidents, survived American sanctions and in spite of losing the Soviet financial support after its collapse, is still managing to find new allies with countries like the left-leaning Venezuela.
Cuba has dispatched more than 20,000 doctors, as well as thousands of other specialists such as sports trainers and therapists, to Venezuela. Hugo Chavez's government has paid for the service by providing Cuba with nearly 100,000 barrels of oil a day, filling the void left by the Soviet Union, Havana's longtime benefactor during the Cold War.
Bringing medical personnel to once-forgotten shantytowns of Venezuela has been among the more popular of Chavez's many social programs, and has helped consolidate Venezuela's self-styled revolutionary government. Working from small brick modules, the Cubans examine newborns, provide care for the elderly and make house calls -- all for free.
Showing us remnants of the vestiges of the revolutionary socialist movement of Karl Marx and Lenin that brought the world decades of cold war, Cuban leader Castro is selling his tactics of indoctrination to willing buyers like Venezuela who are strongly opposed to the US policies.
But all is not going well in the two way deal. Recently, in Venezuela some 400 doctors and medical staff protested dressed in white medical gowns and bearing national flags, carried banners reading 'No More Cubanisation!' as they marched.
They claimed that while the Cuban-staffed clinics are equipped with medicines and modern machines, Venezuelan public hospitals often lack basic medical equipment. They say that Venezuelan doctors are underpaid and many are unemployed.