“It’s way too dangerous here, I’m going back to Gaza…”

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FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, Palestinian students attend a welcome ceremony at the Simon Bolivar airport in Maiquetia, Venezuela. The Palestinian students were greeted like celebrities upon arrival in Caracas. President Nicolas Maduro played up their symbolic importance during an address broadcast across the country. But eight months later, about a third of the Palestinians have dropped out, complaining that the program lacks academic rigor, according to interviews conducted with students, teachers and government officials. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, Palestinian students attend a welcome ceremony at the Simon Bolivar airport in Maiquetia, Venezuela. The Palestinian students were greeted like celebrities upon arrival in Caracas. President Nicolas Maduro played up their symbolic importance during an address broadcast across the country. But eight months later, about a third of the Palestinians have dropped out, complaining that the program lacks academic rigor, according to interviews conducted with students, teachers and government officials. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)
FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, Palestinian students attend a welcome ceremony at the Simon Bolivar airport in Maiquetia, Venezuela. The Palestinian students were greeted like celebrities upon arrival in Caracas. President Nicolas Maduro played up their symbolic importance during an address broadcast across the country. But eight months later, about a third of the Palestinians have dropped out, complaining that the program lacks academic rigor, according to interviews conducted with students, teachers and government officials. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

The AP has a great report by Hannah Dreier (in Spanish here) on Palestinian medical students who get to Caracas, scope the place out, and make a b-line for Maiquetía to get back home.

Initially, the aspiring doctors were delighted to receive the scholarships named for Arafat, the late chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Many were escaping refugee camps, or leaving behind Gaza, which was ravaged last summer by a conflict with Israel that left more than 2,000 dead.

But the students who dropped out complain that their first year consisted only of Spanish language lessons and indoctrination about Venezuela’s 16-year-old socialist revolution. They say they were surprised when their teachers presented a curriculum centered on community health and worried when doctors from other institutions warned that their education wouldn’t meet international standards.

A bit of a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that on security grounds alone, these Palestinian kids aren’t much safer in Caracas than they would be back home.

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Amazing stuff…

1 COMMENT

  1. Completely sucks that those kids were outright scammed.
    And that “teacher” saying people “reject this kind of medicine because they associate it with the left” Yay for obscurantism!

  2. Sorry to nit-pick, but these students evidently come from the West Bank, rather than Gaza, so comparing the murder rate in Caracas with deaths in the Gaza war is not really fair. Good story though.

  3. a close relative during the last part of her medical training regularly attended a small health centre at the seashore together with young medical trainees from bolivia , ecuador who had been given a scholarship by the regime to study ‘medicine’ in Venezuela , of course their training was primitive and poor and that showed in how little they could actually do in these centres .

    One day of these trainees ( from Bolivia) said he wanted to have private talk with my relative (without the other trainees being present) and asked her shily , what he could do to become a real physician in Venezuela , he understood that his training was shoddy and incomplete and would never amount to anything resembling that of a true physician , yet he wanted to be a rea doctor !!. My relative told him that he would have to enter the UCV medical school by presenting whatever the requirements were to be admitted and then study 7 years to get a degree. He thanked her and sighted . He was fully aware that the training he was recieving was useles but that getting a real medical educaton was perhaps very difficult for him.

    I guess something similar happened to the Gaza students and that once they realized the situation they wanted to go back home and find someother way of getting a medical education !!

    • It is understandable that any reasonably aware and responsible person would not want to practice medicine without proper training. The attractions of an ideological formation quickly disappear if your lack of competence is literally killing people who enter your office.

      • I’d add, the chavista approach to medical training can only exist in a country where there is no independent and functioning legal system capable of addressing the consequences of such training.

  4. The larger picture behind this is one of the main reasons Vzla is screwed for the long run.

    Education. Not only its people were on average terribly under-educated before Chavismo. (not talking about basic alfabrutisasion). It has been getting worse and worse. Now it’s clearly segregated, good grades don’t count, only Chavistas need apply.

    And when a few young students do graduate from horrible Bolibanana “Universities”, they leave the country the very first second they get a chance. That’s after every educated profesional who could already left long ago.

    The “fabric” of Vzlan society has changes and continues to deteriorate, from kindergarten to Universidad Comunista de Vzla. What can you expect from whatever’s left of that runninf the country for generations to come?

    Nigeria in South America, or worse.

    • Nigeria of South America? Really?

      You’re going to pick out the country in the middle of an investment boom that just had a democratic handover of power from government to opposition as the benchmark for how far we might fall?

      En serio?

  5. More phony Chavista giveaway crap to promote their left-wing agenda throughout the world. Kind of like PetroCaribe? I think they still have toilet paper in Gaza. Producing more inferior doctors like the Cubans (who so skillfully saved Chavez), and who have driven the real Venezuelan doctors out of the country. The “free medical care and state of the art medical treatment by skilled doctors” was always Castro’s big propaganda byline. This is probably all his idea.

  6. Limit the death rates to just civilians and Caracas is a much more dangerous place. Over half the deaths in Gaza war were armed terrorists.

  7. Nice follow up and closure to that story. Great reporting. I recall those young folks going to Ccs and knew it spelled disaster. Didn’t take long. Kudos to the reporter.

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