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Rosa Chavez happy to be involved with ‘Vision Now’

Rosa Chavez  happy to be involved with ‘Vision Now’

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Many more Vincentians suffering from diseases of the eye will once more be given the opportunity to have their ailments treated.

A memorandum of understanding between Venezuela and St Vincent and the Grenadines was signed on Tuesday evening for the “Vision Now” programme {{more}}to be facilitated by the South American nation, under the 11-year-old initiative, Miracle Mission.

In the past,Vincentians have travelled to Cuba for surgeries relating to various eye conditions. Now, Venezuela is extending the opportunity for the same procedures to be done in their country, free of cost.

During the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves declared that the programme was an act of “extraordinary selflessness by the government of Venezuela.”

He disclosed that over 2,000 Vincentians have travelled to Cuba through the “Vision Now” programme to treat their eye conditions.

“It makes a great deal of sense for Venezuela to be the place where we go. It’s very near and they have Venezuelan medical practitioners, they have Cuban medical practitioners, they have the facilities to do the work,” Gonsalves said.

“It’s easier for people to get from here to Venezuela and for any work which is required to be done here, can be done here very easily by specialists from both countries.”

Rosa Chavez, the president of the Miracle Mission and daughter of former Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, expressed happiness in being able to be a part of the project that her father and the former Cuban president Fidel Castro started.

“Maybe I’m a bit sad because I didn’t come here with him and I couldn’t even remember why I didn’t come with him. I didn’t come here before. Ralph always invited us and we always see each other in other countries, but it’s never too late,” she said, through the use of an interpreter.

The Miracle Mission president revealed that patients from St Vincent and the Grenadines would travel to Venezuela sometime in April for three days to receive surgery.

Vice-president of the Bolivarian republic, Jorge Arreaza, noted that the former president Hugo Chavez had always considered the Caribbean to be Venezuela’s first neighbours. Arreaza also stated that Chavez felt that their natural resources should not only be for the Venezuelan people, but for those in Latin America and all the Caribbean countries as well.

“We are still making small steps towards the goal of happiness of our people,” he said.

“Miracle Mission or “Vision Now,” as you call it here, is really a basic miracle because these sight diseases can be treated with a very basic surgery and you get your vision, your sight back. Maybe there are people who can’t see or haven’t been able to see for the last 10 years and after one week, after surgery, they can see their children, their grandchildren again and they don’t have to pay for that. They have a right to be healthy, they have the right to have happiness and that’s what President Chavez taught us, what Fidel (Castro) taught us and what president (Nicolas) Maduro is continuing,” the vice-president said.(BK)

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