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Bolivian doctors fighting for socialism (3)

By Andre Vltchek (People's Daily Online)

15:18, June 18, 2012

Now proud of their children (People's Daily Online/ Andre Vltchek)

At one point the doctor patted the woman’s arm, kindly. He was of a different race and background, and he behaved as her equal, making her feel calm and confident. After a while she began answering his questions quietly and boldly, as if she were speaking to a member of her own family.

At this point I knew I was witnessing the revolution. I had witnessed quite a few of them, as well as many civil wars all over the world. But this was different. There were no Kalashnikovs, no combat zones, but this was as big as the Sandinistas in Nicaragua “going up”, taking the Congress, some decades ago.

Unlike the doctors concerned with their inflated salaries – in Bolivia and all over the world – the doctors working here appeared cool and confident, at ease and clearly at peace with themselves and the world and above all, with their own conscience. They seemed to have no need for complex philosophical somersaults explaining why they were stuffing their purses instead of serving the needy. They were doing exactly what they were trained to do: saving lives, offering advice, and being there for those in pain and in distress, nothing more, nothing less.

Just watching these doctors working in the middle of Cochabamba I felt overwhelmed and at the same time endlessly grateful. It was like coming home from an extremely long and unsettling journey, dotted with nightmarish images depicting perversely but accurately the direction the world was heading to, or rather to where its kidnappers were taking it. Coming back from the journey where commercial interests stand above compassion, where ‘helping’ those in need and in pain is simply a good business and has its price tag, mostly ridiculously inflated.

To me these sights in the middle of the Bolivian Andes were like the essence of the human nature – by now almost extinct but still the essence – played in front of my eyes. And I was very much aware of the fact that this was exactly the socialism in which I had believed for decades; it was right here, in action, in front of my eyes. And it was simple, natural and non dogmatic.

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