Guyanese student in Cuba disputes ‘false claims’ reported in the media

A Guyanese in Cuba who asked that their identity be withheld has written to the Department of Public Service to dispel claims allegedly made by a group of students to a local media outlet in Guyana.

The student explained that the issue of a water shortage that was outlined in the Newsroom report was an issue that began long before COVID-19. The student also posited that many were aware of the situation on the island when they signed up for scholarships.

The student also urged that other students not attending the same institution stop using them as pawns.

See below the full letter sent to the Department of Public Service.

“Honourable Minister, PS, SAO and fellow students, a pleasant afternoon to you.

I want to address the article published on May 8, 2020 by Newsroom.gy entitled ” More Guyanese students in Cuba say their plight is being ignored”.

I’m really bothered by the false information published. The pictures posted are of students of ELAM. This creates problems for the students here at ELAM with our school. This is not only targeting the Government of Guyana but also Cuba, the country that is providing our education. It’s not right that other students are using us as “pawns”.

It is not everyday that people shower on the roofs. As a matter of fact, covid-19 didn’t cause the water problem we have right now. We encountered this problem since our first year here and we’ve survived and are still surviving. I know what I was signing up for when I applied for this scholarship to Cuba and I’m sure most of the students here. We know nowhere in this world is a bed of roses.

So, I’m kindly asking that you refrain from using ELAM students in these articles that are being posted. Incidentally, the few students in ELAM who wanted to return to Guyana decided not to because of the instruction given by MINSAP to continue their course of study. I know we are quarantined in the school but that’s for our safety and protection.

Also, the article stated that we received “one bottle of water.” This is untrue, as we first received four 1.5L bottles of water. After about 2 weeks, we not only received two 5L bottles of water but other food items.

So, once again I’m kindly pleading that you refrain from using pictures of ELAM and claiming what ELAM’s students say unless you ask all of the students of ELAM about the matter. If it’s a student who’s in another province, post pictures of your university and not of mine… speak for yourself and not for us at ELAM.

Thanks for your time and attention.”