Kashmir will remember Fidel Castro as a person who dispatched Henry Reeve Contingent during Kashmir Earthquake in 2005. A group of 2400 physicians and paramedical staff. They made 18 hour long 36 flight sorties, established 32 field hospitals, conducted 5925 surgeries. 30 amputee Kashmiris were flown to Cuba for advanced treatment.
“We have at this moment[winter 2005] on the other side of the world, an eighteen-hour flight from aid with the worst natural tragedy that has occurred in our world many years I do not recall a worse natural disaster, given the place in which it happened, the humble community it has affected, a community of shepherds who live up the mountains, and just before winter, over there where there is such intense cold, and such terrible poverty. One by one, I spoke to each of thse brigades, I saw them off.” Fidel Castro ( My Life – Autobiography)
Dr. Juan Carlos Martín, Director of the Cuban field hospital in Muzaffarabad, said “We knew this had to be a closed-loop relief effort. Not only did we have to bring the medicines and the doctors, we had to provide everything – the hospital, the electricity, the plumbing, the beds – to run that hospital”. From October, 2005 to January 24, 2006, Cuban medical teams performed 601,369 consultations, 5,925 surgeries including 2,819 major surgeries and served at 44 different locations in the quake-affected region.