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Cuban healer uses a MACHETE to perform surgery and prescribes half a bottle of rum to beat Covid


A spiritual healer who performs surgery with a machete and tells his patients drinking half a bottle of rum a week will stop them getting Covid-19 has become popular in Cuba. 

Jorge Goliat’s unorthodox methods have increasingly attracted Cubans who are seeking alternatives to traditional medicines. 

The heavy drinking and smoking Cuban healer claims he was visited more than 30 years ago by a spirit who told him to start healing people with his machete. 

He’s been practicing ever since and now performs between 120 and 150 surgeries every day on different patients in Havana. 

Jorge Goliat performs surgery with a machete and tells his patients drinking half a bottle of rum a week will stop them getting Covid-19

Jorge Goliat performs surgery with a machete and tells his patients drinking half a bottle of rum a week will stop them getting Covid-19

The spiritual healer's unorthodox methods have increasingly attracted Cubans who are seeking alternatives to traditional medicines

The spiritual healer’s unorthodox methods have increasingly attracted Cubans who are seeking alternatives to traditional medicines

The heavy drinking and smoking Cuban healer claims he was visited more than 30 years ago by a spirit who told him to start healing people with his machete

The heavy drinking and smoking Cuban healer claims he was visited more than 30 years ago by a spirit who told him to start healing people with his machete

Over the years, he claims to have performed several thousands of surgeries, all without anaesthesia.    

Goliat said: ‘If they can’t walk, the leave walking. If they can’t move, or raise an arm, they can raise it.

‘I don’t leave anybody helpless because life is hard, this country is a hard country, we can’t save ourselves from Covid.

‘I would never leave anyone to die, or let a child die simply because of Covid.’

Goliat encourages his patients to drink half a bottle of Rum each week or smell bags of camphor, a medicine derived from wood used to treat pain and cough, from ‘time to time’ to keep Covid away.  

Patients seeking advice on anything from fertility to traumatic lower back pain seem to frequent Goliat’s makeshift clinic for help. 

One young Panamanian couple say they visited Goliat for help conceiving after getting nowhere with traditional medicine.

Though they do not yet know if his treatment was successful, the pair say the healer was immediately able to guess their backgrounds, and the man’s job, adding to his credibility. 

Others said Goliat’s credibility came from his ability to marry up his machete surgeries with conventional medicine. 

Patient Leonides Lara said: ‘At first one feels a bit incredulous, but when you arrive and you see what science has told you practically coincides with what this person tells you then he really gains credibility.’  

Over the years, the Cuban healer claims to have performed several thousands of surgeries, all without anaesthesia

Over the years, the Cuban healer claims to have performed several thousands of surgeries, all without anaesthesia

Goliat has been practicing for more than 30 years and now performs between 120 and 150 surgeries every day on different patients in Havana

Goliat has been practicing for more than 30 years and now performs between 120 and 150 surgeries every day on different patients in Havana

Patients seeking advice on anything from fertility to traumatic lower back pain seem to frequent Goliat's makeshift clinic for help

Patients seeking advice on anything from fertility to traumatic lower back pain seem to frequent Goliat’s makeshift clinic for help

Goliat encourages his patients smell bags of camphor, a medicine derived from wood used to treat pain and cough, from 'time to time' to keep Covid-19 away

Goliat encourages his patients smell bags of camphor, a medicine derived from wood used to treat pain and cough, from ‘time to time’ to keep Covid-19 away

But for many being treated by Goliat was not just about the medicine, it was a spiritual and emotional experience. 

Patient Elviscala, who receives treatment for traumatic lower back pain, said: ‘It’s very impressive the conviction he has, this person, he comes and miraculously guesses things and tells you how things are and that really impresses.’

Goliat uses a piece of paper and a candle to create makeshift scans of the patient’s body, a practice which his followers claim reveals everything an X-ray would show. 

‘Seeing is believing’, says patient Ricardo Rodriguez.

The Cuban healer also told patients that drinking half a bottle of rum per day would help protect them from catching Covid-19

The Cuban healer also told patients that drinking half a bottle of rum per day would help protect them from catching Covid-19

For many being treated by Goliat was not just about the alternative type of medicine, it was a spiritual and emotional experience

For many being treated by Goliat was not just about the alternative type of medicine, it was a spiritual and emotional experience

Goliat uses a piece of paper and a candle to create makeshift scans of the patient's body, a practice which his followers claim reveals everything an X-ray would show

Goliat uses a piece of paper and a candle to create makeshift scans of the patient’s body, a practice which his followers claim reveals everything an X-ray would show

The healer claims nurses are wary of working with him for fear they may end up in jail, and that police have investigated his unorthodox practice in the past, but insists he is not doing anything illegal. 

‘Let the police come and check everything they have to check’, he said. 

‘The inspectors who come here are right to come here because of the amount of people but I am not doing anything wrong.’  

Cuba has long been praised for its strong health care sector and high number doctors, often dubbed the ‘white coat army’. 

At the height of the pandemic last year nearly 40 countries, including Italy, Mexico, and Togo, received Cuban doctors to help fight virus outbreaks. 

But, in recent months, that reputation has wavered slightly as the country has experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases.

As of April 14, the country had reported 89,404 cases, among them 487 deaths.

Though still much lower figures than other countries, Cuba has seen a dramatic surge in infections after recording only 11,863 cases in 2020.

The country’s health care system has also come under fire for failing to secure licensed vaccines from abroad. perhaps explaining the surprising turn to alternative medicine. 

Government critics have said Cuba should have purchased approved vaccines from abroad to kick off its immunisation campaign while it completed trials on its homegrown vaccines, Soberana 2 and Abdala. 

Instead, nearly all of Havana’s residents are set to receive experimental jabs by May in the hopes a nationwide vaccine can be rolled out by the summer.  

The healer claims nurses are wary of working with him for fear they may end up in jail, and that police have investigated his unorthodox practice in the past, but insists he is not doing anything illegal

The healer claims nurses are wary of working with him for fear they may end up in jail, and that police have investigated his unorthodox practice in the past, but insists he is not doing anything illegal

Goliat said he thought it was right for police to investigate his practice because of the number of people regularly visiting, but insisted his practices are not illegal

Goliat said he thought it was right for police to investigate his practice because of the number of people regularly visiting, but insisted his practices are not illegal

Cuba has long been praised for its strong health care sector and high number doctors, often dubbed the 'white coat army', so it was not immediately clear why so many people have turned to alternative forms of medicine

Cuba has long been praised for its strong health care sector and high number doctors, often dubbed the ‘white coat army’, so it was not immediately clear why so many people have turned to alternative forms of medicine

Goliat sharpens his tools ahead of a surgery. The Cuban spiritual healer claims to treat between 120 and 150 patients every day

Goliat sharpens his tools ahead of a surgery. The Cuban spiritual healer claims to treat between 120 and 150 patients every day

Bang! Goliat uses a variety of tools, including a hammer, to perform his controversial surgeries, though he uses a machete most often

Bang! Goliat uses a variety of tools, including a hammer, to perform his controversial surgeries, though he uses a machete most often

Goliat has been flooded with customers waiting to be treated as Cubans turn away from traditional sources of medicine in the pandemic

Goliat has been flooded with customers waiting to be treated as Cubans turn away from traditional sources of medicine in the pandemic

Goliat also prescribes herbal medicines for some of his patient's ailments. (pictured, Chofer Eliasez Mendez buys herbal medicine on April 9)

Goliat also prescribes herbal medicines for some of his patient’s ailments. (pictured, Chofer Eliasez Mendez buys herbal medicine on April 9)

Patients say Goliat's credibility comes from his ability to marry up his teachings with some parts of conventional medicines

Patients say Goliat’s credibility comes from his ability to marry up his teachings with some parts of conventional medicines



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