Cuba Is Reopening!

On November 15, social and economic life in Cuba returns to its rhythm.  Airports open their runways, tourism is revived.

However, the pandemic has not disappeared from the planet – just as cancer or heart attacks have not disappeared – but Cuban science and medicine have known how to handle Covid-19 – seriously and prudently, thanks above all to the proven efficiency of Cuban vaccines and the success of the vaccination campaign.

Cuba’s medical brigades have performed and continue to perform heroic work in dozens of countries, demonstrating international solidarity well deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.  As Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said: “Without neglecting the responsibility of protecting our people and despite the limitations imposed by the blockade, Cuba offers modest cooperation to other peoples, without evaluating political convenience or economic advantages”.  It is not necessary to be a Christian to realize that this humanitarian work corresponds to the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew V, 1-9.

In our world there are optimists and pessimists.  In general, Cubans on the island are optimistic by nature. Despite the cruel sanctions and the hybrid war against the island, most Cubans understand that life brings us joy and setbacks.  True, the serious economic problems and the scarcity of so many things stem from the economic war and the blockade since 1960, but even so, you have to live life and take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.  It is always possible to enjoy beautiful things, butterflies, hummingbirds, lilies and orchids.  Thankfulness is a blessing from God.  Carpe diem (Horace, Odes)

Cuba is the country of music – son, danzón, zapateo, punto guajiro, Afro-Cuban jazz, rumba, conga, guaracha, salsa Cubana – all appreciated by locals and tourists.  Spanish music and African rhythms sung by slaves since the 16th century invite us to dance and celebrate life – to the rhythm of Gonzalo Roig, José White, Ernesto Lecuona, Celia Cruz, Pablo Milanés, Silvio Rodíguez.  Yes, our blue unicorn still exists – and not only in dreams.  This powerful song touches each of us in a different way, it gives us hope in the melancholy.

Of course, the criminal US blockade/embargo persists, despite 29 UN General Assembly resolutions denouncing it as contrary to international law, despite the reports to the UN Human Rights Council by Dr. Idriss Jazairy and Professor Alena Douhan, rapporteurs on unilateral coercive measures.

US impunity will not last forever – the day will come when they will have to pay reparations to the victims of sanctions not only against the Cuban people, but also against the peoples of Nicaragua, Syria, Venezuela, etc.  Someday the International Criminal Court will declare that these sanctions constitute crimes against humanity.

The 25 Principles of International Order that I formulated for the UN Human Rights Council apply perfectly to the facts. (see chapter 2).

But today, November 15, 2021, many will celebrate the restart of the school year and the return to normality.  Sursum corda!

Professor Alfredo de Zayas, is a former UN Independent Expert on the democratic and equitable international order (2012-2018)

Source: Alfredo de Zayas blog, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English