Cuba: Solidarity is the Name of Love among Peoples; We cannot Live by War

As the world follows anxiously the developments in the conflict in Europe, our feelings are of frustration with humanity.  The amount of information that constantly reaches us tends to confuse rather than to explain, and more so when it is not possible to distinguish between false and true news. With the rise of an information war on social media in parallel to the conflict which, it must be said, was avoidable.

The consequences within this scenario tends to bring us to  underestimate the ability of human beings to come together, to learn from our mistakes, to act humanely, to show solidarity with other peoples without regard to borders.  The feeling is that everything is referred to the renewed “golden calf” which nowadays is greed, money, stratospheric earnings, and the commercialization of life itself.

Then it occurs that, in a corner of some media, news appears that makes you again believe in life.  There is, certainly, a phrase that sums up what follows: “Capitalism doesn’t work.  Life is something else.”  Right? – let’s examine the facts:

A poor county, with few natural resources and faced with a commercial, financial, economic and media blockade  develops its own vaccines without having to be forced to pay exorbitant prices.  This already goes beyond what anyone could expect.  Then this same country confronts and controls the world-wide pandemic, with 90% of its population of 11.2 million people immunized by early 2022, and 2 million of those with a fourth booster dose.

The blockade imposed by successive governments of the United States on Cuba has been in effect for more than 60 year, which is the longest blockade that a country has been subjected to in the entire history of humanity.

In addition to this impressive achievement of producing its own vaccines, the world has been witness to the deeds of medical brigades that worked throughout the world in an impressive cooperative effort  in the fight against COVID-19 and in many different countries, regardless of ideological differences.  In Italy for example when we saw images of military trucks hauling bodies off to be cremated prompting the Italian government to ask other countries of the European Union for help but calls were ignored and it was only little Cuba that came to the rescue and was then recognized by local governments with heartfelt grateful homage.  The medical contingents of the Henry Reeve Brigade have been in existence for many years and have worked in many other countries, but were noticed only during this period.  A significant part of the  blockade is to never present anything positive about Cuba during the 63 years since its Revolution; treating it like it has accomplished nothing during that time.

During these times of war the facts described here confirm our faith in human beings.  And there is much more; for example the Cuban programs  Mas Médicos (More Doctors) in Brazil, Operation Milagros that has restored sight to so many people all around Latin America, the literacy program Yo Sí Puedo (I can!), the medical scholarships in Cuba for poor youths  of the world, etc.  And more recently still, the donation of vaccines.

It was unthinkable and irrational to believe that a poor blockaded country could ever go so far as to spend its resources to give gifts towards the betterment of humanity, in some cases even in richer countries.  The examples keep growing, this must be part of “fake news” to later be used to demonize Cuba, but it is not.  Cuba needs to sell its vaccines not for profit, but simply to be able to make more vaccines.  And it is selling them to Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Mexico, and others at a cost based on the ability to pay of each country.

On January 7, 2022, Cuba made another vaccine donation of 120,000 doses, this time to the people of Syria.  At the donation ceremony, the interim Minister of Foreign Commerce, Teresita González, made reference to the unequal distribution of vaccines in the world and to the fact that Cuba and Syria resist with dignity the imperialist harassment and attacks against their countries.

And just this past week we learned of donations of 258,000 doses of vaccine to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic .  This country is still controlled by Morocco and has suffered under  Moroccan oppression  for many years, with the majority of its people living in refugee camps.

An honest look at Cuba makes it clear that its foreign policy is the exact opposite of the agenda of aggression and war. Shouldn’t they be held up high as an example to follow?

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano, translation by Leni Villagomez Reeves

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