The performance of the Cuban state and government in combating the COVID-19 pandemic inside Cuba is in stunning contrast to the disastrous performance by governmental authorities in the United States, including at the Federal level in Washington DC. Gross negligence by US authorities – within an already broken and grotesquely unequal health-care system – has led to wholly unnecessary rises in disease, death, infection, and spread. US pandemic deaths are at 140,000 and rising.
Florida, with a large Cuban-American population, is now a world epicenter of toxic COVID-19 contagion. Other US states and regions show mounting crises in hospital and ICU overflows; supplies in equipment and PPE; overwhelmed hospital staff and so on.
The pandemic is also particularly acute across the Americas where Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, highlight the unfolding horror shows in Latin America and Central America.
The facts presented below are clear and irrefutable. Cuba stands out for its performance, leadership, and results.
*Source: John Hopkins University & Medicine, as of August 21, 2020
Despite this reality, the Trump White House, with bipartisan support or acquiescence, has escalated its economic and political war against Cuba, aimed at asphyxiating the legacy and living example of the Cuban Revolution. This flies in the face of near-universal opposition from the overwhelming majority of the peoples and sovereign governments of the world.
The irrefutable facts on Cuba’s domestic example and inspiring medical internationalism in this pandemic are the crushing refutation of the attempt by the Trump Administration to discredit and slander Cuba. We should always remember that Cuba’s impressive figures occur under the conditions of the cruel and brutal US economic aggression and sanctions that have actually deepened since the pandemic exploded.
The anti-Cuba campaign has gained no traction. President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo are trying to breathe air into a politically doomed effort to discredit, demean, and bury the example of medical solidarity coming out of the Caribbean socialist island. The White House has tried to blackmail and pressure sovereign nations to reject Cuba’s internationalist medical solidarity. The exact opposite has occurred as dozens of sovereign countries have gratefully accepted urgently needed assistance from the Cuban Henry Reeve medical brigades. (See Statement below from Organization of Eastern Caribbean States)
The facts are that these Cuban missions continue to render invaluable direct assistance to treat COVID-19 patients. Equally important, Cuban medical skills, scientific experience, and pharmaceutical advances are implementing preventive measures to avoid outbreaks, clusters, rising curves, and symptoms before they overwhelm already weak health-care systems.
On what moral authority does the US government dare to criticize Cuba given the stunning level of incompetence and misleadership shown by US authorities on every level and the unconscionable and deadly results we have seen! How dare they criticize Cuba — a blockaded nation with the Yankee boot on their neck for decades! A people and government that sends teams of scientists and medical personnel all over the world. From China to Italy; from Andorra to Qatar; from Angola to South Africa. And across the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. With real results Saving Lives and containing deadly spread.
On July 12, 2020, CNN ran a short report that acknowledged Cuba’s clear domestic successes. It was a rare crack in the self-censoring armor of the big-business media. Long articles in the New York Times (e.g. 6-23-20) the Washington Post (e.g. 6-26-20) and other media powers have repeatedly and factually reported on the dire figures and realities in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and across the Americas, but they have consciously omitted any mention of Cuba’s great achievements at home and internationally.
The two-minute-plus 7-12 CNN report stated that “somehow” this Cuban success has occurred. Somehow! They could report on Cuba‘s comprehensive system of socialized medicine which is cost-free at the point of use. Or how the mobilization of medical students and volunteers to monitor the health of every Cuban through their extensive neighborhood and community medical services and organization contained the virus spread. Or how there has been effective use of Cuban pharmaceutical and other medicinal treatments in the prevention, alleviation, and treatment of COVID-19 symptoms. These medications have also had positive treatment outcomes in countries where the Cuban Henry Reeve Brigades have arrived with doctors and solidarity.
The truth must combat lies! Saving Lives must defeat imperial brutality and cruelty! Human rights and human needs must be paramount!
The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States expressed its deep appreciation to the Republic of Cuba for the medical support provided to six (6) member countries of the Organization to assist with efforts to combat the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the OECS and wider Caribbean region.
The provision of specialized health care through the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigades has not only augmented the scarce medical resources of OECS Member States but has provided assurance to the general populations of the region’s capacity to fight and manage COVID-19. Four hundred and seventy-three (473) Cuban medical personnel are working alongside their Caribbean counterparts in eight countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) to assist in managing the spread of COVID-19.
Cuba’s support to the health sector in the Caribbean has a long and exemplary history that has benefitted numerous Caribbean citizens. One noted invaluable assistance to the region is “Operation Milagro” – a programme which provides free eye medical treatment to OECS nationals requiring interventions to prevent blindness or to restore vision. These conditions include cataract, diabetic retinopathy and other reversible types of visual impairment. The OECS acknowledges with gratitude the extensive global contributions of Cuba, particularly in the fields of health and disaster management, this in spite of its material limitations and the economic hardships resulting from US imposed sanctions.
The Organization notes with deep concern and repudiates the recent bill introduced by Republican Senator Rick Scott which classifies Cuba’s humanitarian assistance as “human trafficking” and seeks to extend punitive measures against countries accepting this medical assistance.
The OECS Authority greatly values the work of the Henry Reeve Medical Brigades and has reiterated its desire to work with ALL friendly Governments that offer tangible support in the face of the grave existential threat posed to lives and livelihoods in the small island states of the Caribbean.