Cuba Resists! Trump, the blockade and the US election.
On Thursday 29 October, four days before the US elections, Rock Around the Blockade (www.ratb.org.uk) hosted an important and informative online event called ‘Cuba Resists! Trump, the Blockade and the US Elections’. Over 250 participants from Britain and many countries around the world heard from a fantastic line-up of speakers who gave presentations before answering audience questions.
Nobel Peace Prize nomination for the Henry Reeve International Medical Contingent
In Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Contingents, the foundational aspirations of the Nobel Prize are met: ‘those who have done the most, or the best work for fraternity between nations.’
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the international community fracture; Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Contingent has offered a counterexample, exemplifying the benefits of global healthcare cooperation. On 21 March 2020, 10 days after the World Health Organisation declared the SARS-Cov2 virus to be a pandemic, 53 Cuban medics, specialists in disaster response and disease control, arrived in Lombardy, Italy, at that time the epicentre of the pandemic, to assist local healthcare authorities. They were the first brigade of the Henry Reeve Contingent formed specifically to combat Covid-19 overseas, and the first to provide medical assistance in Europe.
By 22 September, the Henry Reeve Contingent had sent 3,700 Cuban medical specialists, organised into 46 medical brigades, to treat Covid-19 patients in 39 countries. In 5 months, these Cuban healthcare professionals, 60% of them women, had treated over 350,000 people, saving nearly 10,000 lives. No other country in the world, much less the wealthy nations, has provided anything like the assistance that Cuba has offered by sharing its epidemiological specialists and expertise with people around the world. Most of the beneficiaries of Cuba’s Henry Reeve brigades are poor people in developing countries, who have been left behind in the unseemly scramble by the rich nations to secure themselves PPE, ventilators, drugs and vaccines. Cuba has mobilised resources to offer this assistance despite the deterioration of the island’s economy; the US has tightened sanctions, generating serious shortages, and even blocked Cuban access to the ventilators and PPE needed to fight Covid-19 at home.
The Covid-19 pandemic teaches us the importance of international collaboration in a world so globalised that all our lives are intertwined. It teaches us that public health is a priority; a precondition to peace and security. A Nobel Peace Prize would reflect a new global awareness about the importance of healthcare & solidarity.
La asociación Cubanos en UK agradece a todas las personas y organizaciones que contribuyeron a la recaudación de más £25.000 mil libras esterlinas para ayudar a pacientes con COVID-19 en Cuba.
Con mucho orgullo enviamos un agradecimiento especial a la Dr Valia Rodriguez y Dr Míriam Palacios, científicas cubanas residentes en el Reino Unido quienes han liderado esta campaña.
También agradecemos los números mensajes de solidaridad y apoyo que hemos recibido desde todos los continentes del mundo. En estos momentos se está trabajando para comprar y hacer llegar de forma rápida y segura las donaciones a Cuba.
When times are hard, that is when we most need generosity, kindness and compassion. We appeal to that generosity, that makes us better people, as we turn to you in asking for help. We need to buy components to build ventilators to support COVID-19 patients with medical complications in Cuba.
As you may know, Cuba cannot buy new ventilators or repair old ones because the companies that previously supplied ventilators to Cuba were acquired by a US company (Vyaire Medical Inc). The US blockade imposed on Cuba forbids any type of trading, even of medical items in the middle of this pandemic. However, people still need to be treated and saved.
Cuban institutions in health, research and academia have come together to repair old ventilators and to build new devices to support infected patients. Funds from this appeal will support Cuba in building a ventilator using designs that the international community has kindly made available for free on the web. In this way, we can work around the US blockade of Cuba and help sick people.
We – you and me – can save patients in Cuba by contributing to this campaign.
This is an urgent request. We need to raise £25 000 Time is short, people are dying. Please, make your contribution today.
Dr Miriam Palacios-Callender & Dr Valia Rodriguez-Rodriguez
The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State
House of Commons London SW1A 0AA
Dear Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP
Subject: Cubans in the UK demand an end to the US blockade.
We, Cuban residents in the United Kingdom, are urging the British government to play a leading role discussing with the United States of America the need to lift the Embargo against our people. The fight against the covid-19 pandemic is stretching resources all over the world and even strong economies are facing enormous challenges. We are sure that you appreciate how hard the NHS is working to look after patients with COVID-19. No country in the world can survive isolated and even worse when a powerful country imposes a blockade which includes medicine and medical products.
Cuba is making an extraordinary effort to face this covid-19 pandemic. The country tries to save lives inside and outside its borders. Currently, all Cuban and foreign patients in Cuba suffering from the symptoms of COVID-19 are treated in hospitals, including thousands of people suspected of incubating this new coronavirus. Medical students guided by their professors are carrying out national surveys to identify the most vulnerable and high-risk people, as part of preventive medicine, a characteristic of the Cuban health system.
The country also guarantees tests to detect this virus, ensuring national coverage, as part of the strategy to control the spread of COVID-19. These tests are carried out by specialist personnel in three laboratories in the country with technology and experts trained in the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine. Following the indications of the World Health Organization, the fieldwork seeks to identify the foci and their contacts to proceed to the isolation of possible carriers of the disease. This effort in the early stages of the spread of COVID-19 ensures that the exposed population is reduced and with it the best use of the resources of the national Public Health system.
Cuban researchers in collaboration with Chinese colleagues, have worked intensively on the production of a new vaccine against the new coronavirus, the clinical trial of which continues and is expected to be completed in 2021. Also, of Cuban production, the recombinant Interferon alfa 2B has been used in clinical trials since the beginning of the pandemic in China and is available for those who require it in Cuba. Other treatments with international success in this pandemic are also applied in Cuba, among them the antiretroviral Kaletra, previously used in the treatment and prevention of AIDS, and the antiviral Oseltamivir, a generic of national production widely used in the treatment and prevention of influenza viruses (A and B). On the other hand, the distribution of the nationally produced homeopathic medicine Prevengho-Vir has begun, as a prophylactic measure to avoid viral contagion.
Cuban epidemiologist and experts broadcast daily to inform and educate the population on the measures to be followed. Cuba has so far sent medical brigades to 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe that have requested Cuban assistance to face this pandemic. While Cuban doctors are in different countries providing medical care, the US department continues to urge Cuban doctors to abandon their missions, offering them visas to travel to the United States. They have also issued a circular to third countries asking them to reject the Cuban medical brigades for being allegedly “slaves” of the Cuban government. The international thanks and support that Cuban doctors have received contrast with the political manipulation used by the US administration. Nothing justifies the United States aggressive and inhumane policy towards Cuba.
The pandemic is also having a negative impact on the world economy. In just a few weeks, the most developed countries have taken extraordinary measures to provide essential resources to their populations and avoid the chaos caused by scarcity of resources. Our country has had to face similar circumstances for more than 60 years, not because of natural catastrophes but because of the iron blockade imposed on our country by the United States.
On April 1, a donation of medical supplies from China sent to 24 countries in the region, including Cuba, could not land in Cuba due to the US economic and financial blockade. The European Union and the United Nations have called on the US government to relax sanctions so that countries like Cuba can access the necessary food and medicine during the pandemic. However, the Trump administration continues to act unilaterally. Cubans need the definitive end of the US Embargo and the cessation of aggressions against Cuba.
We know about the good relationship between our countries, particularly in the areas of Education and Public Health. We witness your recognition and thanks to the Cuban government in response to the urgent situation experienced by the passengers of British cruise MS Braemar. The Cuban government allowed the docking of this vessels adopting the protocol established by the World health Organization and the Cuban Ministry of Health.
We now look forward to seeing a supportive and humane gesture towards Cuba.
Thank you in advance. Yours sincerely,
Dr Miriam Palacios and Mr Daniesky Acosta Directors for the association Cubanos en UK www.cubanos.org.uk
Nous, Cubains résidents en Europe, demandons aux présidents et aux premiers ministres de l'Union européenne d'intervenir auprès du gouvernement des États-Unis pour qu'il lève le blocus économique, financier et commercial imposé à Cuba depuis le 2 février 1962. Depuis l'arrivée de Donald Trump à la Maison Blanche, son administration a renforcé sa politique d'hostilité envers Cuba à un niveau jamais vu auparavant : du 16 juin 2017 à ce jour, elle a appliqué 191 mesures coercitives, activant à partir du 2 mai 2019 le Titre III de la loi Helms-Burton dans le cadre des actions visant à étouffer l'économie cubaine et à obtenir un changement de "régime" à Cuba à tout prix et contre le peuple cubain.
Comme tous les pays, Cuba doit mobiliser d'immenses ressources pour faire face à la pandémie de SRAS-Covid19. Pour parvenir à vaincre cette maladie, notre pays a un besoin urgent de développer tout son potentiel économique, sans les innombrables obstacles que le gouvernement des États-Unis impose aux entreprises cubaines et étrangères qui voudraient faire des affaires avec Cuba, qui doit acheter du carburant, de la nourriture et des médicaments pour notre peuple.
Open letter of Cuban citizens residing in Europe to Presidents and Prime Ministers of the European Union countries
We, Cuban citizens residing in Europe, request Presidents and Prime Ministers of the European Union countries to call on the US government to lift the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed on Cuba as of 2nd February 1962. Since coming to the White House, Donald Trump’s administration has tightened its hostile policy against Cuba to a level never seen before. Since 16th June 2017 until the present, 191 coercive measures have been applied and Title III of Helms Burton Act was activated from 2nd May 2019, as part of a set of actions intended to asphyxiate the Cuban economy and change the Cuban “regime” at all costs and against the Cuban people.
I Live in Havana by Jordan Lancaster Ortega. Xlibiris Publishing. £15.99. Available to purchase here: www.bit.ly/ILiveinHavana
This is the charming tale of one young girl's life in Havana, told in both English and Spanish.
It gives readers an understanding not only of what it is like to live in Cuba, but also the priority the country places on children and their development.
Simple to follow with colourful images, it's ideal for opening a window to young children on how their counterparts around the world live and how their lives compare. Many areas are covered such as families, schooling, food, national holidays and recreation with something new learnt on every page. A great start to exploring the rest of the world.
Source: From “Educate”, the magazine of the National Education Union (NEU) p. 39.
Electric Motorcycle Club gives a lift to passengers waiting for busses in Havana.
The Rt. Hon Christopher Pincher MP Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Office of Christopher Pincher MP The Whitehouse, 93 Lichfield Street Tamworth , B79 7QF
1 November 2019
Dear Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP
For almost 60 years we Cubans have suffered the effects of sanctions by the United States, sanctions known as an embargo or blockade. The damages accumulated during almost six decades of the application of this policy have reached the figure of $922.6 billion.
The current administration of President Donald Trump has tightened the blockade against Cuba.
This year, 2019, announcements and enforcement of new sanctions against Cuba have escalated; these are allegedly aimed at the government and the Communist Party. The facts show that the blockade continues to cause serious problems for the economy and the Cuban people.
English version by Miriam Palacios. Original article by M. H. Lagarde, published in his blog Cambios en Cuba
For several days, the Miami anti-Cuban mafia (represented by Marco Rubio and Mario Díaz-Balart), the American Embassy in Havana, the US State Department and his OAS’ henchman, Luis Almagro, have been distorting the reasons why José Daniel Ferrer has been imprisoned, alleging in their persistent defamation against Cuba, that he was arrested for been a "political opponent".
Although his defenders try to present the facts as another "violation of human rights" by the "regime," the self-proclaimed leader of the counter-revolutionary organization Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), has been in prison since October 1th, precisely not for political reasons but for his repeated offences (or recidivist acts) as a camorrist and a gang member.