Cuba to Send Doctors & Nurses to More Caribbean Countries

Source:  TeleSUR
March 25 2020

Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica to benefit 

Cuban health workers hold a flag of their country inside an airplane bound for Italy, March, 2020.Cuban health workers hold a flag of their country inside an airplane bound
for Italy, March, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @kandire_bo

The physicians will fight the Covid-19 pandemic in Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and Argentina. The U.S. government “warns” those countries.

Cuba’s health authorities announced that new brigades of doctors and nurses with experience in handling critical situations are heading to Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica on Wednesday and Thursday.

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The first group with 25 health workers left for Belize this morning from the Central Unit for Medical Cooperation in Havana.

We are ready to help save lives

“We are aware that the current situation is difficult, but we are well prepared and ready to help save lives,” said nurse Orlando Borrero, who participated in the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone in Africa and was on two other solidarity missions in Nicaragua.

He also indicated that 33 more health workers will travel to Belize, where there will be 58 Cuban specialists in total on Thursday.​​​​​​

Over the past weeks, Cuba has sent health workers to various countries. On March 22, for instance, 36 Cuban doctors, 15 nurses, and a logistics expert arrived in Lombardia.

In this Italian region, which comprises 11 provinces and a population of more than 11 million, the Covid-19 caused services to collapse due to insufficient hospital capacity.

Previously, on March 20, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced the arrival of 130 Cuban doctors who will help in the fight against the pandemic, which has caused 91 positive cases so far.​​​​​​

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department criticized Cuban solidarity by depicting it as an act motivated by political and economic reasons.

“Cuba offers its international medical missions… only to make up the money it lost… Host countries seeking Cuba’s help for Covid-19 should scrutinize agreements and end labor abuses,” the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Affairs (DRL) tweeted.

Despite these interpretations, 500 Cuban doctors, most of them specialists in emergency and therapy, will arrive in the Buenos Aires province, in Argentina, as reported by local media.​​​​​​​

Cuba: Together we can make it!

Cource:  Cuba Minrex
March 24 2020

Speech delivered by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the First Extraordinary Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Health of the Association of Caribbean States on Covid-19 held by Video Conference.

Allow me to mention that it has been thanks to a technical miracle and the support of the Secretariat that Cuba has been able to participate in this video-conference.  It so happens that the website that hosts the platform of the Association, through which all participants are able to connect to this important meeting, has denied access to Cuba for reasons of the blockade imposed by the United States against our country.

Congratulations to Barbados 

First of all I would like to congratulate Barbados in its condition as President of the Council of Ministers; as well as the Secretary-General of the Association of Caribbean States for taking the initiative of convening the First Extraordinary Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Health on COVID-19 for the purpose of exchanging on the urgent efforts called for by humanity in view of the impact of the new coronavirus (SARS CoV 2/Covid-19).

We are here because we are facing a crisis that goes beyond all of us, the consequences of which are sure to be serious and enduring.

Unity of will to to develop joint cooperative actions

The quick spreading of the disease demands that we unite our wills to develop joint cooperative actions that will make it possible to cope with COVID -19, which we all human beings are exposed to.

But our responsibility is still bigger.  Further on, once we have overcome the pandemic, we will still have to confront its devastating and enduring social and economic effects. We are aware that we are currently on the path towards a profound recession or international economic depression and that our countries of the South will suffer severely its impact.

This moment calls for everyone to set aside political differences so we can all focus on dealing with the emergency and its serious consequences in the near future.

Every country can and should make a contribution and pursue every possible effort. The pandemic knows no borders or ideologies.  In order to confront such a serious challenge we should all concert our efforts and support each other.

Most of us are relatively small States, many with scarce natural resources.  We all suffer from the global economic contraction and some have to bear the additional burden of coercive economic measures.

The capacity to complement each other

In the midst of such difficulties, we have the capacity to complement each other. If we act on our own we would hardly achieve anything.  Together we could better withstand the impact, find some relief, protect our respective peoples and engage in the difficult task of recovery.

There are countries with better conditions to confront the pandemic and palliate its economic repercussions. Those which are doing relatively better could support the countries with fewer resources and those facing the most complex epidemiological situation first and afterwards those faced with the most complex economic situation.

The actions that we expect from WHO and PAHO to ensure collective, concerted and effective efforts should be supported by the initiatives that we are all capable of generating.

Sharing respective experiences

It is indispensable to share our respective experiences, intensify communication and identify those practices that have achieved good results somewhere else in the world.

We should not expect –much less be confident- that the rich and industrialized countries will come to save our peoples.  Little assistance will come from the North.  The responsibility of facing the challenge and acting the way our citizens deserve is ours.  The ACS can play a crucial role in that endeavor.

Allow me to share briefly the experience of Cuba.

We have adopted several measures to prevent, confront and control the infection in a context in which there isn’t a local transmission of the virus as yet.  Social cohesion and solidarity have been of the essence.

We have a primary health care infrastructure that ensures epidemiological control.  Our scientific development has specialized in communicable diseases and we have a pharmaceutical industry of a high technological level.

The country has and is implementing a national program to control and confront the infection that prioritizes the health of the people as well as visitors and foreigners residing in Cuba.

Responding to medical assistance requests

Despite this difficult situation, Cuba can modestly offer some cooperation.  After making some efforts we have been responding to the medical assistance requests received from several countries in the region, including five members of the Association, which have asked for medical personnel.

Based on the experience in China with the use of a medicine created by Cuba, we have also received requests for that medication, which we are trying to satisfy to the extent of our possibilities.  We have advanced in the negotiations of an agreement with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to guarantee a minimum amount of Interferon Alpha 2B vials.

Our Organization can help us socialize our experiences; design an institutional mechanism to bring our respective medical and scientific experts closer together; learn from successful social and local approaches; and identify new forms of cooperation.

We can not underestimate the value of joint efforts.

A virtual technical workshop

Therefore we suggest to the presidency of the Council of Ministers to organize, in coordination with the Secretary-General, a virtual technical workshop in the course of the next few days among our health specialists that will make it possible to establish ways of communication to share experiences and exchange information of interest that may contribute to cope with this pandemic.

Cuba also suggests inviting other countries of the hemisphere, including the United States and Canada, which may be willing to participate in the interest of expanding coordination and exchange.

Likewise, in an interactive way, we could all share a guide or questionnaire that could make it easier for us to identify fundamental data, statistics, concepts and practices that could be enhanced with whatever we have been able to learn from the experience in other countries and regions.

I can offer the participation of our experts to create this instrument.  This is a new initiative that we submit to the consideration of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

Solidarity before inaction and selfishness

We are motivated by the fraternal values that have characterized Cuba, including the principle of sharing what we have, even if it’s scarce.  More than 400 000 Cuban professionals have accomplished missions in 164 countries of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia. The Cuban medical cooperation accumulates more than half a century of experience.

At some point in time we will have to carefully meditate about the way to face the economic, commercial and the consequent social impacts affecting all of our countries. We will be faced with a situation in which tourism will be affected; transportation will be reduced; commercial lines will be depressed; supplies will be uncertain and markets will be distorted.

We can not think that the market will respond to these challenges.  This will require the dedicated efforts of our governments.  If we join our efforts, we will have better possibilities to move forward in less time.

The reality that we all face requires that we put our willingness to take action and our solidarity before inaction and selfishness.  Humanity demands an effective solution.

Together we can make it.

Thank you, very much.

Cuban medical brigade travels to Grenada & Suriname to tackle COVID-19

Source:  Cuban News Agency

March 20 2020

Cuba’s Central Unit of Medical Collaboration reports that their medical professionals working around the world remain free of Covid-19. Photo: Nuria Barbosa

Cuban medical brigade travels to Suriname to tackle COVID-19

A brigade from the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics, staffed by 51 professionals, traveled today to Suriname to combat COVID-19, an infectious disease affecting almost all countries in the world and causing more than 11,000 deaths.

During the departure official ceremony, Dr. Francisco Sanchez, specialist in General Comprehensive Medicine and head of the brigade, read the oath emphasizing they will work to comply with the measures and protocols established for the control and strict epidemiological surveillance of COVID-19.

They will also offer Cuban experiences in the organization and execution of the plan to face the new coronavirus and stop the epidemic.

This brigade will work in a hospital in the Caribbean country where they will share experiences with national specialists in midst of the strategy to prevent and contain the global pandemic.

Cuban nurses from the health brigade Henry Reeve travel to Grenada to tackle COVID-19

The Cuban brigade, composed of five nursing professionals, specialists in intensive care, of the Henry Reeve Contingent, which will depart for Granada to fight the new coronavirus COVID-19, was bid farewell this Friday in Havana.

Marcia Cobas, deputy head of the Health Ministry (MINSAP by its Spanish acronym); Ana Teresita Gonzalez, first deputy minister of the Cuban ministry of foreign trade and foreign investment and Jorge Juan Delgado Bustillo, director of the medical collaboration unit, among others, attended the farewell ceremony.

On behalf of the group, Lic. Laritza Verdecia ratified the commitment with the country and with the public health ministry.

We are leaving with the firm conviction that everything we do to stop the epidemic will ratify what Commander in Chief Fidel Castro reiterated many times, that a better world is possible, and we will demonstrate once again the altruism, humanism and solidarity of Cuban medicine.

For her part, Marcia Cobas emphasized that more than 60 percent of the Cuban collaborators are women and highlighted the praiseworthy example of the Cuban women, who offer solidarity to countries that request it in any circumstance.

You have a crucial mission: to take care of yourselves, to comply with prevention measures and to work intensely together with the rest of the Cuban brigade to achieve the results expected by the people of Grenada and Cuba, she concluded.

 

Cuban doctors serve in 37 countries with Covid-19

Source:  Cuba Inside the World, Prensa Latina

March 21 2020

Havana, Mar 21 (P L) Cuba is providing medical cooperation today in 37 countries reporting Covid-19, confirmed a high official from the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap).
The Cuban physicians enjoy good health and measures have been taken for prevention and self-care, said Dr. Jorge Juan Delgado Bustillo, director of Minsap Central Unit of Medical Collaboration.So far, no health professional has been reported to be ill with the new coronavirus in our medical teams abroad,’ he told Granma newspaper.

The specialist stated that in all 59 nations are receiving medical assistance from Cuba.

During the last few days, Cuba has sent medical teams to Nicaragua, Venezuela, Surinam and Grenada with the mission of helping fight Covid-19.

This Saturday, 50 Cuban specialist on epidemiology are going to Lombardy, the Italian region most affected by the pandemic.

Cuba, in its usual demonstration of brotherhood and solidarity, is ready to help and to respond to the requests made to us, added the Minsap director.

He recalled that his country has proven this at different times, both when faced with natural disasters and when confronted Ebola in Africa.

There is a national feeling of wanting to cooperate. We receive messages from volunteers willing to go anywhere to help in this world’ s health situation, he said.

Cuba Sends 53 Doctors and Nurses to Fight Covid-19 in Italy

Source:  TeleSUR

March 20 2020

Jorge Gestoso

At the entrance to the hospital, a sign reads:

At the entrance to the hospital, a sign reads: “You are the real heroes”,
Bergamo, Italy, March, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @orlandoQva

Cuban health authorities announced on Thursday that the country will send 53 health professionals to Lombardy, Italy, to help contain the new coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED:  Cuba UK Cruise Ship with 5 COVID-19 Cases Starts Evacuating in Cuba

The 53 doctors and nurses have experience in caring for these types of diseases. In 2014, they traveled to Sierra Leone in West Africa to fight the Ebola virus.

According to Cuban authorities, the arrival in Lombardy will take place next Saturday, March 21.

The regional health counselor Giulio Gallera announced that the European country “requested medical support from Cuba given the shortage of health personnel in Italian hospitals.”

The Cubans, who traveled to Sierra Leone to fight the Ebola virus in 2014, will arrive in Lombardy.

“Welfare Councillor for the Lombardy Region Giulio Gallera said, ‘We will have staff from Venezuela, China, Cuba, they are doctors who will be given a place to live, but we need everyone’s skills.'”

Gallera’s request reached the competent authorities of the Caribbean island through the Cuban ambassador in Italy, Jose Carlos Rodriguez.

The Cuban doctors and nurses will join the ten professionals from China who arrived this Thursday in Milan, Italy.

“Cuban and Chinese medical personnel will be sent to a field hospital in Bergamo, the region of Lombardy most affected by the pandemic.

Italy has recorded more than 3,000 deaths from the spread of the disease, surpassing China as the country with the most deaths.

140 Cuban Healthcare Professionals Arrive in Jamaica to Combat the Coronavirus

Solidarity as a Principle

For more than 60 years of revolution, the Cuban people have defended solidarity as a principle. Evidence of this is the departure for Jamaica of a Cuban medical brigade made up of 140 health collaborators. We’ll face the Covid-19 together and cooperating,” tweeted Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

On Saturday, March 21, Jamaica welcomed the Cuban medical professionals to the island, to help in their country’s fight against COVID-19.

The medical professionals arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport, and were greeted by Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton and Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, Inés Fors Fernández.

140 cuban healthcare workers arrive in ja

According to the Ministry, the team comprises of 90 nurses specializing in critical care, emergency, medical-surgical and primary care; a team of 46 doctors who are internists and haematologists, and four therapists.

In keeping with the government’s current regulations for travel, the entire team will be quarantined for 14 days before being deployed across hospitals islandwide.

Thank you Cuba!

Health Minister Tufton warmly welcomed the group to the island.  “Thank you, Cuba for your quick response to our request for support against COVID-19.  Thanks to the local health team who coordinated to get this mission here in just over a month,” said the minister.

A spokesperson for the medical team said Cuba was happy to assist Jamaica, and stressed the importance of solidarity amid the spiraling spread of the virus. “We will assist our sister nation. We are proud of following the principles of the Cuban medical collaboration,” said Eduardo Ropero, head of the 140-member Cuban corps.

“We, along with Cuban doctors already working in Jamaica as part of a bilateral agreement between the two governments, are committed to helping address COVID-19,” he added.

In a press release issued on March 13, Cuban Consul  Ricardo Alguila provided the following statistics on the work done by professionals of the Cuban Health Brigade in Jamaica in 2019.

  • Cases seen in consultation: 215,634
  • Cases seen in the field: 942
  • Lives saved: 1,762
  • Surgeries performed: 7,349. This figure includes those of “Operación Milagro” (Ophthalmological Center), which in 2019 set a historical record for one year of work, with a total of 3,104 surgeries (1,576 cataracts, 304 pterygium, 319 laser cataracts and 905 retina laser).
  • Health fairs: 25.

Michael Manley’s vision

The medical collaboration between Jamaica and Cuba dates back to 1976 when at the request of the Michael Manley-led Jamaican government, Cuba sent a brigade of 14 doctors to the island.

This request was the fruit of a broader and bold vision of  the then Prime Ministers of Barbados (Errol Barrow), Guyana (Forbes Burnham), Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago (Eric Williams) who led the struggle to end the isolation of Cuba in the region, orchestrated by the US.  .  Manley and the other leaders argued for a united and integrated set of Caribbean nations, with no exclusion. They felt that the isolation of any Caribbean state was not in the best interest of the peoples of CARICOM and was an offspring of the cold war between two World super-powers that were external to the  region.  So, despite strong opposition from the government of the US and the leadership of the local Jamaican Labour Party, Manley and the other three leaders established diplomatic relations with Cuba, thereby starting a process which led to the inclusion of Cuba in the CARICOM.  Today they have been absolved by history and both local political parties, as well as all countries in the world except the US and the few led by its allies, look to Cuba for assistance as is happening at this very moment as the World combats the coronavirus.

 

Coronavirus and capitalism: whose ideas will prevail? Naomi Klein comments

Quote

Source:  Dear Kitty. Some Blog
March 22 2020

This 17 March 2020 video says about itself: Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It Governments around the world are busily exploiting the coronavirus crisis to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks. “I’ve spent two decades studying the transformations that take place under the cover of disaster,” writes Naomi Klein. “I’ve learned […]

via Coronavirus and capitalism, Naomi Klein comments — Dear Kitty. Some blog

Optimism beyond fear: 6 positive results following the coronavirus

Source: La Santa Mambisa

March 19 2020

 

Amid collective coronavirus psychosis, some good news began to circulate (yes, you read that right). After all, it is better to look at half of the glass that is full, than half empty.

Until now there is no vaccine tested in humans or specific treatment that fights COVID-19 , which (among many other things) has generated a strong feeling of lack of protection. However, the coronavirus pandemic has generated many impacts that have been positive for humanity.

  • You know what it is

In 1981, when Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) disease arose , it took two years for the virus to be identified and detected in patients. In the case of COVID-19 , the first cases of severe pneumonia were reported in China on December 31, 2019, and by January 7 the virus had already been identified.

  • Invaluable levels of cooperation between scientists

Open science and for everyone : in the open access search engine on medical bibliography, PubMed, 1029 articles about COVID-19 can be consulted . They are preliminary works on vaccines, treatments, epidemiology, genetics and phylogeny, diagnosis and clinical aspects.

See image on Twitter

Internet giants unite against disinformation

In addition, doctors from different areas and countries have come together to work on new analyzes that allow us to ask ourselves doubts about the possible impacts of the disease, for example on hypertensive people .

  • Decreased pollution

The pandemic is causing a general stoppage of economic activity and transport in China and in the world in general. The reduction in vehicle and aircraft travel has caused a drop in CO2 emissions such as nitrogen dioxide and fine particles, leaving a clear sky.

Airborne Nitrogen Dioxide Plummets Over China

The NASA images show that the effects of the virus are also causing a very clear reduction in the values of contaminants in the air.

Internet users have also noticed that, for example, they have photographed the Venice canal: now you can see fish swimming.

  • China closed all temporary hospitals 

The declines in cases have been so great that on March 10, doctors in Wuhan, epicenter of the epidemic in China, finally removed their chinstraps to celebrate the moment when the city closed the last of the 16 temporary hospitals , he published. the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

  • China claims it has a coronavirus vaccine

The new recombinant vaccine against COVID-19 has been approved for the first human clinical trials , reported the People’s Daily, a newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. The vaccine has been developed by Chinese epidemiologist Chen Wei and researchers affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences.

  • We have better hygiene 

We have learned the correct way to wash our hands : it takes at least 30 seconds with soap and water to clean them well and avoid transmitting diseases. In addition, we have also learned that to cough or sneeze it is convenient to do it on the elbow and never use your hands.

Cuba Saves!

Source: La Santa Mambisa

March 19 2020

By Rosa Miriam Elizalde

The cruise ship MS Braemar, with 5 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and a thousand people on board, docked shortly before dawn on Wednesday in the Port of Mariel, 40 kilometers from Havana. The airport evacuation corridor towards the runway of the “José Martí” international terminal, from where four UK planes transported the evacuees, marched with the precision of a clockwork mechanism.

While the world is holding its breath and it is impossible to predict the consequences of the pandemic, Cuba made headlines yesterday due to the transfer of the more than a thousand Braemar passengers and crew who, since March 8, have been confined to a ghost ship in the Caribbean. .  

The odyssey began when the cruise ship of the British company Fed Olsen arrived in Cartagena, where an American diagnosed shortly after with coronavirus descended. From that moment on, five Caribbean ports denied entry to the ship and the families of the cruise passengers went to the media to express fear for the fate of their loved ones and the possibility that they would be forced to travel the long way back to Europe. , exposed to massive contagion and perhaps death on an industrial scale before the ship could reach Britain.

The alarmism and the morbid media that is lived these days with the new coronavirus, turned the passengers and crew into a kind of plagued. Anthea Guthrie , a Braemar passenger and retired gardener, showed on her Facebook page a video of the moment the cruise ship was supplied 25 miles from one of the ports where it was unable to dock. A ship towed a second rudimentary barge, without a motor or crew, to bring sacks of rice and banana clusters to the Braemar, which members of the British crew boarded in the middle of the night, as fugitives on a pirate expedition.

Cuba thanked for their solidarity

The testimony of that moment was shared by Anthea after the good news was known that Cuba would receive them. She also published another video in which the passengers, relaxed on deck, thanked the island for solidarity and raised glasses to the health of Cubans. Like a veteran in the networks, she has not only been reporting from the ship, but also included the hashtag #DunkirkSpirit (Dunkirk Spirit), which refers to the evacuation of 330,000 allied soldiers – mostly British – from the French coasts in May 1940, at the start of World War II, when Adolf Hitler seemed invincible.

“For us, Dunkirk is not just talking about heroism, but about humanity. It means that there are departures in the worst of circumstances and, this time, we will have to thank Cuba, “said Anthea, relieved after the news that the cruise ship would dock on the island.

The decision by Havana to allow entry to MS Braemar, after the request of the governments of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, did not surprise Cubans, who have a long tradition of medical and humanitarian collaboration. Since the beginning of the 1960s, thousands of health workers have collaborated with almost every poor country in this world. More than 35,000 medical students from 138 countries have prepared for free on the island. After the devastating earthquakes in Pakistan (2005) and Haiti (2010), or during the Ebola crisis in West Africa, in 2014, Cuban doctors were the first to reach the territories marked by devastation.

The great paradox

The Cuban collaboration of health and its indisputable scientific results, particularly in the field of biotechnology, have provoked poisonous anger in the privileged ones of all time and sympathy and warmth in those who have never been ignored. But “the truth of Cuba”, a saving table for many during the Covid-19 pandemic, has tipped the scales towards expressions of affection directed at the “army of white coats”.  The Latin American governments that under pressure from Washington expelled the doctors, today live the double ordeal of the coronavirus and the claim of their peoples for such an act of arrogance and stupidity. A row of countries calls for the island’s medical and pharmaceutical collaboration, which have demonstrated their effectiveness in treating the sick.

The great paradox is that, while the ships with oil and food contracted by Cuba are harassed by the United States, the ships with the sick that nobody wants in their ports receive solidarity and respect in Cuba. Trump’s regime, incidentally, refused to receive Braemar, according to article published on Wednesday the newspaper The Independent .

The two most repeated words since yesterday on Twitter are “Cuba saves.” No chance.

Cuba and the Concept of Community of Nations

Source:  Internationalist 360

March 17 2020

https://i0.wp.com/www.resumen-english.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3-18-virus-bill-art-3-scaled.jpg?ssl=1Cuban medical brigade. Photo: Bill Hackwell

Some years ago I was talking to a Cuban doctor about what a remarkable achievement it was that Cuba was able to eliminate Malaria in 1973. He took the discussion in stride and said that it didn’t mean much until we eradicate Malaria in the entire world.

Today Cuba is proving once again that their view of health and battling diseases is one that is global in scope and despite living under the unilateral 60-year-old US blockade, with additional sanctions coming their way daily, they always rise to the occasion and go beyond their own capacity to assist when a disaster or a global pandemic hits like the COVID-19 gripping the world now.

Yesterday the Cuban government authorized a British cruise ship carrying five people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and another 40 in isolation with flu-like symptoms, to dock at a port on the island. Since the end of February the MS Braemar, with 682 passengers and 381 crew members aboard, has been floating around the Caribbean after being turned away by a number of countries including Barbados, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic. Cuba is now collaborating with the British government to attend to those who are infected while arranging evacuation flights from Cuba to the UK for all the passengers as soon as possible.

A major contribution that Cuba is making in the struggle against COVID-19 is with its anti-viral medicine Interferon Alpha 2B, developed in 1986 and recognized as one of the most effective medicines in treating the virus. It is credited with saving 1,500 people from the virus in China alone. Alpha 2B is being produced in large quantities in China in a cooperative joint venture not based on profit but for making supplies available to all countries. Cuban medical personnel is now being contracted to Italy, Venezuela, Jamaica and other nations along with supplies of the Interferon. Meanwhile, Cuba’s producer of medicines Bio-CubaFarma is producing 21 other compatible medicines for the treatment of complications that may arise in patients with COVID-19.

On the other end of the spectrum from Cuba’s collaborative global approach to fighting disease and illness is the entitled one nation, where’s the money to be made, the approach of the US. As more cases add up in the US not only is there no national plan there isn’t even a serious attempt to test to find out who is ill and who isn’t. States and communities are left to figure it out by themselves, hundreds of thousands of homeless, people locked up in prisons and uninsured are completely vulnerable and exposed to the disease while the focus and direction is geared towards protecting the economy and in particular the stock market. The Trump Administration had two and a half months to get it together since the outbreak of the virus manifested itself in Wuhan China, instead, they went into racist finger-pointing and denial. In January the World Health Organization had testing kits available that they offered to the government but Trump declined so that the pharmaceutical corporations could produce them for profit and we are still waiting. The initial cost for the testing was around $3000.

The gesture that Cuba made to help the people on the British cruise ship came with no strings or pats on the back needed. It is a small incident in the big picture of what is going on in the world now but it says a lot about Cuba’s concept of the community of nations. In explaining the gesture Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that said, “These times call for solidarity, understanding health as a human right and strengthening international cooperation in order to address our common challenges; values that are inherent to the humanist practice of the Cuban Revolution and people”.