By Robin Jackson
Due to the US blockade, Cuba is struggling with COVID-19, as the blockade restricts Cuba’s access to the resources it needs to protect its population and hold back the pandemic.
Cuba has been developing five vaccines against the virus, two of which in trials are reported to have an efficacy greater than 90%. During the pandemic it has stepped up its internationalism and sent thousands of medics to more than 30 countries (from Jamaica to Italy and Angola to Indonesia) to assist their fights against the virus.
Cuba needs to protect its own population of 11.3 million, but the blockade is denying Cuba access to the syringes needed to vaccinate people. It is about 20 million syringes short of the 30 million required.
Trump tightened sanctions against Cuba during the pandemic, and Biden has kept them in place. The result is that many suppliers of syringes and other medical equipment are unwilling to supply Cuba with these necessities for fear of the US. What supplies can be sourced are very costly.
Both the tightened blockade and the pandemic have severely hit Cuba’s economy. Income from tourism, an important source of foreign currency, has been drastically cut due to the pandemic.
The US wants to use the shortages it has created in Cuba to whip up the protests that it is financing. The goal is to overthrow the Cuban revolution and restore US control over the island.
For progressive people everywhere, now is the time to reciprocate Cuba’s huge solidarity and give it some genuine assistance.
How to assist in Britain
In Britain the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) is collecting funds for medical goods including:
• Specialised raw materials used in the manufacture of vaccines
• Compounds to produce medicines to treat patients infected with the virus
• Syringes and vials to administer the vaccines to the Cuban population
To donate visit here.
The CSC campaigns against the blockade and in defence of Cuban sovereignty. To join the CSC visit here.
How to assist in North America
In North America, CODEPINK is working with Global Health Partners which has received a Commerce Department license to send syringes to Cuba. Together with the Saving Lives Campaign, The People’s Forum and others, CODEPINK are trying to quickly raise $100,000 to send about 3 million syringes. When they raise more than that, they will help Cuba with other health-related needs!
To donate visit here.
To find out more about CODEPINK visit here.