St. Kitts and Nevis Thanks Cuba for Its Aid Against COVID-19

Cuba has been at the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuba has been at the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. | Photo: EFE

Despite sanctions and a decade-long economic embargo imposed by the United States, Cuba could send medical brigades even to European nations such as Italy.

March 30 (teleSUR) The government of Saint Kitts and Nevis expressed Saturday its appreciation and gratitude for the assistance Cuban authorities are providing to the Caribbean island to help it handle the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In a message published on Twitter, Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris announced that a Cuban medical team is arriving at the country to help cure the COVID-19 cases and prevent their increase.

To date, the Caribbean nation has reported that seven people contracted the virus. No deaths were registered so far.

The coronavirus outbreak has not spared the Caribbean region which is starting to feel the social and economic consequences of the epidemic with the shut down of tourism in particular.

Governments across the region have been ordering residents to stay at home in an effort to contain the rapid spread of the deadly disease, while most of the islands have imposed travel bans.

Since the outbreak began, Cuba has been at the frontline of the fight against the pandemic, sending doctors and nurses to Caribbean nations and to more others worldwide.

In the Carribbean, so far Cuba has sent teams to Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis.

Despite sanctions and a decade-long economic embargo imposed by the United States, Cuba could send medical brigades even to European nations such as Italy.

“It just goes to the history of Cuba’s deep and long-lasting commitment to humanitarian solidarity with other countries,” Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University told Democracy Now.

“We are in a fight against a common enemy, and Cuba is a country that can make a significant contribution to that struggle. And Cuba should not be hamstrung and handicapped by U.S. sanctions,” Kornbluh said.

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Cuba’s fight against Covid-19 highlighted in Brazil

Brasilia, March 27 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s resistance and fight against the new coronavirus SARS-Cov-2, which causes Covid-19, despite the US blockade, stands out this Friday in the pages of the Brazilian newspaper Causa Operaria.

The publication assures that Cuba gives a lesson on how to treat such a dangerous disease with a public health system under the control of the State.

It indicates that the day before, the second person in Cuba infected with Covid-19 died, a 45-year-old Russian citizen who had diabetes. The first victim was an Italian tourist who had just landed on that archipelago from Lombardy.

It cites the latest assessment by Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health, published Thursday, which reports 67 people infected with the virus, as well as 1,603 patients under clinical-epidemiological surveillance in isolation and care centers (1,455 of them Cubans and 148 foreigners).

It also reports that 36,56 people are being monitored in their homes through the Primary Health Care system.

Causa Operaria assures that not only do Cuban citizens benefit from its health care system since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, but other countries also count on the island’s medical cooperation to fight the pandemic now.

It values that Cuba sent its antiviral medicine Interferon Alpha 2B to countries like Italy, Spain, Japan, China, Venezuela, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Cuban doctors also give one more lesson in internationalism, the newspaper notes, mentioning the arrival of a team of health professionals to Lombardy to help contain the infection that has killed more than eight thousand people in Italy.

Venezuela, Nicaragua, Surinam, Grenada, Belize, Jamaica… there are so many destinations for Cuban health professionals who are going around the world to fight the coronavirus plague, it notes.

In its extensive article, the newspaper also denounces the U.S. blockade against Cuba, in place since 1962, which ‘prevents any type of product from reaching Cuba’ from the neighboring power.

‘Cuba was not able to acquire medicines and specialized equipment in 2019… the blockade prevents the purchase,’ says Causa Operaria.

It warns that the U.S. Treasury Department has a special apparatus to control the products that Cuba buys around the world, a section dedicated exclusively to monitoring the commercial activities of the island.

‘With all these obstacles, Cuba resists. And it fights the coronavirus, it underlines.’


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Cuban Foreign Minister sees US response to Covid-19 as opportunistic

Havana, Mar 30 (Prensa Latina) The Minister of Foreign Relations of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez, called the response by the United States to Covid-19 ‘politically calculated’ and ‘opportunistic’.

Rodriguez Tweeted saying that ‘an objective observation of the sequence of pronunciations and actions by the government of the United States lets see that the answer to Covid-19 has been politically calculated and opportunistic.’

Rodriguez said that while the US politicians have election in mind, the country is turning into an epicenter of the pandemic and threatens millions.

The Foreign Minister denounced the discrediting campaign by the US Department of State and the US embassy in Havana against Cuba’s medical cooperation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba released a protest on March 27th for what it considered an action ‘offensive to Cuba and the rest of the world’, in times when a pandemic threatens us all and solidarity is needed.

The number of confirmed cases in the United States increases by the day, and had reached over 100 thousands, with some 1,600 dead, as per data provided by WHO.

The response by the US government has been, however, called slow and disorganized by international media.


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Venezuela highlights support of Cuba and China against Covid-19

Paris, March 30 (Prensa Latina) The Venezuelan Minister of Science and Technology, Gabriela Jimenez, highlighted on Monday at a UNESCO virtual forum the support of Cuba and China in the fight against the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus.

Speaking at the ministerial meeting dedicated to the role of science in the fight against Covid-19, the Minister acknowledged ‘the invaluable help of our Cuban brothers, who are with us in the community approach to the pandemic.

She also pointed out the recommendations of Chinese experts on therapies to be applied to patients, which are combined with the Venezuelan experience in the treatment of malaria, based on the use of drugs such as chloroquine.

In her participation, Jimenez advocated for international cooperation in confronting the Covid-19, and in particular for support to developing countries with tools for diagnosis and clinical care of sick people.

According to the Venezuelan minister, she also urges a humanist vision in the fields of science, technology and knowledge, which places research and its achievements at the service and reach of the people in the face of the attack of the pandemic.

In her speech at the virtual forum convened by Audrey Azoulay, director general of UNESCO, Jimenez denounced the blockade imposed by the United States against Venezuela, and condemned the obstacle it represents in the fight against the new coronavirus.


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British Virgin Islands requests Cuba’s medial aid to fight Covid-19

Road Town, Mar 30 (Prensa Latina) The Government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) requested the medical aid of 30 Cuban health professionals so as to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, local press media reported today.

As reported by the Daily News newspaper, Prime Minister Andrew Fahie announced the request for Cuban doctors through the Ministry of Health and the Secretariat for International Affairs, through the talks with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Cuban government as well.

Fahie stated his administration is now expecting the UK to support the overseas territory’s request to materialize Cuba’s solidarity to fight the novel SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus strain.

According to the BVI News Online site, the request comes at a time when the British Virgin Islands authorities confirmed the first two Covid-19 cases, pending the results of other nine tests.

The publication recognized the role of Cuba to fight disasters and infectious diseases worldwide, classing it as the mecca of some of the world´s best doctors.

Cuban health brigades are so far fighting Covid-19 in different nations, including Italy, Andorra, Dominica, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Suriname, Saint Lucia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Saint Kitts and Nevis, as well as Haiti.


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Cuban doctors in South Africa fight against Covid-19

Pretoria, Mar 30 (Prensa Latina) About 200 doctors from Cuba are helping to stop Covid-19 in South Africa, the country most affected in Africa by the epidemic, and where the last count placed the number of infected with SARS-CoV-2 at 1,170.

As Dr. Reynaldo Denis de Armas, chief of the Cuban medical brigade, explained to Prensa Latina, the Cuban doctors are distributed in eight of the country’s nine provinces, and are working in 111 health institutions, at the regional and district levels, as well as in rural, difficult to access areas.

De Armas explained that in anticipation of the country’s current health status, all the personnel were trained in relation to work under the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to General Comprehensive Medicine specialist Oyantais Matos, who is working in Soweto, Johannesburg, she is currently making direct consultations with patients suffering acute respiratory conditions who are attending the Chiawelo community clinic.

In the clinic, she says, some patients appreciate the presence of the Cuban doctors, while others wonder how Cuba can send that many doctors to different countries to assist.

Specialist Matos adds that as a peculiarity of her work, of the 12 interns with whom they are working, seven studied and graduated as doctors in Cuba.

Doctor Belkis Gomez, who is working at the Casualty Hospital of the Free State province, told how in the process of detecting possible suspected cases of the disease, she emphasizes education to the population regarding prevention as the main measure to cut transmission.

Cuban Ambassador to South Africa Rodolfo Benitez met this week the Health Minister of South Africa Zweli Mkhize; during the meeting they focused on joint efforts to tackle the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Mkhize conveyed to Benitez the gratitude of the South African people and government for the professional and consecrated work of the Cuban doctors in the country, as well as for the training of the more than 600 young people who will graduate as doctors this year as part of the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro Cooperation Program.

According to a press release from the Cuban diplomatic mission, this will be the largest graduation of doctors in the history of South Africa so far.


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Chinese Specialists Arrive in Venezuela to Combat Coronavirus

Venezuelan government delegation greets the Chinese envoy of medical specialists in Caracas on Monday, March 30th.
Venezuelan government delegation greets the Chinese envoy of medical specialists in Caracas on Monday, March 30th. | Photo: teleSUR

China has come to the aid of several nations affected by the coronavirus, including countries like Italy and Iran, who have been deeply impacted by the illness. 

March 30 (teleSUR) On Monday morning, a HAINAN Airlines flight from Beijing arrived in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, to deliver aid and transport several medical specialists to help fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to reports, the HAINAN Airlines aircraft arrived in Caracas at 2:30 A.M. (local time) on Monday. The aircraft reportedly transported a large amount of humanitarian aid and eight specialist.

“At 2.30 in the morning, a HAINAN Airlines plane arrived that brought to Venezuela eight Chinese specialists in respiratory conditions to help fight # Covid19. It is the third flight between the two countries in the context of the emergency,” teleSUR correspondent Leonel Retamal Muñoz reported. 

China has come to the aid of several nations affected by the coronavirus, including countries like Italy and Iran, who have been deeply impacted by the illness. 

While the total number of coronavirus cases in Venezuela is currently low in comparison to South American countries like Ecuador and Brazil, nevertheless, the Bolivarian Republic has taken precautionary measures to ensure that this illness doesn’t spread. 

Over the last few days, the Venezuelan authorities have issued statements demanding the U.S. government and European Union lift their sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic. 

The request has mostly been ignored – especially by the U.S. – as Washington attempts to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela. ​​​​​​​

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Cuba has human resources to cope with Covid-19 and offer help

Havana, Mar 30 (Prensa Latina) Cuba has enough human resources to cope with Covid-19, as well as to provide assistance abroad, Public Health (MINSAP) Minister Jose Angel Portal said.

Cuba has 95,000 physicians, 84,000 nurses and a ratio of nine doctors per every 1,000 people; in summary, that means enough availability to help whoever needs it as well, the minister told a press conference on Saturday.

‘Notwithstanding, we are weighing it with pin-point accuracy, when assessing the professionals who can go in a mission to other countries, always without affecting our people,’ the doctor noted.

Over the past week, Cuba has sent medical personnel to a dozen countries in response to requests from their governments to curb the spreading of Covid-19.

According to the MINSAP, the Cuban staff has arrived in regions like Lombardy, in Italy, and Andorra, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, Saint Lucia and Belize.

So far, more than 40 countries have requested Cuba’s assistance to fight the epidemic, which already affects more than 170 countries in the world.


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India: The Wire highlights Cuba’s coronavirus response

New Delhi, Mar 27 (Prensa Latina) ‘Cuba’s Coronavirus Response Is Putting Other Countries to Shame’ is the title of an article published recently in The Wire.

The Indian news website noted how the blockaded Caribbean island saved the MS Braemar, a transatlantic cruise ship carrying 682 passengers from the United Kingdom, from the pandemic, after it was rejected in several Caribbean ports.

The ship was stranded at high sea when five people on board tested positive for the new coronavirus and scores of passengers and crew members were isolated after showing symptoms of Covid-19.

The United Kingdom contacted both the United States and Cuba in its search for an entry port for the MS Braemar, but only Cuba received the cruise ship.

After docking in the Cuban port of Mariel, the passengers who were healthy enough to travel to their countries of origin were taken to Havana’s international airport.

Those who were too sick to fly were offered treatment at local hospitals, although Cuba only had ten confirmed Covid-19 cases at the time, and accepting the cruise patients might pose a threat for the Caribbean island.

Despite being a poor nation due to the effects of the 60-year-old economic blockade imposed by the United States, Cuba is better positioned that many countries to confront the coronavirus pandemic, The Wire noted.

It added that Cuba’s health system guarantees medical care to all people, with biotechnological innovations like the antiviral drug Interferon Alfa-2B, which successfully helped fight the coronavirus in China.

‘The same humanitarian and internationalist spirit that led Cuba to allow the Braemar to dock has also led the tiny country to send doctors to assist Haiti after that nation’s devastating 2010 earthquake, fight Ebola in West Africa in 2014, and, most recently, help Italy’s overwhelmed health system amid the coronavirus pandemic,’ The Wire noted.

It recalled that Cuba offered similar assistance to the US people after Hurricane Katrina hit that country, but it was rebuffed by the Bush administration.


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Russia: The West and Cuba’s solidarity against Covid-19

 Russia: The West and Cuba's solidarity against Covid-19

Moscow, Mar 29 (Prensa Latina) Russia highlighted the inconsistencies that have arisen in the world as a small country such as Cuba expresses its solidarity and helps other wealthier nations amid the fight against the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

I would like to draw attention on the manifestation of diametrically inherent qualities by individual members of the international community, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.

The official recalled that Cuban Ambassador to Russia Gerardo Peñalver Portal spoke via video conference with Foreign Ministry’s journalists about the measures being taken in his country and the unconditional assistance provided by Cuba to other nations.

I would like to recall that among several Caribbean countries, included the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations, only Cuba agreed to accept (40 kilometers from Havana) the British cruise ship MS Braemar, with five confirmed coronavirus cases on board, Zakharova pointed out.

In addition, the cruise ship had 52 people with symptoms of the disease. As a result of this humanitarian operation, more than 1,000 passengers and crew members were sent to the United Kingdom, she stressed.

Similarly, and aware of all risks for its citizens, Havana responded to Italy’s request for help and sent 52 doctors to the Lombardy region, the spokeswoman stressed. Cuban doctors are also saving lives in Venezuela, Grenada, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname and Jamaica, the Russian official said.

Likewise, successfully tested medicines, particularly in China, have been delivered, including those manufactured in Cuba such as Interferon Alfa 2B, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

However, at the same time, there are those who do not like these efforts and Washington’s reaction was not slow in coming. From there, some people have warned about the ‘dangers’ of cooperation with Cuba in the fight against the coronavirus, she said.

With the example of the humanitarian aid that Russia has provided to Italy, the humanitarian aid that Cuba and China have lend to several countries, we see how a media aggression is developing against them, Zakharova denounced.


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