Havana (Prensa Latina) Numerous signs of rejection generate the new maneuver of the United States against Cuba’s medical cooperation with other countries, by trying to sanction those who receive it.
This is, as the island’s foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez recently said, a desperate action proposed by Senators Marco Rubio, Rick Scott and Ted Cruz, who seek to punish those who do not follow ‘the isolated and reprehensible conduct of the U.S. government’.
In view of the impossibility of erasing the truth that the Caribbean nation saves lives, they are now resorting to the presentation of a bill that urges the State Department to consider in its annual report on human trafficking, the countries that are receiving the Cuban cooperation.
It is an action that seeks to dissuade States from establishing agreements with Cuba, since being included in level three of that unilateral report prepared by the United States Government implies being subject to restrictions on certain types of foreign aid and other United States and multilateral funds.
But it is not surprising that this type of strategy is used, in light of the failure of the multiple aggressions that preceded the cooperation programs in the area of health that the island sustains.
To cite just a few examples, remember that in early May the U.S. administration announced that it would devote another $2 million to attacking such programs, which is in addition to the $3 million earmarked for that purpose in August 2019.
In other words, in less than a year, five million dollars have been available to finance the machinery of discredit that it catalogues as ‘exploitation’, ‘forced labor’ and ‘human trafficking’, the work of Cuban professionals in other parts of the world.
With the intention of spreading that matrix, moreover, last April the U.S. State Department released a document entitled The Truth about Cuba’s Medical Missions, which sought to distort the nature of cooperation.
This is added to the many warnings that this government entity and its officials make through their accounts in social networks, so that other countries reject Cuban aid in the face of the health emergency generated by Covid-19.
FAILURE OF SUCH ACTIONS
Such actions have failed, as governments continued to request the support of the Caribbean nation, which responded by sending over 3,300 specialists to 28 countries, including Italy and the United Kingdom, the latter in its overseas territory of Turks and Caicos Islands.
It was then the turn of the Pan American Health Organization, which was threatened by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, due to its role as intermediary between Cuba and Brazil during the More Doctors program, which benefited more than 113 million Brazilians.
But despite all that Washington is trying to demonstrate with its campaign, and with its important role in the withdrawal of Cuban doctors from Brazil (2018), Bolivia and Ecuador (2019), recognition of the Caribbean island’s health personnel is sustained and increased.
This was admitted by the Miami Herald last April, when it quoted observers and analysts from the Caribbean region, who stated that Cuba’s medical brigades are ‘necessary and appreciated’.
It was also ratified by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, which at the 69th session of the Authority Meeting on June 18, approved a resolution repudiating U.S. actions to discredit Cuban cooperation and expressed its appreciation to the island for its support against the pandemic.
The Antigua and Barbuda ambassador to the United States, Ronald Sanders, made it very clear that the proposed U.S. legislation ignores the sovereignty of other countries to establish agreements and disregards international law and norms.
In an article published on the Caribbean News Global site, he noted that the island’s professionals made a great and beneficial difference in the ability of the area’s governments to deal with Covid-19.
Sanders pointed out that Caribbean countries have not had experience to corroborate that Cuban cooperation is carried out on the basis of forced labor, and reaffirmed that those medical personnel have always behaved professionally.
He added that the Caribbean does not need coercion for political purposes, but help, and revealed that Senators Rubio, Scott and Cruz are diverting requests for meetings from many ambassadors in the region.
The cooperation that Washington does not provide is found by many governments in the largest of the West Indies; it is a 30-year history in the Caribbean area that is not limited to sending professionals, but contributes to human resource development through scholarships that wealthier neighbors do not offer, Sanders said.
Against this prestige, gained over decades around the world and enhanced in this time of pandemic, the new U.S. legislative proposal of June 17 appeals to the threat as a way out of frustration.
ATTEMPT TO OVERSHADOW SIGNIFICANT RESULTS
It could also be said that it is an attempt to overshadow the significant results of the socialist state in confronting the new disease, despite its scarce resources and the intensification of the blockade; while the United States, with all its power, had difficulty responding to the demands that the health emergency imposed on its health system.
The senators promoting the initiative maintain that their intention is to cut off funds for the Cuban government, but there is no doubt that they also intend to tarnish the professionalism and commitment of the Cubans.
The fact that this type of action is being encouraged just when international personalities and organizations are requesting the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the international contingent of doctors specialized in disaster situations and serious epidemics, Henry Reeve, points in that direction.
More than 12,300 signatures have so far supported the petition, including those of US intellectual Noam Chomsky, actors Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.
They recognize those who leave home and go to any part of the world to fight for life, whether it be in the face of a hurricane, an earthquake or an epidemic like Ebola and Covid-19.
The international contingent of doctors specialized in disaster situations and serious epidemics, Henry Reeve, founded by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, in 2005, and who received the Dr. Lee Jong-wook Public Health Award from the World Health Organization in 2017, is just one expression of a country’s policy of solidarity.
For more than half a century, Cuba has been sharing with other peoples what it has, in this case the knowledge and love of its professionals, who in numbers exceeding 400,000 have reached more than 160 nations.
It is impossible that so many people are forced to do what they don’t want to do, even more than once, like some cooperators who accumulate several internationalist missions; but Rubio, Scott and Cruz know this, even though they deny it with this desperate proposal.
(Taken from PL)