California Workers Seek Cuban Medical Collaboration on COVID-19

Members of Cuba's Henry Reeve international medical brigade participate in a ceremony before leaving for the Italian region of Piedmont. Havana, Cuba. April 12, 2020.
Members of Cuba’s Henry Reeve international medical brigade participate in a ceremony before leaving for the Italian region of Piedmont. Havana, Cuba. April 12, 2020. | Photo: EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa

The Sacramento Central Labor Council passed a resolution Monday calling for collaboration between the State of California and Cuba to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as urging to lift the blockade on the Caribbean island.

August 25 (teleSUR) The labor organization, which represents 170,000 workers in 90 unions in six counties in northern California (Sacramento, Yolo, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, and Nevada), also called on the U.S. Congress to suspend economic sanctions as well as travel and trade restrictions on Cuba.

The Sacramento Central Labor Council joins a growing number of U.S. cities, states, institutions, and organizations calling for medical collaboration and support from Cuba on COVID-19, which include San FranciscoCleveland,  Minnesota, and more. 

The United States, which is nearing 6 million positive cases of COVID-19, the highest worldwide, could greatly benefit from Cuba’s medical and scientific expertise, the resolution states, noting that Cuba has sent over 2,000 medical professionals abroad as part of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade to confront the virus. 

The resolution states that over 50 countries have requested support from Cuba’s brigades, which brings with them treatment regimens for patients and prevention protocols for health workers that have become standard in China, Cuba, and elsewhere.

The Sacramento Labor Council, one of 500 state and local councils forming part of the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation in the United States, urged the California Department of Public Health to explore collaborations with the island’s counterpart. The resolution also states that the Labor Council will communicate with city councils and local authorities to support the document and approve similar resolutions.

The document also insists that both Congress and the U.S. President lift all restrictions imposed on Cuban medicine, and calls on members to contact U.S. federal representatives asking them to cease the measures preventing Cuba from importing equipment and medicines to confront COVID-19, as well as stopping attempts to pressure other countries to reject Cuba’s medical brigades and assistance.