Cuba has the merit of training doctors, says Reverend Jesse Jackson

Havana, Jul 1 (Prensa Latina) U.S. civil rights activist, Rev. Jesse Jackson, affirmed that if Cuba has merit today, it is the number of doctors and nurses it managed to train.

Jackson, in an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, via Skype, also highlighted the internationalist contribution of Cuban fighters who contributed to the liberation of Angola and the defeat of apartheid in South Africa.

These days, 36 years ago, the Reverend made his first visit to Cuba, which was followed by others. Perhaps that is why he confessed that he ‘was connected’ to the island a long time ago. On June 26, 1984, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, met with him in Havana.

Regarding the current scenario in his country, he said that the murder of George Floyd on May 25 sparked the fire of the fight for social justice there.

The Floyd tragedy is something ‘that happens frequently in the United States,’ said the founder of the humanitarian coalition Rainbow PUSH.

But this time it was different -he emphasized- because the Floyd lynching was recorded by a camera and the world saw how a white police officer imprisoned his neck while he was losing his breath.

He recalled the murders of Michael Brown (2014) and Trayvon Martin (2012) and other cases in which ‘the police were never incarcerated.’

The climate of the Black Lives Matter movement and in the middle of the Covid-19 Floyd’s murder ‘was the spark that lit the fire’ of the protests against racism and police brutality that found echo worldwide.

He noted that the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus pandemic, causing Covid-19, has caused too many deaths in his country; however, it is the black population that takes the worst part.

Lack of insurance and unemployment disproportionately affect blacks, who suffer most from the challenges of the disease, added the Baptist pastor born in Greenville, South Carolina.

He also commented that African Americans, who work in so-called essential services such as public transportation, are the most exposed to Covid-19 and insisted that the government gave the wrong response to the pandemic, which ‘worsened the situation.’

Referring to the elections on November 3, the religious man expressed his support for the Democratic candidate Joseph Biden, whom he said to respect and believe that his victory may be possible.

Jackson, a highly admired figure in the African-American community, a key electorate in the US, in turn underscored the need for voting as a weapon in the exercise of democracy. ‘It is an obligation for us,’ he said.

In his opinion, there must be another method of promoting relationships in the world, other than weapons, a bomb on an airplane, or someone who uses a pistol to shoot others.

A candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, Jackson may have cleared the way for the first black president in US history to arrive at the White House with the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

He will turn 79 on October 8. His activism dates back to the 1960s, when he was an assistant to Martin Luther King.

On that fatal April 4, 1968, he was next to King on the balcony of the Lorraine motel, in the city of Memphis, Tennessee, at the time he was assassinated, since then he decided to dedicate himself to trying to achieve the dream of equality that his mentor wanted.


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