Cuba is providing an example of solidarity, says EU ambassador

Havana, jul 29 (Prensa Latina) The European Union (EU) ambassador to Cuba, Alberto Navarro, said that the island is today giving an example of solidarity in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, by sending medical missions abroad to help countries in need.

In an interview with Cubadebate, the diplomat stressed that this is the first time in history that this regional block has received collaborators from the Caribbean nation, as happened in Italy and overseas territories such as Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands, among others.

Cuba has mustered 45 medical teams, including doctors, nurses, lab technicians and epidemiologists, which have worked in 37 nations.

When the pandemic passes, one of the traces that will remain is this example of solidarity that Cuba is giving, he emphasized.

Regarding the management of the disease, Navarro considered that it is being managed ‘reasonably well’ and that his experience, like that of Uruguay, stands out in the Americas region.

Here we all have to learn, he said, adding that with the great strengths of Cuba’s health sector and those of the EU, the best possible way to deal with the pandemic can be found.

In this sense, he stressed that the European bloc is exploring ‘the possibility of creating a school like the ELAM (Latin American School of Medicine) for Africa, where there is also a great need,’ with Cuban know-how and European funds.

There are also half a dozen research projects with Cuban institutes under Horizon 2020, the EU’s scientific cooperation program, and six projects submitted to the Covid-19 call for proposals, pending selection.

In this area, cooperation for the domestic manufacture of mechanical mini-fans, which is already underway, and support for local production of protection equipment, with Cuban design and international standards, as well as diagnostic tools, stand out.

The ambassador welcomed the new measures announced by President Miguel Diaz-Canel to boost the economy in the face of the global crisis, when Cuba also has to suffer ‘the reinforced blockade by the United States.

He mentioned that, amid the pandemic, the EU is reorienting its cooperation programs with the island in the areas of sustainable agriculture and health, in order to support the Caribbean country’s efforts.

It also extends cooperation to scientific research in bio-pharmaceutics, culture, academic exchange and other areas, which should be extended to digitization, during the 2021-2027 cycle.

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