Por Orlando Oramas León
Havana._ While the United States tries to discredit Cuba’s international medical cooperation, the number of brigades sent to different countries around the world to fight Covid-19 continues to increase.
Doctors and other health professionals that make up the brigades are part of the Henry Reeve Contingent, created by Fidel Castro in 2005 to face situations of serious epidemics and natural disasters.
These groups are an inheritance from the traditional solidarity practice of the Cuban Revolution, which did not hesitate to help those countries affected by earthquakes, flooding and other disasters – like the epidemics of dengue fever and Ebola, which Cuba helped the fight of in three West African countries.
Based on this endorsement, Havana has received and continues to receive requests for the assistance of the Cuban health specialists in the fight against the pandemic from different parts of the world – although long before the epidemics, they were already present in 59 countries. Because of this, Cuba has sent 42 health brigades to 35 countries and territories in the last three months – a deployment that is a new landmark in this practice.
In order to fight infection with the new coronavirus, over 3,000 health collaborators have been sent from Cuba – of whom, more than 60 percent are women.
The white-coated Cuban specialists are present in Venezuela, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Dominica, Surinam, among other countries of the region.
They are also present in Angola, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, South Africa, Cape Verde and the Republic of Guinea. The last brigades were sent to Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tomé & Principe.
The presence of Cuban health specialists also increases adding Persian Gulf nations such as Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, among others.
Azerbaijan, a Caucasian nation and bridge between Europe and Asia, also received over a hundred health specialists from Havana as part of an unprecedented case.
Cubans were ready to save lives in Italy and Andorra, but also in the Turks and Caicos Islands (overseas territories of the United Kingdom) and Martinique (under French sovereignty).
Some of those governments have been historically considered United States’ allies, but they do not share Washington’s crusade against Cuba’s international assistance in the field of health.
While Donald Trump accuses Havana of subjecting its doctors to human trade and even to some forms of slavery, the reality is the interest to count on Cuba’s assistance in the fight against the pandemic – and even in a post COVID-19 stage – increases around the world.
Meanwhile, requests that the Henry Reeve Contingent brigades be granted the 2021 Nobel Prize for Peace have been multiplying, with the endorsement of political and public figures, intellectuals, social activists and organizations of all types, that by doing so acknowledge Cuba’s contribution to the fight against the pandemic.