Lula, Recovered from COVID in Cuba, Praises Cuban Health System

In his meeting Tuesday with the high leadership of the Cuban government, Lula condemned Cuba's inclusion in the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism List.
In his meeting Tuesday with the high leadership of the Cuban government, Lula condemned Cuba’s inclusion in the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism List. | Photo: Twitter/@LulaOficial

The former Brazilian president reiterated his appreciation for the work carried out by Cuban health personnel in Brazil.

Jan 21 (teleSUR) The president of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, reported on his official Twitter account Wednesday of the meeting he held with former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Raúl Castro Ruz, at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba on Tuesday.

“We held a fraternal meeting between revolutionary brothers. For Cuba it has been an honor to have Lula among us, his words of rejection to imperial aggressions and the strengthening of the blockade are very familiar to us,” the Cuban president said. 

Lula, who arrived at the Caribbean island on December 21 to take part in the filming of an upcoming documentary by U.S. director Oliver Stone, notified his Twitter followers Thursday that his second PCR test on December 26th came back positive, leading to a change of his itinerary while in Cuba.

Despite Lula and many members of his delegations’ positive COVID-19 diagnoses, the ex-president and political prisoner was quickly healed by Cuban medical personnel, about whom he said he “will never forget Cuban solidarity and the commitment to science of its professionals.”

The Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, who was also present at the meeting Tuesday, thanked on his official Twitter account “the fraternal visit and the message of solidarity of our brother ex-President Lula, given the inclusion of Cuba in the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism; as well as his repudiation of the continued strengthening of the U.S. blockade against our country.”

In his visit to Cuba, from where he returned to Brazil on Wednesday, Lula delivered a document condemning the island’s inclusion in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. In the letter, the former president points out the measure as a “despicable and opportunistic ploy” in one of President Trump’s latest acts.


Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermú[email protected]Sostuvimos fraternal encuentro entre hermanos revolucionarios. Para Cuba ha sido un honor tener a Lula entre nosotros, sus palabras de rechazo a las agresiones imperiales y al reforzamiento del bloqueo nos resultan muy familiares. Gracias por tu solidaridad, respeto y cariño.

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“We had a fraternal meeting between revolutionary brothers. For Cuba, it has been an honor to have Lula among us; his words of rejection of imperial aggressions and the blockade’s reinforcement are very familiar to us. Thank you for your solidarity, respect, and affection.”

In the document, the leader of the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) points out that “Donald Trump leaves history by the back door and demonstrates once again the vile man who, in a despicable and opportunistic maneuver, is accused of the main hallmark of his administration: the lie.”

“I am writing to you, comrade President Díaz Canel, with the hope that this and other persecutory policies will be reviewed and that Cuba will find good winds to overcome, as it has been doing for sixty years, storms like COVID-19, a tragedy that punishes people all over the world,” Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva stressed.

The former Brazilian president reiterated his recognition for the work carried out by Cuban health personnel and the work still being carried out by health personnel in different parts of the world. He also thanked the Cuban people for their solidarity and defense of his freedom during his imprisonment in Curitiba, Paraná.

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Nobel Prize Committee registers Russia’s nominations to Cuban doctors

Nobel Prize Committee registers Russia's nominations to Cuban doctors

Moscow, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) A petition from three Russian professors to grant the Nobel Peace Prize to Cuba’s Henry Reeve medical contingent was registered by the Norwegian Committee that grants the prize, Russian universities reported on Thursday.

According to these sources, Irina Kraeva, rector of the Moscow State Linguistic University, received the ceritification from the committee for the petition on grounds of the contingent’s contribution to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The same happened with Alexander Klimov, rector of the Russian University of Transport, and Alexander Panichev, rector of Emperor Alexander I St. Petersburg State Media University.

Local media also reported the reply from the Nobel Prize Committee to a petition by Dmitri Novikov, first vice president of the Committee on International Relations of the Duma (lower house) and vice president of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Novikov is also the coordinator of the Cuba-Russia parliamentarian friendship group in the Duma.

On November 30, the petition sent by Russian university rector Andrei Alexandrov was confirmed.

After the petition made by Alexandrov, head of the ‘I.N. Ulianov’ University, due to the contribution of the brigade to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the committee replied in a letter that ‘your nomination for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was duly registered.’

‘The Nobel Prize Committee expresses its gratitude for your intention of nominating that candidacy,’ it was written in the document sent to Alexandrov, head of the teaching center located in Chubashia province, the Cuba-Russia Friendship Society (CRFS) indicated.

The nominations sent by Oleg Abakumov, head of the CRFS in Saratov province, and Nikolai Dmitriev, head of that organization in Tula province, were also confirmed.

The petitions sent by the rector of the Altai State Pedagogical University, Irina Lazarenko, and the vice rector for teaching work and international activity of that institution, PhD Candidate Arkadi Kontev, were also received by the Norwegian committee.

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Cuba, Russia FMs hold talks on bilateral relations

Cuba, Russia FMs hold talks on bilateral relations

Havana, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez held a telephone conversation on Thursday with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, about the state of the bilateral relations.

On his Twitter account, Rodriguez referred to the exchange of opinions, which also dealt with issues on the regional and international agenda.

Cuba and Russia have maintained a fluid economic cooperation in several fields, which is complemented by close ties in the political field.

In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed during the reception in which the Cuban Ambassador presented his credentials that Cuba is a reliable partner and bilateral cooperation has a strategic nature.

Putin highlighted the joint large-scale projects in the fields of energy, metallurgy, transportation infrastructure and medicine, where Cuba ‘has a leading position in several areas.’

Russia has shown permanent support for Cuba, not only in its condemnation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade the United States has imposed on Cuba for almost 60 years, but also in rejecting the coercive measures implemented by Washington.

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Cuban docs currently work in 26 countries against Covid-19

Havana, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) Thirty-nine medical teams of the Henry Reeve international contingent, sent by Cuba, are contributing to efforts of 26 countries to curbe the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported there is a total of 2,544 collaborators in these teams, of which 1,061 guarantee the care of patients sick with Covid-19.

Of these health professionals, 909 work in the so-called red zone, while 99 assist isolation centers.

To date, 55 brigades of the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics have worked in 40 countries, and have treated more than 1,090,790 people.

The Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, recently recalled on Twitter Cuba’s contribution against Covid-19 on all continents, and pointed out that these groups are in addition to the medical collaboration in 59 nations, where they ‘extend solidarity and save lives’.

The Henry Reeve medical brigades were created in 2005 as an initiative of the late Fidel Castro in response to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, in the United States.

The International Contingent of Cuban doctors has received nominations to the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize from various countries for its contribution to health, particularly in the context of the pandemic.

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Cuba and EU Reaffirm Bilateral Ties

The European union representatives remarked the collaboration between both parties to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European union representatives remarked the collaboration between both parties to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. | Photo: Twitter/ @CUBAMinrex

The parties confirmed their willingness to enhance their bilateral ties by consolidating the Agreement for Political Dialogue and Cooperation (ADPC), signed in 2016. 

Jan 20 (teleSUR) On Wednesday, Cuba and the European Union held their third Joint Council during a virtual meeting headed by the high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and the Foreign Affair Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.

The parties confirmed their willingness to enhance their bilateral ties by consolidating the Agreement for Political Dialogue and Cooperation (ADPC), signed in 2016. “It is possible to build spaces for dialogue and cooperation for mutual benefit while respecting our differences,” said the Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla. “Relations between Cuba and the European Union are progressing towards their consolidation,” the official added.

“The third Joint Council between #Cuba and #Europeanunion met today in a virtual format with the presence of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, and the Cuban Chancellor.”

The European counterpart highlighted the cooperation and support sustained over these years, especially in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Donald Trump’s administration attempted to turn down the Cuban government by imposing more than 200 sanctions in 2020 alone, the European Union has backed Cuba.

On Wednesday, the block reiterated its rejection to the U.S. blockade, the application of Titles III and IV of the Helms-Burton Act. Similarly, Cuba’s inclusion on the list of States Sponsoring Terrorism of the United States Department of State.

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Cuba Will Produce 100 Million Doses of Its COVID-19 Vaccine

Despite being a small country, Cuba has a developed scientific pole that produces almost all the vaccines it needs and state-of-the-art medicines.
Despite being a small country, Cuba has a developed scientific pole that produces almost all the vaccines it needs and state-of-the-art medicines. | Photo: @FinlayInstituto

This year, Cuba will produce 100 million doses of its new Soberana 02 coronavirus vaccine to meet its internal demand and those of other countries, a leading Cuban scientist reported on Wednesday.

Jan 20 (teleSUR) “We are reorganizing our production capacities because we really have a lot of demand for the vaccine and we have to prepare ourselves,” Vicente Vérez, director of the Finlay Institute, told a group of journalists at a conference in which he gave a tour of the laboratory where the vaccine against COVID-19 is manufactured.

The Finlay Institute has created both Soberana 02 and Soberana 01, the latter in a less advanced research phase. Other biotechnology centers on the island are working on two more vaccine candidates, Abdala and Mambisa.
 

The 100 million doses planned would be only of Soberana 02. There are already countries interested in acquiring it, such as Vietnam, Iran, and Venezuela, among others, with which the island has collaboration agreements, including Pakistan and India, Vérez said.

This week began the second part of a Phase II trial of this product with 900 patients — who joined about a hundred from the first stage — at a polyclinic in the capital; The Associated Press reported the day before.

The volunteers — one group of whom received a placebo as part of the study, although they will be immunized with the actual vaccine once it is over — said they reported no discomfort. Even some neighbors at the polyclinic came forward to volunteer as part of the trial.

After being injected, people–ranging in age from 19 to 80 years–waited at the same polyclinic before returning home and were followed up at 24, 48, and 72 hours.

Vérez stressed that the antigen is safe after pointing out that it does not contain the live virus. Still, parts of it, so—according to the expert—its placement generates immunity but does not cause significant reactions and therefore does not need extra refrigeration, like other candidates in the world.

Meanwhile, Finlay’s researchers are working with countries such as Italy and Canada to verify the impact of these vaccines -especially Soberana 01- on people who have already had COVID-19 and are convalescent but at risk of reinfection. Effectiveness is also being assessed for the impact of new mutations such as the one described in Great Britain, Japan, or California.

Over the next few weeks, vaccination will be extended to 150,000 people on the island, confirmed Vérez, on the way to mass immunization, and a test will be carried out in February to protect children with Soberana 02, he said.

After several months of keeping the pandemic under control, Cuba suffered a resurgence at the beginning of this year, after the opening of its airports and despite having a preventive health protocol. From March to date, 19,122 infections and 180 deaths have accumulated on the island.

The scientist did not offer details of the price that the vaccine will have for its sale to other countries. In Cuba, its administration will be free and voluntary.

Despite being a small country, Cuba has a developed scientific pole that produces almost all the vaccines it needs and state-of-the-art medicines.

“Cuba’s strategy of commercializing the vaccine has a combination of humanity and impact on health and the need of our system to sustain (financially) the production of vaccine and medicines for the country,” expressed Vérez.

“We are not a multinational where the (financial) return is the number one reason,” he added. “We work the other way around; creating more health and return is a consequence; it will never be the priority.”

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Cuba expresses condolences over Zimbabwean foreign minister’s death

Cuba expresses condolences over Zimbabwean foreign minister's death

Havana, Jan 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez expressed his country’s deepest condolences on Wednesday over the death of Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo.

On his Twitter account, Rodriguez conveyed grief to the Zimbabwean people and Government, which he extended to the diplomat’s relatives and friends.

According to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the foreign minister died of Covid-19.

Moyo fought all his life so that Zimbabwe could be free, and said he was a personal friend, the president stated.

George Charamba, secretary of the Presidency and the Government, noted in a statement that Moyo died at a local hospital, according to The Herald newspaper.

Moyo’s death comes after that of Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Perrance Shiri, who passed away of Covid-19 in July 2020.

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VUFO activists challenge accusation that Cuba sponsors terrorism

VUFO activists challenge accusation that Cuba sponsors terrorism

Hanoi, Jan 20 (Prensa Latina) Two important friendship and solidarity organizations in Vietnam on Wednesday rejected the outgoing US government’s decision to include Cuba in the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

What Cuba does do, as a diaphanous prove of international solidarity, is to actively contribute to peace, friendship and cooperation, according to the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organization (VUFO) and the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association (AAVC) in letter to the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).

As an example, they cited the Henry Reeve International Medical Contingent Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics, whose members have saved lives or helped millions of people around the globe for last 15 years.

Cuba’s inclusion in the list of state sponsors of terrorism is irrational and unjustified, Nguyen Phuong Nga, VUFO’s president and Nguyen Viet Thao, AAVC’s permanent vice president stated.

We trust and decisively support the noble and just revolutionary cause of the Cuban people in constructing and developing an independent, sovereign, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation.

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Palestinians condemn US accusation against Cuba

Palestinians condemn US accusation against Cuba

Ramallah, Jan 20 (Prensa Latina) The President of the Palestine-Cuba Friendship Association Mohamed Abuatwan on Wednesday condemned the US decision to include Cuba in the list of state sponsors of terrorism and highlighted Cuban people’s peaceful spirit and solidarity.
Palestinians condemn US accusation against CubaSpeaking to Prensa Latina News Agency via Internet, Mohamed Abuatwan highlighted the Cuban health professionals’ efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in several countries, in addition to the scholarships granted by Cuba to young people from abroad so that they can do university studies, especially medicine, he said.

Is the US administration not aware of the Cuban doctors’ achievements? Is it not aware of most of countries’ condemnation to the unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade sustained by previous US governments, and their hostility against Havana? Abuatwan asked.

International groups and personalities strongly rejected such a decision, adopted by Donald Trump.

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Cuba ratifies solidarity principles with ALBA-TCP in Covid-19 times

Havana, Jan 19 (Prensa Latina) The current fight against the Covid-19 pandemic demands more than ever solidarity to share experiences and good practices, assured on Tuesday Miriam Alpizar, Cuba’s deputy minister of Education.

During a meeting convened by the Social Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), the representative called for a dynamic, concerted and effective response among the bloc members.

‘We reiterate the commitment and willingness of our country in the response to Covid-19 and, in particular, to sustain scientific exchanges and advise strategies to fight against the pandemic,’ she stressed.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Public Health Regla Angulo recognized the potential of the sector in Cuba as fundamental to face the aftermaths of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus despite the US blockade’s impact.

‘The capacities in terms of infrastructure, organization and human capital of the Public Health System, along with the use of products, equipment and inputs from the Cuban medical pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry were decisive,’ she said.

As a result, Cuba counts out 93.1 percent of recoveries from Covid-19, no children or adolescents died, there are no maternal or health personnel deaths from Covid-19, and the healthcare system did not collapse.

In addition, the nation supported the fight against Covid-19 in 40 countries or territories at the request of several governments, in addition to collaboration in 59 States.

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