While scrolling through Instagram, I saw a post which indicated that Russia had sent 88 tons of humanitarian aid to Cuba. I did a further Google search to find out more about such a gesture and found a report published in Télam dated July 26, 2021, about Cuba receiving humanitarian aid from Russia and Mexico to help it face the pandemic and the crisis. The Cuban government had reported on Monday that it received a million masks, as well as protective equipment and food sent by the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, to help the country face the increase in cases of Covid-19 and the economic difficulties that the island is going through due to the embargo imposed by the United States.
The deterioration of the economic situation in recent months and the advance of the coronavirus worsened the social situation, which was manifested in unprecedented protests on July 11 in some 40 cities on the island. In addition, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (of Mexico) dispatched syringes, oxygen, masks, milk, beans, wheat flour, tuna, oil and fuel. Cuba is experiencing a great lack of supplies due to the intensification of the US embargo. On the following day, 19digital.com published that the Nicaraguan government would send a ship with Nicaraguan food through the country’s vice president, Compañera Rosario Murillo, to the people and government of Cuba. “They are foods that represent the respect and eternal gratitude of the Nicaraguan people, of our revolution. To the people of Fidel, of Raúl, of Miguel, to the Cuban Revolution; by God’s grace, shipments will be leaving as soon as possible”, declared the vice president. The next day, Telesur shared that the president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, did the same, and last Monday, one of Cuba’s national days, he announced the approval of a decree to send a plane with syringes and food for the Cuban people. Arce affirmed that it has been learnt from Cuba that the ideology of solidarity is sharing what little one has with those who need it most.
The initiatives of these governments are in addition to those carried out by civil society organizations from various countries in the Latin American region. From Europe, shipments of humanitarian aid have also been organized, especially syringes and medical supplies to support the vaccination campaign in Cuba, which is carried out with their own drugs. Furthermore, Cuba announced on July 29, 2021 in SWI that starting July 30, the government will deliver directly to families throughout the country the food received through humanitarian aid donations from abroad. The distribution of humanitarian aid — which will be done gradually and free of charge — will begin in Havana, and each module will include products such as rice, grains, oil, tuna, canned meat, pasta and sugar. Priority will be given to those who are 65 years and older.
Cubadebate posted today, August 1, that Mexico had sent another shipment of humanitarian aid to the port of Havana, and the Mexican ambassador in Cuba, Miguel Díaz Reynoso, affirmed that the arrival of this ship is part of the constant efforts at collaboration between two sister nations, united by historical ties. The Paloapan ship, of the Mexican Navy, arrived this Sunday at the port of Havana with 1,250 tons of medical supplies (masks, oxygen, hospital material) and food, destined to aid the Covid-19 response in Cuba. The day before, an Air Force aircraft from that country also arrived with medical supplies to support the island’s health system. On that same day, Santiago de Cuba received humanitarian aid from Jamaica. This first shipment, which will be followed by another in the next few days, included syringes, injection needles, cannulas, masks and face shields, useful for anesthesia and disinfectants, which will be quickly distributed in the Santiago hospital network.
August 1, 2021