“During the COVID-19 pandemic US blockade policy prevented the delivery of life saving equipment and raw materials which has cost lives and delayed the islands vaccination roll out.”
BY Jess Barnard, Young Labour
As of 18 November, Cuba had fully vaccinated almost 80 per cent of its population, including children over two-years old. Ten million Cubans (90 per cent of the population) had also received at least one dose of one of the country’s two home grown vaccines, and booster jabs are currently being administered to the most vulnerable groups.
This would be an amazing achievement for any country, but for one that is low income and has endured almost sixty years of blockade and sanctions from the US, it is truly remarkable.
During the COVID-19 pandemic US blockade policy prevented the delivery of life saving equipment and raw materials which has cost lives and delayed the islands vaccination roll out. Although Cuba has 20 per cent more of its population vaccinated than the US, the Biden administration recently offered one million vaccinations to the island – a hollow gesture which can only be interpreted as a disingenuous publicity stunt.
Rather than helping Cuba, the US government is trying to wreck recovery efforts. In the last two months alone USAID has granted $7 million for nefarious destabilisation projects. One, for example, aims to undermine Cuba’s tourism industry – a lifeline for millions of Cubans who work in or with the sector.
On 15 November tourism and schools reopened in Cuban for the first time in months. Cuba needs its own opportunity to ‘build back better’, free from US intervention and an inhumane 60-year old blockade dragging it back. Let Cuba Live! End the US blockade!
- Jess Barnard is chair of Young Labour and will be speaking the Latin America Conference – ADELANTE! in Central London on Saturday, December 4th. Build solidarity with progressive struggles across the region, with a broad range of speakers, international guests, campaigns and activists. Book your ticket here.
- You can follow Jess on twitter here, and Young Labour on Facebook and twitter.