Italy requested doctors from China, Cuba, and Venezuela to contain the coronavirus, while Cuba rescued a ship of British citizens. Meanwhile, US sanctions worsen the toll of the Covid-19 crisis in Iran and Venezuela.
The sanctions that the United States has imposed on dozens of countries around the world, in an attempt to overthrow their independent governments, have only made the global coronavirus pandemic worse. But at the same time, some of these nations targeted by US economic warfare have taken the lead in the effort to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
In fact, the local government in the north of Italy, a member of the European Union and NATO, has officially requested medical help from China, Cuba, and Venezuela — all countries demonized by the United States and EU, which in turn have provided Italy with little support.
The Italian government lamented that “not a single EU country” has responded to its request for medical equipment — unlike China, which immediately helped.
And it is not just Italy; Britain has also relied on Cuba to help it battle the contagious virus.
The northern Italian region of Lombardy has been particularly hard hit by coronavirus, with tens of thousands of cases and more than 1,000 deaths. The pandemic has devastated the region, which is the richest and most populous area in the country.
On March 15, Italy recorded 368 new deaths in just one day — more than the deadliest day in Wuhan, China, which successfully contained the virus.
In response to the crisis, Lombardy’s government requested that China, Cuba, and Venezuela send doctors and other medical personnel to help to contain the outbreak.
“We are in touch with Cuba, Venezuela, and China, who have made doctors available,” said Lombardy’s health minister, Giulio Gallera, in a press conference.
Havana’s embassy declared “Cuban solidarity with Italy,” and Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Ministry published a notice confirming Gallera’s request and announcing it will be sending “Cuban personnel specialized in dealing with contagious diseases.”
The local government in the major Italian city Milan has also relied on shipments of medical equipment from China.
The European Union, on the other hand, has left Italy out to dry.
Italy’s ambassador to the EU, Maurizio Massari, published an op-ed noting that his country requested support through the body’s Mechanism of Civil Protection, seeking medical equipment to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
“But, unfortunately, not a single EU country responded to the Commission’s call. Only China responded bilaterally,” Massari wrote.
In fact the European Union has done the opposite of help. The European Commission, which leads the EU, called on member states to cut medical spending and privatize health services at least 63 times between 2011 to 2018.
The EU’s obsession with cutting and privatizing state institutions has greatly weakened the continent’s health infrastructure, making it much more susceptible to deadly pandemics like coronavirus.
Britain relies on Cuban help to dock coronavirus-infected ship
Cuba has been under an illegal US embargo since 1960 — which every country in the world (excluding Israel) votes to denounce each year at the United Nations. But this blockade has not stopped the small country from developing the best health system in all of Latin America.
Even the United Kingdom, one of the richest countries on the planet, has relied on Cuban help to contain the coronavirus.
The British government asked numerous countries in the Caribbean to let the cruise ship MS Braemar dock in their port, after there were several reports of coronavirus among its more than 1,000 passengers.
CNN noted that “British officials launched an intense diplomatic effort to find a country willing to take the” infected ship, but were rejected by Barbados and the Bahamas.
On March 16, Cuba agreed to assist Britain, offering to dock the MS Braemar in a Cuban port and help fly the passengers back to the UK.
Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Ministry declared in a statement, “These are times of solidarity, of understanding health as a human right, of strengthening international cooperation to face our common challenges, values that are key to the humanist practices of the Revolution and of our people.”
#Cuba recibirá el crucero británico MS Braemar. Son tiempos de solidaridad, de entender la salud como un derecho humano, de reforzar la cooperación internacional para hacer frente a nuestros desafíos comunes #CubaPorLaSalud #CubaSolidaria