NEHAWU commends Cuba’s role in the global fight against coronavirus, condemns the strengthening of the anti-Cuba blockade by US administration of Donald Trump

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] commends the Republic of Cuba, its government under President Miguel Diaz Canel Bermudez and the people of Cuba, for the outstanding role Cuba plays in stemming the global tide of a rapidly spreading novel- Corona [COVID-19].

The global response to the coronavirus pandemic underlines the importance of solidarity, international cooperation, the need for the abolition of conflict, wars and aggression, without which the spread of the pandemic cannot be combatted.

Cuba has already sent 15 brigades consisting of 583 health professionals, specifically for the coronavirus to save lives in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

South Africa has over 200 Cuban health professionals already stationed here. They have embraced the humane task of saving the lives of our people with humility, diligence, solidarity characteristic of the Cuban people and often working in the harshest of all conditions.

At the same time, several countries opposed to Cuba who lack the capacity to tackle the virus have undermined every contribution made by Cuba. In spite of the serious pandemic, the United States administration of Donald Trump continues to unleash the barren strategy of aggression, threats and blackmail at other states. It is strengthening the immoral anti-Cuba blockade, with sanctions targeting Venezuela, Iran and Nicaragua.

Trump is blackmailing countries and enterprises that collaborate with Cuba and have enlisted its support to block supplies of critical lifesaving equipment from reaching Cuba. His withdrawal of essential funding for the World Health Organisation [WHO], crippling the capacity to curb the spread of coronavirus is criminal.

This diversion of the focus at fighting the global pandemic has only revealed the superiority of Cuban socialism over American capitalism.

On the one hand socialist Cuba has always guaranteed all its citizens the right to free universal health and education, the right to food, not a preserve of the rich; with women’s rights; to housing and social protection and the right to employment.

Increasingly the US strategy proves that it cannot fight against coronavirus along with a naked pursuit of neoliberal capitalism. It has embraced targeted, arbitrary killings; extrajudicial executions with illegal prison camps. Unlike Cuba, the US engages in labour trafficking, uses solitary confinement, with children in adult prison facilities. It criminalised homelessness and also widely applies racial profiling. It has military bases operated in facilities on foreign soil; has invaded other countries, overthrown their elected governments and carried out mass terrorist activities against civilians.

Recalling that the priority is international cooperation to fight coronavirus, NEHAWU condemns the US administration of Donald Trump and call for the lifting of the criminal blockade against Cuba, to end sanctions on Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran and to stop all its military aggression on other countries.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: