Published on 23 October by The Guardian

Henry Reeve brigade

West Africa needs what Cuba has: a well-trained, coordinated healthcare system. Anything less and Ebola wins

Guatemala, Pakistan, Indonesia, Haiti. Four different nations that share a common experience: in the past decade, they were all struck by natural disasters which overwhelmed their under-staffed and under-funded public health systems. Into the rubble, flooding, and chaos of these distinct cultures and contexts, Cubadispatched a specialised disaster and epidemic control team to support local health providers. It was a story of unprecedented medical solidarity by a developing country which few media outlets picked up – until now.

The Henry Reeve Brigade, as it’s known, was established in 2005 by more than 1,500 Cuban health professionals trained in disaster medicine and infectious disease containment; built on 40 years of medical aid experience, the volunteer team was outfitted with essential medicines and equipment and prepared to deploy to US regions ravaged by Hurricane Katrina (the offer was rejected by the Bush administration). Today, Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade is the largest medical team on the ground in west Africa battling Ebola.

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Published on 28 October 2014 by New York Times

UN vote blockade

A little-known former American ambassador on Tuesday addressed the General Assembly to perform a dreaded task: defending the issue that has isolated the United States diplomatically like no other, the Cuban embargo.

“This resolution only serves to distract from the real problems facing the Cuban people,” Ronald D. Godard admonished, before the United States voted against a non-binding resolution submitted yearly by Havana calling for a repeal of the sanctions Washington has imposed on the island for more than five decades.

Only Israel sided with the United States, although the Israelis were happy to forgo a turn at the podium to defend their position. Of the 193 members of the United Nations, 188 backed Cuba. The three abstentions — Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau — are not widely regarded as diplomatic heavyweights.

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Published on 17 October by Global Research

cuba ebola

Our country did not take a single minute to give a response to the international agencies requesting its support to combat the brutal epidemic outbreak in Western Africa.

This is what our country has always done, without excluding anyone. The Cuban Government had already given the relevant instructions to urgently mobilize and reinforce the medical personnel that were offering their services in that region of the Africa continent. An equally fast response was given to the United Nations, as has always been the case in an event of a request for cooperation. Any sensible person would know that the political decisions that entail some risk for the highly qualified staff involve a high level of responsibility from those who call on them to fulfill a risky task. This is something far more difficult than sending soldiers to fight and even die for a just political cause; and they also did so because they always thought it was their duty.

The best example of solidarity that human beings can offer

The medical staff that is ready to go to any region to save lives, even at the risk of losing their own, is the best example of solidarity that human beings can offer, particularly if they are not moved by any material interest. Their closest relatives are also contributing to that mission a part of what they love and admire the most. A country seasoned by long years of struggle can fully understand what is being expressed here.

We all understand that in fulfilling this task with maximum preparation and efficiency, we would also be protecting our people and the brother peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, by avoiding the spread of the virus, since it unfortunately has entered and could further spread in the United States, a country with so many personal links and exchanges with the rest of the world. We will gladly cooperate with the US staff in this endeavor, not in the pursuit of peace between the two States which have been adversaries for so many years, but, in any case, for world peace, which is a goal that could and should be pursued.

The time of duty has come.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 17, 2014 9:23 p.m.

Published on 10 October by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba 

medico-cubano-ebola 1Cuba was represented ant the “Defeating Ebola in Sierra Leone” held at Lancaster House in London and co-chaired by British Minister of Foreign Affairs Philip Hammond  and International Development,  Justine Greening.

The Foreign Secretary highlighted that the conference was summoned to urge the international community to take immediate action in facing the disease in Sierra Leone.

Cuba, in response to an invitation by the British government was represented by Cuban Health Vice-minister Marcia Cobas Ruiz.

The conference was attended by delegates from over twenty countries and international organizations including the United Nations, WHO as well as NGOs and private companies.

Cuba participated in the conference after responding to a call by the UN and WHO by sending 165 health care professionals which joined another 23 already in Sierra Leona, totalling 188 Cuban medical and nursing staff part of a Brigade of the International Contingent Henry Reeve of Doctors Specialized Tackling Disasters and Epidemics. 

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From www.ted.com

American journalist and Havana resident Gail Reed spotlights a Cuban medical school that trains doctors from low-income countries who pledge to serve communities like their own.

Many of the doctors treating ebola patients in Africa were trained in Cuba. Why? In this informative talk, journalist Gail Reed spotlights a Cuban medical school that trains doctors from low-income countries -- if they pledge to serve the communities who need them most.

 

Published 2 October 2014 by Russia Today

kissinger-contingency-attack-cuba-angola si

"I think we are going to have to smash [Cuban President Fidel] Castro," Kissinger told President Gerald Ford at a February 25, 1976 meeting. "We probably can't do it before the [1976 presidential] elections."

"I agree," the president responded.

The exchange was the first in a series of meetings over the Cuban intervention in Angola, which led to the secretary of state laying out various contingency plans on how the US could “clobber” its southern neighbor.

“I think sooner or later we have [to] crack the Cubans... even the Iranians are worried about the Cubans getting into the Middle East countries. I think we have to humiliate them,” Kissinger told Ford in a meeting on March 15, 1976. “But I think we might have to demand they get out of Africa.”

At a meeting of national security officials nine days later, Kissinger told Gen. George Brown, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "If we decide to use military power it must succeed. There should be no halfway measures.”

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Published on 27 September 2014 by TeleSUR English

elamCuba pledged 300 more doctors and nurses to battle the Ebola epidemic in West Africa on Friday. With a staff of over 460 Ebola specialists, Cuba will by far have the largest foreign medical team combating the disease in West Africa.

The new batch of Ebola specialists are undergoing intensive training, said head of the Cuban medical relief agency, Regla Angulo. They will be sent to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Cuba, which has about 50,000 health workers stationed across the world, received accolades from the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) for its effort against Ebola, last week, when it already had the largest foreign medical team fighting the killer virus in West Africa, consisting of 62 doctors and 103 nurses. 

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The interview was conducted by Granma journalist Dalia González Delgado. The Militant has translated it into English and provided footnotes on facts many readers in the U.S. and elsewhere may not be familiar with.

diez tiempos

Born in 1938, Sánchez-Parodi was active in the urban underground during the revolutionary struggle. In 1957 he and others were arrested at a residence in Havana where they had planned to meet with Faustino Pérez, head of the July 26 Revolutionary Movement in the capital. They escaped from prison a few weeks later.

Since the revolution’s triumph in January 1959, Sánchez-Parodi has shouldered leadership responsibilities in the Communist Party of Cuba, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Interior before taking diplomatic assignments in the United States. He is currently an aide to Ramiro Valdés, vice president of the Council of State and Council of Ministers, as well as a writer and journalist.

BY DALIA GONZÁLEZ DELGADO  
Although he is reluctant to talk about himself, he has been a participant in historic events. Author of the book Cuba-USA: Diez tiempos de una relación [Cuba-USA: Ten Moments in a Relationship],he has studied the relations between the two countries not only from theoretical work but from real-life experience.

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Published on 18 September 2014 by www.cadenagramonte.cu

Cuba environment

The executive director of the UN Environment Program, Ibrahim Thiaw, described as impressing the Cuban sustainable development and disaster mitigation plans.

In statements to Granma newspaper, Thiaw said that it would be of great interest for the rest of the world to learn about the Cuban experience in disaster mitigation actions. The UN official said that his agency is willing to contribute in order to spread the Cuban experience.
 
The UN expert visited Cuba this week to take a first-hand look at Cuban environmental efforts and consider future cooperation with Cuban authorities, bearing in mind the significance of the island in the Caribbean area.
 
“Unfortunately, this is a country that undergoes the effects of natural phenomena, but the system set up here from the local to the national level is really impressing,” said the UN official.
 
As to sustainable development efforts Thiaw referred to what he called concrete examples about sustainable food production and consumption, and that they have met local farmers who have developed chemical-free crops. The UN official also visited a biosphere reserve in which they praised the results of environmental preservation efforts over the past 40 years.

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