COVID-19: Cuba Wages a War for Which it is Well Prepared

Cuba confronts the pandemic with unity

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel declared on Cuban television on Friday, March 20, that Cuba is prepared to wage a successful battle against the COVID-19 infirmity. “We have an educated, informed, responsible, compassionate, and disciplined people. We have in our favor a system of public health for all, an acclaimed scientific community, an effective system of Civil Defense, a Party and a government that place the Cuban people at the center of their attention; and we also have the army of the people. In addition to these strengths, we have the training of more than 60 years of a long journey of resistance in the tough wars of all kinds that they have imposed on us. . . . Be strong, Cuba, we will live and we will overcome!”

As of March 25, Cuba has fifty-seven confirmed cases of COVID-19. All are imported cases, that is, they were infected outside the country or through contact with a person who had contracted the infirmity outside the country. As of March 25, there has not been a case of autochthonous transmission among Cubans who have not had direct or indirect contact with a person who traveled recently in the exterior.

The March 21 issue of the Cuban daily newspaper Granma included a twelve-page supplement that was devoted to the pandemic, six pages of which were dedicated to a thorough description of the government’s report on the adoption of new measures on Friday, March 20, in a special two-hour edition of the evening new program Mesa Redonda. During the program, a report was presented by a government team formed from the Council of Ministers, led by President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, Deputy Prime Minister Roberto Morales Ojeda, and Minister of Public Health José Angel Portal Miranda; and including the ministers of Internal Commerce, Finances and Prices, and Work and Social Security as well as the Vice-President of the Central Bank of Cuba.

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Charles McKelvey is Professor Emeritus, Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina.  He has published three books: Beyond Ethnocentrism:  A Reconstruction of Marx’s Concept of Science (Greenwood Press, 1991); The African-American Movement:  From Pan-Africanism to the Rainbow Coalition (General Hall, 1994); and The Evolution and Significance of the Cuban Revolution: The Light in the Darkness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). 

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