"Now more than ever, we must end the US blockade"

Remarks by Cuba's Vice-Minister of Public Health at the Summit for Vaccine Internationalism.
At the Progressive International’s Summit for Vaccine Internationalism, Dr. Regla Angulo Pardo called for an end of end of the United States’ illegal blockade against Cuba.
At the Progressive International’s Summit for Vaccine Internationalism, Dr. Regla Angulo Pardo called for an end of end of the United States’ illegal blockade against Cuba.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still a great challenge for public health and governments, with severe economic and social impacts, as well as very critical numbers worldwide.

According to official reports by the World Health Organization, until May 30, 190 countries and 30 territories have reported positive cases, while the number of infected people surpassed the 170 million 898 thousands 903 cases, with a lethality of 2.08%. Cuba, with an average number of one thousand daily cases, has nowadays a lethality of 0.67%, while the number of recovered people account for 95%.

The approach for this epidemiological situation in our country is based upon the premise of political will and continuous management by the Party and the Government, implementing intersectorality through concrete actions for decreasing the pandemic damages, through sustainability, as well as the active participation of our people altogether, youth and students’ organization, and mass and social organizations, which have had a decisive role in fighting against the disease.

The role of science, with the development of clinical research, innovation and joint work with the Cuban biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, has been a strength for the Cuban health system, due to the contribution of new products and knowledge for confronting this virus.

Currently, in the case of COVID-19, more than one thousand investigations are registered and being carried out, such as the development of studies for five Cuban vaccine candidates, two of which are in their phase III of clinical trial.

Under these circumstances, our country is carrying out a sanitary intervention in risk groups and territories, with two vaccine candidates (Soberana 02 and Abdala), which will allow, by the end of August, to complete the vaccination of 70% of the Cuban population and, since the authorization for vaccine emergency use, we will achieve immunization of all our population and support other countries that ask for it.

We are willing to provide support with our researchers and experts, by means of efforts to reduce the consequences of the pandemic.

Cuba also calls for eliminating obstacles that obstruct access and distribution of vaccines, including any unilateral coercive measure that impedes, limits or increases the costs of access to these products.

Cuba reaffirms the necessity to work in view of achieving universal immunization in short time, as well as to assure equitable and solidary distribution of resources, at accessible prices.

Despite the unfair campaign for discrediting the international medical cooperation of Cuba, our country responded to requests by governments for contributing with the confrontation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This way, 57 brigades from Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics, with more than four thousand collaborators, have offered their services in forty countries.

We have determined to continue with the international sanitary cooperation, as long as it is consistent with the humanistic nature of the political, economic and social project that we defend.

Cooperating with other peoples is a principle of the Cuban Revolution, instilled by our historical leader, the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz.

In this pandemic crisis, Cuba continues to be under the pressure of a fierce blockade imposed by the United Sates against Cuba, which has not only been long-lasting, but also has been strengthened through more than 243 measures implemented by Trump, still in functioning under Biden’s Administration, violating the rights of Cuban citizens and impacting negatively on health services, not permitting the access to advanced technology, medicines, or medical products and equipment.

It is compulsory, more than ever, to demand the lifting of the United States blockade against Cuba.

We are sure that June 23 will be the twenty-ninth occasion that the international community, during the General Assembly of the United Nations, will vote in favor of the Resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”

It is lamentable that people from all countries are still dying and families are still being destroyed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is all about uniting ourselves, creating alliances, international exchanges, and taking advantage of specialized knowledge, in order to find a worldwide solution against this disease, with access to detection tests, treatments and vaccines in every part of the world.

I would like to express, also, that all the achievements of Cuba during this hard initial stage have been made possible thanks to Socialism, the Cuban Revolution and our noble and heroic people.

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