The PNP's Shadow Minister of Health, M.P. Dr. Morais Guy, says he is very troubled by the lack of response from the Holness-led administration which recently invited and accepted the assistance of Cuban health care personnel in the country's current fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and has not yet repudiated the action by the US Senate to impose sanctions on countries, like Jamaica for their engagement with the Cuban medical mission.
Dr. Guy said the Cuban people have always stood with the people of Jamaica in challenging times, from the 1970s through to today's COVID-19 pandemic crisis, when over one hundred and forty medical professionals arrived from Cuba to bolster our country's response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Today, the Cuban people and their humanitarian medical mission are under attack from familiar quarters. Dr. Guy said without equivocation; the Andrew Holness-led administration should make its position clear on the matter on behalf of the Jamaican people by condemning the latest maneuver to isolate Cuba.
“The current Congressional action is a clear opportunity for the Government of Jamaica to state pellucidly that Jamaica stands with Cuba as we have done in every United Nations' vote condemning the embargo imposed since 1962,” he contended.
Dr. Guy said the PNP has noted that CARICOM has been called upon to condemn the latest move by the United States Senate to enact another episode in its protracted illegal embargo of Cuba.
The latest action is the "Cut Profits to the Cuban Regime Act," introduced by Republican Senator, Rick Scott of Florida, which is equating Cuba's humanitarian medical mission to human trafficking. If successful, the legislation would extend punitive measures to countries like Jamaica for participating in the programme, Dr. Guy said.
“This move by the United States Senator is absurd and must be condemned by all sovereign nations, and the Jamaican government must use its diplomatic goodwill to push back against this ridiculous proposal,” the PNP's Shadow Minister of Health said.
"For over 40 years, Jamaica has been benefiting from the assistance of Cuban health-care workers, and we cannot remain silent or be bullied into adopting the political agenda of another country," Dr. Guy said.
"We urge the government of Jamaica, as well as the governments of CARICOM to condemn this latest action by the US Senate to criminalize a genuine humanitarian mission which we also believe is extraterritorial and an insult to all sovereign nations,” Dr. Guy stated.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuban health-care workers have gone to work in all parts of the world; Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and South America to assist in the fight against COVID-19 and their valour must be commended, the Shadow Minister said.
"It is essential that our government comes out firmly in support of Cuba and lobbies other CARICOM countries to denounce Senator Rick Scott’s action," Dr. Guy concluded.
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