A statement signed by President Trevor Brown, pointed out that the proposal flies in the face the most recent statement of the World Health Organisation head Tedros Ghebreyesus, who pointed to the fact that, ‘ the greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself, it’s the lack of global solidarity and global leadership, we cannot defeat this pandemic with a divided world’.
The following is the full text of the JCFA Statement:
The bill that was titled Cut the Profits to the Cuban Regime Act, ‘will require the Department of State to publish the list of countries that contract with the Cuban regime for their medical missions program and to consider that a factor on their ranking in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report’.
What this jaundiced proposal from the 3 senators who are considered to be the among the most backward and anti-people elements within the Trump administration targets, are countries like those in our 15-member CARICOM community and beyond. Jamaica, with its current compliment of over 430 Cuban medical collaborators serving in critical areas of our public health system, is therefore a prime target for these enemies of humanity. If ever there was need for an elected government to take a stand on principle and in defence of this basic human rights of its citizens, such an opportunity now presents the Andrew Holness –led JLP administration.
At the root of republican senators quest are 2 main issues .The first relates to an undeniable frustration that despite the torrent of lies and ‘bad –mouthing’ of the internationalism and solidarity of Cuban medical programme, aimed at undermining one of the pillars of that society, the very opposite has occurred. As the growing international prestige especially of Cuba’s collaborative efforts with 35 brigades of the Henry Reeves Medical Brigade, assisting in 28 countries across the world in the fight against the novel Corona Virus , which has had a significant impact on the saving of lives and the public health outcomes in these countries, shines like a beacon of hope. While on the other hand, the USA with the most powerful economy in the world remains the epicentre of the Covid-19 contagion with a resultant catastrophic numbers of lives been lost and pain being wrought on its peoples.
Secondly and equally important, is the fact that the proposal by these senators if passed, would add to the 90 new sanctions that have been imposed on Cuba by the Trump administration since he took office in 2017, which is designed to tighten the 59-year old economic, financial and commercial blockade of our sister country, whose only ‘crime’ is to defend its inalienable right to Independence, Sovereignty and Self Determination, in the struggle create a better society for its people.
As Caribbean people, lets honour the legacy of Errol Barrow, Forbes Burnham, Michael Manley and Eric Williams , ‘giants’ among our people , who when faced with the bellicose threats by the USA during the height of the Cold War’, where in its desperate attempts at isolating the nascent revolutionary Cuba from the international community, stood their ground in 1972 on matters of principle and forged the kind of relationship with our sister country, from which we are now the beneficiaries.
Trevor G Brown,
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