Attacks on Cubans particularly reprehensible
July 18, 2023
Attacks on Cubans particularly reprehensible

In recent weeks, there have been disturbing attacks on members of the Cuban medical brigade who are here in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to provide vital healthcare services to Vincentians.

These attacks, irrespective of their motivation, are deeply concerning and must be thoroughly investigated. As Vincentians, it is crucial that we rally against such violence and each play our role to protect those who have dedicated themselves to helping lift the standard of healthcare delivery here.

Regardless of whether they were random acts or targeted, these attacks are completely condemnable. These healthcare professionals came to St Vincent and the Grenadines selflessly, bringing their expertise and dedication to assist those in need. Attacking them not only disrupts the provision of essential healthcare services but also undermines the spirit of international cooperation and solidarity.

It is important to emphasize that the Cuban medical brigade has proven itself time and again, providing valuable support to numerous countries facing health crises, demonstrating the highest levels of professionalism and compassion. These attacks, therefore, tarnish the reputation of St Vincent and the Grenadines as a nation and put the future of this programme, and our relationship with Cuba – a longstanding ally – at risk.

It essential that we investigate diligently, determine the motivation behind the attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice. While it is premature to assume that these assaults constitute an attack on Cuba itself, every act of violence needs to be taken seriously. For if indeed these attacks were random, it would mean that similar attacks on other residents go largely unreported, which would suggest other problems.

This is a time when unity is paramount; we must demonstrate our support for the healthcare professionals who have volunteered their services to help our people. Let us stand together against violence of all sorts, reaffirming our commitment to the values of compassion, respect, and human dignity.

In the meantime, the announcement by police of plans to bolster security measures around the medical brigade are welcomed. As a community, we should also provide moral and emotional support to our Cuban guests. Vincentians should unequivocally condemn these acts, expressing gratitude for the assistance provided by the Cuban doctors, nurses, and technicians, while actively assisting them in carrying out their crucial work in a peaceful environment.

Let us come together, support these selfless individuals, and send a powerful message: all violence is unacceptable, but particularly reprehensible is violence perpetrated against those whose purpose here is to help us.