VINCENTIANS ARE BEING asked to show reciprocity and generosity whilst applying the saying: “Today for you, tomorrow for me”, and come to the assistance of the people of Cuba in their hour of need.
That call for urgent help for Cuba came from a local group known as the “Friends of Cuba”, last Wednesday, via a virtual media conference at the launch of a national appeal dubbed: “Cuba Needs Help: The Time is Now”.
Friends of Cuba, which comprises the SVG-Cuba Friendship Society; the Association of Cubans Resident in SVG; and the SVG Medical Association, is spearheading the drive to accumulate funds and medical supplies for Cuba, as that country grapples with soaring Covid-19 cases.
As such, the Friends of Cuba, is requesting persons who are moved to support the cause to make their monetary donations to Account number 130016 at the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG), in the name of the SVG Cuba Friendship Society.
According to a release from the Friends of Cuba, the Ministry of Health in Cuba, is reporting daily figures in excess of 9500 cases of the coronavirus.
“Hospitals are overwhelmed; oxygen is in short supply; and the need outstrips the capacity of Cuba to produce that needed commodity… Deaths are being reported at upwards to 60 daily”. the release underlined.
“Today, because of shortages created by the existence of the 60- year -old economic and financial blockade, the distribution of the vaccines and the implementation of the vaccination campaign using the Abdala or Soberano 2 vaccines are severely hampered by the embargo, because of the scarcity of needles and syringes”, the release added.
Listing some of the contributions made by Cuba to St Vincent and the Grenadines, the release stated: “We have all been great beneficiaries of Cuba’s solidarity, from the VISION NOW programme, the Argyle International Airport, the Modern Medical Diagnostic Centre at Georgetown, treatment of Vincentian patients at Cuban hospitals, the provision of medical and engineering professionals, to providing hundreds of scholarships over 40
years toward shoring-up our technical and intellectual infrastructure”.
Dexter Rose, a member of the Friends of Cuba, and one who benefited from a University education in Cuba and later worked as a diplomat there, is imploring Vincentians to support the group’s venture.
“Cuba has been there for all of us… This is our time and we must respond… No country in the entire Antillean chain that has not benefited from the generosity of Cuba”, Rose said during last Wednesday’s media conference.
Updating the response thus far, Rose also disclosed that the venture has prompted the support from the government and opposition, “We also reached out, and got very favourable responses from both the government and the opposition… They are in support of this cause”, Rose announced.
He noted that through the efforts of the government, SVG will be used as a “hub”, to facilitate shipments across to Cuba.
Meanwhile, President of the SVG Medical Association- Dr Rosalind Ambrose reminded that the government and people of Cuba, have provided this country with more than educational opportunities, and highlighted the extent of the number of health care professionals who have immensely assisted the local health system.
Ambrose thus emphasised: “We have a substantial contingent of Cuban colleagues here …In this time of their need, we should stand together, now and literally tug together now to launch this campaign to help the relatives, friends and communities in Cuba to manage through the period of the pandemic and the increasing economic crisis”.
Similarly, another member of the group Bernard Hamilton, called on the large contingent of Vincentian students, especially those who are beneficiaries of a tertiary education from Cuba, to be among the donors.