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Sci Tech    H3'ed 1/10/21

Cuba & Its 4 Vaccines against COVID-19

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They publicly ask for the vaccine for everyone, but when a small country like Cuba works on the vaccine, they ignore it. We have received support only from some NGOs and from countries like China. Of the famous philanthropic and humanitarian, nothing.

- Cuba has a very low incidence of infection and has shown the effectiveness of its response to the COVID-19 epidemic. What is the key to the Cuban model?

- Totally public health, totally public biotechnology, and great confidence in this system. A super-sufficient system for many with a key role in territorial medicine. If in Cuba you ask a child to describe her family, he will tell you about his father, mother, little brothers and sisters, and the family doctor. This has allowed confinement with house-to-house follow-up measures. Cuba, with 11 million inhabitants, has had just over 130 deaths from COVID.

- He highlighted the confidence of the Cuban people in medicine. I would have asked him if there are movements of skeptics towards science and vaccines in Cuba, as in many countries, but at this point I ask him why there is trust in Cuba and not in other places?

- In Italy, science appears on television as something Masonic, as if science were only for the few. This has led to a cascade of doubting people. He doubts because he does not believe in politics and he doubts because the economic model deliberately raises those doubts.

In Cuba, science is at the service of the people. There are high-level outreach programs on television. If all the people were allowed to understand scientific language with ease, if the scientist appeared on television, as happens in Cuba, explaining how vaccines work in a popular way, there would be no skepticism or distrust.

- From Sicily they have requested a brigade of Cuban doctors that has already operated in Bergamo and Cremona. Why is Cuba lending a hand?

- Fidel Castro entrusted a mission to the new generation of Cuban doctors summarized in the key concept "doctors, not weapons": Cuba should be an exporter of solidarity, not of war.

The intervention of Cuban doctors in Italy is nothing strange, it arises from this principle. The Henry Reeve brigades of Cuban doctors and nurses have operated in nearly 40 different countries, including Italy, as they did during the Ebola epidemic in Africa.

- What can be learned from the Cuban system?

- We have seen that a privatized health system does not withstand the stress of a pandemic, it leads to very difficult ethical decisions and injustices. What can be learned from the Cuban model is that health must be public.

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Mike Rivage-Seul is a liberation theologian and former Roman Catholic priest. Retired in 2014, he taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 40 years where he directed Berea's Peace and Social Justice Studies Program. His latest book is (more...)
 

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