The solidarity campaign comes at a critical moment of the vaccine roll out when Cuba needs it most. Health authorities have already begun immunizing residents in Havana, the Cuban city most impacted by the pandemic. On the Island, over 1,000 cases have been registered per day for the past two months. At least half of those daily cases were reported in the capital.
The government expects to vaccinate the country’s entire population as early as August. The donation of syringes will be essential for this purpose. Why? Because the over 200 restrictions imposed during the Trump era (2017-2021) are threatening to squeeze the Cuban economy even harder.
Besides the global shortage of syringes and rising prices, Cuba faces another equally complex challenge. The island can purchase health – and any other – supplies from a very short list of countries. Due to the blockade, few nations are willing to sell products directly to Cuba because of the million-dollar fines the U.S imposes on anyone who dares to do so. The island is forced on buying everything from third countries, which makes each product more expensive, causes delays in shipments, and generates shortages.
Although Cuba has the best record in Latin America in controlling COVID-19, the disease is reaching its peak and vaccination is key to stopping it. As U.S. President Joe Biden looks on motionless at Cuba’s efforts to pull its economy forward, and protect its people from the deadly virus, the rest of the world is rallying around this tiny island. Cuba is not alone, it never was, it’ll never be.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction