the economic war by the U.S. against Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran (not
to mention other countries), the three nations are doing the best
they can to combat the spread of COVID-19 and some of those efforts
seem to equal or better what the U.S. is doing to fight the virus.
the intent of the bi-partisan effort in the U.S. is to show that
socialism doesn't work, the intentions of President Trump and House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi to proclaim Guido president of Venezuela does
not seem to be successful. Guido was celebrated with a standing
ovation at Trump's State of the Union address in January, which was
just as repulsive as Trump's presentation of the Medal of Freedom
during the same speech, to the nation's leading hate-monger on AM
radio, Rush Limbaugh. The Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest
civilian honor, will never recover from that scandalous act.
stream of bad news about the three nations in the major U.S. media is
unending, but they are fighting the pandemic as best they can,
considering that all three have been the targets of withering
sanctions and embargoes for many years and, in the case of Cuba, for
more than a half-century. Sanctions against Venezuela began under
the administration of President Barack Obama, as the U.S. right
attempted to portray that South American nation as a threat to U.S.
national security. Trump has strengthened the sanctions against
Venezuela and Iran and, just this month promised to increase
sanctions against the South American nation, although most objective
observers cannot see how restrictions can be made any tighter to
choke off an avowed socialist system.
Nicholas Maduro government, as of this week, has suspended rent
payments and moved to protect wages, as the cases of coronavirus rose
to 77. The virus may not have reached the depths into the population
in Venezuela as it has in the U.S. and Europe and in parts of Asia,
but the government there is making every effort to isolate the
disease by way of practicing social distancing and other measures.
In Iran, Kathy Kelly, of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, noted this
week that one person dies every 10 minutes, as medics are forced to
treat the sick without even the protection of face masks. Such are
the results of the U.S.'s illegal sanctions and embargoes, which
have stopped the shipment of medicine and medical equipment and food,
all of which are supposed to be allowed during a time of legal (UN)
sanctions, which these are not.
the serious danger to Cuba and Venezuela, as well as to the world,
Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, called for the reduction or suspension of the sanctions. To
judge the deadly sanctions in the light of recent history, consider
that a study of the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimated
that the sanctions of 2017-2018 caused the deaths of 40,000
Venezuelans. U.S. administrations have tried to bring these
countries to their knees mainly to prove that socialism doesn't work
and principally because, if socialist countries were shown to be
successful in providing for their citizens, it would cast a shadow
over capitalism as an economic system. Somehow, the propaganda has
convinced the American people that capitalism is necessary for
democracy or that capitalism means democracy. Socialist nations or
nations that have some form of socialism and capitalism combined have
shown that this is not true.
is a special case. From the immediate aftermath of the revolution of
1959, Cuba has been under sanction and embargo of virtually
everything, mostly by the U.S., the island nation being only 90 miles
from Key West, Florida, and, therefore, a possible negative influence
on U.S. hegemony over the entire Western Hemisphere, something it has
arrogated to itself since the Monroe Doctrine.
all of their problems, the three nations in question seem to have the
support of their people, more than enough that they can survive the
attacks by U.S. bipartisan administration after administration. The
sanctions and embargoes against the three has been war by any other
name. In war, people die, and just because U.S. citizens have not
died in these economic invasions does not mean that they have not
has come to the assistance of many other countries, as it has during
this COVID-19 pandemic. Its medical personnel have in the past few
days arrived in Italy to assist in that country's fight against the
pandemic. In that, it has joined with China and Russia to provide
much needed medical supplies and medical personnel, as the death toll
in Italy has risen to 6,000, among 64,000 confirmed cases. The
island nation has sent medical teams Nicaragua, Jamaica, Grenada, and
Suriname to fight the pandemic. Last week, Cuba allowed a British
cruise ship, the MS Braemar, to dock in Mariel, a port just west of
Havana, with more than 1,000 crew and passengers aboard. After five
people had tested positive for the COVID-19, the ship was stranded in
the Caribbean for days, having requested permission to dock in
several small countries and the U.S. but were refused.
ship came into the Cuban port as the cruise ship owner, Fred Olsen
Cruise Lines, arranged for flights out of Cuba for most of
passengers, some of whom were too sick to travel. Cuba took in those
who were sick and were treating them in their own hospitals.
Reportedly, one person on board held up a sign that read, “I
love you, Cuba,” as the ship docked. Cuba itself, has reported
35 confirmed cases of the disease, but they are watching more than
37,000 Cubans across the island who have exhibited symptoms like
those of COVID-19, according to the Miami Herald.
drug that has shown some success as part of the treatment of viruses
such as COVID-19 has been developed and used by Cuba and Cuban
medical personnel in other countries, according to some sources, but
there has been little, if any, reporting of this in U.S. mainstream
media. According to Newsweek magazine, “The drug, called
Interferon Alpha-2B Recombinant (IFNrec), is jointly developed by
scientists from Cuba and China, where the coronavirus COVID-19
disease outbreak first emerged late last year. Already active in
China since January, the Cuban Medical Brigades began deploying to
dozens of nations, providing personnel and products such as its new
anti-viral drug to battle the disease that has exceeded 400,000
confirmed cases across the globe. As of Tuesday, over 100,000 people
have recovered from the infection and more than 18,000 have died.”
magazine reported further that Cuba first used “advanced
interferon techniques” to treat dengue fever in the 1980s, and
found it useful in treating HIV, Hepatitis B and C, human
papillomavirus, and some other diseases. In a Yale University blog,
Helen Yaffe of the University of Glasgow, called the treatment a
“wonder drug” against the new coronavirus, according to
Newsweek. It has been noted that the drug is part of an array of
treatments for victims of the virus, but it appears to be effective.
hasn't the U.S. discussed using the drug developed by Cuba and China?
Likely, it's because U.S. pharmaceutical companies would not hold
the patent, if one is possible, because it would be asking a small,
communist-controlled nation for help, and because the current
occupant of the White House is not competent to come up with new
ideas about fighting the virus (or anything else), and because
everything Trump does he does with an eye toward either reelection or
making a profit somewhere, somehow. He is not capable of
understanding that this virus is a common enemy of humanity and that
every measure should be taken to halt its spread around the globe.
He even has a hard time recognizing the meaning of humanity and what
it means to say “we're in this together.” Trump is for
Trump. Blinded by GOP ideology and his own personal xenophobia and
greed, he is not about to change.