As countries around the world try to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, one nation is standing out as an inspiring symbol of strength, discipline and solidarity.
On 21 March, Cuba sent a group of 53 doctors to Lombardy, Italy to help the country, whose healthcare system is overwhelmed by the spread of the virus. This is said to be the first time that Cuba sent a medical contingent to a country outside its block. Cuba currently provides medical assistance to 31 countries around the world, including Suriname, Granada, Venezuela and Nicaragua, which are also fighting COVID-19.
Workers from different countries are also getting messages of support and solidarity from the Cuban trade union movement. In a statement, the National Union of Construction Workers of Cuba (SNTC), BWI’s fraternal organization, expressed its solidarity to construction workers, who are heavily affected by the health crisis.
The SNTC also has a special message to Cuban construction workers. "The message from the SNTC for all its workers is the same: discipline, individual and collective responsibility and solidarity. In the midst of the great fight against the coronavirus, the drought facing the country and the blockade, construction workers and the people in general are fighting, resisting and winning,” SNTC Secretary General Carlos Antonio de Dios Oquendo said.
As of 22 March, Cuba has only 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Cuban government has imposed a tourist ban and a 15-day preventive quarantine protocol to all foreign tourists who have decided to stay in the country.