Social Issues

Cuba receives donation of food, medicine from US groups

Havana, Nov 5 (EFE).- Cuba received on Friday a shipment of 18,000 pounds (8,165 kg) of food and medicine from three organizations in the United States that oppose Washington’s economic embargo against the island, which is plagued by shortages of basic products.

The aid provided by Code Pink, Puentes de Amor (Bridges of Love) and The People’s Forum, is to be distributed among the population in Cuba’s eastern provinces, the government said.

The donation is part of the “effort of the majority of the American people who ask for the lifting of the US sanctions and embargo,” Puentes de Amor coordinator Carlos Lazo told reporters at Havana International Airport.

Lazo, a Cuban-American US military veteran who teaches at a high school in Miami, said the aid was a “hand of friendship” to the people of Cuba in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a message on Twitter, the Cuban foreign ministry said the donation “shows that there exists a path of solidarity, exchange and genuine support between the peoples of Cuba and the US.”

Four months ago, the US NGO Global Health Partners sent Cuba 1.7 million syringes to inoculate people against Covid-19 using Cuban-produced vaccines.

Humanitarian aid is a sensitive issue for the Communist government in Havana, which generally accepts help only from friendly countries and NGOs.

Recent months have seen deliveries of assistance from Russia, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Mexico, among other nations.

The government responded to a campaign on social media in July calling for the creation of a “humanitarian corridor” to Cuba as the island struggled with a surge in coronavirus cases by denouncing “opportunism” on the part of external actors.

Shortages and economic conditions made worse by the pandemic and intensified US sanctions spurred significant anti-government protests across Cuba on July 11. EFE lbp/dr

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