Cuba says: Doctors, not bombs

Oct 6, 2020 by

José Martí provided Cuba the guiding principle, “Homeland is humanity.” Photo: Juvenal BalánIn a letter sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the World Peace Council formally registered the candidacy of Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Emphasizing the great challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for humanity, and the essential role international solidarity plays in aiding those who suffer most during such emergencies, the letter draws attention to the work of the island’s health professionals, stating: “We see as the most sincere example of such international solidarity the work that the Cuban medical contingent “Henry Reeve” has been performing since much before the coronavirus outbreak was announced.”

In listing the dozens of countries in different regions of the world that have been assisted, the Council notes that this altruistic work is not a passing event, but “a long lasting Cuban tradition of humanist care for other peoples which is carried out even in the face of dire economic challenges for the Island, which suffers from the extremely harsh sanctions that, in a stark contrast with Cubans’ disposition, also lasts over six decades and impose grave hardships on the Cuban people.”

Sent on behalf of dozens of national committees for peace in approximately one hundred countries, the message notes that, before expanding support to nations that requested assistance in the COVID-19 battle, Cuban specialists had already collaborated to overcome the impact of 16 floods, eight hurricanes, eight earthquakes and four epidemics.

The Council’s nomination, dated September 22, states that the Henry Reeve Contingent has saved countless lives and shown “humane empathy and kindness for which they remain known wherever they have visited. This work is key in building peace amidst violent and structural conflicts and in setting conditions for people to have their most basic needs met in conditions of disaster and extreme impoverishment.”

In contrast to the slander campaign, financed by the United States, to discredit Cuba’s international medical collaboration, the formalization of the Henry Reeve’s candidacy reflects worldwide appreciation of the noble principles of Cuban medicine, whose professionals, as Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel recently stated before the United Nations, whether they receive the Nobel Prize or not, “they have been recognized for years by the peoples blessed by their health work.”

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