By Cheryl LaBash – Dec 29, 2020
On Sunday, Dec. 27, Covid-stricken Californians filled Los Angeles hospitals. In response, an 18-car caravan showed support for Cuban families caravaning in Miami and other cities. Decked out with signs calling for an end to the U.S. economic war against Cuba, the protest also called for ending barriers to medical and scientific collaboration with Cuba. Spanish language TV Telemundo reported the action: Instan al gobierno que acepte ayuda de enfermeras y médicos cubanos.
In the fight against COVID-19, Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade responded to the call from dozens of countries on all continents to relieve exhausted medical teams and share their internationally recognized experience fighting epidemics and the aftermath of natural disasters. The U.S. attempt to strangle the Cuban economy intensified, even during the pandemic, blocking fuel and COVID relief to the island. Yet Cuba’s research and pharmaceutical industries have developed not just one vaccine, but four COVID-19 vaccine candidates now in trials. At least one Cuban vaccine can be administered through nose drops, really giving hope to the world that everyone can be protected from this virus.
While Black, Brown and Indigenous U.S. communities suffer disproportionate deaths from COVID-19, the U.S. blockade stymies collaboration that has proven it can save lives. Not one Cuban medical professional has died of COVID-19, nor have pregnant women or children. For more information on how you can help to open the door to medical and scientific collaboration with Cuba to save lives, go to SavingLives.US-CubaNormalization.org.
The caravan was initiated by the Los Angeles U.S. Hands Off Cuba Committee. Cars decorated with signs and banners spread the message as they drove from the Westwood Federal Building across Los Angeles to Echo Park.
Organizers announced nationally coordinated actions to take place on Jan. 20 that will further the same demands.
Featured image: SLL photos: Scott Scheffer
Cheryl LaBash is Co-Chair of National Network on Cuba, activist and writer