In his second appearance of the day at the High-Level Segment of the 78th regular session of the United Nations General Assembly, this time at the meeting on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Pandemics, the head of State recalled that “Covid-19 imposed a sad and bitter lesson on us from which we are forced to learn.”
The health emergency “revealed the fragility of healthcare systems and laid bare the cruelty of the inequalities that characterize the world,” he said.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of the United States implemented temporary humanitarian exemptions to countries that were victims of its unilateral coercive measures,” denounced the president, who recalled that Cubans were “excluded from this temporary humanitarian relief.”
Even worse, while the pandemic claimed millions of lives on the planet, the criminal blockade against Cuba was intensified to unprecedented levels and generated difficulties and delays in the arrival of essential medical supplies and equipment to confront it, in particular, for the industrialization of Cuban vaccines, he stressed.
The acquisition of medicinal oxygen in third countries and the supply of lung ventilators were even hindered, Díaz-Canel added.
The Cuban president noted that “despite adversities, our biopharmaceutical industry and the potential of Cuban scientists allowed us to create, in record time, three vaccines and two vaccine candidates against Covid-19.”
President Díaz-Canel emphasized that while at the worst moment of the pandemic, transnational corporations and the richest states in the West monopolized the necessary means to fight the disease, Cuba collaborated by sending 58 medical brigades to 42 countries and territories, where they joined more than 28,000 of our healthcare professionals who were providing their services in 59 nations at the time.
That is why he confirmed that Covid-19 “showed that global cooperation is necessity, not a choice.”
In that regard, Díaz-Canel pointed out that “Cuba advocates the adoption of a robust international instrument for the prevention, response and recovery from pandemics, under the leadership of the World Health Organization.”
“We call for the adoption of universal, redistributive and solidarity policies, with the commitment to leaving no one behind,” the president stated.
We are ready to develop scientific and medical exchanges with interested countries, and provide advice to promote international collaboration, he added.
The Cuban President noted that in this mission, Cuba also makes available to everyone its epidemiological, clinical and laboratory protocols, and the results of research in the development of innovative next-generation medicines, as well as those of scientific research.
“Each country can and must contribute what is within its reach,” because “the benefits must be universally accessible to all,” said President Díaz-Canel, who added that “to advance along that path, always count on Cuba.”