Cuba joined a long list of Latin American countries lending assistance to Ecuador on April 18 by deploying a team of 53 health and rescue specialists to treat victims wounded in the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck the Andean nation April 16, TeleSUR English said. The quake has killed at least 350 people and injuring thousands more.
Cuban President Raul Castro has insisted on the need for the United States to end its more than 50-year-long economic blockade on the Caribbean island after US president Barack Obama’s historic visit to the island on March 21. Castro also took the opportunity of the first visit to Cuba by a US president in more than 80 years to say his government rejected “double standards” on human rights.
Ahead of United States President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba on March 20 — making him the first sitting US head of state to visit the island in 88 years — Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez called for an end to the 55-year-long US blockade.
In a Democratic presidential primary debate in Miami on March 10, against his rival Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders opposed US invasions, coups and interventions against Latin American nations. The socialist Senator also strongly opposed the ongoing US embargo against Cuba while praising the island for its social gains in health and education.
Cuban farmers planting sweet potato crop.
Hondurans receive care from Cuban doctors. Photo: Cuban Medical Brigade. Cuban doctors have served more than 29 million Hondurans and saved at least 250,000 Honduran lives over the past 17 years, local media in the Central American nation said.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos recognised and thanked Cuba on November 12 for its important support in achieving national independence 40 years ago. Commemorating four decades of independence from colonial powers, dos Santos invited a Cuban delegation to honour the historical events that led Fidel Castro to deploy 36,000 troops to defend Angola from a US-back military invasion by forces of apartheid South Africa.
Once again, the United States and Israel voted against a motion to end economic sanctions at the United Nations General Assembly on October 27. Similar motions have been adopted by overwhelming majorities at the UN for the past 23 years. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented a report that concludes that the economic sanctions, which have caused about US$833.8 billion in damages to the Caribbean island, should be lifted. Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez addressed the UN, calling the blockade a “flagrant, massive and systematic violation of human rights of all Cubans”.
More than 10 million people have learned to read and write through a Cuban program aimed at mature age students, the Cuban government announced on October 26, TeleSUR English reported that day. The program, Yo Si Puedo (Yes I Can), aims to provide free education to adults who lacked opportunities to learn to read and write as children, with a focus on the poor.
A Cuban girl is being deprived of urgently needed cancer treatment due to the United States' blockade, doctors said on October 28, TeleSUR English reported that day.