Iván Barreto López from the Cuban Institute for Friendship Among the Peoples (ICAP) spoke to Green Left about ending the US-imposed blockade of Cuba which he said has impacted “every Cuban”.
“There is not even one single Cuban alive who has not suffered the impact of the blockade because for more than sixty years we’ve been suffering from these policies from the United States.
“In terms of [overall] damage from the blockade, we’re talking about $US114 billion of damage and if we take into account the devaluation of the [currency] over history it rises to more than $US700 billion.”
“The impact is in every sphere: in health, food, medical supplies, tools for any workplace.”
Earlier, Barreto López addressed a public forum, hosted by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS), on July 26. It was held on the 70th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks — a key moment in the lead up to the Cuban Revolution.
It also marked the successful conclusion of this year’s “From Australia to Cuba with love” campaign in which supporters raised funds for medical equipment for Cuba. ACFS supporters raised more than $5000 and it is not too late to contribute.
Marianniz Díaz Hernández from the Cuban Centre of Molecular Immunology told the forum about Cuba’s pandemic response, including her own experience in developing COVID-19 vaccines. Cuba developed the first COVID-19 vaccine in Latin America and the first vaccine in the world for children as young as two years old.
In discussion, Díaz and Barreto attributed Cuba’s high level of vaccine acceptance to the country’s strong social cohesion and solidarity.