Ernesto Soberon, General Director of Consular Affairs and Attention
to Cubans Living Abroad at MINREX.
Havana, February 24 (RHC)--Cuba has received during the COVID-19 pandemic more than 135 donations from Cuban associations and solidarity groups based in 40 countries. The value amounts to 8.9 million dollars, informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX).
In an interview published in Cubadebate, the general director of Consular Affairs and Attention to Cubans Living Abroad of that Ministry, Ernesto Soberón, expressed his gratitude for the support the groups of emigrants offered during the pandemic.
He explained that with these donations, more than 10 million syringes and needles have arrived to support vaccination, medicines, equipment for the detection of the coronavirus, and means of protection for health personnel.
Soberón denounced the tightening of the economic embargo applied by the U.S. government against the Island, especially during the health crisis.
"The measures of economic, commercial, and financial asphyxiation against our country have been intensified. Because of these restrictions imposed by the U.S. blockade, Cuba has been extremely hindered in acquiring medical supplies and materials that are essential in the fight against and immunization against COVID-19," he stressed.
He noted that given this situation, the Caribbean country had received international aid and donations from governments, foreign companies, solidarity associations, Cubans living abroad, and other friends to support the Cuban public health system.
On the ties with the diaspora, he said that most Cubans abroad favor a "constructive relationship" with their country of origin and "the improvement of relations between Cuba and the United States." He also described the U.S. embargo as a "failed policy."
Soberón stated that there are currently 166 Cubans living abroad in 79 countries. He added that they support Cuba in its central international claims and that in the last few years, around 72,000 people have recovered their residence on the Island.
He added that as part of the Government's commitment to assist the community abroad, several actions have been developed, such as the follow-up and assistance to citizens who fell ill with COVID-19 and the organization of charter flights that allowed the return to the Island of more than 5,700 people who were stranded in 56 countries