By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – First the good news. President Diaz Canel and all those in Cuba and around the globe who each year oppose the US embargo on the island won another symbolic victory on Wednesday.
The UN voted, similar to past years, 184-2 for a resolution telling the United States to end its embargo (called a blockade by Cuba) on the island, in place for six decades. The only two votes supporting the embargo were the US itself and Israel. Three countries abstained, the Ukraine, Colombia and the United Arab Emirates.
In his euphoric statement Communist Party head Diaz Canel said: “A smashing victory! The cinical, slanderous imperialist discourse is as immoral, shameless and obsolete as the criminal blockade. The world is with Cuba. The US isolates itself; it has no right to impose sanctions.”
Lopsided voting against the embargo began in 1992 when Cuba, near bankruptcy after losing its favorable Soviet and East European trade partners, began drafting an annual resolution.
The toothless resolution admonishing the embargo is considered a great moral victory for Cuba’s leaders and supporters of its government.
The bad news related to Covid-19
The bad news today in the government press related to the battle to contain the Covid-19 outbreak on the island. As the Ministry of Health continues its domestic vaccination campaign with two vaccines developed on the island, Wednesday marked a new record of positive nationwide tests.
For the first time more than two thousand positive cases (2,055) were detected on Tuesday in the country of 11+ million inhabitants. In fact, the previous high was below 1,500, set in the last week.
According to the government’s statistics, reliable to some, questionable to others, as 2021 began, the average daily positive cases detected was around 50, bringing speculation that the worst was past.
However, the reopening to some visitors from abroad, combined with the persistent crowded lines as people try to purchase scarce basic foods or hygiene products, apparently led to the huge spike. By March, most flights abroad were once again cancelled.
Government officials constantly go on national TV to blame the population’s “indiscipline” for the spread of the virus. Nonetheless, they have not offered any alternative to the constant many-hour lines for getting needed products.
Those preaching officials have their needs satisfied without having to wait in any lines and risk their health. They also use private transportation instead of the overcrowded public buses.
TV commentators most always point to other countries doing worse fighting the pandemic, like arch-enemy the USA, and Brazil, as a sign that Cuba is above the average in prevention.
If any or all of its five vaccines in development get approved internationally, the Cuban government hopes to promote a highly lucrative sales campaign, besides achieving vaccine success at home.
Meanwhile, the embargo on Cuba will continue until at least 60 US senators decide otherwise, something that is highly unlikely in the near future.