USA Praises Cuba for “Significant Contribution” to Fight Ebola

State Dept. Spokesperson Marie Harf. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — The United States government today praised Cuba for its “significant contribution” in the fight against Ebola in West Africa, although it avoided directly replying to an offer of cooperation from the Caribbean island.

“We recognize and appreciate their contribution, as we do with other countries but the fact that such a small country is providing so many resources – more than many other countries-, in all sincerity is a significant contribution,” said State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.

Harf spoke on Monday as the Castro government announced it is sending more aid workers on Tuesday to Liberia and Guinea to fight the epidemic in Africa.

However, she avoided answering a question from reporters about whether Washington would be willing to cooperate directly with Havana to combat this epidemic in West Africa.

Shortly before, Raul Castro reiterated his brother Fidel’s offer to cooperate with the United States in the fight against Ebola. “We also invite the nations of North America to cooperate in this endeavor,” he said.

“Cuba is willing to work closely with all countries, including the United States,” said the Cuban President in Havana as part of a summit of the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) on Ebola.

In an article published on Saturday in the Cuban press, former Cuban President Fidel Castro had offered cooperation to the United States, despite the ideological rivalry between the two countries.

In a related recognition, the New York Times praised Havana in an editorial published today citing “Cuba’s impressive contribution in the fight against Ebola,” despite being “a poor and relatively isolated island”.

“Although the United States and other countries have stated their willingness to contribute money, only Cuba and a few NGOs are providing what is needed more urgently: medical professionals willing to treat patients,” noted the NYT in its editorial, published on its website in English and Spanish.

The editors of the Times said it is “unfortunate that Washington, the main financial contributor to the fight against Ebola, has no diplomatic ties with Cuba, since Cuba could end up playing the most vital work.”

In this case, the newspaper said the “enmity has life and death implications, since the two countries lack mechanisms to coordinate their efforts on a high level.”

“Fidel Castro argues that the United States and Cuba must put aside their differences, if only temporarily, to combat a global threat. He’s absolutely right,” said the NYT.

The government of Cuba announced today that on Tuesday it will send two new brigades with a total of 91 medical aid workers to Liberia and Guinea to combat Ebola, adding to the 165 that arrived earlier this month to Sierra Leone.

Raul Castro’s government announced in early October that it plans to send a total of over 400 people including doctors and support medical personnel to deal with Ebola in Africa.

20 thoughts on “USA Praises Cuba for “Significant Contribution” to Fight Ebola

  • Says the person who has no knowledge or wisdom…

  • Here is an interesting report on Cuban’s medical mission to Africa to fight Ebola:

    “Cuban doctors fight Ebola in West Africa ‘voluntarily’…”

    ” “Cuba is a special case,” says Jose Luis Di Fabio, who heads the WHO’s Havana office.

    “The country has the ability to react very quickly because of the experience of the physicians and the political will to do so,” he said.

    It’s precisely the country’s “political will” that Antonio Guedes judges from a completely different perspective. Guedes is a Cuban, a doctor, and president of the exile party Cuban Liberal Union (ULC) in Madrid.

    For him, the political course Cuba is charting does not have altruism at its core. Rather, the regime in Havana is more interested in international attention and goodwill.

    “Cuba is doing this first and foremost to polish its political image, secondly for economic reasons, and thirdly, so that countries that have received their help will vote in Cuba’s favor in international forums like the United Nations,” Guedes told DW.

    According to the ULC leader, there is no such thing as “voluntary” in Cuba. “Whoever does not cooperate may lose his job, or at least his position, or his son will not get a place at university.”

  • Yes, the US uses propaganda, too.

    My comment was in response to Analyser who wrote,

    “you have the audacity to use the word ‘propaganda’ when referring to Fidel/Raul Castro and Cuba”

    …as if the Castro regime does not engage in propaganda.

  • No, you have to do yours. If you make an assertion that you can’t back up, your point is null and void.

  • Yes he is. Propaganda is essential for any struggle. But Fidel doesn’t have a exclusive on using propaganda… the US was/is built on it too.

  • Your exaggerations are silly. Patriot missiles to West Africa? Get real!

  • Thanks Terry. I love turnips. Same question….which part of what of my comment is untrue?

  • Do I have to do your research?

  • Cuba good, Moses bad. It’s YOUR propaganda and twisted sense of reality that many are finding boring at best, and in this context, actually rather offensive. I know you feel that if you think it, and speak, it somehow becomes true. But you really need a compass check to least find center when you profess the ability to channel the Castros true motives for anything. You’re about as clairvoyant as a turnip.

  • The decision to send or not humanitarian help to any country in need, is a sovereign decision of each country, based upon their principles, values and commitment. But for apologists on these pages, to attempt to justify United States actions with unproven facts of being there before or after anyone else, is shameful.

    If the United States really wanted to help combat of Ebola from day one, they could sent hundreds of military healthcare professionals of of tens of thousands of healthcare personnel idling in hundreds of military bases, VA’s and elsewhere around the world, including those being forcefully fed on GITMO or ABU GHRAIB.

    Thousands of Cubans physicians, nurses and technologists, lured away from their missions around the world with US-AID bait money, are now frustrated and wasting in Miami driving tractor trailers, shelving in supermarkets or doing counter work in pharmacies and restaurants, while their expertise is needed in Africa or tens of medically under served communities in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.

    Treated like spoiled fruits, most of these physicians have received no governmental help except directed to Nursing and Physician Assisted Programs in Puerto Rico without any official financial support, In order to keep the AMA lifestyle intact.

    It is pathetic to hear many of these men and women, who have lost their most precious gift, to be a physician, remember the good old days of Becas Universitarias or University Scholarships in Cuba, when they received board, tuition, books, laboratory, meals, healthcare, transportation and a stipend in exchange, for sharing your knowledge with anyone in need, by a country described as the most blatant Human Rights Violator.

  • Critics of Cuba would be wise to follow the example of the US government and the New York Times and accept the fact that Cuba’s contribution to the fight against Ebola reflects well on Cuba and the Cuban Revolution. Neither the US government or the NYT are favourable to Cuba, but they don’t waste their time trying to undercut the positive reaction that many people will have to Cuba based on their contribution to this important fight.

  • Fidel Castro once explained, “Propaganda is essential to our struggle.”

    He uses is extensively and he’s quite good at it.

  • Do you have any evidence or links to support your claim that US aid workers in Haiti arrived and started chanting “We are number 1!” ?

    Or did you just make that up?

  • The Castro “government” has no credibility in fighting the Ebola epidemic with their track record at home dear! They have turned most of Cuba a breeding ground for diseases since they started the “doctors abroad for big money” business!

  • Smoke and Mirrors propaganda campaign by the Castro oligarchy to look nice in the eyes of the world. They cant even control the dengue and cholera outbreaks in Cuba!

    HAVANA TIMES: Cholera Warning for Cuba Issued by USA – August 21, 2013

    As of this publication, the Cuban authorities have not issued any
    information on the alert, presumably to not generate an alarm that could
    affect tourism, one of the main economic engines of the island,
    generating an estimated 2.5 billion US dollars in revenue in 2011
    according to official data.

    The disease was eradicated on the island since 1882, in the time of
    the Spanish colonial rule, until earlier this year, when the Cuban
    Ministry of Public Health issued a report which recognized the existence
    of 51 cases of cholera in Havana and several cases in the eastern
    provinces, noted dpa.

  • Analyser, is there anything in my comment that is untrue? Serious question. Please take a moment to tell me where you disagree with the facts as I have stated. You may take umbrage with how I have expressed these facts but is there anything untrue about them?

  • Don’t you ever tire of spewing forth your repetitive, paranoid anti Castro drivel?
    How interesting that you have the audacity to use the word ‘propaganda’ when referring to Fidel/Raul Castro and Cuba.
    You really are out on a limb, nothing new there then.

  • Cuba good, US bad, one sends doctors the other one patriot missiles. I remember that when the aid workers from the US came to Haiti they began chanting “We are number 1” while Cuba had been there much early and without any arrogant posture.

  • The facts are that the Castros sent Cuban medical personnel at first request of the WHO and the organization, Doctors Without Borders, and in particular US doctors, were already in West Africa. The fluff is Fidel is requesting cooperation with the US. On the ground in West Africa that cooperation is already taking place. Castro’s statement is intended for an ill-informed audience for the purpose of sending the message…Cuba good, US bad. Same old propaganda line.

  • Prejudice, complex and unwillingness to give in, is holding up this world clamor. for the United States and Cuba to join forces to combat and eradicate the Ebola epidemic, which constitutes a greater threat to the United States than to Cuba.

    Thousands of beniffited financially, socially and political by this 50 year old divide. Hundreds especially in the Cuban American community in south Florida, has never held a job or Social Security Card. They have made a comfy living from the hate industry and are now terrified, as it comes to a close.

    The health, safety and the future of millions of people of people around the world, should not be kept hostage of the job security of those living-off the US-Cuba divide. Welfare, Section 8 and Food Stamps is still an option available to some.

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