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Issue #1909      March 30, 2020



The Republic of Cuba and the People’s Republic of China are showing the way forward, both in tackling the virus crisis and demonstrating a new standard for international relations based on cooperation and friendship.

Despite dealing with their outbreaks of COVID-19, these countries in particular have shown great generosity in helping the rest of the world tackle the pandemic.

For several years Chinese President Xi Jinping has promoted the concept of “building a community with a shared future for mankind.” Given the ever-increasing interconnectedness of human societies worldwide, large-scale cooperation and planning is needed to address the problems we face. International relations based upon competition and hostility are, ever more clearly, in opposition to the interests of our entire species. Major examples of relevant issues have been those of peace, environment, poverty and economic development. These remain no less urgent matters, but the COVID-19 epidemic has acutely illuminated this principle and brought the demand for change to the fore.

The Chinese government and many organisations within China have sent medical supplies and staff to dozens of countries around the world. So too has the tiny nation of Cuba, supplying Cuban antiviral medicine Interferon Alfa-2B to many countries (including China), as well as other supplies and skilled medical teams.

Cuba also aided hundreds of passengers on the British cruise ship MS Braemar by allowing the ship to dock in Cuba and the passengers to fly home after the ship spent over a week being refused entry to several countries including the United States.

US-aligned media has incessantly attacked China during this crisis, making ludicrous criticisms of China’s response that become more ironic by the day. The US and other Western governments have all enacted a much slower response, despite having months more warning, and are timidly starting to introduce the same necessary measures they had labelled “authoritarian” in China.

It is only since the crisis hit the stock markets that Western governments have taken it at all seriously. China, on the other hand, showed no hesitation in shutting down most of its economy in order to control the outbreak. This approach has already proven successful. Now Chinese experts are being sought after by countries around the world, and China is generously providing all forms of assistance.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, in a passionate speech, criticised the European Union for denying Serbia medical imports from the EU, saying “European solidarity does not exist” and described the People’s Republic of China as “the only ones who can help us”. China has sent Serbia medical teams, test kits and other medical equipment.

Meanwhile, information was leaked to the German media suggesting that US President Donald Trump offered German pharmaceutical company CureVac one billion dollars for exclusive rights to a COVID-19 vaccine under development. An unnamed US government official has denied some of the content of this report, claiming that if the US were to procure exclusive rights to a vaccine, they would still share it with the world. But simultaneously, the US government persists in its criminal blockades against many countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria and the DPRK, restricting access to vital medical supplies and willingly causing unnecessary deaths – all the while claiming that these sanctions only target the governments of these countries and not their people.

A political world away, in a phone call with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel last month, President Xi Jinping said China “highly appreciates the understanding and support the Cuban side and the Cuban president himself have shown for China’s anti-epidemic efforts.” He also stressed that “China and Cuba are good friends, good comrades, and good brothers who can rely on each other in difficult times and are as close as lips and teeth.” He further stated that “the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government will, as always, support Cuba’s pursuit of a socialist path”.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel responded that China’s successful measures to combat the epidemic have “fully demonstrated China’s strong mobilisation ability and the great advantages of the socialist system.”

He also complimented President Xi’s leadership, and thanked China “for its long-standing support for Cuba’s just cause and its assistance for Cuba’s development and construction,” declaring that “Cuba stands ready to work with China to further consolidate their traditional friendship.”


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