Source Pravda.Ru

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey: Cuban aid offer met with silence - shameful

Fidel Castro’s government made the offer to create a structure to combat Africa’s serious health problems over a year ago. However, the UNO has yet to set the mechanisms in motion and the international community has responded with an embarrassed silence.

What Cuba is offering is three thousand highly trained specialists to work in African countries affected with the HIV/AIDS virus. For free. All that is requested of the industrialised nations is that they pay for the medicines and other administrative costs.

Bruno Rodriguez, the Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations, reiterated this offer to the UN Security Council recently. He declared that what was necessary was not lectures or repayment schemes, but simply, aid, debt reduction and technical support.

Cuba has long been involved in aid programmes in Africa, programmes which are rarely if ever publicised abroad, except in Pravda.Ru. Bruno Rodriguez stated that his country was committed to “the quest for peace and security, which required development and the elimination of poverty”.

He asked why has Africa not a single permanent member at the UN Security Council, when most of the time at the UN is taken up discussing the conflicts in this continent, the vast majority of which were begun at the instigation of external forces. This situation culminates in the alarming statistic that 20% of the population of Africa live in zones where there is conflict.

Almost half the population of Africa live on less than one USD per day and 50% of the world’s deaths, on a daily basis, are in Africa, while the whole continent contributes one per cent of the world’s GNP.

Despite being a country which for decades has been confronted by a blockade imposed by the USA, Cuba has developed the best public health system in Latin America. Patients from all over the world visit Cuban hospitals for treatment. It is not by chance that Maradona went to Cuba for rehabilitation.

Cuba’s education system has produced the best results in the continent, its primary school children ranking so high in UN-sponsored tests that these had to be repeated, for fear that an error had taken place.

The United States, and to a great extent, the rest of the world, shuns Cuba for one reason only: it is living testimony that Communism and Communist systems can work. If the rest of the Capitalist world is afraid to admit this, turning a blind eye will not make this “blemish” go away. The world can survive without capitalist oligarchies, all that is needed is an enlightened state among Mankind, a state which unfortunately is only too rare nowadays.

That Cuba’s offer of aid to Africa can be systematically ignored in this way is shameful not only to the countries which refuse to accept Cuba among the international community, but also a sickening example of divisiveness, self-interest and gluttony among Humankind, a species which if it continues to act so utterly selfishly, surely has its days counted.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru