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Antigua and Barbuda thanks Cuba for pandemic-related assistance

by Pointe Xpress
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Antigua and Barbuda has expressed its thanks to the Cuban government for its assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the height of the global health crisis, scores of Cuban medical personnel arrived in Antigua and Barbuda to provide critical support to the health care system.

Foreign Affairs Minister, E. P. Chet Greene, made the point in his address to the 8th CARICOM/Cuba summit in Barbados this week.

“During these difficult times, the Republic of Cuba demonstrated that it was a good friend and regional partner, deploying members of its Henry Reeve Medical Brigade to assist CARICOM member states with medical support,” he remarked.

Noting Antigua and Barbuda and Cuba’s long history of shared cooperation, the foreign affairs minister said there are seventy-seven members of Cuba’s health brigade working in the country.

“Cuban medical professionals, including those of the Henry Reeve Brigade, have gone beyond their call of duty in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and other medical issues and must be lauded for their heroic acts of service.

“In another act of health solidarity, CARICOM member states have also been offered the Abdala and Soberana vaccines against COVID-19,” he disclosed.

Greene also outlined other areas in which Cuba has provided support to the region.

“Cooperation with Cuba has resulted in the graduation of thousands of young persons across the region in medical careers, and other tertiary-level and technical areas, which has been an essential means for expanding healthcare human resources in the region, and has ensured access to inclusive and equitable education,” said Greene.

Cuba recently increased the number of medical scholarships offered to Antigua and Barbuda from seven to eleven. These scholarships will allow Cuban trained doctors to specialise in medical disciplines including endocrinology, psychiatry, paediatrics, cardiology and nephrology.

Scholarships in dentistry are also available.

Foreign Minister Greene said he is honoured to reaffirm Antigua and Barbuda’s commitment to strengthening its relations with Cuba and increasing bilateral cooperation.

“CARICOM-Cuba relations are based upon an iron-clad friendship, and a foundation of mutual trust and respect.

“Our relations are also based upon the basic truth and recognition that we must cooperate together in the face of common threats and challenges that affect our region,” said Greene.

The minister also called for an end to the United States’ financial, economic and trade embargo which has been in effect against Cuba for sixty years.

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