General Maximo Gomez, one of the key figures in the 19th century Cuban War of Independence against Spain, once said, “Cubans fail to achieve their goal or go beyond it.”
Ed Augustine introduces his writing.
A century and a half later, the proverb seems to come true. The island struggles to keep the lights on, but now more citizens than any other major country in the world have been vaccinated against Govt-19, the author says.
More than 90% of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of their own Cuban vaccine, while 83% of the population has been fully vaccinated. Of the countries with a population of over one million, only the United Arab Emirates has the best number.
John Kirk, a professor of Latin American studies at the University of Dalhousie in Canada, says: “Cuba is plagued by magical realism.
The idea that Cuba could be a biotechnology superpower with a population of just 11 million and a low income may not be clear to those working at Pfizer, but it is possible for Cuba.
Like most Latin American countries, Cuba knew it would be difficult to buy vaccines in the international market. Thus, in March 2020, when foreign exchange reserves plummeted due to the loss of tourism revenue and the new US sanctions, scientists on the island went to work.
The venture paid off: this spring, Cuba became the smallest country in the world to successfully develop and manufacture its own corona virus vaccine.
Since then, the global health service has been run by good professionals, but in a state of disrepair, delivering vaccines to young children at a rapid pace. It should be emphasized that all vaccines in Cuba are produced in large numbers on a voluntary basis.
According to clinical trials conducted in Cuba last spring, both vaccines are more than 90% effective. Thanks to the success of the vaccine, the incidence of infections in the Western Hemisphere has dropped to an all-time low today from an all-time high last summer.
In August last year the archipelago recorded hundreds of deaths a week from the corona virus, with a total of three deaths in the last week of the previous year.
The success of the vaccine is even better when compared to other health services. As the supply of hard currency has halved in the last two years, there is now a shortage of antibiotics and 20 amoxicillin tablets are being sold on the black market for a minimum monthly wage. In some provinces, doctors wrap broken bones in cardboard used to replace plaster.
Havana lawyer Gregory Pinyowski says Fidel Castro’s dream is a perfect example of how Cuba can sometimes walk in the clouds. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Castro wanted to invest $ 1 billion in biotechnology.
Any rational adviser would have said that it is not worth investing resources now in something that will pay off in 25 years. And yet we are here … The benefits of investing in biotechnology will save lives
Other large-scale missions failed dramatically: the 1970 plan to harvest ten million tons of sugar was to produce an unprecedented amount of sugar to stimulate growth. But in order to cut the sugarcane, the workers were fired from their regular jobs, the industry was paralyzed and the farm was devastated. Last year, Cuba harvested seven times less sugar than in 1959.
According to Hall Klebck, Professor of History and Strategy at the Royal Military College of Canada, great things should happen well, but everyday life can be devastating.
The electrification of the country in less than a decade, the eradication of illiteracy in 2.5 years, the medical international are all frantic projects. They did
Clubb pointed out.
Even today, Cuba sends tens of thousands of doctors and nurses abroad as part of humanitarian aid, but is unable to grow enough potatoes for its population.
After less than 100 cases per day have been reported for several weeks, the number of infections is now increasing due to the highly contagious omigran variant. Cuban scientists have not yet released data on the effectiveness of vaccines against Omigran, but have begun updating their vaccine against the version.
Meanwhile, Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health has stepped up its booster vaccination campaign and aims to vaccinate almost the entire population this month.
Cover image source: Hispanolytic via Getty Images