The Landless Rural Workers and Workers Movement (MST), together with artists and religious, is mobilizing to send 240 kg of seeds and 10,000 tons of organic rice to help Cubans face the shortages generated by both the blockade and by the economic difficulties resulting from the pandemic.
To ship to the island, the campaign is now seeking to raise around US$ 10 million. The transport will be carried out by the Business Chamber Brazil – Cuba, since, due to the health crisis, there are no commercial flights to the Caribbean country.
Since 1962, the socialist island has suffered from an economic blockade imposed by the United States, which caused a loss estimated by the Cuban government at US$ 147.8 billion. The measure not only prevents the country from importing products from the US, but also sanctions other countries that try to trade with Cuba.
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Donald Trump, in his administration, issued 243 new unilateral coercive measures that affected mainly oil imports, the sending of remittances from abroad, as well as the International Financial Bank of Cuba, a banking entity that collected and reinvested the dollars circulating in the country.
These sanctions added to the difficulties generated by the pandemic in a country that has tourism as the mainstay of the economy.
Joe Biden’s White House maintained its predecessor’s set of policies, although this year, for the 29th time, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for an end to the embargo,
The MST initiative repeats 1992, when Cuba was going through the so-called Special Period – a decade of economic crisis right after the fall of the Soviet Union – and a Solidarity Flight to the country was organized. Now, Frei Betto, Fernando Morais, Eric Nepomuceno, Chico Buarque and João Pedro Stédile are once again organizing a campaign to send food to Cubans.
An international solidarity
In the last week, Cuba received help from several countries. Russia sent 100 tons of food. Mexico, two boats loaded with 612 tons of medical supplies, including syringes, oxygen and masks, as well as food and gasoline. Bolivia, in turn, sent an Air Force plane with 20 tons of food and medical supplies. Venezuela sent containers with humanitarian aid, but did not specify the products or the quantity. From Asia, China donated 30 respirators to treat covid-19 patients, while the Vietnamese government sent 12,000 tons of rice.
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“Increase solidarity with Cuba in the most difficult times. Our gratitude and gratitude to the governments and peoples who help us”, declared President Miguel Díaz Canel.
On the island, donations have already started to be distributed by the State in the form of food baskets that will be delivered to 3.8 million families, giving priority to homes with elderly people over 65, pregnant women or women with greater social vulnerability.
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Brazil-Cuba Business Chamber:
Banco do Brasil – Agency 4770-8 – Account: 13.844-4 – Pix CNPJ: 34.131.511/0001-64
Edition: Arturo Hartmann