The World Health Organization declared the end of the most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in Liberia on June 9, and many of the heroes are Cuban.
The role Cuba played in response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and other nations in West Africa is not to be understated. The small island nation, a developing nation itself, provided more trained medical professionals than all the other nations combined.
With the hysteria surrounding the Ebola outbreak often times coupled with racist xenophobia targeting African peoples, particularly in the wealthy Western nations, you would think that more would have been done by the global community to stop such a deadly disease. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The wealthy nations sat around and did little while Cuba went to the front lines of the outbreak and committed what little resources it had in order to help the people of West Africa defeat the deadly disease.
Perhaps if there had been a discovery of oil or some other natural resource, the United States would have intervened sooner. But because there was no profit incentive, its response was quite muted. The medical community in the West African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak has openly stated that the global response was seriously lacking. The exception, of course, was Cuba, which had over 12,000 of its medical staff volunteer to help in the efforts.
Cuban response nothing new
The response by Cuba is nothing new. In fact, Cuba has around 50,000 medical professionals deployed in 66 countries worldwide, quite a feat for a nation of about 11 million. Compare this figure to the 662 U.S. military bases in 38 foreign nations around the world.
The role Cuba has played has been hard to ignore even by its detractors. In 2015, a team of Cuban doctors was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. WHO Director Margaret Chan stated in a 2014 press conference in reference to Cuba’s participation in combating Ebola, “Cuba is world-famous for its ability to train outstanding doctors and nurses.”
While the imperialists boast of their mission to spread prosperity across the globe, the opposite is the case with endless war and entire nations destroyed. Cuba, on the other hand, exhibits a true effort of solidarity to spread health and cooperation. As Fidel Castro once said: “They are accustomed to thinking that a country does something only in search of oil, diamonds, copper or other natural resources. Our interests are not materialistic, and it is only logical that the imperialists can’t understand that.”