Cuba to assist in Turkey-Syria quake relief
Cuba, a country that has been suffering from the repercussions of US embargo and unilateral sanctions, has sent its medical staff to disaster sites around the world since its 1959 revolution.
Cuba prepared on Friday to send healthcare workers to Turkey and Syria, joining a growing group of countries providing rescue and medical aid to the region after a devastating earthquake earlier this week.
Cuban authorities in Havana on Friday evening confirmed that 32 medics were set to depart for Turkey. Earlier in the week, Syrian ambassador Ghassan Obeid told Cuban media that 27 Cuban medics would be headed to Syria.
The images from Turkey and Syria after the devastating earthquake are moving. I express my deep condolences for the 20 thousand dead. #Cuba has shown its solidarity and friendship by sending a medical brigade to both countries to help the victims. #CubaSalvaVidas pic.twitter.com/DI8mOcHXoR— Ángel Arzuaga Reyes (@ArzuagaReyes) February 10, 2023
Cuba's Health Minister, Jose Angel Portal, affirmed Cuba's stance in helping disaster-struck countries, saying, "There are many professionals who have expressed their willingness to go to Turkey and Syria, as well as to any corner where it is necessary, as an expression of Cuba's solidarity and humanitarian approach."
Among the team members are 20 medical specialists, nurses, epidemiologists, and health service workers, with more than five years of practical experience in the field.
The death toll from the earthquake, which rocked Turkey and Syria in the early hours of Monday, stood at more than 23,000 four days after the quake rocked the region. Search and rescue operations are still underway, despite the dire conditions.
It is worth mentioning that Cuba, a country that has been suffering from the repercussions of decades of US embargo and unilateral sanctions, has sent its paramedics, doctors, and specialists to disaster sites and disease outbreaks around the world since its 1959 leftist revolution.
Cuba's doctors were on the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s, not to mention the Covid-19 pandemic, for which it sent dozens of teams around the world.
Cuba has been under US sanctions for more than 60 years, which left the country struggling to provide its citizens with basic needs, as the US maximum pressure campaign includes many of the country's key sectors.