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Cuba’s talent for rebirth

cartel cuba vivaThe year 2020 obliged us to reinvent ourselves and much can said about this. There will be talk, for example, of Eladio, the man in overalls who did not miss a single work day, and of Enrique, the policeman who supervised, and continues to supervise, lines outside neighborhood stores, like so many others.

We will talk about Esperanza, the nurse, and the students who accompany her every day on her epidemiological monitoring rounds. We will talk about Neide, the first recuperating COVID patient to donate her plasma, and the vaccine researchers… We will talk about the baker, the driver and the teacher…

There will be talk about Cuba doing everything for its people. Which means, in practical terms, strengthening collaboration between all sectors of the economy and society to save the country.

And it will be said, above all, that no one was abandoned to their fate.

On March 3, the Political Bureau approved a Prevention and Control Plan to confront the new coronavirus, which was adjusted, more than once, based on the evolution of the pandemic. At the end of that month, the country’s highest leadership made the decision to activate all Provincial Defense Councils (with reduced membership) which were charged with implementing the COVID-19 plan.

The effort was distinguished the fact that Cuba’s government placed human beings at the center of its work, with science in the vanguard.


-A total of 869 research and innovation projects related to the pandemic were launched, including 189 of national scope.

-Mathematical models were designed by the University of Havana’s department of Mathematics and Computing, in collaboration with other institutions, to forecast the epidemic’s evolution.

-The first prototype of a Cuban pulmonary ventilator for assisted breathing was developed.

-More than 30 products for the treatment of COVID-19 were created by Cuba’s biotechnology industry, including antivirals, immune system booster, anti-inflammatories, preventive vaccines, diagnostics and medical equipment.

-Four candidate vaccines are currently in the clinical trial phase: Soberana 01 and 02, developed by the Finlay Vaccine Institute; and Mambisa (CIGB-669) and Abdala (CIGB-66), created by the Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering.


The State Budget allocated 1,300,000,000 pesos in 2020 to confront COVID-19.


-Confirmed cases: 11 687 (0.80% of individuals tested)

-Active cases: 1,529 (13.1% of total confirmed)

-Deceased: 145

-Recovered: 10,003 patients (85.5% of total confirmed)

-Mortality: 1.24%, one of the lowest in the Americas and the world

-Institutions treating COVID patients (through December 3, 2020): 41

-Laboratories processing pcr tests, in six provinces, with capacity to analyze more than 15,000 daily: 18.

-No deaths among pediatric patients or pregnant women reported.


-55 Henry Reeve Brigades in 40 countries

-More than 4,700 collaborators

-More than 930,000 cases attended

-More than 2,394,000 nurses


The Economic and Social Strategy was approved last July by the government to promote development and confront the world crisis caused by the pandemic, to serve as a roadmap.

Addressed are 16 key areas of the economy and among the strategic areas identified are food production; the reordering of the enterprise system; the updating of self-employment and other forms of non-state economic management; as well as the implementation of monetary re-ordering.

On December 10, the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, accompanied by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, announced the initiation of the Ordering Task on January 1, 2021.

Announced previously were 15 economic measures for the enterprise sector, added to the 28 approved some time ago.

Outstanding among these are:

-Flexibility in the distribution of earnings to workers, with the elimination of the limit of up to five average salaries, regardless of performance on other indicators.

-Decentralizing the authority to create, merge or close companies, as well as making the operation of the Basic Enterprise Units more flexible.

- The category of a subsidiary was approved as an option in reorganization of enterprises.

- Basic Enterprise Units with totally or partially closed productive cycles may be converted to enterprises, where necessary and advisable.


The year 2020 saw the search for alternatives in agricultural production and the consolidation of previously designed strategies. Of the 378,623 hectares (ha) planned for the planting of root and green vegetables, grains and fruit, 85% had been sown by November.

Rustic crops have been developed:

-Plantain: 107,471 ha planted

-Yucca: 74,135 ha planted

-Boniato: 17,830 ha planted, at the end of October

The awarding of land in usufruct is a priority of the first order. 49,269 applications have been filed, of which 34,041 have been approved.


Although total transportation declined, the number of operations in all modalities: rail, maritime, air and automotive, maintained operations to support other economic sectors in the country.

- More than 41,000 trips were made daily for the transportation of 400,000 passengers, linked to agencies continuing to provide essential services.

-More than 200 vehicles were used to support the Integrated System of Medical Emergencies (SIUM).

-Since the resumption of airport activity in the country to date, a total of 38 airlines have provided services in Cuba, of which 25 operate in the region of the Americas.

-Ticket sales initiated via the Viajando app, reaching 306,555 tickets to date.

-Through the end of November, 232,617 new telephone lines were activated, 45,470 landlines and 187,147 cell phones.

-E-commerce services were implemented with some difficulties, through the EnZona and Transfermóvil payment platforms.

-Via Transfermóvil alone, more than ten million operations are conducted and more than two payments or transfers per second are made every month.

-In November, EnZona surpassed 120 million pesos transferred, paid or collected, and 3,588 businesses had been registered.

Computer platforms developed during the pandemic:

-Pesquisador Virtual COVID-19

-PesquiActiva COVID-19




The 2019-2020 academic year ended without the transmission of COVID-19 in educational institutions.

When face-to-face teaching activities were suspended, 394 early childhood care centers remained open to support parents working.

Given the suspension of classes in schools, television teaching activities were broadcast on educational channels and Tele Rebelde, focused on explaining content and providing practice to achieve objectives in all subjects.

More than 18,400 students took Higher Education entrance exams, while

universities restructured the term, with the next academic year to take place February through December 2021.


-The Cuban government allocated 371 million pesos to social assistance, to guaranteed economic protection to more than 184,000 persons.

-624,978 workers benefited from options for tele-commuting.

-71,409 older adults and 53,530 vulnerable workers received special wage benefits.

-78,301 workers who care for children in primary and special education received wage protection.

-8,776 people placed in preventive isolation benefited in terms of wages.

-Through October, the Social Security Budget had expenditures of 6.366 billion pesos, supporting 1,671,579 persons.

(Taken from Granma)

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