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“I am here because the vaccine is Cuban”

cuba vacunacionThe first 10,000 Venezuelans, of the four million projected, are receiving their three doses of Cuba’s Abdala vaccine in Ciudad Tiuna, in the Caracas municipality of Libertador

It could be the human aspect of the work, the confidence returned, the lives saved here. Or perhaps the thousand and one expressions of brotherhood that have marked the hopes of Venezuela, over more than two decades.

There must be a reason. But as the unmistakable people in white lab coats make their way to the vaccination center, the humble of Ciudad Tiuna, in the Caracas municipality of Libertador, seem to see the dawn approaching.

“There they are, may the Lord bless them,” exclaimed a middle-aged woman from Caracas, when she saw them appear on a corner, a few meters away from the Simoncito Early Childhood Center, one of the vaccination sites where the Cuban vaccine Abdala is being administered. The first 10,000 residents, of the four million projected across the country, will receive their three doses here.

The sun had not yet climbed the hills that surround this city, and those in the white coats, almost all very young, were here, amidst jokes, affection and good humor, with their very Cuban greetings, which were reciprocated with a murmured thank you.

Not a trace of discouragement. No bitterness among these “slaves,” as the enemies of Cuba want to portray them, with no qualms about the malicious nature of their slanders, meant to discredit the work of our health personnel, who have served in more than 160 nations around the world, and helped battle the coronavirus in 40.

No one could blame these professionals for feeling frustrated, if there were a speck of truth in the Goebbelian statements made by Antony Blinken last July 1, when he returned to his cynical discourse, in another attempt to link our country to human trafficking.

“I don’t give a lick about this outrage against us, as they say here,” said Alía Acosta Sala, a nurse from the Isle of Youth, on her second mission in Venezuela. “No one forced me to come here; I am here of my own free will, only the call of duty dictates.”

“They want to justify all the evil they do to us”, Alía continued, while injecting Abdala into a Venezuelan shoulder, “They slander us to tarnish the solidarity effort we make, while they, with much greater resources, do nothing,” she said, before invoking a very Cuban song: “They can’t stop us.”

Similar views were expressed by Dr. Luis Bueno Pardo, a 34 year old doctor from Santiago de Cuba, a specialist in General Comprehensive Medicine, and Delia Virgen Yero, a nurse from Manzanillo, both of whom are working in the Abdala vaccination program, in the urban area of Ciudad Tiuna.

“Thank you and God bless you are the words and phrases we most hear from Venezuelans these days,” says Delia Virgen, “We have had to clarify a few aspects of the vaccine to some, it is true, but I have received the blessing of many; some have dedicated poems to us, and I have seen others cry with gratitude.”

A few meters away, in the same room, as if to confirm that intrigue and lies will never undermine the prestige of Cuban medicine, Juan Velázquez, a 57-year-old driver, admits, “I had my doubts when I heard about this vaccine; some people out there don’t say very good things about it.”

“So why did you come, despite your doubts?” I ask.
“I’m here because the vaccine is Cuban; I want to take care of my life.”

(Taken from Granma)

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