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Canadians Donate Almost Two Million Syringes to Cuba

Cubans receive donation of syringes from Cuba. Photo: Twitter: Cuba MINREX

Hundreds of Canadians, individuals, trade unions, and 20 organizations—from east to west—sent a donation of 1,920,000 syringes to Cuba. The shipment was organized by the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC).

The syringes arrived at the Port of Mariel on Tuesday and will support Cuba’s vaccination campaign for use with its high-efficiency COVID-19 vaccines.

Present at the reception ceremony in Havana were representatives of the Cuban Institute of Friendship of the Peoples (ICAP) and the Ministries of Public Health, Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, and Foreign Affairs.

Noemí Rabaza, First Vice-President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), said, “All of them had to face the restrictions and obstacles imposed by the absurd policy of economic, commercial, financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Canadians who support Cuba in its struggles against the pandemic and the U.S. Blockade made the donation possible. Each syringe comes with the logo of the CNC.

“Back in January 2021, we asked the Cubans what they need most and set out to help,” said Elizabeth Hill, Co-chair of the CNC. “Syringes were high on the long list of items urgently needed but not available because of the U.S. Blockade.”

Without the ability to hold physical fundraising events, the campaign depended on the generosity of 20 member organizations and friends to help raise over $130,000.

Some groups raised funds by selling baked goods and face masks.

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One person, from his hospital bed, wrote a check for $10,000 in memory of his many visits to the island.

“We, as friends and people who are in deep solidarity with Cuba, witnessing and understanding today the ruthless brutality—a brutality that includes a tightening of the blockade on its Caribbean neighbor while the same generous island makes sacrifices to save lives indiscriminately–understand why we must continue our campaign,” stated Keith Ellis, coordinator of the CNC’s medical supplies campaign.

The campaign for medical supplies continues. Cubans appreciate the donation of syringes as gestures of solidarity from Canada.

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