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Russia Sends Humanitarian Donation to Cuba

Russian place lands in Havana. Photo: Prensa Latina: Miguel Fernández

Russia has sent a humanitarian donation of 88.8 tonnes of food, personal protective equipment, and masks which arrived in Havana on Sunday night. The donation is made in response to Cuba’s worst economic crisis in decades caused by the hardening of U.S. Sanctions against the Island.

Two AN-124 military planes from an airfield outside Moscow touched down at Jose Marti International airport carrying high-quality wheat flour, one million disposable face masks, canned food, and refined sunflower oil, officials from the Russian Embassy in Cuba confirmed.

President Vladimir Putin ordered the delivery to assist in a humanitarian response to the dire economic situation. Cuba’s Minister of Domestic Trade Betsy Diaz thanked Russia on behalf of the Cuban people, at a special reception ceremony.

Díaz said Cuba was doubly grateful for this donation “because our country is going through complex moments in the fight against Covid-19.”

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Andrei Guskov, the Russian Ambassador to Cuba, also attended the reception and said this humanitarian aid comes amid a complex situation because of the consequences of the U.S. economic, financial blockade, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guskov said that Russia is working with Cuba to meet the shortages in medicines, one of the most deficient issues. Russia will send another plane load of aid in the coming days.

This is not the first time Russia has sent humanitarian aid to Cuba. Three months ago, Russia made a donation through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.

Russia statednearlier this month against any “outside interference” in Cuba, an important investment and trade partner.

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