HAVANA, July 30 (Reuters) – Cuba this week received shipments of food items and healthcare materials from allies Mexico, Russia and Bolivia in a bid to simplicity shortages and discontent amid the island’s worst economic disaster in a long time and a surge in coronavirus scenarios.
The donations, which authorities started distributing on Friday, appear just about three weeks right after unprecedented protests broke out nationwide, spurred by frustrations with dire economic conditions and curbs on civil freedoms.
Cuba blames the unrest on U.S.-backed mercenaries exploiting hardships it states were mostly brought about by a long time of U.S. sanctions and disguising tries at unrest by way of the marketing campaign #SOSCuba contacting for humanitarian aid.
Now it has taken back the humanitarian aid narrative, with the enable of allies that have also blamed the U.S. trade embargo for a great deal of Cuba’s woes.
On Friday, a Mexican navy ship carrying 1,000 tonnes of beans as nicely as health care machines and oxygen for COVID-19 individuals arrived in the place, which at the moment has one particular of the maximum an infection premiums per capita in the world. Two additional will arrive shortly, Inside Commerce Minister Betsy Díaz mentioned late on Friday on state television.
“I want to individually thank President Andrés Manuel López Obrador who … has ratified Mexico’s standard rejection of the blockade and its will to support Cuba,” Cuban Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca mentioned at the ship-getting ceremony.
Pedro Monreal, writer of a well-liked website on Cuban economics, explained the reduction was “constructive as an unexpected emergency evaluate” given the seriousness of the simultaneous health, financial and political crises.
“This has a humanitarian and political angle,” he reported. “But when you appear at the extended expression, its relative pounds is reduced.”
Ricardo Torres, an economist with the Havana-primarily based Center for the Research of the Cuban Financial state, calculated, for case in point, that Vietnam’s promised donation of all-around 12,000 tonnes of rice would generate some 2 pounds for every Cuban.
Reporting by Sarah Marsh and Reuters Television set Editing by Leslie Adler
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