There are not two different opinions on the A H1N1 issue.
I unhesitatingly supported the decision adopted by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba as soon as it got news of the epidemic.
Our country has accumulated a significant experience in the protection of our people in cases of disasters, epidemics, plagues and other similar situations whether natural, accidental or intentional.
Our unchangeable policy of cooperation with other peoples has also been proven.
The criticism made of the Government of Cuba was absolutely unfair, the same as the threat of retaliation it contained. Additionally, we were portrayed as a hostile nation to the Mexican people.
It was not the tourist travels that determined the measure but the almost four hundred Mexican youths studying Medicine at the Jaguey Grande School, like 24 thousand other students from Latin America, the Caribbean and other peoples of the world --some from very distant nations in Oceania-- who pursue the same career in other Medical Schools.
Cuba does not steal other peoples’ talents or doctors to the detriment of healthcare in those countries and the loss of countless lives. This is done by the United States, the United Kingdom and other wealthy and developed nations.
The measure adopted by the Civil Aviation Institute of Cuba literally reads: “As of midnight April 29, 2009, regular flights and charters operating between Mexico and Cuba will be temporarily suspended.”
“Once the causes for this decision cease to exist, air operations will be resumed and those interested will be timely informed.”
The measure was implemented six days after the drastic decisions made by the Mexican authorities who shutdown schools attended by 33 thousand students and took other similar actions which we cannot judge since only the Mexican authorities could do that knowing the real situation.
Our measures also meant sacrifices for Cuba. But the most important thing for our government was the protection of our people in the framework of the established regulations.
Now the epidemic has spread extensively through the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Europe in general, as well as scores of other countries. It will be necessary to apply protection methods in accordance with the new reality.
The Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa had really made efforts lately to improve relations between her country and Cuba; relations that irresponsible leaders --for reasons that I’d rather not mention now-- had significantly deteriorated at a time when George W. Bush was trying to find a pretext to launch a “preemptive” attack on our Homeland, as one of the “60 or more dark corners of the world.”
The Mexican foreign relations ministry published that despite criticism by Fidel Castro, at the Rio Group-European Union meeting in Prague, the minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla had signed a statement expressing his recognition to the Mexican authorities.
What Bruno did in Prague was absolutely correct. He took all the time required to listen attentively to the foreign minister and exchange views with her. He communicated to her everything related to Cuba’s conduct. To avoid complications, I will not elaborate on the details of that conversation or the views transmitted about the meeting of a senior official of the Mexican foreign ministry with the Cuban ambassador in Mexico.
I will simply add that the meeting that Bruno and Patricia had in Prague was respectful and candid. Our foreign minister conveyed to his Mexican counterpart Cuba’s solidarity with her country and our willingness to cooperate with the Mexican people to face the epidemic.
Bruno addressed the Rio Group-European Union ministerial meeting to clearly explain Cuba’s position and the actions taken by our government to protect its people; the epidemics introduced in our country, including the hemorrhagic dengue which took the lives of 102 children; Fidel’s Reflections; the close unity among revolutionaries; and, the international cooperation Cuba provides in the area of healthcare.
Resorting to intrigue, lies and threats is an unequivocal sign that the ideological adversary is losing the battle.
Fidel Castro Ruz
May 16, 2009