Coronavirus News Asia

Chinese group skirts US sanctions to help Cuba

Draconian US sanctions couldn’t stop Chinese alumni from helping the Cuban people fight the Covid-19 virus, The Global Times reported on Sunday. 

A total of 286 Chinese donors raised more than 140,000 yuan (US$19,823), purchased 420 pieces of medical protective outfits and 38,750 masks and sent the medical supplies to Cuba successfully with the help of the Cuban embassy in China, Chen Ke, who initiated the donation campaign, told the Global Times.

Donors are mostly Chinese students who had studied in Cuba from 2006 to 2016 under Cuban government scholarships, said Chen, a 30-year-old from Southwest China’s Guizhou Province, who spent five years in Havana learning Spanish from 2009.

After the fundraiser was launched at the end of March, Chen was worried if the supplies could be delivered to Cuba smoothly due to existing US sanctions, the report said.

The UN has voted against the blockade against Cuba for almost 30 years in a row. Of the 193 UN members, 191 voted against the continuation of the blockade, Global Research reported. The exceptions were the US and Israel.

The Cuban government said on April 1 that a shipment of anti-epidemic materials donated by China to Cuba could not be delivered due to US sanctions, Xinhua News Agency reported.

“However, as long as there was a glimmer of hope, we would not give up helping Cuba fight the epidemic,” Chen said.

He got in contact with the Cuban embassy in China and discussed a possible way. Finally, they found a freight channel which could safely transport the supplies without American interference.

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