The solidarity of Cuban doctors, once again, has gained international recognition. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, 1,800 healthcare professionals have been sent by the island’s government to 27 countries to help contain the spread of the virus.
In response, everyday the campaign to award the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize to the Cuban doctors gains strength, through petitions endorsed by a variety of organizations and personalities (the US-based campaign’s petition can be found here).
Among those who have signed the petition and supported their support to the campaign are Brazilian ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, Frei Betto, Leonardo Boff, Fernando Morais, US actors Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo, musician Chico Buarque, sociologist Emir Sader, João Pedro Stedile of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST), linguist Noam Chomsky, film director Petra Costa, Ecuadorian ex-president Rafael Correa and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1980, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.
The initiative calls for the recognition of the Cuban medical brigades of the International Henry Reeve Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Situations of Disaster and Grave Epidemics, that today is caring for victims of COVID-19 in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Suriname, Jamaica, Haiti, Italy, Spain, among other nations. There are 21 groups spread across diverse continents.
“The Nobel Peace Prize for the Henry Reeve Cuban Medical Brigades will help strengthen the global solidarity that we need so much. Beyond inspiring hope, it affirms that policies and actions that are committed to life should substitute actions and policies that are focused exclusively for profit and naturalize death,” affirmed Leonardo Boff and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel in the petition.
In June 2020, people across the Latin America and the Caribbean met virtually to initiate a wave of continental solidarity with Cuba and to support the efforts to give a Nobel Peace Prize to the Henry Reeve Brigade. In the online conference, movements and organizations from 14 countries including Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Cuba, resolved to coordinate the campaign on a continental level.
The global campaign already has the official support of more than 20 European Organizations.
The Henry Reeve Contingent, created in 2005 by Fidel Castro, has already saved thousands of lives in countries stricken by earthquakes, hurricanes and epidemics in different regions of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.