The Cuban Spin on the Corona Virus Outbreak

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryThe Communist Party of China has put a LOT of spin on the corona virus outbreak they caused in the first place. First, they tried to cover it up, and when it started to spread in other parts of China from Wuhan (the epicenter for the disease), the Communist Party claimed they were fighting it and trying to prevent it from spreading any further even though they let it rage for weeks before they did anything about it. Then they tried to accuse the United States of waging biological warfare with the accusation that the U.S. government had knowingly infected a bicyclist with the corona virus when he went to China for a tournament. Now the Communist Party is talking about “cooperation” with the United States and the rest of the world in fighting the epidemic even though the Communist Party of China had let the epidemic rage out of control in the first place.

Strangely enough, the Communist Party of Cuba is also putting a spin on the news in regards to the corona virus outbreak. The Communist Party of Cuba, through its official newspaper Granma, has gushed over the “great cooperation between China and Cuba in fighting the COVID-19 virus.” I hope it has occurred to many Cubans that China is responsible for the corona virus outbreak in the first place. They probably would not know that reading and listening to the Cuban news media (although, they do receive TV transmissions from Florida, which would tell them more of the truth than they would receive otherwise). Granma then goes on to talk about how Cuba has sent teams of Cuban doctors and nurses to other countries to fight the corona virus. There are a whole lot of problems with this. First, chances are these doctors and nurses most probably do not have enough testing kits (or reliable ones if they come from China) to deal with the pandemic. Second, these doctors and nurses may themselves by carrying the virus and not know it. Cuba, despite their claims to having an excellent health care system, have in fact fairly poor facilities and not enough medicines for their own people. Have the doctors and nurses themselves been properly tested for the virus? Finally, the more doctors and nurses that the Cuban government send abroad, the less medical personnel they will have at home. After all, Cuba is also facing the corona virus epidemic, and their copying the methods the Chinese government used to contain the virus will be just as ineffective.

Despite their rhetoric calling for “cooperation,” Granma still has plenty of venom to condemn the United States and state that the U.S. health care system is denying health care to racial and ethnic minorities and the poor. There is no doubt that the epidemic is causing considerable strain and damage to the health care system in the United States, and it shows there are definite issues of inequality in our health care system to how we treat the poor on the one hand and how we treat the rich and affluent on the other. This is clear even in the U.S. news media (I have been critical of this fact as well). But, there is a difference between our health care system being the product of decades of neglect and mismanaging our resources compared to deliberately trying to kill people because they do not have adequate insurance and cannot pay. Even in an epidemic, the Communist Party of Cuba still slams the “imperialist” United States for enforcing its embargo against Cuba, and still condemns anyone in Cuba who might dissent from the official position of the Communist Party of Cuba. They are still putting on the spin that somehow socialism and the Communist Party of Cuba is the “true” representative of the people, and is doing what it can to help the people against the corona virus. That is no comfort to those Cubans who are imprisoned for their political views, and of no comfort for Cubans under surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For them, the Communist Party of Cuba’s spin on the news does not change their reality.

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