Cuban Barbudos soon on the streets of Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin)? This is the wish of fifty French deputies of all stripes, who have written to the Prime Minister asking him to solicit from Havana the dispatch of a contingent of doctors and nurses in order to lend a hand to the teams French in the fight against coronavirus. “The government of Cuba declares itself ready to send a medical brigade to reinforce our personnel, especially in our most affected regions. We urge you to immediately contact the Cuban government, ”write the signatories.
Surprising as it may seem, the initiative is based on a recent precedent, with the arrival on March 22 in Milan of 36 Cuban doctors and 15 nurses. As soon as they arrived on Italian soil, the brigade which had been contacted by the Lombard authorities posed for the photo around a poster of Fidel Castro, the former hero of the Cuban revolution and then “Lider maximo” of the country for five decades . The medical team was then sent to hospitals in the region.
In France, members of the Franco-Cuban friendship group of the National Assembly contacted the Cuban embassy in Paris to explore the possibility of reproducing the Italian experience in France. Born in Havana to an agricultural engineer father friend of the eco-third world scientist René Dumont (candidate for the Elysee in 1974), the Bouches-du-Rhône member François-Michel Lambert (Liberté écologie fraternité) took quite naturally the head of this crusade.
“A revolutionary duty to fulfill”
“I note that there is a strong expectation from our fellow citizens to implement all the means, including chloroquine from Dr. Raoult, to deal with Covid-19. Cuban doctors have years of experience in responding to natural disasters or epidemics like Ebola in Africa and cholera in Haiti, “says François-Michel Lambert.
Cuban revolutionaries – foremost among them the charismatic leader, Che Guevara, who was a doctor – have for decades invested a lot in medical science and got into the habit of helping in Africa and Latin America. In 2005, Fidel Castro formalized this policy by creating an international medical contingent which never forgets to sing the praises of the regime.
Before flying from Havana to Italy, the medical staff shouted “Viva la revolucion!” And an intensive care specialist said, “We are afraid but we have a revolutionary duty to fulfill, so we will put the fear aside. “
“We want to silence the critics on this country”
In France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the boss of the Insoumis, did not miss the opportunity, thanks to the arrival of the Cubans in Italy, to stigmatize the inaction of Europe. LFI deputy from Gironde and vice-president of the Franco-Cuban friendship group of the Assembly, Loïc Prudhomme drives the point home: “We want to take advantage of the experience of the Cuban teams and silence certain criticisms of this country which, despite the blockade American has developed state-of-the-art retrovirals and public medical research. “
Cuban laboratories notably produce interferon Alpha 2 B, a molecule which is said to be effective in countering Covid-19 infections. “With their blockade, the Americans may experience a backlash by having 150 km from their coast part of the response to the epidemic,” says François-Michel Lambert.
Annoyed by the remarks on the ideological side of Cuban health operations, the member for Bouches-du-Rhône cowardly: “What would bother me is that refusing help from the Cubans would mean more deaths. Bar point. Wednesday March 25 in Matignon, an adviser to the Prime Minister assured not to be aware of the letter from the deputies.