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During the second day of sessions of the 58th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization, Cuba was elected, along with Suriname and Brazil, to the Organization's Executive Committee for a three-year term.
In a crude move, Kristen Pisani, Director of the Office of Economic Assistance and Development of the U.S. Department of State, intervened to "categorically" oppose the Cuban candidacy. The U.S. representative reiterated the lies and accusations that make up the campaign that the U.S. government has been waging for months to try to link Cuba's international medical cooperation with human trafficking.
In her words, she also questioned the More Doctors for Brazil program. The U.S. representative said that the election of Cuba would be offensive and could "undermine the principles of that Organization.
Following this intervention by the United States, the island's deputy minister of public health, Dr. Marcia Cobas, rejected the accusations made by the State Department official and described it as regrettable that the U.S. government should once again reiterate these falsehoods.
The Cuban Vice-Minister defended Cuba's right to be elected to the Executive Committee and described as disrespectful and immoral the attempt to link human trafficking with the noble work of Cuba's medical personnel, who, she emphasized, "work voluntarily and usually go to places where other health services do not reach."
The Cuban representative mentioned the existence of a $3 million fund that the U.S. government has dedicated to buying false testimonies that try to document the illegitimate accusations against Cuba's cooperation. With the same purpose of sabotaging cooperation programs, these funds are accompanied by pressures and incentives such as the granting of U.S. visas.
Finally, in her brief but forceful reply, the Cuban representative recalled that her country's international cooperation had received recognition in various parts of the world, including international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
Cobas described the United States campaign as despicable and worthy of international condemnation.
The Cuban vice-minister also mentioned the remarkable results of the Program More Doctors for Brazil, which has been attacked, politicized, and used as a pretext for the most recent maneuver of the United States that imposed, by means of financial blackmail to the Pan-American Health Organization, an "external review" of said program, as was denounced yesterday by the Cuban Minister of Public Health, Dr. José Angel Portal Miranda.
After Cuba's reply, the Board of Directors approved the resolution to elect the three candidates, thus rejecting the desperate U.S. maneuver. Once again, the United States was totally isolated in its aggression against Cuba.
At the end of the day, the Cuban delegation's proposals to reinforce the importance of international cooperation and solidarity in the resolution on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Americas region were approved.
During the two days of sessions of the 58th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization, several member states, during their interventions, thanked and recognized Cuba for the cooperation it has provided in the area of health.