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With a call for solidarity, love and the elimination of the blockade, the Cuba Solidarity Movement in the United States held a press conference to reaffirm its commitment to the island and announce the successful U.S. campaign to send 6 million vaccination syringes to Cuba.
At the event, which took place at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Washington D.C., members of the Movement spoke about the campaign to raise funds for the purchase of syringes recently sent in support of the fight against COVID-19.
As a symbol of the donation, of which around two million arrived at the Cuban port of Mariel last Saturday, July 17, the members of the Movement presented a certificate to the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C.
Likewise, Medea Benjamin, a member of the group, pointed out that they will continue collecting funds to send not only syringes, they also announced that they would start collecting funds for medicines and medical supplies, including antibiotics, painkillers, contraceptives, vitamins, and medicines for people with hypertension, cancer, and diabetes; as a sign of how many people in the United States want to help the Cuban people.
The activist highlighted the support they have received from Cuban-Americans, thanks to the work of Professor Carlos Lazo and his project Puentes de Amor (Bridges of Love).
During her appearance before different international media outlets, she highlighted the work of Cuban doctors around the world saving millions of lives, while recalling an anecdote: when they were in the car presenting the campaign, someone stopped them, took out $20 from his pocket and said it was his contribution in recognition of the great work of Cuban doctors. "It is a campaign in which people with limited resources have contributed, but with a great willingness to help," she remarked.
For his part, Félix Sharpe-Caballero, a Cuban resident in the United States, stressed the need for unity of both peoples and the willingness of the majority of Cubans living outside Cuba to support their country.
The overall amount that has been raised, just over $500,000, is the result of the contribution of people from all parts of the United States, who identify with Cuba and are committed to the unity of both peoples.
The purchase and shipment were organized by Global Health Partners, a humanitarian organization sending medicines and medical supplies to Cuba for 27 years. Among the groups that raised funds were the #SavingLives Campaign (a coalition of dozens of organizations opposed to the embargo), CODEPINK, The People's Forum, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and two groups made up of Cuban Americans: the No Embargo Cuba Movement and Puentes de Amor.
During the meeting, the participants also advocated for the improvement of diplomatic relations between the two nations.