From May 14 to 30, Dr. José de Jesús Portilla García, a participant in various Cuban medical internationalist missions, will speak in several Canadian cities on Cuba’s Humanitarian Medical Mission in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Dr. Portilla García will raise awareness of Cuba’s extensive and unprecedented solidarity with the peoples of West Africa, which illustrates what can be achieved when self-serving interests do not direct the aid and assistance provided.
Dr. Portilla García, himself has considerable experience in and knowledge of Cuba’s medical internationalist missions across the globe. He has had a distinguished career. Highlights include: chief of Cuban medical personnel during Cuba’s internationalist mission in the former Republic of Congo; head of PCC’s Department of Heath for the province of Havana and director of the Department of Bilateral Collaboration in the Ministry of Public Health.
Dr. García Portilla, also, continues to represent Cuba at various international conferences and gatherings. He speaks both Spanish and English.
Cuba has made a critical contribution to the fight against the Ebola epidemic in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Cuban medical mission was by far the largest sent by any country.
Nevertheless, the tremendous contribution of Cuba to the fight against Ebola and its various medical internationalist missions continue to be, as Cuba specialist John Kirk point outs, one of “the world’s best-kept secrets.”
Standing side-by-side with the peoples of West Africa, more than 450 Cuban doctors and nurses – chosen from more than 15,000 volunteers – went to West Africa and joined the struggle against Ebola. As Jorge Lefebre Nicolas, Cuba’s ambassador to Liberia, declared: “We cannot see our brothers from Africa in difficult times and remain there with our arms folded.” At the September 16, 2014 meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Cuban representative Abelardo Moreno declared: “Humanity has a debt to African people. We cannot let them down.” Even the Wall Street Journal declared, “Few have heeded the call, but one country has responded in strength: Cuba.”
The Cuban doctors’ work and service illustrate Cuba’s collective commitment to building and strengthening genuine ties of friendship and solidarity among the world’s peoples, of which Cuba’s medical mission in West Africa is emblematic. Cuba’s medical internationalist mission in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone is a profound challenge to those who argue that relations among the world’s nations and peoples are – and can only be – determined by self-interest, and the pursuit of power and wealth. Cuba provides the example that it is possible to build relations based on genuine solidarity and social love: demonstrating the alternatives which permit people to realize their deepest aspirations, and that another better world is possible.
The tour is organized by the Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC). For information contact Isaac Saney, CNC Co-chair and National Spokesperson at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or cell: 902-449-4967.