Cayetano Prez: We have worked hard to ensure that subscribers do not miss coming to Fontajau

The team played, there was an audience in Fontajau and everything went well. Was an overweight removed?
People behaved exemplary, paying attention to all the rules and instructions that we had been explaining from the club these days, and this has made the balance very positive. We are very happy because we were able to enjoy a good basketball show normally.

They were the first to dare to open the doors in a pavilion. Are they the ones who have done it best or the bravest?
We have worked hard to be able to fit our subscribers in Fontajau. We have always thought of them. From the moment the Generalitat made public the plan for the unbundling of Catalan sport, we set to work and were the first to present a specific match plan for our matches and we have passed all the Health checks so that ‘ns approved. Now, some clubs have asked us for help in making their plans.

In July, when they put season tickets for cohabitation groups on the table, there were skeptical people. It has now been shown to work.
Yes. During the confinement I was in the sector of the world of sports and it was already clear that coexistence groups were a good option because if you live with a group of people, you should be able to go with them to a sports show. We wanted the families who come to Fontajau to be able to continue doing so, because if they put one person and left all the seats around them free, I think that only about 800 people could enter Fontajau.

When the CSD protocol came out with a maximum of 500 people in the pavilions did they have any doubts?
No, because it was a recommendation. We knew that each Autonomous Community could decide based on the situation in each territory at any given time. Doubts came more from the pressures we saw in the press or from calls from subscribers, but I spoke to the Generalitat and they told me that our plan was approved. It was clear that a pavilion like ours with more than 5,000 people is not the same as a pavilion of 1,000 with a capacity of 500. In Fontajau, 500 people would not be even 10% of the capacity. It would have made no sense.

Now that they’ve tried it, is the idea to play with audiences all year long?
The idea is this. Keep playing with the public, but we will always have to adapt to the situation in the country. If conditions get complicated and by doing things right we can fit people in Fontajau, we will continue to do so. We want all our subscribers to be able to come to Fontajau. Now, we still have to open the process to subscribe to the players and families of the base, but we already have about 1,600 subscribers.

So, with a good match and a good schedule, do you see yourself approaching this limit of 2,100 spectators in Fontajau?
Suppose so. Gradually, it won’t be easy, because the situation is what it is, and there are people who are a little scared. As more and more people see that they can come safely, more and more people will come to Fontajau. The Uni fans are very loyal and we have always had good crowds in the pavilion.

Will tickets be sold at any time?
No. It is part of the protocol. We asked for permission for subscribers and will not sell tickets. This year only subscribers will be able to come to Fontajau.

In the Euroleague it will be difficult to watch matches in Fontajau. How do you see the “bubbles”?
It has been an imposition. It was not our choice. We, like most teams such as the French, wanted to start playing in league format. But there were others who did not see clearly the cost of the controls needed to play each week and it was decided that the “bubbles” which is surely the least expensive formula economically.

Would organizing a “bubble” in Fontajau be viable?
They are not defined where they will be made. We cannot rule it out. It should be analyzed to see what they ask for to host it. But first we need to know where the preview will be played, which is not yet clear, and if we pass it we will talk about it.

Without an audience in Fontajau they would have had to return the season ticket money. Would the club have been at risk?
The situation is already complicated in itself. All the alterations are very detrimental to the club’s budget. Obviously it would have affected us to play behind closed doors, because we have already made a commitment with subscribers to return the cost of the cards, but there are many more things. There is the whole issue of PCRs and requirements that they ask of us and unfortunately the Women’s League-1 teams have no television revenue and we depend on our sponsors, subscribers and institutions. The situation is very complicated. Not just for the Women’s League-1 teams, but for the whole sport in general which is what is at stake.

Do you think we’ll see any league clubs struggling to finish the season?
Obviously there can be clubs with problems. Paying PCRs to the entire staff each week can be a headache for the viability of some clubs in the current economic situation.


Committed to solidarity (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

Children in Cuba await the return of the Henry Reeve Brigade from Italy (Havana, 9.6.2020)

At the weekend, the friendship society BRD – Cuba, founded in 1974, the oldest Cuba solidarity organization, invited to the federal delegates’ conference in Frankfurt am Main. Petra Wegener, the federal chairwoman, presented the management report. In it she also thanked young world for the detailed coverage of Cuba, for the organization of the distribution of the Cuban monthly newspaper Granma International and for the coordination of the European solidarity campaign “Unblock Cuba”.

The representatives of the individual regional groups exchanged their experiences on how their work was restricted by the corona pandemic and what options there are nevertheless to continue the necessary solidarity and information work. An important concern of the friendship society is to reach young people, to involve them in the work and to initiate a generation change.

Ramón Ripoll Díaz, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba in the FRG, spoke about the current situation in times of Corona and the blockade by the USA. The US presidential election is about achieving a minimum of normalization of relations, otherwise it is a matter of surviving another US government. In his presentation he emphasized the special importance of the work of the solidarity organizations. In view of the current corona pandemic, he recalled the establishment of the Cuban medical brigade Henry Reeve exactly 15 years ago. The delegates supported the initiative to award the brigade, whose members are deployed worldwide not only during the corona pandemic, with the Nobel Peace Prize.

The main demand of the delegates remains the abolition of the US blockade. When the UN General Assembly votes on the Cuban resolution condemning the US blockade at the end of April / beginning of May 2021, the European solidarity campaign “Unblock Cuba” should reach as broad a public as possible. The delegates discussed how the regional groups could support the solidarity action on site and decided to use the »Human Rights Day« on December 10th as the central day of action for all regional groups to raise awareness and to promote an end to the blockade.


Cuba wants to go back to the single currency (

People with face masks against the spread of the coronavirus stand in line in front of a “dollar store” in Havana.

Photo: dpa / Guillermo Nova

While the capital Havana and some provincial cities are still in corona lockdown, allegedly leaked audio recordings and documents that have been circulating on social networks for days have sparked the debate about an imminent currency reform on the island.

The topic was recently reported in the state media in a particularly aggressive manner. In mid-August, experts from the central bank underlined the necessity of monetary union in the daily newspaper »Granma« under the heading »Currency union on the horizon of Cuba«. Just a few days ago, Oscar Luis Hung, President of the National Association of Economists and Accountants (ANEC), declared monetary policy restructuring a priority on Cuban television. It is a decisive step for the development of the country.

“In recent weeks there have been many signs that monetary union is imminent, given the many reports on it in the state media,” Cuban economist Omar Everleny, formerly at the University of Havana and now an independent advisor, told “nd”.

Two currencies have been circulating in Cuba since 1994; in addition to the Peso Cubano (CUP), the so-called Convertible Peso (CUC) was introduced, the value of which is linked to the US dollar legalized on July 26, 1993. Since 2004, the CUC has replaced the US dollar, which since then can no longer be used directly as a means of payment. The official exchange rate is 24: 1. In the accounting of state-owned companies and banks, on the other hand, a rate of 1: 1 is generally used. However, this double exchange rate hides the real production costs and, among other things, distorts the economic assessment of investments. As a result, the government announced the abolition of the dual currency back in October 2013. Implementation has been a long time coming.

“When it was planned to abolish the CUC and leave only the CUP, the economic situation was not expected to be as tense as it is now,” says Everleny. The corona-related collapse in tourism and tightened US sanctions have complicated the situation and propelled the country into a severe economic and supply crisis.

In order to collect urgently needed foreign currency, the government opened dozens of state foreign exchange shops since the end of October, in which food, hygiene products, household appliances and car parts are sold by card payment against hard currencies. The government speaks of MLC (Moneda Libremente Convertible), freely convertible currency. The black market for foreign exchange has expanded significantly since then and the CUC has lost value against the US dollar and the euro.

With the dollarization of retail, there is no longer any reason to keep the CUC, says Everleny, since the MLC has effectively introduced a new currency, even if it is not in cash. Abolishing the CUC therefore does not mean the end of the two-currency system.

Everleny assumes that the Cuban peso (CUP) will be devalued in the course of the currency reform. This would make imports more expensive and exports cheaper. “That means that prices will rise, because it will be more expensive for companies to buy products and that will be reflected in the final price.” He also expects that subsidies for basic foodstuffs will no longer apply. Therefore, the currency reform “must be accompanied by a wage reform”, said Everleny. That is probably already planned. “So there will be a package of measures. It’s not just about abolishing the CUC, it’s about raising wages, because prices will rise and subsidies will go away. “

In view of the numerous rumors of an imminent currency reform, the Cuban central bank was prompted to comment at the end of last week: “With regard to the rumors spread on social networks about the alleged start of currency unification on October 1, 2020, the Cuban Central Bank realized that this information is not true, “it said in the statement circulated in all state media. If there is a decision, it will be communicated through official channels.

The increase in the number of infections and the tightening of the corona measures could postpone the currency reform by a few more weeks, said Everleny. He has no doubt that the measure will come soon. “Now is the time, because the economic situation is so difficult that it is difficult to imagine that it will improve in the coming months.”


Mauricio Claver-Carone: Hardliner (

Photo: Keegan Barber / La Nacion via ZUMA Press / dpa

Donald Trump has hijacked the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). A few days ago, Mauricio Claver-Carone was the first American to be elected to the head of the IDB. The close confidante of the US President has a central position in the financing of larger development projects in Latin America after the corona crisis.

So far it has been an unwritten law that the presidency of the financial institution should be left to a Latin American. But Trump pushed Claver-Carone’s candidacy, which was supported by Brazil, Colombia and some smaller states. The 45-year-old will head the IDB for five years from October. Observers fear that loans will increasingly be granted on a purely political basis in the future.

For Mexico’s ex-foreign minister, Jorge Castañeda, the election symbolizes “the defeat of the region” against the USA. Not only he fears that the IDB will become politicized in the US dispute with China, which has been expanding its economic presence in the region for years. After the election, Claver-Carone announced that it would make the IDB “a real financial powerhouse” and weaken China’s role as a lender in the region.

The new IDB boss has little technical expertise. The Miami-born Cuban lawyer was a US representative in the International Monetary Fund. Argentina’s Foreign Minister Felipe Solá criticized that Claver-Carone reflected the “toughest ideological wing of US policy towards Latin America.” As Regional Director in the US Government’s Security Council, he was most recently one of the main designers of strategies for regime change in Cuba and Venezuela. Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodríguez, criticized the election as “a danger and an insult to our peoples”. It is difficult to find someone less suitable.


Successful counter-model (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

Market in Havana: The Cuban government relies on the expansion of domestic food production (11.6.2020)

While in Havana mobility restrictions and a night curfew to prevent the renewed increase in Covid 19 infections apply until September 15, the Cuban government is already preparing the country for the economic recovery phase after the pandemic. On Wednesday evening (local time), the Minister for Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, and his counterpart in charge of the food industry, Manuel Sobrino Martínez, presented the principles of the economic and social policy strategy for coping with the economic consequences of the Corona crisis ahead. The Ministry of Economic Affairs had already published a 32-page brochure on Tuesday in which the strategic key points for the reconstruction phase after Covid-19 are summarized.

The ministers reported on the first successes in implementing the package of measures adopted by the Council of Ministers in mid-July. According to the introduction, a long-term economic-social strategy is required for the economic upswing and the management of a “presumably very long lasting global crisis”, in which the fundamental lines are defined on which the work should concentrate in the next few years the brochure. Among other things, 16 key economic and socio-political areas are named.

The production of food plays a central role here. Agriculture should become the “main source of supply” in order to reduce dependence on imports. At the same time, the cultivation of fruit, vegetables, coffee, cocoa and other products for export is to be intensified. The planners expect higher motivation and higher yields from unbureaucratic, generous allocation of cultivation areas to interested parties, which guarantee efficient management by personally benefiting from it. The cultivation of cane sugar and the products made from it, such as rum, ethanol and sweeteners, are viewed as “priority”. The global marketing of pharmaceutical products, medical services in other countries and the reconstruction of the tourism sector should, according to the paper, become “locomotives” for economic development and contribute to increasing foreign exchange reserves.

Further strategic goals are the expansion of telecommunications and online trading, investments in the energy and construction industries, the modernization of the transport system and the strengthening of domestic and foreign trade, in which – as Minister Malmierca reported – private actors are also participating with initial successes. The establishment of further cooperatives is also intended to help improve economic performance.

The most important goal of all measures is to counter the US blockade with a successful model and “to legitimize the socialist ideal as the only known path to prosperity with social justice,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel declared in July when the package of measures was announced. While the corona pandemic has proven the failure of the neoliberal paradigms, “our health system has not collapsed, and we have even been able to help other countries.”

In the information brochure that has just been published, the Ministry of Economic Affairs therefore points out that the new strategy is based on the “fundamental principles of the functioning of our economic model” that guarantee “the socialist character of our economy”. On this basis, however, the economy must be changed in such a way that “it is characterized by intensity and innovation” in order to overcome the supply crisis caused by the US blockade and the pandemic on its own and to help the population become more prosperous.


Spar Girona is betting that the Euroleague will not be postponed to January

With the ninth Catalan League title in his pocket and, as he prepares for the match against Perfumerías Avenida in Saturday’s Super Cup in Bilbao, the eyes of Spar Girona turned yesterday to Munich and FIBA’s doubts about the ‘start of the Euroleague. On paper, the main European competition should start at the end of this month with the preliminary qualifiers, such as the one to be played by Uni against the Romanian Sepsis, and the regular phase on 14 October. But yesterday, in a telematic meeting between the participating clubs, the different federations of each country and the FIBA ​​officials, some teams put on the table the possibility of not playing until January. “We have made it clear that we intend to play the preliminaries in September and then, if we qualify, continue with the competition,” explained after the meeting the president of the Uni, Cayetano Pérez, who, however, he added that “there have been different positions with clubs that prefer that the competition be postponed until January and now it will be up to FIBA ​​to analyze the different options and make a decision on how the competition will be played”.


“I try to be an example every day in the locker room because things are not easy”

Like home, nowhere. As soon as the Albert Sàbat base (1985, 1.80 m) had references from Girona Basketball, it was clear that it was time to return to Fontajau. His progression to Sant Josep and Casademont –linked to the Adepaf of Figueres– in the ACB led many LEB Or clubs such as Lleida, the Canary Islands, Alicante and Burgos to call him and even , had two experiences in the Endesa League defending the Peña and Obradoiro shirts. His transfer to Marc Gasol’s club at LEB Plata might seem like a setback, but the entity’s project and growth at cruising speed have shown just the opposite. The debut at LEB Or confirms this and the player from Llagostera is “proud” to be part of it. At 35, he says he has rope for a while.

When did you realize that you had made the right decision when you returned to Girona?

From the beginning. I really wanted to. I’m from here and I was determined to come back. I didn’t care about the category because I knew I was coming to a good place. The club was doing things really well and that’s why I came.

After so many years out, did it also influence the family aspect?

Yes, there was the personal issue as well. Of couse. I have two kids and if there hadn’t been a good club I would have tried to move on to another place. Seeing the desire of Bàsquet Girona to grow, I wanted to be part of it because I am from here.

The leap to LEB Or came true, but how is a virtual promotion celebrated?

Different (river). We did a virtual parade with classmates, but receiving the news at home confined was different. It was good news at the time, but we would have liked to get promoted to the track and alongside our fans in Fontajau. We are very happy as well. Most of us saw each other later, when we could, and we celebrated in private. With some we have re-trained.

Is the LEB Gold closer to LEB Silver or the ACB in terms of level of play and competitiveness?

Perhaps I would say it is closer to the ACB. We are clear that the jump from LEB Silver to LEB Gold will be there because the players are more physical, big and done. Some of them know the category very well and have been there for many years. It will be a very competitive league and we are very eager to be part of it.

What has Carles Marco asked of him since his arrival?

We met when it was announced that he would be our coach and he told me he was glad I was a part of it. I am so that he is there. In July we started to see what ideas I had and they are very clear.

Had he ever faced her on the court? What would stand out from him as a base?

As far as I can remember we met at least once when I was in Vic at LEB Or and he at Burgos. He was a very smart player on the court. Short, like me, and very good shooter from outside. He has had a great career in the ACB and had also been in the Spanish national team. He was a great player.

They are a young, hungry team, a reference pivot like Biram Faye, you … What are your aspirations?

We will be new to the category, but we have a very competitive squad with players who already know the LEB Gold. We will try to do things the best we can, knowing that we are new and we need to get to know each other. Also the coach. We will work hard in the day to day to reach the maximum as a team.

Dani Garcia said on the day of his presentation that he was very attracted to being able to play with you. What advice can you give to younger people?

For me it is a great praise. My top advice is to try to be a daily example. You have to work and strive in the day to day because things are not easy and it is very difficult to reach the maximum level. You have to work hard.

Is the return to the ACB closer to Girona?

(Rumia). We’ll see. It will just be our first year at LEB Gold. It is true that the path of the club is uphill and everything is being achieved very quickly, but from the LEB Gold to the ACB there is a big leap. We are new to the category and we have to grow little by little. We have to touch the ground and have a good year. Hopefully one day it can be achieved.

Do you see yourself at the club in the final year of your sporting career?

I guess so. It would cost me to leave again, but you never know. I still have a few years of basketball left and I hope I can meet them here.

Marc Gasol always says he wants to retire in Girona. Would you like to play with him?

Everyone would say yes to that question. And whoever says no, is lying. He is one of the best players in the world and a dominant pivot in the NBA. He is a great passer and one of the best defenders in the League. That he says that one day he wants to play in Girona is a great stimulus for the players and the fans. We agreed in the Catalan and Spanish sots20 cadet when he was 20 years old. We now have 35, we have known each other for many years. He still has many years of good basketball left in the NBA.

Do you like the two subgroup system or do you prefer an all-against-all league?

I prefer the old way of all against all, but we have to adapt. As a club and as players we will all go in any format to try to do as much good as possible. We really want to play, train and be fit to get to the matches in good condition.

What do you remember from the last year at LEB Or with St. Joseph? Despite the financial problems, they had a great season …

We also managed to make a group with people from here, like this season. It was beautiful. Things went very well for us and we qualified for the play-off. Too bad not so much before. Luckily, there is a good club again now.


Google deletes Cuba (newspaper Junge Welt)

Online platforms are also a key means of communication in Cuba: Young Cubans with their smartphones (Havana, June 6, 2019)

While the US agency USAID is spending millions of dollars on new international media campaigns to destabilize Cuba, Washington is also censoring inconvenient information from the island. The US technology group Google LLC closed the YouTube accounts of several Cuban media outlets on Thursday (local time). Citing the US blockade, the company has all current and archived content from the central organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, Granma, the global television broadcaster Cubavision International as well as the news bulletin “Mesa Redonda” deleted. This also prevented access to the tracking tool Google Analytics and the cloud-based platform Google Play, reported the online portal Cubadebate.

The group justified its measure in a note with the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed on the island for 60 years. Google is subject to US export laws and the Washington government considers it an export if software or content can be downloaded from Cuban servers outside of that country. According to US law, the transmission of Google Play applications to countries against which sanctions have been imposed is prohibited. As a result, Google is blocking downloads in these countries. “This makes it clear that the US blockade, which extends to all areas in Cuba, also serves as a justification for censoring unpleasant content,” criticized Cubadebate.

The Granma described the account freezes as “aggression against important Cuban communication channels”. On the same day, the state television station informed Venezuelan Television (VTV) in Caracas that Google has also deleted three VTV accounts on Youtube, including the one on which all VTV programs are shown. The station referred to the temporal connection with the crackdown on Cuban media and declared its solidarity with colleagues on the island who were censored by Washington.

It is not the first time that US corporations have obstructed Cuban media. In 2019, Twitter blocked the accounts of Cubadebate, the newspaper Rebel Youth, the communist youth association »Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas« and the program »Mesa Redonda«. Google already had the later re-established in 2011 Cubadebate-Channel switched off on Youtube. At the same time, Washington is increasingly funding “independent journalists.” Shortly before the latest attack, the US State Department’s agency for international development (USAID) made available three million US dollars for “NGOs and journalists” who report on “the exploitation of Cuban workers and doctors.”

Propaganda and censorship are two sides of the same coin. Granma pointed out that her deleted channel had, among other things, background information on measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Cuba. Cubadebate expressed the suspicion that Cuba’s successes in the fight against the pandemic should be withheld from the public. The channel of the popular television program “Mesa Redonda”, which has more than 19,000 subscribers, was blocked on the very day when a program about the start of clinical trials of a vaccine candidate developed in Cuba called “Soberana” was broadcast.


Corona in Cuba: vaccine development has priority (

Corona in Cuba: vaccine development has priority

Photo: AFP / Yamil Lage

In view of the renewed increase in the number of infections, the Cuban government imposed another lockdown on Havana a few days ago. Restaurants, bars and swimming pools have been closed again, local public transport suspended and beaches closed. Therefore, like many people elsewhere, Cubans ask themselves the question: When will an effective vaccine against Sars-CoV-2 finally be available?

There are various countries that are researching a corona vaccine, said Francisco Durán, Director of Epidemiology at the Cuban Ministry of Health, recently in his daily live press conference, “our country is also working on it.” And Eduardo Martinez, President of the Cuban biotechnology company BioCubaFarma, tweeted: “Achieving an effective vaccine against Covid-19 is a priority for our entire science and innovation system.” Martinez speaks of “solid and rapid progress in this project” at the Finlay Institute, the state science center in Havana, which is dedicated to the research and manufacture of vaccines. There, at the Center for Molecular Immunology and the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), Cuban scientists are working on four possible vaccines, one of which, according to the state press, is well advanced in tests.

“In view of the corona pandemic, we have two priorities: the ability to carry out rapid and massive testing that enables epidemiological surveillance, and the development of specific vaccines that help fight the disease in our country,” said Rolando Pérez, Director of Science and Innovation at BioCubaFarma, in a special broadcast on Cuban TV. He did not give any details.

In fact, Cuba’s biotechnology has a lot of experience in vaccine development. Eight of the thirteen serums belonging to the Cuban vaccination scheme are produced on the island itself. You are also quite successful internationally. A therapeutic vaccine against chronic hepatitis B developed in Cuba was the first in the world to be administered by the nasal route against a chronic infectious disease.

One now wants to build on such successes. Cuban research concentrates on “vaccines based on virus-like particles that have advantages in terms of the ability to strengthen and activate the immune system,” says Gerardo Guillén, Director of Biomedical Research at the CIGB. These included vaccines that would be administered nasally. “And now that we are talking about a respiratory disease (Covid-19, d. Ed.), We believe that an immunization platform via the mucous membranes will logically have a greater impact on achieving a functional, effective response against this virus.”

The fact that Cuba has a powerful biotechnology division and its own laboratories is also welcomed by the Pan-American health organization in Washington. “The country produces nearly 80 percent of the vaccines used under the national immunization program. There is the Finlay Institute, and there is a large area of ​​technological innovation, «says the Cuba director of the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), Chilean José Moya.

According to reports, Cuba is one of the countries that could jointly manufacture the Sputnik-V vaccine developed by Russian scientists. The announcement of the first globally approved vaccine caused a stir last week. This met with skepticism and criticism from experts, as phase 3 of the clinical trials, which is usual for approval according to international standards, has not yet ended. Industrial production is to begin in September. “We believe that Cuba can become one of the most important centers for vaccine production,” said Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian state fund RDIF, which finances the vaccine project, in a video press conference. According to Dmitriev, production of the Russian vaccine in Cuba could start in November. But details still have to be clarified.

The nd demand, whether the Russian vaccine in Cuba is also produced for the Caribbean state itself or only for foreign countries, was left unanswered by chief epidemiologist Durán, as was the one after the Cuban approval process. However, it is not to be expected that the country, like Russia, will already start production while the mass tests to test the effectiveness and side effects are still running. Havana usually adheres strictly to the guidelines of the WHO. Despite all the progress in research, there will not be a massively available, functioning vaccine anytime soon, warns Durán. “We have to remain realistic”: The only effective protection against infection at the moment is to “wear a mask and comply with hygiene and distance regulations”.


Cuba needs help (Young World newspaper)

Colombia: Martial against Corona, but also against Cuban support (Bogotá, July 14, 2020)

Because he wants to seek help from Cuban doctors in the corona pandemic, the mayor of the second largest Colombian city, Medellín, Daniel Quintero, has become a hate object of the country’s militant rights. On Sunday, the country’s media had published a letter written on July 15 in which the independent Quintero asked the Cuban ambassador in Bogotá for assistance in sending a medical brigade to Medellín.

“I would like to formally ask the government of the Republic of Cuba for their help and solidarity in the form of a medical brigade for Medellín that can supply 600 intensive care beds,” says the online portal Las2orillas published letters. His city “only has 118 specialists for intensive care units,” and that is “an insufficient number to guarantee care for seriously ill people.” Experienced professionals on the island could improve patient care, the politician said.

Representatives of the right camp were furious. Quintero’s request was “outrageous,” protested Senator Maria Fernanda Cabal, a member of the democratic center of the ultra-right ex-president Álvaro Uribe. After he too got involved in the controversy via Twitter, his political pupil President Iván Duque declared in his own television program “Prevención y Acción” that the country was prepared to “accept the pandemic with its own medical personnel”.

However, Colombia has become one of the continent’s most affected countries by the pandemic. According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, over 9,000 people who died from the Covid 19 virus and more than 267,000 cases of infection had already been registered by Wednesday. Reported Reuters relying on Colombian doctors that many illnesses and deaths were not recorded at all. According to the news agency, Colombia’s medical facilities have been operating at the limit of their capacity since early July. Bogotá’s Mayor Claudia López Hernández raised the alarm because the hospitals in her city were already 91 percent full. Numerous intensive care patients from the coastal town of Barranquilla are now being transferred to Medellín, 700 kilometers away.

In view of the dramatic situation, Mayor Quintero held out to his critics: »We did not understand the message of the corona virus. Beyond borders, ethnicity and ideologies, the virus reminds us that we all need each other as human beings. Life has to be above politics «. But while the country’s official policies continue to submit to Washington’s dictate in the midst of the corona crisis, which warned all countries of medical cooperation with Cuba and threatened “adverse reactions” to the offender, Quinteros is increasingly receiving support.

Governor of the Department of Magdalena on the Caribbean coast, Carlos Caicedo Omar, also asked Cuban Ambassador José Luis Ponce for »both short and long-term support for the treatment of Covid-19 patients and the improvement of inadequate care in his province «. In February, Virna Johnson, the mayor of the provincial capital, Santa Marta, had been approached by the former president and current senator Uribe for a similar attempt on the charge that cooperation in the health sector only benefits »Cuba with its protection for terrorism and Maduro, such Uses agreements for his failed model «.

However, with the government’s apparent failure in the corona crisis, the angry attacks by the right are losing their effectiveness. Now is not the time “for ideologues and extremists,” said the Mayor of Cali, Jorge Iván Ospina, on Monday on the radio station Bluradio. He therefore supported the Quintero and Caicedo initiative and supported their request to send Cuban doctors to help combat the virus better.