By Doyin Ojosipe
Civil society organizations in Nigeria together with the Nigerian Labour Congress Thursday, commended the Cuban government for its prompt reaction to the Ebola scourge in the West African sub region.
They also called on the United States of America to stop intimidating Cuba with sanctions and re open diplomatic relations with the country.
Speaking while on a solidarity visit on the outgoing Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Hugo René Ramos Milanés, Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Issa Aremu and a prominent civil society leader, Femi Falana (SAN) said Cuba has distinguished itself as the true friend of Africa by its response to the Ebola scourge.
“We are here to express our gratitude to Cuba, a country that is thousands of kilometers away from Africa but is the first to respond whenever Africa needs help”, the visitors told the Ambassador.
They recounted the heroic role played by Cuba in the struggle to decolonize Africa, particularly in Angola where Cuba sent thousands of soldiers who fought for the liberation of the country from Apartheid South Africa after the Portuguese had granted the country freedom.
“We are proud of your records particularly in the area of health in Africa. We are particularly happy that you have continued to assist African countries to fight against malaria and other deadly diseases.
Responding, the Cuban diplomat revealed that four thousands Cuban health workers are in 32 African countries at present. He revealed that in response to a request from the World Health Organisation, a specialized Cuban medical brigade of 165 professionals is in Sierra Leone to help in the fight against Ebola.
“Two other Cuban brigades (83 professionals) for Liberia and Guinea have already arrived in those countries to render help. There is a total of 256 Cuban professionals working in affected West African countries”, he revealed.
The Ambassador also told his visitors that Cuba is ready to develop a training program in African countries not affected by the epidemic, where there is presence of Cuban doctors