The EU and the USA dismiss the "politics of generosity"
by Simon Korner and Gary Lefley
Since mid-March, China has delivered millions of masks and test kits to EU countries to help fight Covid-19, as well as to countries around the world. But this aid has been dismissed as the “politics of generosity” by the EU’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, who said a “global battle of narratives” was being played out. “China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the US, it is a responsible and reliable partner,” he said.
Borrell’s politically loaded ingratitude seems especially shabby given the EU’s refusal to help Italy when it requested face masks through the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism. On 8th April, EU talks aimed at supporting the poorest and some of the worst hit nations broke down over the reluctance of some of the wealthier ones to provide the financial aid needed. Pedro Sánchez, Spain’s Prime Minister, has warned that if the EU fails to help countries indebted by coronavirus then the bloc could “fall apart”. Whilst a package of aid has now been agreed Germany has absolutely refused to countenance any measures that would spread the debt burden and relieve countries most in need. Meanwhile the President of its Scientific Research Council has resigned over the EU’s failure to have a plan to fight the virus
Cuba, too, has been extraordinarily active in sharing its advanced medical practice – including sending a health care brigade to Italy. Other brigades have gone to help in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Grenada and Suriname. Cuba has also made available to all countries its anti-viral ”wonder drug”, Interferon Alpha-2B Recombinant, that has been used so effectively in saving lives in China.
US WARNS - DO NOT ACCEPT CUBAN AID
But the US State Department has warned other countries not to accept Cuban aid. The US is continuing with its 60 year policy of attempting to restore capitalism and US neo-colonialism in Cuba. Even during this pandemic, the Trump administration is pursuing its policy of isolating Cuba politically and economically. It has yet again ignored calls from the United Nations to lift the blockade and end sanctions.
Meanwhile, Trump has put US big business ahead of its people’s health. He wanted, for example, the US lockdown to end by Easter. His half measures, denial and failure to act threaten the lives of millions of Americans. We are indeed facing a battle of narratives: between those who prioritise humanity and those who would sacrifice people for profit. For some, evidently, domestic dividends and imperial power are more important than defeating Covid-19.
The US is continuing with its 60 year policy of attempting to restore capitalism and US neo-colonialism in Cuba. Even during this pandemic, the Trump administration is pursuing its policy of isolating Cuba politically and economically.