In Fighting Ebola In West Africa Viva Cuba!

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Raul Castro -- Cuba takes dramatic action on Ebola in West Africa

[Publisher's Commentary]

Viva Cuba for sending 161 medical doctors to West Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak and for getting ready to send 300 more.

This is what you call decisive action. It brings most African leaders and the rest of the world to shame.

The United States has pledged more than $100 million to help halt the spread of the disease. The U.S. has also sent 3,000 troops to West Africa. Some of the troops reportedly will help build some of the infrastructure needed to create more clinics and space for badly needed beds.

But Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are all desperately in need of doctors and healthcare practitioners.

In it's worst case projection for Sierra Leone and Liberia the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said these countries may have 21,000 cases by October and that unless the trend is dramatically altered, 1.5 million people could be infected by the end of January 2015.

The CDC says the current numbers for infected people may be underestimated by as many as 2.5 times. But the CDC also said the disease can be brought under control with effective measures within the next four months.

This is why the Cuban approach -- more action less talk-- is highly commended.

This is not the first time Cuba has come to the rescue of Africa. In 1988, at Cuito Cuanavale, Cuba's army helped the Angolan army destroy a South African invasion force allied with the CIA-funded UNITA rebels. The rout led directly to the liberation of Namibia and the collapse of Apartheid in South Africa a few years later.

And Cuba has always been a leader in the battle of infectious diseases and other countries could learn from the tiny island country. The European Union has been discussing how to respond to the Ebola outbreak.

President Obama last Thursday while speaking at the UN denounced the global response as way too short and lacking given the magnitude of the outbreak.

Already more than 6,000 people are reported to have been infected and the numbers could be higher with nearly 3,000 dead.

The rest of the world must take this outbreak as seriously as Cuba has so far.

The African Union last year held a Special conference and made a lot of noise when it denounced the International Criminal Court as "racist" because it wanted to prosecute African rulers who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Now is the time for the African Union to try and redeem itself from that shameful debacle.

The AU must hold a series of Special conferences to mobilize resources for battling Ebola. While African governments may argue that they lack resources -- even though there are no shortage of funds to equip national armies or to purchase Gulf Stream jets for dictators-- Africans in Diaspora are eager to help their sisters and brothers in West Africa.

The African Union can set up a special website to mobilize resources from the African Diaspora. The website's managers could include people on the continent and from the African Diaspora to ensure transparency and accountability.

This is another opportunity for Africa to stand up for itself and end the perception --often justifiable-- that the continent suffers from permanent dependency syndrome.

Cuba has shown the rest of the world that the time for talking is over.

Let's see some action by other countries including African ones.



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