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A black legend that affects everyone. By Rosa Miriam Elizalde

John Ford, one of his best films, l man who shot Liberty Valance , 1962, features three journalists who interview a senator played by James Stewart. In the end, he asks one of the reporters:

– What are you going to publish?

“This is the West, sir: when the legend becomes fact, the legend is published.”

When the denial of the fact is greater than this, the denial must be accepted as truth. For example: if Cuba produces not one, but five vaccines against COVID-19, they will deny that this is possible or, failing that, they will say that it is useless. This week The Washington Post recognized that “against all odds, Cuba could become a vaccine powerhouse against the coronavirus He went on to admit that “if Cuban vaccines are successful, its researchers will have overcome even more hurdles than their peers in Western laboratories, including shortages of equipment, spare parts and other supplies, due in part to US sanctions.”

However, after this fact-based statement, the Post opts for legend and turns to fallacious testimonies, including that of a Cuban who knows absolutely nothing about biotechnology and has lived in Miami for years: “This is not a proven vaccine “, He says. From this point, the article derives that a country, because it has a single party and a political model that makes Washington uncomfortable, is not qualified to do anything decent for its people or for humanity. The fact that Cubans are producing cheap and easy-to-store serums, available to poor countries that have been discarded by the big vaccine producers, automatically refers to the black legend. The government of Havana is then accused of “ambitious” and of executing a “public relations coup.”

One of the dramas that the United States is experiencing today is installed hatred, which did not begin with Trumpism, that cocktail full of lies and incoherencies put together on the spot by the Republican president and his sycophants in a feverish process of mutual incitement. If in one place in that country social anger triumphed, it was in Florida, where it continues to be openly proclaimed that Trump’s elections were stolen and the machinery of extreme, irrational, absolute hatred against the island remains intact. Unjustified and absurd hatred, because the haters have not been harmed. I hate that in the last five years it has served electoral purposes and that it continues to contaminate politics and the media in Washington. Fulton Armstrong, who was director of Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) during the Clinton administration, has called Republican lawmakers trying to keep Trump’s line toward Cuba “mad dogs.” the faltering government of Biden under the black legend.

But those who use the topics accepted as truths, which are nothing more than anti-Cuban propaganda, do not know what to do with the fact that the island has five vaccines that could become a global solution. And it is not just any scientific result, it is about recombinant vaccines produced by researchers that can deal with the nightmare of mutant strains of the coronavirus, at an infinitely lower cost than that of large pharmaceutical laboratories and without the blackmail of patents.

What happens with hatred, which affects those who suffer it, seems to be happening with the anti-Cuban black legend, which annoys in practical terms the Americans and, probably, all those who believe the Washington Post at face value. If only the United States and some rich countries are immunized, it will not be possible to restore the full normality of international trade and mobility no matter how much they want. According to the World Health Organization, until today only a small part of the highest-income countries account for 90 percent of the 400 million vaccines produced, and at the current rate of manufacture, many nations will not receive their first doses until 2023. Nine out of ten people in at least 70 lower-income countries will not be able to get vaccinated this year.

Cuba has proposed to have its entire population immunized next August and is preparing to produce one hundred million doses, under conditions of extreme blockade and media folly. Is the black legend really what is right for the Wild West right now?

source La Jornada

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