14ymedio, Havana, 27 July 2022 — Belarus became the first country in Europe on Wednesday to approve the use of the Cuban-made Soberana Plus COVID-19 vaccine. Dmitry Vladimírovich, director of the Expertise and Testing Center of the Ministry of Health of Belarus, met in Minsk with a delegation of officials and scientific staff from the island, present in the Slavic country until July 28.
During the meeting, Vladimírovich delivered the certificate, which supports the use of the drug in Belarusian territory, to Vicente Vérez Bencomo, director of the Finlay Institute of Vaccines, and to Olga Lidia Jacobo, who chairs the Center for the State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices of Cuba.
The island’s ambassador to Minsk, Santiago Pérez Benítez, also received the endorsement of Soberana Plus. For his part, the rector of the State University of Medicine of Gomel, Ígor Stoma, talked about the experience of the use of vaccines in Belarus so far.
The Cuban delegation also held a discussion with the Belarusian Minister of Health, Dmitry Pinevichs, to evaluate subsequent contracts in the field of medicines and pharmaceutical cooperation from Havana.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Pinevichs referred to the “issues related to cooperation in the field of the circulation of medicines and medical products, in particular the location of Cuban medicines and vaccines in the territory of Belarus, as well as the possibility of exporting Belarusian pharmaceutical products to Cuba.”
The delegation also visited a pediatric hospital in Minsk, where a lecture was given on the application of the Soberana vaccine to children.
Neither Vladimírovich nor the Minister of Health of Belarus resisted the temptation to politically qualify the medical agreements with Cuba. The director of the professional training center said that he had been chosen on July 26 to sign the registration of the vaccine as a tribute to the “Day of National Rebellion.”
The president of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, also referred to the date in a message addressed to Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, in which, handling the usual topics about the 1953 assault on the Moncada barracks, he also stated that his Government’s “economic and commercial cooperation” with the island was assured.
With the approval of Soberana Plus, Belarus joins the axis of countries that, such as Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Mexico, have agreed with Cuba to distribute or produce its vaccines against COVID-19.
The signing of these commitments is not only restricted to the medical aspect, but also bring with them other requirements of a political, economic, military and commercial nature, deeper and longer-term, among the countries involved.
The Cuban Government itself has placed the vaccines produced at the Finlay Institute at the forefront of its international propaganda. Campaigns, concerts, conferences, academic events and exchanges with delegations similar to the one that came to Minsk this month are an effective point of diplomatic contact with the countries that agree to distribute pharmaceuticals from the island.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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