14ymedio, Havana, 11 July 2021 — The hashtag #SOSCuba is trending on Twitter after dozens of international artists offered their support to the hundreds of Cubans who, with this demand, are asking for “a humanitarian corridor” in the face of the serious crisis in the country.
From Spain, the actor Paco León published a video on his social networks to join the “desperate cry” that the Cuban people are launching. “Many people are dying, not only from coronavirus, but from hunger. They don’t have medicine, they are having a really bad time and they need the international community to help,” he said.
“I love the Cuban people very much and what is happening hurts me a lot and at least we to tell about it and help it in whatever way we can,” he added when informing that he will try to support the island with donations and ended his message with the phrase “SOSCuba.”
Other artists, representatives of urban music, have also published the hashtags on their social networks. “For my Cuba Libre. I love you. See you soon in freedom and life,” Don Omar wrote next to a poster with the Cuban flag. “All the doctors in the world, Cuba needs them,” Ozuna posted.
Singer Ricardo Montaner retweeted a message that a follower sent him along with the phrase. In the text, the fan asked him on behalf of the Cubans to place the hashtag on their social networks and stated: “Cubans are dying from Covid and there are no medicines, we urgently need humanitarian intervention, hospitals are collapsed, please pray for our people.”
World-renowned artists such as Alejandro Sanz, J Balvin, Nicky Jam, Natanael Cano, Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha and Becky G, shared the hashtag #SOSCuba on their networks in support of Cubans who demand a humanitarian corridor.
The Puerto Rican singer René Pérez, Residente, wrote that “between the ineffectiveness of the Cuban Government and the US blockade they have the people screwed in the middle of a pandemic. To send help, look for an alternative to the government, like what happened in Puerto Rico during Hurricane María. [Cuba and Puerto Rico] eternally two wings of the same bird.”
With those words, Residente won a response from the official account of the Cuban Presidency which told him: “You have to be well informed of the efforts of the Cuban government to combat Covid-19 despite the financial strangulation of the Blockade.” The Puerto Rican did not remain silent and replied: “The pity is that they respond to me instead of responding to the thousands of tweeters in their own country.”
Ultimately, the account of the Presidency deleted the message and with that action all the accumulated responses were eliminated. The exchange with Residente was widely disseminated among his followers on the island, surprised by his criticism of the Cuban government, with which he had maintained a lot of ideological harmony in the past.
Also the influencer Mia Khalifa was moved by the situation that Cuba is going through and asked on her Twitter account: “Where can we find organized donations to help Cuba? I am searching through the hashtag #SOSCuba but I have had no luck.”
Cuban tweeters expressed thanks for each show of support that comes in the midst of the enormous health crisis that the island is experiencing while the Government responds that the campaign is designed by “the enemies of the revolution.”
After this wave of international support, Cuban artists also added the hashtag #SOSCuba to their networks. Leoni Torres, Yuliet Cruz, El Chacal, Kandyman, El Chulo, Alain Daniel, Alexander Delgado, Jacob Forever, El Taiger, Heydy González, Alex Duvall, La Diosa, Yotuel and Yomil Hidalgo.
The latter went beyond the hashtag and directly blamed the Cuban government for the situation in the country: “It is your fault, gentlemen, for the lack of capacity. It is your fault for closing a country to internal tourism, and opening it to the outside. That is why Matanzas has collapsed.”
Despite the mobilization of artists, opponents, activists and Cuban emigrants, the authorities affirmed this Saturday that it is not necessary to open a humanitarian aid corridor due to the health crisis in the country, although they recognized that the situation is “very complex” and urged people to donate from abroad through official channels.
“Some in an intentional and manipulative way plead for the need to implement humanitarian corridors, for humanitarian intervention,” stated Ernesto Soberón, general director of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad.
According to the official, there is “a campaign to present the image of Cuba as one of total chaos” that, he insists, does not correspond to the real health situation or the Covid-19 indicators.
However, several videos have circulated on social networks showing Covid patients in isolation centers and homes that didn’t have the necessary medical attention, some have died in their own homes, along with their relatives, and the authorities have delayed for hours to collect the corpses.
This Sunday, the numbers of infections and deaths in Cuba set new records with 6,923 positive cases of Covid and 47 deaths.*
*Translator’s note: Cuba has a population of approximately 11 million. The equivalent figures for 11 July for the United States, with a population of roughly 330 million, were 4,909 cases and 27 deaths.
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