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Dutch bank ‘stifles solidarity’ after blocking donations for ‘vaccine internationalism’ delegation to Cuba

PROGRESSIVE International (PI) warned of attempts to “stifle solidarity” with Cuba today after a Dutch multinational bank blocked donations supporting a delegation in support of “vaccine internationalism.”

The global movement accused ING of “bowing to the illegal US embargo,” warning that other banks seem set to follow suit.

PI described the decision as scandalous, saying that 2022 had begun with record numbers of new coronavirus cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic two years ago.

But it said that the impact of the global vaccine campaign has been highly unequal, with many European countries administering booster shots while most people in the poorest countries have yet to receive a single dose.

By contrast, Cuba has developed two Covid-19 vaccines and vaccinated 90 per cent of its population while also supporting other countries. 

It has achieved this despite a six-decade US-imposed blockade aimed at strangling the socialist island’s economy. 

“In the face of vaccine apartheid, Cuba has emerged as a powerful engine of internationalism, promising to share its vaccines with the world. 

“That is why the Progressive International is sending a delegation to Havana to help vaccinate the world,” a statement said.

But it warned that the US “wields unparalleled power over our global financial system,” with the Netherlands accused of putting the interests of the US government above the lives of millions of people.

“The embargo seeks not only to suffocate Cuba, but also to stifle our solidarity with it,” PI said.

The organisation said it remained “undeterred in our mission to help vaccinate the world” and called on supporters to “help us fight back.”

“On 25 January, we will convene Cuban scientists and government representatives in Havana to address the international press and members of the scientific community in a showcase of the Cuban vaccine,” it said.

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