The African National Congress expresses deepest gratitude to the government and people of Cuba as South Africa awaits the the arrival of over 200 Cuban health professionals. They are expected to arrive around midnight at the start of the 26th Anniversary of our Freedom Day Commemoration.

The Cuban Health Professionals are part of a worldwide solidarity effort by Cuba to assist in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen Cuba’s Henry Reeve medical brigade – an initiative of el Commandante Fidel Castro – , popularly known as the ‘Army of the White Gowns’, deployed in over twenty one (21) countries.

The Cuban medical brigade consists of family physicians, epidemiologists, health care technology engineers and biotechnology experts among others.

These specialised medical team has been carefully selected in collaboration with South Africa’s Department of Health to provide much needed support in arresting the spread of the Coronavirus – COVID19.

They bring great expertise in the planning, execution and management of clinical cases, as well as the public health response.

We commend Cuba for the selfless manner in which they responded to our government’s SOS during these turbulent times – tailoring their assistance carefully to our needs – commensurate with the gesture of International solidarity displayed by Cuba during our liberation struggle against apartheid.

The remarkable act of solidarity included assistance with a massive international military mission, when Cuba sent three hundred and thirty thousand (330 000) combatants to the People’s Republic of Angola, to stop the illegal invasion of Angola by the South African Defence Force (SADF) of the apartheid regime.

The African National Congress (ANC) recalls with humility and gratefulness, how this mission lasted from 1975 to 1991, and how more than two thousand Cuban compatriots laid down their lives in the battle for our liberation. The resounding defeat of the SADF during the battle of Cuito Canavalle greatly contributed to the fall of the apartheid regime, and to our ultimate liberation.

The ANC greatly values the very special and deep revolutionary friendship with the people of Cuba. We recall – and reiterate – President Nelson Mandela’s unequivocal promise to President Castro during his first visit to South Africa after our liberation, that we will never forget how Cuba stood with our nation in our hour of need, and we will never forsake our true friends.

As we await the imminent arrival of the Cuban Medical Brigade let’s all continue to play our part to defeat the deadly coronavirus by #StayingatHome and observing all precautions as set out by our caring government.

Protect Yourself. Defend Each Other: Let’s Do It Together


Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson
071 623 4875

Posted in Media Statements
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