While the number of new Corona infections per day in the Netherlands has been fluctuating between 1,500 and 2,000 for some time, it is currently around 9,000 in Cuba.

Cuba has about 11 million inhabitants, compared to the Netherlands which has 17.4 million inhabitants. In Cuba, 80 people a day die from Corona compared with 8 a day in the Netherlands. Roughly speaking, we can say that the situation in Cuba is 10 times worse than in the Netherlands.

Churches are allowed to meet locally to a limited extent, depending on the situation. Despite the many restrictions that now apply throughout the country, a number of hopeful initiatives have been developed: Four Bible schools that are going to start, among others with the program developed by NET Foundation. Two university groups have also started working with the courses of NET. The course ‘God’s way of Salvation’ is currently being translated into Spanish. The videos, too, are now being recorded in Spanish.

There is a great lack of basic medicines in Cuba, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Oxygen is also unavailable. The government has made concessions so that food and medicines can be imported without taxation. The number of vaccines produced in Cuba is not enough to cover the entire population. That is why Cuba has accepted an offer from China to use Chinese vaccines.

Those travelling to Cuba face various travel restrictions. Cuba is considered a high-risk area. A week in a quarantine hotel at their own expense is one of the measures. Only vaccinated persons with a negative test are allowed into the country. There are roadblocks all over the country to discourage inter-provincial traffic. Traffic is only allowed between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m. Only at these times do people take to the streets to go to the office. All life is paralysed. The result is obvious: tourists stay away, which is a big problem for a large part of the population working in the tourist industry. Raul: ‘It just makes me crazy. Instead of things getting better, more and more restrictions are imposed. We are like soldiers in trenches, ready for action when we can. But for now we are just lying in wait.

In terms of demonstrations, things are very quiet at the moment. Demonstrators are irrevocably arrested and detained.