Russia’s Defense Ministry has sent two planes loaded with aid to its long-time partner Cuba, which has been reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with food and medicine shortages.
Two Cuba-bound An-124 large cargo planes carrying food, protective gear, and more than a million masks have taken off from Chkalovsky Air Base, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken with his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel, several times by phone in recent months. The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation against Covid-19.
Cuba, a nation of 11.3 million that is living under US economic sanctions, has the highest Covid-19 infection rate per capita in Latin America, according to Reuters. The country’s Health Ministry registered 7,784 new cases on Friday, raising the total to 316,383.
Overall, 2,203 people have died from the virus in Cuba since the start of the pandemic.
This month, food and medicine shortages sparked the biggest protests Cuba has seen in decades, with attendees denouncing the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and the current political system. There have been pro-government rallies as well.
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