Center for a Free Cuba demolishes delusional propaganda op-ed on Cuban vaccines published by WaPo

Fabulists Achal Prahbhala and Vitor Ido

El Guasintonpó published an op-ed yesterday filled with so many false claims about Castro, Inc.’s biotech industry that it is actually difficult to number them all.

But John Suarez, director of the Center for a Free Cuba, has done a superb job of exposing several of this editorial’s most outrageous lies.

A significant question is raised by this incident. Why would the WAPO publish such ridiculous nonsense? Surely, there must still be some editors in charge of that newspaper’s content who aren’t suffering from dementia. This op-ed is much too insane. Even the most ludicrous magical realism in Latin American fiction is more grounded in reality than the insane propaganda piece that was deemed fit for publication.

John Suarez found the perfect quote to use as an epigram for his fact sheet: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” (Daniel Patrick Moynihan)

From The Center for a Free Cuba

The June 1, 2023 OpEd by Achal Prabhala and Vitor Ido published in The Washington Post was filled with a number of factual errors that need to be addressed, and that is the purpose of this fact sheet. We remain open to additional suggestions and/or challenges to this document.

Claim:  “Cuba was systematically blocked in its quest to make its own highly effective vaccines.”

Reality: It was a U.S. scientist who helped to kick start Cuba’s biotech sector in the 1980s. Despite Havana having a history of developing biotech through the Soviet Union’s biological weapons industry, the development of its commercial application was facilitated by American oncologist Richard Lee Clark, of MD Anderson in Houston, Texas who also made introductions to Cuban scientists with European partner Dr. Kari Cantell. Havana then assisted Beijing in developing its own biotech sector and in 2002, the two governments signed a  formal agreement to produce monoclonal antibodies. By 2004 Cuba had joint ventures in China that included both biotech, and genetic engineering. Douglass Starr in Wired Magazine on December 1, 2004 reported on this phenomenon in the article “ The Cuban Biotech Revolution“.

Claim: “We realized we wouldn’t have the money to buy vaccines for our people, so we had to make our own, and we had to do it in a very short time,” Rolando Pérez Rodríguez, the director of science and innovation at BioCubaFarma, told us recently. In August 2021, one of BioCubaFarma’s laboratories also produced a booster.”

Reality: Havana sought a propaganda victory with the claim that Cuba would “be the first country in the world to vaccinate their whole population with their own vaccines.” With the hope of marketing them internationally. Unlike the rest of Latin America, Cuba did not purchase vaccines from manufacturers, and did not sign up to the global Covax initiative to ensure vaccine access for poorer nations. Cuban vaccines were rolled out to the population on May 12, 2021 while clinical trials were still underway. However, when COVID deaths exploded in the summer of 2021, and became a contributing factor in nationwide protests in July 2021, in August 2021 the Cuban government began to distribute the Chinese vaccine “sinopharm.” Argentina that received Russia’s Sputnik vaccine on December 24, 2020 had better COVID outcomes than Cuba. Although the Chinese and Russian vaccines are not supposed to be more effective than the Cuban, they had better outcomes. Also neither Russia or China used the Cuban vaccines with their respective populations.

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1 thought on “Center for a Free Cuba demolishes delusional propaganda op-ed on Cuban vaccines published by WaPo”

  1. WaPo, like the NYT, only cares about a certain audience, which certainly does NOT include “those people.”

    Also, remember that leftist presumptuousness, like hypocrisy, has been totally normalized regarding Cuba.

    As for the fabulists involved here, I wouldn’t trust either of them to report on the weather, let alone Cuba.

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