Ottawa Does Not Accept Cuban Vaccines, Bars Group from Entering Canada
By Argiris Malapanis
February 13, 2022—The Canadian theater The Opera House recently canceled the concerts of the Cuban duo Buena Fe (which translates literally as “Good Faith,” or idiomatically as “Good Will”) scheduled for the month of May in the cities of Montreal, Toronto, and Edmonton.
A statement on the concert hall’s website said the theater took the action “due to new restrictions placed on foreign nationals entering Canada on or after January 15, 2022. All foreign nationals entering to the country must have a vaccine accepted by Canada to be able to enter through the border, and Buena Fe does not yet have this requirement.”
The Canadian government does not recognize Cuba’s highly effective anti-Covid vaccines. Ottawa asked the Buena Fe musicians to be inoculated by vaccines it does recognize—such as those made by Big Pharma in the U.S. or Europe: Pfizer, Moderna, or Astra Zeneca—in order to be allowed to enter the country.
Buena Fe’s response? As Israel Rojas, one of the two members of the group, can be seen saying in the video posted below, “We will play only where our vaccines are recognized.”
Kawsachun News, a news service based in Bolivia, has posted on Twitter the video of the two musicians responding to the Canadian government’s ultimatum:
Despite Washington’s 60-year-old unrelenting economic war, Cuba has produced its own vaccines, five in total, which are in various stages of development. The Finlay Institute in Havana has developed three of the vaccines, Soberana 1, Soberana 2 and Soberana Plus. Cuba’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology developed the other two, Abdala and Mambisa. Soberana 2, Soberana Plus, and Abdala are approved by Cuban authorities for use and export while the other two (one of which is a nasal spray) are still in clinical trials.
This feat has allowed Cuba to achieve one of the highest Covid vaccination rates in the world. More than 85% of the island nation is fully immunized against the virus—far higher vaccination rates than the U.S. or Canada—and the country’s infection and death rates from coronavirus have plummeted to among the lowest in the world. Cuba even tops every country in Europe except Portugal in anti-Covid vaccinations.
Buena Fe is a Cuban pop-rock music band, formed in 1999 in the province of Guantánamo, Cuba. It is composed of Israel Rojas Fiel and Yoel Martínez Rodríguez. They have released ten studio albums: Déjame entrar (2001), Arsenal (2003), Corazonero (2004), Presagios (2006), Catalejo (2008), Pi (3,14) (2010), Dial (2013), Soy (2015), Sobreviviente (2017) and Carnal (2019). After making their debut with the song Intimidad, the well-known cultural group Hermanos Saíz Association in Guantánamo asked the duo to join them.
A YouTube video of the duo performing their song Casanova, Cecilia Valdés, y la Bella Durmiente (Casanova, Cecilia Valdés, and the Sleeping Beauty) is posted below to introduce World-Outlook readers to Buena Fe’s music:
 For more information see “Cuba Sets Example in Confronting the Pandemic,” published by World-Outlook on July 1, 2021, in two parts: Part I and Part II.
Categories: Art & Culture, Cuba/Cuba Solidarity
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