While Cuban doctors help to face the Covid-19 in various countries being part of the international brigade Henry Reeve, 144 years of Reeve´s fall in combat are celebrated today.
At 19 years old, in 1869, the young man born in New York traveled the Caribbean island to join the pro-independence fight against Spanish colonial rule that began in October 1868.
Immediately after his arrival on the shores of eastern Cuba, he was taken prisoner along with other combatants, and he was sentenced to mass execution; however, the four bullet wounds received during the execution were not fatal and he escaped.
After recovering from his wounds, he joined the forces of General Luis Figueredo and later joined the liberating troops led by Major General Ignacio Agramonte, one of the leading figures of the first national independence feat.
The plains of the center-east of the island were the scene of the many exploits of the Inglesito, as he was told by the Mambisa troops.
After his death in combat in the town of Yaguaramas , in the current province of Camagüey, on August 4, 1876, at only 26 years old, a group of Cuban patriots wrote to the mother of the internationalist fighter a letter highlighting the moral worth and warrior of the American who loved Cuba as his homeland.
More than a century after his physical death, his name still makes history and is a symbol of international solidarity.
In 2005, in response to Hurricane Katrina, Cuba gathered 1,586 of its doctors to offer assistance to the United States, and although then-President George W. Bush rejected the offer, Revolution leader Fidel Castro created the International Contingent Henry Reeve, in honor of his memory.
Since then, this team, specialized in situations of disasters and serious epidemics, offers its medical collaboration in many nations and for its humanistic work during the Covid-19 pandemic, international organizations request that he be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Despite the discredit campaign launched by Washington against Cuban medical collaboration, since the beginning of the global health emergency, Cuba has sent 45 Henry Reeve brigades to 38 countries and territories, with 3,772 members, according to official data.
Today, those health professionals on the island honor the words of Fidel, who said of the Contingent: “You, with your quick and unhesitating response, ready to do your duty in new and difficult conditions, are writing a page in the history of solidarity between peoples”. (Photo: PL)