April 13 note from Stan Dotson: "Like the rest of the world, Cuba has implemented social distancing and stay-at-home measures, and various neighborhoods in which we are accustomed to visiting have been quarantined due to confirmed cases. Since we live at the Center, we are now its "staff," mainly offering the purified water to the community in the mornings. Meanwhile, Kim stays busy helping Wanda (Center Director) in making "nasobucos", face masks, for the community. Being the artist that she is, Wanda uses colorful material from old clothes, so people can be fashionable in wearing the masks! The demand for her nasobucos went up after she and Kim were featured in a local television spot for their service. In terms of church work, it is more challenging to stay connected with our community here, as people for the most part do not have internet in their homes. Some do have the WhatsApp application that allows for messaging throughout the day.
Other than the technology challenges, what really makes Cuba different from most countries around the world in its manner of dealing with the threat of coronavirus is that this crisis has not caused the U.S. to ease up at all in its aggressive, hostile policies, including the economic blockade (embargo is a less troublesome euphemism for the illegal act of war). While the President made friendly overtures and offers of collaboration with North Korea and Iran, he and his administration continued isolating Cuba, even to the point of preventing a private foundation from China to send donations of test kits and masks and ventilators to the island. While waiting in lines has been a common practice for us for a long time, as the blockade has created scarcities of essential items like food, cooking oil, and soap/detergent, the lines have gotten longer and longer since the outbreak of the virus. Our hope is that those with eyes to see and ears to hear in the U.S. context will double their efforts to end the blockade, and that the tragedy of the pandemic and the suffering born by people around the world will lead to a transformation of values, so that collaboration will replace aggression in the U.S. political system."
March 27, Waldemar Murguido, financial secretary of FIBAC, writes: "Every member of the board and all members of every FIBAC church are well here at home. We have suspended worship since the country is taking measures with social isolation to prevent more cases of Coronavirus19...we are worried about the situation that is coming, but we trust God that in Resurrection some change will happen, only that Christ lives.
We already have 67 confirmed cases and two deceased, the situation is worrying. Here we receive news from the USA, about the Pandemic, mainly in the regions of New York and Washington, D.C., where there are more cases. Please take care, and write us, and let us know how you are. Our churches are praying for you and above all in our thinking, with the confidence that we will find in the future to continue praising and giving thanks to God for life. We can call a chain of prayer every day at 10:00 am. We can pray from our homes so together we can ask the Lord to improve our health and take care of Evil. Thanks for your message Jason and especially for your prayers."