Cuban Council of Churches Recognizes Humanitarian Action with Cruise Ship with Coronavirus Patients

A British-operated cruise ship that was stranded in the Caribbean when people aboard became sick with coronavirus has finally docked in Cuba after a fraught search for a port that would accept it.

The MS Braemar arrived in Mariel, west of Havana, early on March 18th, with passengers expected to be transferred to airplanes for transport home to the UK on the same day.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, which operates the vessel, confirmed four aircrafts had landed in Cuba ready for the rescue operation. A Boeing 777-300 took off at 19:45 local time on Thursday the 19th, with 255 tourists on board, most of them being people over 60 years old.  Two other aircrafts of the same model contracted by the UK authorities to the British Airways company will leave Havana in the upcoming few hours.  An Airbus A-340 is also prepared on the airfield runway, which will transport the five confirmed Covid-19 patients and others with the disease's symptoms who were on the vessel.

The news follows a frantic few days in which the MS Braemar searched for a place to dock, following refusals from several ports in the Caribbean.

See the news regarding this humanitarian action here:

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/coronavirus-cruise-ship-braemar-docks/index.html

https://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=53565&SEO=ms-braemar-travelers-leave-cuba-for-the-uk

The Cuban Council of Churches, one of Global Ministries´Partners in the island, issued the following declaration related to the said events.

 

DECLARATION OF THE CUBAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN RECOGNITION OF THE HUMANITARIAN OPERATION CRUCERO MS BRAEMAR

“For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and they gave me a drink; I walked as a stranger, and they gave me accommodation. I was without clothes, and you gave it to me; I was sick, and they visited me; I was in jail, and they came to see me. ”…

"The King will answer them:" I assure you that everything they did for one of these humbler brothers of mine, they did for myself. " Matthew 25

We express our satisfaction, for the sensitivity and swift action of the authorities of the Republic of Cuba, to the humanitarian situation related to the cruise ship MS Braemar of the company Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and to respond positively to the request of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to dock in the Cuban port and make possible the immediate and safe transfer to their countries of the sick, passengers and crew members, under the necessary security protocols to guarantee the total success of the operation.

Our country, with a long history of solidarity and international cooperation, once again shows the vocation of love and service that characterize our social and humanistic process.  This action is part of the daily life of Cubans. Our people, through their medical and Public Health personnel, provide services daily, in many parts of this world.

We congratulate the authorities, the health personnel, and all the organizations, institutions, and people that have made this beautiful task possible.

Fraternally,
Rev. Antonio Santana Hernández. President
Rev. Joel Ortega Dopico. Executive Secretary

 

(Declaration in Spanish)

 

Declaración del Consejo de Iglesias de Cuba en reconocimiento a la Operación humanitaria Crucero MS Braemar

“Pues tuve hambre, y ustedes me dieron de comer; tuve sed, y me dieron de beber; anduve como forastero, y me dieron alojamiento. Estuve sin ropa, y ustedes me la dieron; estuve enfermo, y me visitaron; estuve en la cárcel, y vinieron a verme.”…

“El Rey les contestará: “Les aseguro que todo lo que hicieron por uno de estos hermanos míos más humildes, por mí mismo lo hicieron.” Mateo 25

Expresamos nuestra satisfacción,  por  la sensibilidad y  acción rápida de las autoridades de la República de Cuba, ante la situación humanitaria relacionada con el crucero MS Braemar  de la compañía Fred Olsen Cruise Lines y responder positivamente a la solicitud del Gobierno del Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte, de atracar en puerto cubano y viabilizar el traslado a sus países de forma inmediata y segura, de los enfermos, pasajeros y miembros de la tripulación, bajo los protocolos de seguridad necesarios para garantizar el éxito total de la operación.

Nuestro país, con una larga historia de solidaridad y cooperación internacional, nuevamente da muestras de la vocación de amor y servicio que caracterizan a nuestro proceso social y humanista.  Esta acción, es parte de la vida cotidiana de cubanos y cubanas. Nuestro pueblo, a través de su personal médico y de Salud Pública, diariamente presta servicios, en muchas latitudes de este mundo.

Felicitamos a las autoridades, al personal de salud, y todos los organismos, instituciones y personas que han hecho posible esta hermosa tarea.

Fraternalmente,

Rev. Antonio Santana Hernández. Presidente

Rev. Joel Ortega Dopico. Secretario Ejecutivo

 


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