Sunday, April 12, 2020

Interview: Yuri Gonzalez Hernandez on COVID-19 and the Situation in Cuba for Upcoming Webinar "COVID-19 and International Affairs" (17 April 2020)

In the run up to the Webinar Conference Roundtable, Coronavirus and International Relations, a number of participants and contributors agreed to give short interviews around the conference themes and their own interventions. All Zoom interviews will be posted to the Coalition for Peace and Ethics You Tube Channel COVID-19 Conference Playlist. For our first interview, Flora Sapio spoke to the issues of COVID-19 in Italy and its wider implication. For our second interview, Larry Catá Backer spoke of COVID-19 and meaning making.

For our next interview Yuri Gonzalez Hernandez speaks about COVID-19 and its effects in Cuba and the Caribbean. He has been reporting on the changing situation there over the last several weeks, and now takes the opportunity to provide a brief summary of the course of events. The area is rich for exposing the way that the pandemic has affected developing states. Cuba, of course, is unique in that respect. It manifests many of the characteristics of a developing states, and yet in some important respects it punches well above its weight. That is manifested both in the way in which Cuba has--to an extent that may be far greater than that of the largest and richest states in Europe, Asia and North America, been able to provide doctors to other states to aid in confronting the pandemic in places where medical infrastructure has been overwhelmed. At the same time Cuba's long efforts in the development of medicine now appears to have had a significant positive effect in meeting the challenge of the pandemic. On the other hand, water scarcity and lack of foreign exchange has made the lives of Cubans more difficult and potentially exposed them to a greater risk.

Mr. Gonzalez Hernandez is a Cuban Lawyer (University of Havana 2009) who is currently in residence at Penn State where he is working on his LLM degree. Before his arrival at Penn State, Mr. Gonzalez Hernandez worked as legal advisor for different Cubans companies, and the tax office of the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana. Since 2016 he has provided legal advice to self-employed workers, and also has participated in non-profit entrepreneur projects, aimed at the development of some communities of the City of Havana. He may be contacted at glezyuri15[AT] 

The interview may be accessed HERE:   Yuri Gonzalez Interview
Conference Concept Note HERE

Registration (Free) HERE
Conference Website HERE.

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