Perspective on the Middle East & Palestine from a Palestinian Student in Cuba

Presentation by Abdallah Samir Allan, April 7, 2022, Havana, Cuba

The following presentation was made to the exploratory group from Massachusetts Peace Action that traveled to Cuba from April 2 to April 10, 2022.  We asked to meet some of the international students in Cuba on scholarship and Abdallah was one of the medical students who came to meet with us.  Merri Ansara translated the article from Spanish.

The World Context

World imperialism headed by the United States and its allies invents continuous pretexts as a cover for its instability caused by the cyclical crises that periodically strike the system periodically.  The recent excuse was the Covid-19 pandemic and the overwhelming greed of the pharmaceutical transnations, which has given way to the Russian-Ukraine crisis, at its foundation nothing less than a competition between the center of capitalism to redistribute wealth, even in the face of the danger to the whole world represented by neo-Nazism, in turn supported by U.S. imperialism and its allies. There is no good or bad capitalism; everything is based on domination of the planet, without regard to world peace, and threatening to wipe us all from the face of the earth with danger of world war in the interest of that domination:  capitalism is no solution.  

The solution consists in social justice, in equality, in a system that guarantees peace and the dignity of man.  We are talking about socialism, the only system that can save humanity.

Middle East

We are facing very dangerous developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf.

These developments are determined by the politics of world imperialism and its rivalries with China and Russia for the control of ports, natural wealth by the energy giants and the involvement of dozens of other bourgeois classes in the region to improve their geostrategic position.

This global balance of forces is affected by the new capitalist crisis and the consequences of the pandemic.

Since 2010, imperialism has used the popular uprisings of the so-called “Arab Spring” to advance the plan of the “New Middle East”, to achieve redeployments in line with the interests of its monopolies.

To the wounds that have distorted our region for decades, such as the wounds to Palestine and Saharawi, have been added several more, such as those in Syria and Yemen.

Over the past 30 years, our region in general has been shaken by a series of imperialist wars, while the refugee problem, the drama of the uprooted, intensifies.

We coexist in a single geographic area with many geostrategic commonalities.

We must collectively examine the situation in our region and strengthen the struggle against imperialist wars and the system of capitalist exploitation. At the same time, events underscore in this context that we are facing a broader “re-arrangement” in the region with the stamp of the US-NATO and the UE.   The elements of these new developments are:

In the first place, we must talk of the catastrophic war in Syria over the past 11 years. Its cause, deliberately concealed by bourgeois forces, is the fierce conflict over oil pipelines, geopolitical underpinnings, market shares. The United States, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc., used all means to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad, creating, financing and training  the jihadists to carry out their plans. The correlation of forces changed with the Russian military intervention in 2015 defending its own interests and maintaining two military bases, strong air and naval forces participating in military operations. The Syrian government, in addition to Russia, is backed by the Axis of Resistance such as the Lebanese organization Hezbollah and Iran.

Secondly, since 2015 and continuing up to today, for more than 2,500 days the Yemeni people have suffered indiscriminate airstrikes and attacks on homes, destruction of infrastructure and government facilities, a blockade by land, sea and air that has caused disease and famine, with millions of children at risk of dying for lack of food and medicine:  More than 2,500 days during which the Saudi coalition backed by world imperialism has committed countless massacres. The Yemeni people have lost hundreds of thousands of young people, daily massacres that the world and governments are silent and do not condemn.

Imperialist threats affect Yemen and Palestine. The two countries have a common cause. In Palestine, the occupation of the land, and the threat of theft of identity and history; while in Yemen, it is a violation of the country’s sovereignty and aggression against civilians. In both countries, there is fear for children, women, lives and homes from an enemy with unlimited ambition. But despite all this, the two peoples continue to oppose the war, the siege and the aggression, and their unity and solidarity are increasing day by day.


The Palestinian cause did not emerge in isolation from world events; rather, it was an integral part of and continues to this day to constitute a web of international knots that are intimately connected to each other.

The enemy is the same for all the poor and oppressed of the earth.  This enemy not only occupies militarily, but also economically, culturally and in many other ways. This is the imperialism that divides the world and draws the borders with the blood of the peoples, headed today by the government of the United States, Zionism and the interests of transnational corporations.

The people of Palestine suffer daily the painful consequences of this murderous machine called Israel, which uses all means to perpetuate the occupation regime with the support of the U.S. government and its allies.

It is worth noting the use of military violence against the Palestinian people, the numerous cold-blooded assassinations even of children, the systematic creation and expansion of the occupation settlements, the maintenance of the wall in Jerusalem and the West Bank and the latest wall that has just been built around the entire Gaza Strip which is 10 meters high.

In addition, it should be noted that approximately 5600 Palestinian political prisoners, including children, the elderly and the sick, remain in Israeli prisons.

The intensification of the criminal activity of the Zionist State of Israel against the people of Palestine is encouraged by the political line of the EU and the US, which equates the aggressor with the victims and uses this to strengthen the political, economic and military relations between the EU and Israel.

Abdallah Samir Allan is a 2nd year medical student at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba, on scholarship from Jordan.  He has never visited, and cannot visit, his home town in Palestine.

Cuba has since the 1960s offered training and education to young people from the continents of the world.  In the 1970s, young people came from Vietnam and Africa to study at the Universities in the fields of communications and journalism, engineering, and other fields.  Following the devastation of Hurricane Georges and Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Cuba conceived the idea of training doctors from poor regions without access to medical care or to the training of doctors who might provide such care.  The idea, which originated with Fidel Castro, became the Latin America School of Medicine, ELAM. The school was officially inaugurated in November 1999, the first students coming from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua, the countries most significantly hit by the 1998 hurricanes. By 2013, ELAM had graduated 29,000 doctors from 90 countries.  In return students are asked to serve for two or three years in the underserved communities of their home countries.  While students from around the world continue to come to Cuba in a variety of programs, especially advanced medical training, the Latin American School of Medicine is the single largest and fully funded program for foreign students today. – Merri Ansara