In downtown Havana, Cuba, July 2021
Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters

In early July, Cuba was hit by a devastating outbreak of COVID-19, fueled by the spread of the virus’s Delta variant, that pushed its state-run health-care system to the breaking point. After a year of relatively low infection rates, the Caribbean nation was suddenly reporting the highest caseloads per capita in Latin America, with the province of Matanzas accounting for nearly half the reported cases in the country. Hashtags pleading for emergency relief, such as #SOSMatanzas and #SOSCuba, spread on Twitter. Thousands of Cubans called on the government to open a humanitarian corridor that would speed the arrival of

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