Sunday, July 7, 2013

Trying to destroy the Danger of a Good Example

The Unrelenting Economic War on Cuba

It is impossible to fully understand Cuba today without also understanding the economic sanctions levied against it by the United States. For over fifty years, these sanctions have been upheld by every presidential administration, and at times intensified by individual presidents and acts of Congress. They are a key part of the U.S. government’s ongoing campaign to undermine the Cuban Revolution, and stand in egregious violation of international law. Most importantly, the sanctions are cruelly designed for their harmful impact on the Cuban people.

Here’s a laundry list of examples in which Cubans have been deprived critical medical aid due to the blockade:
  • Cuban children suffering from cancer of the retina cannot receive effective treatment because the surgical microscopes and other equipment needed for this treatment are sold exclusively by the U.S. company, Iris Medical Instruments.
  • The National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology in Havana cannot use radioactive isotope plaques for the treatment of retinal cancer as they are sold exclusively by U.S. companies, thereby requiring doctors to remove the affected eyes of children altogether rather than treat and preserve them.
  • Nearly 1600 Cubans a year are denied effective diagnosis of cancerous tumors because Cuba cannot obtain the necessary German-made optical coherence tomography – an item prohibited by the embargo because it contains some American-made components.
  • Cubans are denied the drug temozolomide (Temodar) necessary for the effective treatment of tumors of the central nervous system.
  • Cuban children are denied the benefit of the U.S.-made Amplatzer device which could help them to avoid open heart surgery.
  • Cubans were denied $4.1 million for treating AIDS, Tuberulosis and Malaria when these monies were seized by the U.S. from an NGO which had earmarked those monies for Cuba.
  • Cubans were denied the funds designated by the United Nations Program for Development for Cuba’s health care system when those monies were seized by the U.S.
  • Cubans are denied critical drugs for treating bone cancer and HIV AIDS.
Salim Lamrani’s new book The Economic War Against Cuba provides a clear concise and accessible account U.S. economic blockade against Cuba: their origins, their provisions, how they contravene international law, and how they affect the lives of Cubans. 

The lengths some will go to, to destroy the danger of a good example.

Well worth reading. 

Read the Counterpunch review