With it’s recent editorial “Obama Should End the Embargo on Cuba”, the New York Times positions itself on the right side of history. Yet, one vital fact requires emphasis: the embargo is cruel and punitive. This, above all, is a pressing reason for policy change.
Cuba exports quality medical care worldwide, and its impact belies its size. In West Africa, Cuban doctors are saving lives on the front-lines of the Ebola crisis. But inside Cuba, the embargo causes death and suffering. U.S. pharmaceutical companies are often the sole providers of certain life-saving medicines. The embargo keeps these supplies out of the hands of Cuban doctors, who are among the best-trained in the world.
The result? These professionals are unable to treat conditions like cancer and HIV/AIDS, and people die needlessly.
The editorial highlights the political win the Obama Administration would score by ending the embargo. But the simplest reason is this: to save lives.