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End the US Embargo and save Lives in Cuba

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.

Trade embargo with Cuba causes death and suffering

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.

MADRE’s founder and Senior Advisor Vivian Stromberg delivering medical supplies to Cuba
MADRE’s founder and Senior Advisor Vivian Stromberg delivering medical supplies to Cuba.

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.