MEDICC Calls for US Humanitarian Policy Towards Cuba as Health Crisis Deepens

OAKLAND, Calif., July 19, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) has joined organizations around the world including the UN, Amnesty International, Oxfam and others imploring President Biden to adopt a humanitarian policy towards Cuba as the island faces peak COVID-19 cases, severe food and medicine shortages and social unrest. Strict sanctions held over from the previous administration, says MEDICC, aggravate tensions on the island and between the two countries.

In a statement released today, the public health organization with more than 20 years working to promote US-Cuba health collaboration, asks “why the Biden administration continues to maintain the 240 additional sanctions piled on Cuba by Trump in the midst of a global pandemic.” Says Dr C. William Keck, MEDICC Executive Director, “sanctions imposed by the United States against Venezuela, Syria and Iran have been eased for humanitarian reasons due to COVID-19. But not Cuba. These punitive policies imply even more hardships for Cuban families as they confront COVID-19.”

In his first day in office, President Biden issued a national security memorandum directing a review of all US sanctions to analyze whether they were impeding COVID-19 response in the targeted countries. According to MEDICC, “the US embargo has been directly responsible for halting desperately needed donations of personal protective equipment for health workers, food and medicines.”

The statement recommends the President take a series of steps to immediately alleviate suffering of more than 11 million Cubans on the island. Together, says the statement, these steps would permit a return to the Obama-era opening that “provided light at the end of the tunnel for Cubans of all political stripes, a future for the country’s public and private sectors, and room for domestic policy dialog and change.”

Nevertheless, the strictest sanctions imposed under Trump are still in place; now is the time to reverse this inhumane policy, says the US organization.
Founded in 1997, MEDICC is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California that works to promote US-Cuba health collaboration and highlight Cuba’s public health contributions to global health equity and universal health.

Media Contact

Jerrontay Foster, MEDICC, 678-904-8092, [email protected]

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