U.S. Citizens Take an Interest in their Country’s Blockade of Cuba

Havana, Cuba, Oct 22.- Journalists and representatives of NGOs and institutions of the United States took an interest on Monday about the consequences of the blockade of that country’s government against Cuba, a policy that is the main obstacle to the normalization of bilateral ties.

By way of a videoconference that linked the island’s Foreign Ministry with Havana’s Interests Section to Washington, participants learned about the damages caused by this criminal policy in sectors such as education, health and culture, explained by executives and specialists.

Such unilateral measures damage all Cubans, but in particularly painful way they damage the most vulnerable, said Esther Maria La O Ochoa, director of the Solidarity with Panama Special School, dedicated to the care of children with disabilities.

In spite of the willingness of the Cuban state to provide the resources necessary for this type of facility, “something they haven’t been able to block,” the center suffers from lack of wheelchairs, teaching aids, devices for students to access computing and specialized transportation, among other shortages.

Ninety five percent of students of the Solidarity with Panama school need to move by way of wheelchairs, and 10 of them suffer from progressive muscular dystrophy, noted La O Ochoa.

Washington’s unilateral measures also affect patients suffering from oncological diseases, which are the main cause of death on the island, and prevent the U.S. people to benefit from Cuban pharmacological products, like Heberprot- P ( for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers).

As an example, Lorenzo Anastos, deputy director for Research of the Oncology Institute, explained that during the previous year, the blockade complicated the purchase of radiotherapy equipment and systems, thus delaying by six months the treatment of 120 patients.

From Washington, Mavis Anderson, associate director of the Working Group for Latin American Affairs, which brings together 60 U.S. academic and religious institutions, called upon President Barack Obama on Monday to use his powers to improve US-Cuba relations.

Many sectors of the U.S. society support the normalization of bonds between the two nations, asserted the human rights, justice, peace and regional sustainable development.

Anderson said that the so-called “relaxation” of the blockade’s measures is not enough, and called for concrete actions to begin dismantling the mistaken policy with which several U.S. administrations have sought to subvert the Cuban project.

Among those actions, she mentioned the removal of Cuba from the spurious list of countries sponsoring terrorism, the elimination of barriers to U.S. visits to the Caribbean nation, and the carrying out of talks at the highest level to discuss matters of common interest.(ACN)

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