U.S blockade has concrete impact

YENIA SILVA CORREA

IN the more than 50 years of the Cuban Revolution, millions of dollars have been accumulating in lost revenue as a direct consequence of the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the U.S. on the country. Education is a sphere of great social benefit which has not escaped this reality.

From March 2012 to April 2013 alone, revenue lost from goods and service exports amounted to more than $80,000.

One loss which has affected Cuba for a long time is the geographical relocation of trade, which means acquiring necessary goods from distant markets, considerably increasing transportation costs.

In concrete figures, the situation is as follows: in 2012 the transfer of goods purchased for the education sector cost $1.12 million. If these products had been purchased in the southern United States they would have cost only $543,800. This additional expenditure means having to buy less than the necessary amount of other goods. A case in point is that only 100 Natural Science modules for elementary schools were purchased this year. Similarly, this complication makes obtaining essential resources to develop skills in Vocational Education, Geography and Language very difficult.

In Arts Education, because of the U.S. imposed blockade, it has not been possible to buy musical instruments and audio equipment for all institutions in the sector. Acquiring parts to repair instruments in Music Schools has also been affected. The impossibility of using the U.S. dollar in Cuban trade has forced the country to pay sums well above the contracted rate to obtain raw materials used for producing text books.

The genocidal policy of the blockade prevents exchanges between Cuban and U.S. academic institutions, seriously obstructing the development of Computation Science. Many of the licenses needed to access these tools must be paid to U.S. companies but existing restrictions prevent this.

Despite these concrete examples, the Cuban government continues to uphold the fundamental right to education of all its people. 

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