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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Apr 14, 2020, 03:36 PM

2. Cuba accuses the United States of preventing its purchases of medicines and respirators Internatio

Cuba accuses the United States of preventing its purchases of medicines and respirators | International
April 14, 2020 04

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Cuba denounces that the United States embargo policy is preventing its purchases of medicines and respirators, while continuing to send medical brigades abroad to collaborate in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. As the Cuban Chancellery reported on Monday, two medical companies that habitually supplied the island with artificial ventilation equipment, essential for the treatment of serious cases of coronavirus, suspended their commercial relations with the island after being acquired by an American corporation.

According to the official press, it is the Swiss manufacturer IMT Medical and the company Acutronic. These companies became part of the American corporation Vyaire Medical in 2018, and after the merger they expressed their inability to continue doing business with Cuba. “Unfortunately, the corporate guideline we have today is to suspend the entire commercial relationship with Medicuba; the only way we can resume joint work is through a license from OFAC [Oficina de Controle de Ativos Estrangeiros] issued by the United States Department of the Treasury and which we do not yet have, “the companies notified the Cuban state company responsible for importing medical supplies, said Eugenio Martínez, former ambassador for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. from Cuba in Spain.

The Havana government accuses Washington of systematically hampering access to medicines and medical supplies the island needs, which forces it to acquire them in much more distant markets, such as China, by paying for transportation and suffering unnecessary delays. “There is a group of resources that we have acquired and that if we could buy in the USA it would favor us, because it is a much closer market”, stated the vice president of Medicuba, Lázaro Silva.

According to the newspaper Granma, a donation of masks, detection kits and respirators by Chinese businessman Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba company – who has donated large quantities of these products to countries in Europe, Asia, the USA and Latin America, affected by Covid-19 – could not reach the island. The North American transport company hired to carry out the shipment “gave up on doing so at the last moment,” says Havana, saying that the current embargo prohibits the service. The authorities say that last year losses to the health system through sanctions reached $ 160 million (816 million reais), so they call for an immediate lifting of the embargo to better face the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Cuba continues with its policy of medical diplomacy. On Monday a second health brigade arrived in Italy, made up of 21 doctors and 17 nurses who will work in Turin, a city severely affected by the pandemic. The team, made up of intensive care specialists, epidemiologists, pulmonologists and comprehensive doctors, adds to the contingent of 53 health professionals who are part of the brigade sent to Lombardy at the end of March. Most of the brigade’s doctors and health professionals have previously served in disaster situations and international health crises, including the Ebola outbreak in Africa.


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