Want to Improve the Health of Millions of Americans? Lift the Embargo on Cuba

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By reopening embassies, removing Cuba from the “terror list” and making it a bit easier for Americans to travel there, President Barack Obama’s White House has taken initial steps to put an end to a policy that has adversely affected the health of the American people for over half a century. The Senate Appropriation Committee’s action last week to even further ease restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens and relax some provisions of the economic embargo, is welcome for a variety of reasons, but perhaps most urgently for the health of citizens in both countries. Forty years ago, […]

Cuba’s flag flies in Washington

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Washington, D.C — In a ceremony attended by some 500 invited guests on July 20, the Cuban flag was raised over the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., for the first time since 1961, when U.S. imperialism broke relations between the two countries. Other supporters successfully fought back right-wing forces who tried to disrupt the event. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, foreign affairs minister of Cuba, told those gathered: “The flag that we revere … is the same that was hauled down here 54 years ago, which was zealously kept in Florida by a family of liberators and later on by the museum […]

As Cuba-US Relations Thaw, Potential Medical Advances Grow

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Recent US steps toward normalizing relations with Cuba after 5 decades may open doors in both countries to medical advances. In December 2014, President Obama reestablished diplomatic relations and eased travel restrictions. In April of this year, Congress removed Cuba from its terror list, and this month, the two countries are expected to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies in both countries. Mark Rasenick, PhD, professor of physiology, biophysics, and psychology and director of the biomedical neuroscience training program in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, travels to Cuba at least once a year and has testified […]