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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Woody BS: Who's Next? Iran or Korea? (1319* d) RE: BS: Who's Next? Iran or Korea? 02 Aug 06

    U.S. Sales of Medicines and Medical Supplies to Cuba

    The US embargo does NOT deny medicines and medical supplies to the Cuban people. As stipulated in Section 1705 of the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the U.S. Government routinely issues licenses for the sale of medicine and medical supplies to Cuba. The only requirement for obtaining a license is to arrange for end-use monitoring to ensure that there is no reasonable likelihood that these items could be diverted to the Cuban military, used in acts of torture or other human rights abuses, or re-exported or used in the production of biotechnological products. Monitoring of sales can be performed by independent non-governmental organizations, international organizations, or foreign diplomats.

    Since 1992, 36 of 38 license requests have been approved to U.S. companies and their subsidiaries to sell medicine and medical equipment to Cuba. Sales have included such items as thalamonal, depo-provera, pediatric solutions, syringes, and other items. The Department of Commerce declined the other two requests for licenses it received for failure to meet legal standards. Both of these exceptions to the general policy of approving commercial medical sales occurred in 1994.

    Moreover, the U.S. embargo on Cuba affects only U.S. companies and their subsidiaries. Other nations and companies are free to trade with Cuba. Should Cuba choose not to purchase from the U.S., it can purchase any medicine or medical equipment it needs from other countries. Such third-country transactions only cost an estimated 2%-3% more than purchases from the U.S. as a result of higher shipping costs.

    Humanitarian Assistance

    The Cuban Democracy Act encourages the donation of humanitarian supplies to the people of Cuba, including medicine, food, and clothing.

    Since the passage of the Cuban Democracy Act, the U.S. has become the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Cuba. Much of the humanitarian assistance by U.S. non-governmental organizations consists of medicines and medical equipment. The U.S. Government has licensed more than $150 million in humanitarian assistance to Cuba over the last four years. That is more than the total of worldwide foreign aid to Cuba during that period.

    U.S. humanitarian assistance has been distributed throughout the island, including to medical clinics. Monitoring is not required for donations of medicines for humanitarian purposes to non-governmental organizations in Cuba.

    In addition it is believed that the single largest source of medicines used in Cuba today is the large volume of "care packages" sent to Cuba by family members living in the U.S. These "care packages" are worth millions of dollars each year.

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