A six-year-old Cuban girl named Naomi battling brain cancer couldn’t get a desperately needed U.S.-patented drug. Judy Ingels, a 74-year-old California woman with stage four lung cancer had to sneak into Cuba last spring in violation of American travel restrictions in order to receive a Cuban-developed drug that could help prolong her life for years. Both of these cases are because of the United States government’s economic blockade against the Cuban people for more than 50 years, – including denial of vital medicines.
Cubans and people of the U.S. – particularly Cuban and U.S. health care professionals – need to talk about the impact of the blockade on health and how to end a policy that helps no one.
That’s the purpose of this main event for the “Days of Action Against the Blockade” in Washington (Sept. 11-16, 2017). Organized by the International Committee as part of the International Campaign for a Just U.S. Policy on Cuba, this main event will feature Cuban health professionals and their U.S. counterparts, as well as a number of U.S. graduates of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM):
Invited guests, Cuban Ambassador, José Ramón Cabañas
Musical performance by Swamp Guinee’s Crank LuKongo
Moderator: Stephen Kimber, Canadian journalist and professor
ELAM, as it is known, is a unique international medical school created by the Cuban government in 1999 to train students from poor communities in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the United States to be doctors. During these unique cross-border conversations, the Cuban health care specialists will not only discuss the impact of the blockade with their U.S. counterparts but they will also discuss the lessons people of the U.S. can learn from Cuba’s successful long-running universal health care program and its world class health outcomes.