14 Jun MEDICC Urges President Trump to Keep the Door Open to Cuba
June 14, 2017, Oakland, CA– MEDICC adds its voice to the growing bipartisan chorus calling on President Donald Trump to stay the course on US Cuba policy and open the door further for US travel, trade and cooperation.
The President travels to Miami tomorrow, where he is reported to announce reversals of progress made in Cuba relations begun by the Obama Administration. This could include rollback of over 20 commitments to work jointly on drug interdiction, marine and coastal protection, hurricane and disaster mitigation, and for cooperation in health and medicine-particularly on cancer prevention and treatment.
“We call on everyone who appreciate the vital importance of cooperation in these areas to make their voices heard along with ours,” said Dr. Peter Bourne, MEDICC’s Board Chair. He referred to advances in Cuban biotech and other medical fields that can be shared with US patients, and the opportunity for US-Cuba cooperation to keep global epidemics at bay. “Any reversal of US Cuba policy could end our access to promising Cuban pharmaceuticals and to joint efforts against new diseases and epidemics.”
At stake is also Americans’ right to travel to Cuba and see for ourselves,” noted MEDICC Executive Director Dr. C. William Keck. “There is much to be learned from a health system that has managed impressive outcomes despite economic hardship.” In fact, recent opinion polls show that three fourths of Americans support the positive overtures towards Cuba; and 81% support expanded travel to Cuba.
MEDICC helped open the door to health cooperation with the White Paper sent to President Obama last year: “A Safer, Healthier Future Through U.S.-Cuba Cooperation” . Many of our recommendations for health cooperation were applied in his executive orders…including those allowing Cuban cancer-fighting medicines to be tested in the USA.
Now we need to make sure that US Cuba policy protects travel and health through greater cooperation.
Among those who have already spoken up to keep the door open to Cuba are:
- 63% of Cuban Americans in Miami, who favor an end to the US embargo on Cuba (Florida International University Poll)
- The US Chamber of Commerce, travel industry leaders and agricultural associations
- Human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch
- American Public Health Association
- Retired US military leaders
- Eminent scholars and academics
- Editorials in the New York Times, Tampa Bay Times, Houston Chronicle and more
- Congressional Republicans in a letter to the President
- Engage Cuba, Washington Office on Latin America, Council of the Americas, Center for Democracy in the Americas
Please act now! Cooperation with Cuba matters to our health and our rights.
One way you can make a difference is by calling the White House, as suggested by the Latin American Working Group (LAWG), which noted that this is “by far the most effective way” to get the administration’s attention to your concerns. The numbers LAWG has provided for the White House are:
Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414