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MEDICC Urges President Trump to Keep the Door Open to Cuba

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:

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

MEDICC’s work includes: the feature documentary film ¡Salud! on Cuban health care and global cooperation; the open-access, MEDLINE-indexed journal, MEDICC Review, publishing research by Cuban and other professionals whose work addresses health equity; insightful trips to Cuba for US health policymakers, educators and practitioners; Community Partnerships for Health Equity, a national network of US communities, their leaders inspired to innovate for better health, thanks to MEDICC-organized experiences in Cuba; and by serving as an institutional bridge-builder between US, Cuban and global health institutions and organizations. MEDICC also assists US students and graduates of Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine to return home to practice in provider-shortage areas, and supports US policies that facilitate greater health cooperation with Cuba for the benefit of people in both countries.
MEDICC’s 2016 White Paper was instrumental in changing US regulations to make room for greater research cooperation between US and Cuban institutions, particularly on cancer and infectious diseases that threaten people in both countries. See for more.