IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
THE cutting edge of politics can be scalpel sharp and vindictive, as Cuba continues to discover. The 3-decade-old us trade embargo against Havana has the country floundering in a debilitating mess, compounded by critical shortages of common medicines from antibiotics to sterilising detergents, as well as essential supplies for paediatric leukemia, X-ray film for breast cancer detection and us-made replacement parts for respirators. Alarmed at Cuba's weakening health system, medical groups in the us, like the American Public Health Association and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), have stepped up pressure on the government to lift the embargo, at least on food and medical supplies.
Their uppermost concern is the high incidence of neurological disorders among Cubans. According to new AAN findings, the country is in the grip of one of the worst neurological epidemics this century. A study conducted in 1993 by Gustavo Roman of the AAN at the behest of the Pan American Health Organisation, gained widespread publicity when it reported that more than 50,000 of the country's 11 million citizens were suffering from maladies caused by severe thiamine vitamin deficiency. The major disorders include vision loss, deafness, loss of sensation in the hands and feet, and a spinal cord disorder that impairs walking and bladder control.
Roman ventured into the feverish zone of politics when he put the blame for these illnesses on the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 which prohibits us companies from trade with Cuba. Till it was passed, Cuba could import critical medicines and food supplies cheaply through the foreign subsidiaries of American companies. "Although the us economic embargo may not have been the primary cause of the epidemic in Cuba, it has contributed to its development, complicated its investigation and treatment, and continues to hamper its prevention," asserted Roman.
Such criticism doesn't seem to faze the us government. State Department officials say that the 1992 law permits donations of food and medicine by pharmaceutical companies and charitable and religious organisations -- a total of US $50 million since 1992.
Their version of the 1992 embargo is that it does not specifically exclude medicine: it merely states that the administration should be able to verify through onsite inspections that these goods are used for their intended purpose, not to be sold for scarce foreign exchange.
Realpolitik, however, may once again swing open the doors of us trade with Cuba. Several American companies like General Motors and Archer Daniels Midland are reportedly including the Cuban market in their long-term plans. It's quite likely that the open market, Fidel Castro's pet hate, may well put an end to Cuba's longstanding travails.