Cambridge Seeks Cuba Medical Collaboration

Cambridge Passes Resolution Supporting US-Cuba Medical Collaboration and Ending the Blockade

On Monday October 5, 2020 the Cambridge City Council unanimously approved a Policy Order on Medical and Scientific Collaboration with Cuba that includes the call for “suspending relevant US economic and travel sanctions against Cuba.” Highlighted by leadership from long-time Cuba activist and educator Merri Ansara and Council member Dennis Carlone, the policy order focuses on the Saving Lives aspects of the collaboration.

The resolution emphasizes Cuba’s medical achievements and the need for co-operation and solidarity in combatting the world-wide pandemic; Cuban-produced drugs (Biomodulina T, Heberon Interferon Alfa 2B human recombinant, Itolizumab, and Jusvinza/CIGB 258) unavailability in the U.S. due to ongoing and increased restrictions against collaboration with and imports from Cuba; and the City’s history of medical collaboration with the island. As noted in Lee Schlenker’s article in Telesur, “Cambridge, Massachusetts Seeks Medical Cooperation with Cuba,” the City and its institutions, including Harvard, MIT and Cambridge Hospital, have a long history of direct medical and scientific exchanges of professors and students, as well as direct collaboration with Cuba, as the policy order points out. Letters from scientists such as MIT biomedical researcher Professor Jonathan King were a key part of the campaign.

With a sister city relationship in Cuba with Cienfuegos, following a January 2000 delegation led by Cambridge State Representative and Cuban-American Jarrett Barrios, the City joins the growing list of municipalities in the national campaign to pass local resolutions expressing grassroots support for US-Cuba normalization and calling for an end to the travel and trade embargo and other blockade sanctions, an effort that this year has emphasized medical collaboration in light of Cuba’s achievements in combatting the Pandemic.

According to Cambridge resident, campaign and July26.org member Marilyn Frankenstein, future plans for Cambridge include: getting more press and social media coverage; starting to put in place plans for medical collaborations between Cambridge and Cuban medical researchers; exploring other opportunities to educate about Cuba with a long range goal of organizing support for ending the blockade.

This is part of the “Honoring Cuba’s Achievements: Ending the Blockade and Saving Lives Together Campaign” that was kicked of at this year’s July 26th Celebration.  We are hoping to reach out to other cities and towns around the state.   If you’d like to help out, contact us at admin@july26.org.

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