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Despite its rhetoric on the defense of human rights, the United States attacks the Cuban people with a blockade that causes shortage of basic goods.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero announced that Cubans who return to their country through airports will not be subject to limits on the non-commercial importation of medicines, food, and toiletries. This provision will be in effect until July 19.
To be exempt from duty payment, passengers must differentiate these products from the rest of personal luggage. While citizens can bring groceries, they must comply with the established phytosanitary protocols to enter the country.
This temporary import policy seeks to reduce the shortage of basic goods in the interior of the country, which has been harassed by a U.S. economic, financial, and trade blockade since 1960.
The strengthening of the blockade has increased the acquisition costs of these products between 30 and 50 percent. Marrero explained that regular suppliers cannot guarantee shipments to Cuba due to the new measures.
#Cuba Economy Minister @AlejandroGilF "A suspect of having COVID#19 costs the country 900 pesos a day, a confirmed patient 4,165, a confirmed patient in ICU costs 13,045. No patient leaves the hospital with a bill, but with the gratitude to the doctors for saving them for free." pic.twitter.com/EO6ry4J13M
The U.S. arbitrary sanctions promote the shortage of medicines on this Caribbean island. The foreign trade restrictions imposed by the Helms-Burton Law, for example, prevent Cuba's Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries (BioCubaFarma) from manufacturing 365 basic drugs.
Currently, Cuban production of basic medicines is focused on the fight against COVID-19 and on the attention of other chronic and non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
Antihypertensive, antibiotic, and analgesic pills have still low availability on the Island. Faced with this complex situation, the country updates its strategies to expand national drug production.
#Cuba | Head of the Ideological Department of the PCC, Rogelio Polanco: "We are living through one of the chapters of unconventional warfare." pic.twitter.com/WKrbdYiAQU