The pharmaceutical business group FarmaCuba director Neyra Muguercia reported that the U.S. blockade prevents her country from acquiring raw materials for the production of drugs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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"The U.S. actions against Cuba are increasingly aggressive. They pursue all of our operations. Many times we have to import from a second, third, or even a fourth country for fear of suppliers being penalized," Murguercia explained.
A recent example from this international bullying happened in March when raw materials acquired by FarmaCuba were forced to be returned to the initial suppliers.
"A shipping company returned two containers to the port of origin although they were already in Havana, as they warned they would be sanctioned," local news agency ACN recalled.
Besides increasing the industry's production costs, difficulties in recovering raw material shipments decrease the availability of medicines in Cuba.
"We are talking about long shortages as production cycles are out-of-order. Besides, there are impacts on FarmaCuba's financial situation, which is also affected by the U.S. sanctions that make it difficult to bring our money from foreign sales to the country," Muguercia explained.
Despite all the problems the U.S. blockade causes, Cuban workers have made their service ethic their main resource to face adversity.
"Although it is not always possible to recover output levels, factories make an outstanding effort once certain raw materials arrive. They are organized in daily shifts so as not to stop and make up for the lost time," the FarmaCuba director stressed.