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June 5, 1996

Medicine and the US Embargo Against Cuba-Reply

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

JAMA. 1996;275(21):1634. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530450023015

In Reply.  —I plead guilty for offering a "naive" proposal to the US-Cuba relations problems as indicated by Dr Huertas and Dr Martin. Apparently, I am just as naive to believe that my medical colleagues would show more concern for the health of the Cuban people, which is the focus of my argument, than about Castro's fate.I indicated in my article that the embargo is not the only cause of the Cuban people's deteriorating health status, and of their ability to purchase medicines at a fair price. As emphasized by Dr Kirkpatrick, however, the embargo certainly plays an important role. I also suggested that the Helms-Burton Act1 would only aggravate the situation and be, in the long run, counterproductive.Following the downing of the 2 planes on February 24, the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party held a session in which it called for strengthening ideological and