CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Sept. 3, 2009: Amnesty International wants President Barack Obama to take the first step towards dismantling the US embargo against Cuba.
President Obama has until September 14th to decide whether or not to extend the embargo and Amnesty International wants Obama to make history by lifting the embargo.
`This is the perfect opportunity for President Obama to distance himself from the failed policies of the past and to send a strong message to the US Congress on the need to end the embargo,` said Irene Khan, Amnesty International`s Secretary General.
`The US embargo against Cuba is immoral and should be lifted,` said Irene Khan. `It`s preventing millions of Cubans from benefiting from vital medicines and medical equipment essential for their health.`
Under the US embargo, Cuba faces severe restrictions in importing medicines, medical equipment or technologies from the USA or from any US company abroad, AI said. The sanctions also limit other imports to the island and restrict travel and the transfer of money.
Products patented in the USA or containing more than 20 percent US-manufactured parts or components cannot be exported to Cuba, even if they are produced in third countries.
According to data from the United Nations, Cuba`s inability to import nutritional products for consumption at schools, hospitals and day care centres, is contributing to a high prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia. According to UNICEF, in 2007 that affected 37.5 per cent of Cuba`s children under three years old.
Meanwhile, according to a new survey, 41 per cent of Cubans polled in the US said they are against keeping the embargo.