Blockade causes million-dollar impact on higher
ON October 28
the United Nations will vote on a resolution to put
an end to the United States’ economic, commercial
and financial blockade of Cuba.
During the past year alone, this policy has resulted
in a cost of $3,993,747 dollars to Cuba’s Higher
Education system, due to a combination of earnings
lost and increased costs, due to trade relocation
and technological limitations.
“The damage caused by the blockade is limited thanks
to the quality of our teaching staff and the efforts
of our students”, Dr. Oberto Santín, deputy minister
of Higher Education, stated during a press
conference on the impact of the U.S. government’s
economic war against Cuba, which has lasted over
half a century.
As a result of the blockade, between April 2013 and
March 2014, the University of Havana lost income of
over $540,000 dollars, which could have been
received for goods and services.
Another higher education institution, the Julio
Antonio Mella Polytechnic Institute, lost some
$21,000 dollars for academic services it was unable
to provide during the same period.
This policy also affects the other higher
educational centers across the country. The
University of Cienfuegos suffered losses of $13,860
dollars due to the expiration of its license for an
exchange program established with the University of
Cuban universities are obliged to acquire supplies
through intermediaries in distant markets,
increasing the costs incurred. They also face
serious difficulties regarding the importation of
computers, a situation which impedes scientific,
research and teaching work.
In the technological and research fields,
specialists from the island are unable to publish
their work in the most respected scientific journals,
and the country is prevented from accessing
information and communications technology, as U.S.
companies and their subsidiaries are the main
producers and suppliers of equipment and services in
The obsolete policy of blockade, so often condemned
internationally, also affects the U.S. academic
Information from the Cuban Ministry of Higher
Education reveals: “The uncertainty regarding the
licensing for institutions and universities who wish
to open collaborative programs results in many lost
opportunities and curbs potential efforts.“
In other words, it is not uncommon for U.S.
scientists to be denied permission to participate in
events taking place in Cuba.
The limitations imposed by this economic war are
many, just as are the country's efforts to overcome
them, as was acknowledged by Deputy Minister Santín
who stated, "Despite the blockade, we have the
support of the Cuban government to guarantee our
ability to teach."