US blockade affects research at Cuban universities

Texto and photo: Livia Rodríguez Delis
Havana, Sep 25 (Prensa Latina) The United States blockade on Cuba greatly affects centers attached to the Ministry of Higher Education (MES), mainly in the field of research, Ministry official Reynaldo Velazquez noted.

‘Perhap, the main impact is on preventing the acquisition of cutting-edge technology for educational and research labs,’ the MES undergraduate general director told Prensa Latina in a sideline to the 15th Cuba-Mexico Rectors Summit that opened on Tuesday and will end today in Havana.

He added that the lack of access to the US market forces authorities to purchase technology through credits in China and other distant countries, thus making the acquisition of those resources more expensive.

Likewise, he noted that the harmful effects of the US blockade can be seen in all areas of higher education, in such elementary aspects as the access to updated bibliography.

‘Publishing houses that produce educational material in the United States or US branches in other countries have been banned from selling to Cuba,’ he added.

Velazquez noted that the blockade limits Cuban universities’ access to websites promoted by technology groups. ‘We do not have access just because we live in Cuba,’ he stressed.

In addition, there was a considerable reduction in the participation of US academics in scientific events in Cuba, and in travel by Cuban professionals to the United States, he underlined.

The Cuban official said that after the tightening of the blockade with the latest measures taken by President Donald Trump, academic exchange has been limited.

In that regard, he explained that the Ministry of Higher Education has adopted a group of measures to guarantee the continuity of the education process, affected by the current lack of fuel, as a result of US actions to prevent supplies reaching Cuba.

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