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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


One more victim of the U.S. blockade of Cuba

Lee Thomas (left) is a news anchor in Detroit afflicted with a surprisingly common disease, vitiligo, which turns dark-pigmented skin white. Vitiligo affects an estimated 65 million people worldwide, and 2 million in the United States. He's also a double-victim of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, a victim not only of the lack of a medicine produced exclusively by Cuba, but of the information blockade which allows him to make the following uneducated statement:
"There is no cause. There is no cure."
But, as I wrote when I wrote about the same thing four years ago (scary thought, that!) with respect to Michael Jackson, who suffers from the same disease, there is in fact a cure:
Michael Jackson is just one more victim of the U.S. blockade of Cuba. Why? Because the leading treatment in the world for vitiligo is Melagenina, a product of the Cuban biotechnology industry. And, like all such products, because of the blockade, Melagenina is not available to Michael Jackson; it would be a violation of U.S. law for him to fly to Cuba for treatment or to purchase the medicine. And, because of the virtual blockade on coverage of the Cuban biotech industry by the U.S. press, it's quite possible Jackson has never even heard of Melagenina, and certainly even less likely that he had heard of it in 1986, shortly after it was first developed, and when its application might have done Jackson some good.

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