Long-standing public and political contention over the effects of the United States' economic embargo on the health of the Cuban people appears to be approaching a watershed. The proponents of a change in U.S. policy base their arguments on the results of scientific research over recent years that indicate the embargo has contributed to unhealthy shortages of food and medicine in Cuba. In both houses of Congress, bills are being considered that would exempt from the embargo the sale of food to Cuba, and would eliminate current licensing requirements for the sale of medicines or other medical supplies and equipment. Federal government spokespersons deny the validity of the research findings and assert that any shortages of medical supplies for everyday citizens are attributable to the policies of the Fidel Castro regime rather than to the U.S. embargo. A hearing on May 7 in Washington, D.C., of the subcommittee on trade...

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