While America was watching the images of abused Iraqi prisoners, I saw the same images from my hotel room in another country slated for regime change: Cuba. I’d gone there to do research on that nation’s biotech industry. During the week I spent there I learned more about my own country than I’d expected — much of it disappointing. I’d always been an agnostic on Castro and Cuba, but it’s hard to remain that way after seeing the collateral effects of our four-decade embargo. Whole sections of Havana seem to be decaying. Hospitals exist day to day on medicines, researchers improvise scientific equipment, and there are national shortages in just about everything. Even accounting for Cuban mismanagement, world health authorities have linked the embargo and its ripple effects to epidemics and food shortages.
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