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US: Illegal to correct Cuban spelling

Declaration of the Cuban Academy of Sciences
9 March 2004

[News item: The U.S. government has announced that it is illegal to "review, edit, or modify" any scientific literature from Cuba.]

"...In the twenty first century science must become a shared asset benefiting all peoples on the basis of solidarity ... (considering) the importance for scientific research and education of full and open access to information..."
–from the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge of the World Conference on Science, 1999.

The Academy of Sciences of Cuba, formed by scientists of relevant merits, representing the national scientific community, denounces to national and international public opinion a new aggression against Cuba by the present US administration:

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury of the United States of America made public the prohibition to review, edit, or modify in US scientific journals, papers by authors from countries subject to "trade embargoes", including Cuba. Those who would do so, would have transgressed the Law of the USA, and could be imposed elevated fines, and even incarceration.

Since the public announcement of this measure, several US editors have rejected articles presented by Cuban scientists for publication in specialized journals in the USA. Once again, the Government of George W. Bush increases its anti Cuba policies in their wish to satisfy the Cuban-American extreme right of South Florida, particularly in an electoral year.

The publication of research outcomes is the first step in the socialization of knowledge, and an indispensable pre-requisite for the healthy development of science. Only through the free flow of ideas and knowledge among scientists from all over the world can science grow and advance for the benefit of all of humankind. Contrasting with that, the present measures deprive the scientific communities of the USA, and the world at large, from sharing with our scientists the well recognized Cuban scientific developments.

The adoption of that decision by the present government of the USA violates both, the most elementary rights of scientists in any part of the world, and the USA Constitution itself.

Comparable to the burning of books practiced by fascist regimes, this absurd measure, which is the expression of a strengthening of the US blockade, is a reflection of the viciousness of the present Government of that country, that has not been remiss to resort to irrational limits in total despise of the most sacred principles of international law.

This is the same government that, without taking into account the voice of the scientific community of its own country, has denied the existence of global warming, has destroyed in savage military actions many unique pieces of the World heritage, and in their contempt for any other opinion, has ignored the voice of the World community of nations.

Cuban scientists denounce with indignation this measure that affects not only us Cubans, but all of humankind. We call for our colleagues in the USA to act in solidarity with our declaration, and to scientists in the rest of the World to condemn and reject this new absurd aggression.

The Academy of Sciences of Cuba
Havana, Cuba
9 March 2004.

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