Better dead than Red

It’s a bit embarassing when the US wages a decades-long, all-out effort to demolish the economy of a small island nation, and then sees that country’s scientists trounce ours in the race to defeat cancer. That’s apparently what Cuban researchers are doing, reports the MANCHESTER GUARDIAN. As part of Fidel’s biotech program, doctors have come up with an innovative new way to keep tumors from growing and make them more vulnerable to radiation therapy.

Unfortunately for the rest of the world, American sanctions are posing a major obstacle between the new treatments and cancer patients. Congress’ recently passed Helm-Burton Act punishes even non-US companies for trading with Cuba. But international investors have been growing less wary in the past few weeks, and Canadian venture capital firm York Medical has finally raised enough money to test the new cancer-fighting technique in Britain.

Cuba’s biotech breakthrough could help end the embargo that has become an American institution. The only drawback is that it would have been fun to watch Jesse Helms try to explain to his constituents why Communism is more dangerous than cancer.