Cuba-Watchers have seen this movie before. A decade ago, Castro claimed to have invented a cancer vaccine. Owing much to the lobbying muscle and ingenuity of his American agents, in 2004 this vaccine, represented by a California-based company named CancerVax, was indeed given an OFAC license for testing in the U.S.
But it never passed FDA approval and CancerVax Corp. went bankrupt. To date no country on earth licenses the use of Castro’s cancer-vaccine.
But AH! This hardly means that Castro’s nomenklatura, and their U.S. lobbyists and business partners suffered any financial reversals. The mere licensing approval by OFAC, you see, meant $6 million for the Castro regime. We have to conclude that the Stalinist regime’s lobbyists and business partners shared in the bounty.
Indeed the Castro regime’s medical swindles are many and varied. The screening of Michael Moore’s Castroite infomercial titled Sicko was a signal for the Stalinist regime’s other propaganda assets to chime in. “Cuba has developed the world’s first meningitis B vaccine, which is available in Third World countries but not in Europe or the United States due to U.S. sanctions,” reported Anthony Boadle from Reuter’s Havana Bureau shortly after Sicko’s release in 2007.
Of this 27-word sentence, exactly 14 words are true. This vaccine is not available in the U.S. and Europe -- but hardly because of sanctions. In fact, in 1999, Bill Clinton’s Treasury Department granted the pharmaceutical giant, SmithKline Beecham, a license to market the Cuban vaccine in a joint venture with Castro’s medical ministry -- pending FDA approval.
And why not? Castro’s minister of public health himself, Carlos Dotres, had hailed the vaccine as “the only effective one in the world!” Highly impressed, Bill Clinton’s FDA chief, Dr. Carl Frasch, said it could annually prevent “1,000-2,000 cases” of the dreaded disease in the U.S., and 110 U.S. Congressmen promptly signed a special letter to Secretary of State Madeline Albright beseeching her to allow this breach of the diabolical embargo “if only to protect the lives of America’s children!”
That was 14 years ago. As I write no effective vaccine against meningitis B exists. The reason the vaccine is not available today in the U.S. and Europe is simply that -- like so many other Castroite concoctions and proclamations dutifully trumpeted by news agencies who earn Havana bureaus and lobbyists who partner with mass-murderers-- the vaccine is a farce and its sale a swindle. And, at least in this case, most civilized countries refuse to help propagate the swindle on their citizens.
Some countries discovered the swindle the hard way: “Brazil has wasted $300 million on a Cuban vaccine that is completely ineffective,” wrote Dr. Isaías Raw, director of Sao Paolo’s prestigious Butantan Institute, specializing in biotechnology.
A 1999 study by Brazil’s Centro de Vigilancia Epidemiológica (Center for Epidemiological Research) seconded Dr. Raw: “The studies conducted on the use of the Cuban vaccine in children under four years old -- the major risk group for hepatitis B -- showed no evidence that the vaccine protected them against the disease. This vaccine should not be recommended.”
All current medical literature flatly asserts that despite countless attempts, “no effective vaccine against the meningitis B has yet been developed.”
Thirty years ago, how many Republicans would have signed on as official lobbyists for the business interests of Castro’s Cuba--especially when these interests amount to a type of swindle on the American public that Mr Haney would blush when pulling on Mr Douglas?
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.