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The United States' embargo on Cuba is denying both countries access to research that could benefit their societies, say Sergio Jorge Pastrana and Michael T. Clegg in Science.

While the United States has cutting-edge research facilities, Cuban scientists are carrying out high-quality research in disaster management, biotechnology and neglected tropical diseases such as dengue.

But although Cuba readily collaborates with Africa and Latin America, "there is almost no interaction with US scientists".

Pastrana and Clegg suggest adopting the "value system of science" — openness, shared communication, integrity and a respect for evidence — as a framework for encouraging dialogue between the two research communities and highlight the social and cultural links that could be developed in the process.

As a first step, they urge the US Treasury to expand the licences issued to scientists travelling to Cuba. At the same time, they say Cuba should favour increased scientific exchanges.

Link to full article in Science