Morning Star: Open University Slammed for Kowtowing to US Demands over Cuba

Morning Star | Thursday, 27 July 2017 | Click here for original article

THE Open University was forced to admit yesterday it was bowing to US pressure by begging for a licence to be allowed to enrol students from Cuba.

As reported in the Star, the Open University (OU) has banned students from Cuba from enrolling on any of its courses as it feared repercussions from the US, which has operated an illegal blockade on the island for 50 years.

The blockade starves Cuba — population 11 million — of essentials including medicines and educational materials.

An OU spokesman told the Star: “The US has comprehensive sanctions in place against a number of countries, including Cuba, meaning that it is not lawful for organisations subject to US jurisdiction to supply educational services to those countries without a licence.”

The spokesman said that after taking legal advice “the university reluctantly concluded that it must apply to the US Treasury Department’s office for foreign assets control for the relevant licences.”

Cuba Solidarity Campaign director Rob Miller said: “The OU seem to be placing United States’ cold war policies over and above UK equalities law. They are kowtowing to the United States and its extraterritorial blockade legislation.

“The UK has the 1996 Protection of Trading interests legislation on its statutes designed to deal precisely with this kind of extraterritorial bullying by a foreign power.”

Take action in the OU campaign here:

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