One of Britain’s biggest educational institutions, The Open University, is operating a policy that bans applications from Cuban students. The OU cites fear of prosecution from United States’ anti-Cuba blockade laws as justification.
The Cuba Solidarity Campaign believes that the Open University’s action is unethical and illegal under UK law, and is asking supporters to take action to overturn it now.
By barring applications from a group of students based on their Cuban nationality, the OU is breaking anti-discrimination legislation laid down by the 2010 Equality Act.
By complying with the extraterritorial aspects of the blockade, it is also in contravention of legislation which prevents British companies and organisations ignoring UK laws in favour of the US.
Such cases highlight the global reach of the blockade and its impact on the Cuban people.
In June, President Trump further reinforced the anachronistic US policy by rolling back many of the limited openings for trade with the US that the Obama administration had started. In doing so he has sent a message to international companies and organisations that they can still be penalised for working with Cuba.
The Cuba Solidarity Campaign has written to the British government calling on them to intervene and force the OU to back down. We have asked them to invoke the powers enshrined in antidote legislation, the ‘Protection of Trading Interests law’ passed in 1996, to protect British interests against any such US bullying.
If the Open University refuses to abide by UK law then necessary action should be taken against them.