The interesting article on Cuban physics in the March 2018 issue reminded me of further evidence of Cuban physicists’ ingenuity and skill. I discovered those traits while visiting Havana in 1999, when sanctions were still in full force, to attend a conference and to give a lecture at the University of Havana.

The sole nuclear-medicine gamma camera in Havana’s principal hospital was a modern device made by GE, acquired at great expense through a European intermediary. The associated computer and its programs became unusable, and no funds were available for a replacement. So Cuban physicists produced a substitute computer and software, which were proudly demonstrated to me. Although the device was clumsy in appearance and the software awkward to use, it performed all required functions to record, display, and manipulate data. I was duly impressed. Not only do Cuban physicists ensure national intellectual self-reliance, they can also serve other scientific disciplines most satisfactorily.

Physics Today