Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro appears to have accomplished what no other leader in Latin America or the Caribbean has ever done in recent memory: forced Cuba to retreat. Bolsonaro said he would abolish Cuban medical slavery and offered political asylum to Cuban doctors in Brazil. Cuban health workers who opt to stay must pass a national standards exam and, if they qualify, apply for a job with direct pay. The Communist Party of Cuba blinked and has reportedly ordered the withdrawal of the medical brigades.
The Cuban Communist Party is part of a global criminal cartel that engages in a variety of unlawful activities, including slavery. Drug running, human trafficking (another form of slavery), and supporting terror states such as Iran are not far behind. With regards to doctors and other health professionals, Cuba uses the nice-sounding label “medical diplomacy” but in reality, it is slavery. Cuba exports doctor and other health professionals to approximately 75 nations, essentially, to work for free. They are indentured servants. The host nation pays the Cuban government for these “free” services to a tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
“This is slave labor … we couldn’t be accomplices.”Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro
Decades of progressive economic planning has made Cuba an extremely poor nation. If you want to understand Cuba how bad things are right now in Cuba, look no further than Venezuela. The average income in Cuba is approximately $18.00 to $25.00 a month. The only reason Cuba is slightly better off today than Venezuela is because Cuban exiles in the United States send approximately $2 to $4 billion a year in remittances. There is also a lot of family travel as well as export of consumer goods and services that are used to keep the economy humming along.
The Communist Party uses Cuban doctors, nurses, and other health professionals as they do Cuban exiles, sources of money. The Cuban Communist Party does not care about making lives better for others, they just care about getting rich. On average, Brazil was spending more than $3,000 a month per Cuban health professional (approximately 8,000 Cuban medical professionals are working throughout Brazil)! In Cuba, $36,000 a year is an exorbitant amount of money the average Cuban will never be able to earn under the current economic system. Why? Cuba is a vassal state. The people are dependent on the Party, the new plantation masters.
Of course, if you are one of the plantation owners such as a member of the Castro family, the intelligence community, certain parts of the military, or the Communist party elites, Cuban medical diplomacy is money in the bank. The Cuban elites live like kings and queens, at the expense of programs such as these. Medical slavery is big business and Cuba has been doing it for decades. Most nations have turned a blind eye to Cuban medical slavery.
Every country that abuses Cuban medical professionals should follow Bolsonaro’s lead. The United States should ban Americans from studying medicine in Cuban medical schools, for starters, and also expand the scope of economic sanctions to make it harder for Cuba to use its people as chattel in foreign nations. Secondary sanctions could be useful if promptly deployed and enforced. Finally, the 116th Congress should press the Trump administration to fully enforce existing laws and regulations on Cuba. To date, no President, Republican or Democrat, has strictly applied U.S. laws toward Cuba. Maybe President Donald Trump will be the first.