This was originally posted on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's website.

January 10, 2019

Resolution affirms Cuban regime’s foreign medical missions constitute human trafficking

WASHINGTON – Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), today introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Cuban regime for a program that sends tens of thousands of Cuban medical professionals to foreign countries to work under conditions that qualify as human trafficking.

The resolution describes the ordeal of thousands of Cuban medical professionals who are forced to participate in a state-sponsored program requiring they work in Brazil, where they are subject to wage garnishing, restrictions on their movement, and constant surveillance by the Cuban regime – conditions that constitute state-sponsored human trafficking.

“For 60 years, the Cuban regime has been finding new ways to exploit its people,” said Menendez. “Recent information from Brazil shows how the Cuban government profits from its state-sponsored foreign medical missions, which they sell as medical diplomacy but look a lot more like indentured servitude. This bipartisan resolution sheds additional light on the Cuban regime’s role in human trafficking, and is another call for greater accountability from Cuban officials, their overseas partners, and the international community.”

“It is outrageous, though not surprising, that the Cuban dictatorship continues to manipulate and traffic physicians in order to enrich itself,” said Rubio. “This form of forced labor should not go unnoticed by the international community. We must stand against the regime’s modern-day slavery scheme and support the doctors seeking justice after serving in these so-called international medical missions.”

Today’s introduction comes after an investigative report by the Diario de Cuba recently revealed the indentured servitude of Cuban medical professionals described in Brazilian diplomatic cables detailing the terms of the Government of Cuba’s medical missions to Brazil. In 2016 alone, it is estimated that the Castro regime earned more than $8,000,000,000 from exporting the services of Cuban professionals, of which foreign medical missions represent the majority of the income.

A copy of the resolution can be found here.

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