The Cuban Government’s Vile Exploitation of Doctors as Slave Labor

The Cuban regime has exploited its citizens in various ways. Their use of doctors as slave labor abroad is perhaps the most notorious example.

Jair Bolsonaro has ended Brazil’s program with Cuban doctors, who were forced to work under slave-like conditions (Flickr).

60 years ago Fidel Castro’s mafia dictatorship took control of Cuba. Since then, they have violated absolutely all the human rights of Cubans. They have mistreated, murdered, and tortured in the vilest forms. They have profited even from the suffering of their compatriots, appropriating the fruit of their work, carried out in conditions of slavery.

Nevertheless, Fidel managed to project his aberrant regime as an example of solidarity and humanism. He succeeded in promoting this “story” based on two pillars: his personal charisma and a Goebbels-like publicity campaign.

Through the propaganda tactics developed by the totalitarianisms of the 20th century – Soviet communism and Nazism – Fidel fabricated what Jean Baudrillard calls a “hyperreality” about his government.

The hyperreality arises from the means through which reality is replaced by false images. Once established in the consciousness of people, they are unable to distinguish the real from the unreal. The representation becomes more important than what is being represented.

The creators of hyperreality, the “simulators”, distort reality to coincide with their simulation schemes. The final product is that “the reality is no longer real.”

Fidel was one of the greatest simulators of the 20th century. He was able to install a hyperreality about his cruel dictatorship, represented as a model of solidarity and social progress, thanks to the international support of his ideological comrades, who served as chains of transmission of the “story.”

That dynamic caused many unsuspecting people to fall into the trap. With ingenuity, but also with superficiality, they consider that the situation in Cuba improved under Castro’s baton. They formulate praises of the supposed advances in education and health, without taking the trouble to compare the data in order to get closer to the truth.

There are many admirers of Fidel, even within developed countries. One of them is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said he “honors” his friendship with the “commander.”

In a public statement issued following the death of the tyrant in 2016, he said that despite Fidel being a controversial figure, both his admirers and detractors recognize his impressive dedication and love for Cubans. Without blushing he says he was bigger than a mere mortal leader, who ruled his country for almost half a century (without noting that Castro meets the definition of a dictator). He also maintains that he made significant progress in health and education on the island.

In 2016, in the article “The Psychology behind the Myth of Fidel Castro”, we try to unravel the reasons why, although there is abundant evidence of the falsity of supposed social advances during the Cuban dictatorship, so many people still cling to that lie.

Many of us have tried over the years to unmask Castroism, exposing its authentic face. Personally, I have written several articles making available to the citizen data that can be verified. Some of them are: “The New Slavers” (2011), “Cuban Doctors and the Slave Practice of the Castro Dictatorship” (2018) and “The Parasitism of the Cuban Regime” (2019).

But the myth seemed immune to any evidence of truth, which proves that, as Jean-François Revel points out, people do not usually care about reality if it goes against their most beloved beliefs.

However, it would seem that, fortunately, things are changing. Possibly the physical disappearance of Fidel has contributed to the cracking of that hyperreality – so skilfully constructed and maintained – because his successors are not as gifted as he is in presenting the false reality. Gradually, “the real thing” is breaking through, displacing so many lies. The truth is beginning to be recognized by influential people and institutions.

A first blow to the myth of “Cuban solidarity with its medical missions” was dealt by the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. Shortly after taking office, he said he would not renew the Mais Medicos program on its current terms. The president demanded that the Castro dictatorship accept three conditions if he wanted to renew the contract: that Cuban doctors receive their full salary, that they be allowed to bring their families with them, and that Brazil validate their medical degrees.

Andrés Oppenheimer describes the mechanism of these “medical missions” that have the complicity of friendly governments and international organizations.

“According to the agreement between the governments of Brazil and Cuba, more than 18,000 Cuban doctors have been working in rural areas of Brazil that needed doctors. Cuban doctors receive 30% of their salary, and the Cuban dictatorship keeps the remaining 70%.”

What is equally scandalous, is that the Cuban regime does not allow Cuban doctors to take their families with them. Their families remain in Cuba as hostages, to reduce the risk of mass desertions. If the doctors desert, they can not return to the island and see their families for at least eight years,” says the Argentine writer.

After Bolsonaro described as slavery the situation of doctors who are sent abroad by Havana, it was revealed that the regime expropriated between 75% and 90% of their salaries. This gave rise to the judicial demand of these compatriots, to recover from the damages suffered and punish the guilty.

BBC World became interested in the subject. The journalist James Badcock investigated it. Their findings were published in the article “The hidden world of physicians that Cuba sends abroad.” It is recommended reading for those who really want to know the truth. The article is subtitled: “Some say that conditions can be a nightmare, they are subject to strict control by officials, subject to a curfew, and sent to extremely dangerous places.”

What is clear is that, with the denunciations of Bolsonaro, the Cuban slave doctors have finally seen a light at the end of the tunnel. Feeling now is the moment for action, “the Patriotic Union of Cuba, together with a large group of eminent lawyers in international law specializing in proceedings before the International Criminal Court, led by the President of the International Criminal Lawyers Association (BPI-ICB-CAPI), Blas Jesús Imbroda, has launched a process to present in the coming months various denunciations of the Cuban regime before said Court.

There are two legal rationales for the lawsuit:

Crimes against humanity committed by Cuba against Cuban citizens in Cuban territory, through denunciation before the Security Council of the United Nations.

Crimes against humanity committed by Cuba against Cuban citizens in the territories of states that are party to the International Criminal Court, directly before the Office of the Prosecutor of the Court. In this regard, we find the crimes of modern-day slavery in which foreign service missions are framed, such as those of the Mais Médicos program in Brazil.”

This organization was based mainly on data collected by, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

Given the reality described, the defense of the Castro dictatorship can only be due to complicity, hypocrisy, or bad faith.

Subscribe free to our daily newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special reports delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time