MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been accused of coming to the aid of the Cuban dictatorship by importing doctors and paying the communist regime for their services.
The move has not only infuriated many in the Mexican health sector, but is also seen as another example of how Lopez Obrador is making fun of Washington.
“I think this is something that US national security is most concerned about. These medical missions have already been shown to violate labor standards, human rights, and also be used as operations for intelligence missions and potentially military missions,” Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free, told Fox News Digital. Society.
Using the nickname Lopez Obrador, Humire said: “AMLO has never admitted it, but it is quite clear that if his political party, Morena, won the midterm elections in Mexico, they would try to make reforms to the constitution, they would seek to extend his presidency for another term, but since he has been unable to achieve this, he appears to have focused on accelerating his strategic alliances with both regional authoritarian actors in Latin America and the Caribbean and extra-regional through China, Russia and Iran.”
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Recently, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., sent a letter to Samantha Tate, division chief for monitoring and enforcement of the United States- Mexico-Canada (USMCA), calling for an investigation into possible violations of the USMCA by Mexico due to their use of foreign medical personnel from Cuba. For years, the regime in Havana has forced Cuban doctors and nurses to work abroad, for pennies on the dollar, to boost the regime’s propaganda that it has world-class healthcare.
According to an investigation by Prisoners Defenders, some of those who call themselves “Cuban doctors” are members of Cuba’s military and intelligence services. They have no medical specialties.
Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro planned and executed the medical missions as a way to spread socialism in the Americas. He managed to get his ideas adopted by two of his most loyal followers, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, with whom he created the São Paulo Forum to push leftist ideology throughout the hemisphere.
The Mexican president justified his latest decision by noting at a press conference last week that “there is a shortage of specialists. … We thank the people and the Cuban government who are helping us because there are already 700 Cuban specialists working in hospitals in Mexico, and we keep calling more. There is work for all doctors and specialists who want to work in the healthcare sector,” he added.
A State Department spokesman told Fox News Digital, “While we recognize the importance of ensuring access to health care for all Mexicans, we remain concerned that the government of Cuba continues to profit from exploitation and forced labor.” of its workers, including medical professionals.”
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The spokesman said the United States was aware of the goal of the missions: “The Cuban government uses coercive measures to deploy and exploit government-affiliated workers, including Cuban medical professionals, overseas. According to credible sources, the government pays to workers only a portion of their wages, restricts their freedom of movement, penalizes people who leave the program by preventing them from returning to Cuba, and in some cases withholds their travel and identification documents to prevent them from leaving. “
The spokesperson added, “We continue to address these serious allegations and urge national and local authorities to ensure that the program complies with international human rights obligations and commitments and upholds international labor standards.”
Recently, the Fundación Internacional para la Libertad (FIL), Prisoners Defenders International, Outreach Aid to the Americas and Latin America Watch have denounced the working conditions of Cuban doctors, saying that the conditions are similar to those of “modern slavery.. because 80% of the resources that are paid to the medical brigades are for the regime, not for the doctors who live in poverty”.
Javier Larrondo, president of the Prisoners Defenders organization and speaker at the conference of Cuban medical missions, accused the Mexican government of being complicit, saying: “The government of Mexico is sponsoring slavery.”
While Cuba continues to suffer economically, the dictatorship uses and enslaves Cuban doctors, sending them on various “missions” around the world. Critics say this form of “slavery” persists because there are complicit governments playing dictatorship and receiving such medical missions to justify their funding of the regime, as some claim with AMLO’s government.
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In the same conference Dita Charanzova, vice president of the European Parliament, said that the medical brigades represent the largest source of income for the Cuban government through persecution practices, modern slavery and threats, noting that the procurement systems violate international labor law .
In a complaint published by human rights organizations, there were more than 1,000 testimonies, with 75% of participants stating that they did not go to the missions voluntarily, 87% assuring that economic factors influenced their decision and 41% have suffered some kind of sexual harassment by Cuban officials, called mission heads, who accompany them in their “work”.
A major Mexican health union has protested the government’s decision, saying Mexico has trained doctors but they are either unemployed or in precarious working conditions.
“They have been unfairly demoted, favoring foreign doctors, while also ignoring the academic capacity of our universities,” they said in a statement lamenting low wages and the lack of security in the areas where they are sent.
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“There is a huge shortfall in salaries and benefits for young medical graduates in Mexico,” Felipe Fernando Macias Olvera, a federal deputy and president of the lower house of the Justice Commission, told Fox News Digital.
“The government should invest to improve the health care system. It must invest and bet on the talent of young doctors in Mexico and the entire health system that is facing its worst moment. Bringing Cuban doctors is nothing more than the government doing political favors to the Cuban dictatorship, far from being a public policy that benefits Mexicans,” he said.