WE Rep. Maria Elvira SalazarR-Fla., continues to sound the alarm over Mexico’s reliance on Cuban doctors, insisting it is a “violation of human rights clauses in the United States Mexico Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.
Salazar recently hosted a media event at American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora in Miami, where she was joined by Deputy Mariana Gómez del Campo and Senator Jose Alfredo Botello Montestwo elected Mexicans.
“If Mexico continues to use trafficked Cuban doctors, they jeopardize their participation in the USMCA and put the Mexican economy at risk,” the congresswoman’s office insisted.
“Cuba makes a lot of money,” Salazar said. “Doctors are cheated, exploited and trafficked. Mexico gets cheap labor. The Mexican government exploits Cuba’s most valuable asset, its human capital. They finance the Cuban dictatorship and ignore international conventions, human rights and labor rights. The Mexican president recently said that conservatives who have a problem with using Cuban doctors can go to hell. And my response to President Lopez Obrador is that he will be the only one to go to hell for having sided with the forces of evil and having been complicit in human misery.
“We stand in solidarity with the exiled Cuban community and with all those who have had to abandon their country because of a totalitarian regime that oppresses them, keeps them in inhuman conditions and engages in human trafficking,” said said Gomez del Campo. “We are not tired of raising our voices, we are not tired of sending letters, documentation, whatever is necessary so that all of Mexico knows what is happening with these so-called health brigades , who in the end do everything except take care of health problems. We cannot allow, I insist, that we continue to foment modern slavery, human trafficking and to remain silent in this way; we will be here as many times as necessary to raise our voices.
“We are against, from now on, these missions, mainly for the problems related to the disrespect of a person’s dignity and the disrespect of Cuban doctors,” Montes said.
The congresswoman’s office told her why Mexico should stop relying on Cuban doctors.
“The historic USMCA trade agreement is the gold standard among trade agreements and contains strong provisions to uphold labor standards and human rights. The United States government has officially recognized Cuba’s international medical missions as serious human rights abuses and a form of modern-day slavery. The US State Department included Cuban medical missions in its recent “Trafficking in Persons Report 2021.” Mexico violates USMCA labor standards since Chapter 23 explicitly prohibits signatories from engaging in “forced labor and human trafficking,” the congresswoman’s office noted. “Mexico engages in international human trafficking using Cuban doctors who are forced to go on medical missions. Cuban doctors have their salaries stolen by the regime, are forced to sign contracts against their will, and their families risk reprisals if they do not comply. Profits from these medical missions accrue to the Cuban regime and are used to further oppress the Cuban people.
At the end of April, Salazar joined the United States Senator Marco RubioR-Fla. and United States Representative Mario Diaz-BalartR-Fla., and Carlos GimenezR-Fla., on a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Trade and Labor Affairs calling for an investigation into possible violations of the USMCA by Mexico due to the use of foreign medical personnel from from Cuba.
Over the past two years, Rubio and US Senator Bob MenendezD-NJ, both members of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committeeworked on the “Law to Combat the Trafficking of Cuban Doctors”.
The bill “aims to strengthen accountability for the human trafficking documented by the Cuban regime and the exploitation of Cuban doctors, nurses and other health professionals through the so-called” missions foreign medical services”. The legislation reaffirms the United States’ commitment to defending democratic values and human rights in Cuba and restores Cuba’s parole program for medical professionals, suspended under the Obama administration, to allow medical professionals eligible Cuban health workers and their immediate families to come to the United States,” Rubio’s office noted when the legislation was first introduced.