Thousands of health professionals who have left Cuba’s medical missions in third countries join together to send a message to U.S. President Donald Trump and ask him to reinstate the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) visa program, which has been eliminated since January 2017.
This program, annulled by former President Barack Obama, made it possible for doctors who abandoned the island’s health programs in different Latin American countries to be admitted to the United States. This benefit was removed along with the “Dry Feet, Wet Feet” policy, which granted privileges to Cuban immigrants who managed to reach U.S. territory.
Through a video published on YouTube, the doctors explain why it is necessary to reactivate this program, and in the images many allege the reasons why they abandoned Cuba’s health missions, an important economic source for the Havana regime, but also a modern exploitation mechanism.
At the beginning of the communiqué, Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez Martinez stated that Antillean Galenos were “but we will never again be treated as cheap labor,” in reference to the low salaries the Cuban government paid them for their services, mostly in hard-to-reach communities. Professionals only received 30% of the amount agreed upon by the country with Cuba, the rest went to state coffers, supposedly to maintain the deplorable public health system on the island and other needs.
The specialist in General Integral Medicine, Dr. Alain Michel Ramírez, refers that they were used as exchange currency by the regime of Cuba and Venezuela, while Dr. Lizandra Carrarero Alarcón fights for PAROLE “because I have my own decision, because I choose my life and my future and not what a puppet sitting in his office says”.
These doctors, considered “traitors of the Homeland” by the Communist Island, are sanctioned with the prohibition of entry to Cuba for eight years, an arbitrary measure and a violation of the most elementary human rights. Despite this inhumane disposition, many have decided to break the chains and have taken refuge in various Latin American nations, with the desire to touch U.S. land at some point.
Previously, Cuban doctors living abroad had sent letters, with the same complaint, to U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez, who have asked the State Department to restore this parole program and downgrade the island’s rating in the report on human trafficking that the agency compiles each year, after details of the participation of Cuban professionals in the More Doctors in Brazil program were revealed.
Last December, nearly 2.000 doctors decided to stay in the South American giant after Cuba unilaterally withdrew from its health agreement, not agreeing to the requests of the new president of that nation, Jair Bolsonaro. There are also thousands of them, scattered throughout other countries of the continent and who find themselves in precarious economic conditions, since many of them do not have legal status or work permits.