Miami June 16, 2023.– The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC) welcomes the State Department’s designation of Cuba as a Tier 3 country in their recently released 2023 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.  Countries in the Tier 3 category are those that do not fully comply with the minimum standards regarding human trafficking.  There is no worse category.

As in years past, the most troubling element in this State Department report is the confirmation that the government of Cuba continues to profit from state-sponsored human trafficking.  The Cuban state-sponsored human trafficking occurs via the use workers of who are sent abroad using “deceptive and coercive tactics”.  This occurs primarily through Cuba’s medical mission programs.

As part of their findings, the US State Department said the following in the 2023 TIP report: “The [Cuban] government did not consistently inform participants of the terms of their contracts, which varied country to country; it confiscated their passports and professional credentials; and kept a significant amount of workers’ wages.  The [Cuban] government used its legal framework to threaten, coerce, and punish workers and their family members if participants left the program.”

FHRC is proud to have expended time and effort over the years to expose the horror of these Cuban medical missions.  The trafficking of Cuban doctors and other collaborators abroad has also been widely documented and denounced in international forums such as the International Criminal Court and the UN Commission on Human Rights as well as by other prominent Non-Governmental Organizations.

FHRC Executive Director John Barsa made the following comment: “This latest report by the United States Department of State on the Cuban dictatorship’s continued profiting from human slave labor confirms what so many of us are already painfully aware, and what should be obvious to all: the Cuban regime could not care less about universally accepted norms of law or human rights.  The regime exists and operates only to keep the regime itself in power at the expense of the civil rights, liberties and freedom of its own people.  To treat the Cuban government as anything other than the pariah it should be, is an act of willful blindness.”

For more information about Cuban state-sponsored human trafficking, contact FHRC.

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