Miami, 17 June 2024.  The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC) is proud to announce an upcoming seminar focused on Combatting Forced Labor in Cuban Medical Missions, recognized as Human Trafficking by the Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TIPs) report, to take place on Tuesday, 18 June, from 9am-2:30pm at Florida International University (FIU), Miami.  2023 Trafficking in Persons Report: The Importance of Strong Partnerships to End Human Trafficking – United States Department of State      

This groundbreaking seminar will bring together victims, Cuban medical workers, and international experts to shed light on the impact of Cuba’s medical mission diplomacy on public health systems.  Over the past 61 years, (first medical mission was 1963) Cuba has utilized medical mission diplomacy not only to spread its ideology and propaganda but also to generate hard currency for the regime. However, this has come at a high cost to the cadre of medical workers, Cuba’s public health system, and public health systems in Latin America (LAC) and globally.

Key issues to be addressed during the seminar include the direct complicit support from multilateral organizations like the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Cuba’s contracts with Brazil under the Rousseff and DaSilva administrations from 2013 to 2018 to establish the Mais Medicos program that resulted in 18,240 medical workers being sent to Brazil; and status of other medical missions in LAC.

In the case of Mais Medicos, over 70% of the fees paid by the Brazilian government went directly to the Cuban regime and PAHO, while the medical workers received only small percentages of 5%, 10%, or 15% as their salary.  These salaries were sequestered in Cuban bank accounts to control the medical workers and prevent them from defecting or violating any requirements imposed by their “minders.”  Such actions clearly violate international labor and human rights standards; as well as local host-country labor laws.

Similar practices have been observed in 56 countries around the world – in Mexico, where 1600 Cuban medical workers were contracted in a direct bilateral agreement in May 2022.  This not only directly affected the near 50,000 unemployed Mexican medical workers but also violated Mexican labor law and potentially the United States, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).

The seminar will also explore the situation in other countries; including Colombia, Guatemala, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, and most recently France (March 2024), where similar concerns regarding forced labor in Cuban medical missions have been raised.

The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba invites all interested individuals, organizations, and media representatives to participate in this important seminar. For more information and to register, please visit this link  or contact Hugh C. Orozco at

To attend online please click here

About the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC):

The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights in Cuba.  Through advocacy, research, and education, FHRC strives to bring attention to human rights abuses and work towards positive change.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Hugh C. Orozco, Chief of Party

Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba

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