The Cuban government has long relied on various illegal revenue streams that have contributed to the repression of its citizens. From human capital export programs to international treaties, these sources of income have been used to strengthen the regime’s control by repressing the populace, rather than to improve living conditions or foster democratic values. Without financial scrutiny, such illegal revenue streams have allowed the regime to continue its repressive practices unimpeded.
The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC) has taken decisive steps to cut these streams of illegal revenue, thus weakening the regime’s ability to fund its repressive actions. By utilizing diplomatic channels, legal action, and multinational cooperation, FHRC has targeted specific programs and agreements that financially empower the regime at the expense of the Cuban people.
Political Dialogue Cooperation Agreement (PDCA): FHRC organized a multinational diplomatic effort to halt the PDCA, a treaty between the Cuban regime and the European Union. By doing so, FHRC prevented the regime from gaining access to funds that could have amounted to up to €3.2 billion. The Parliament of Lithuania has held the ratification of the treaty until Cuba meets conditions on basic human rights as specified in the agreement.
Cuban Doctors Program: FHRC worked closely with the Brazilian government to put an end to the Cuban component of the Mais Médicos program. This program generated significant revenue for the Cuban government at the expense of the exploitation of Cuban medical professionals. FHRC urged the Brazilian government to pay the doctors directly, when they informed the Cuban regime of this change, the regime sent planes to ship the doctors back home. The termination of this program resulted in a loss of an estimated $1.3 billion per year to the regime.
The work of FHRC has had a substantial impact:
Financial Deterioration of the Regime: The loss of these illegal revenue streams has significantly undermined the financial stability of the Cuban government, making it harder for them to fund repressive actions.
Accountability: A substantial awareness campaign with international organizations and governments to hold Cuba accountable for their role in human rights violations.
Awareness: The diplomatic efforts to halt the PDCA have increased international awareness of how funds can indirectly contribute to human rights abuses.
By diligently working to cut these revenue streams, the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba is not just reducing the Cuban regime’s financial power; it is also shining a light on the moral responsibilities that governments and international organizations must ensure that their actions or partnerships do not aid and abet human rights violations.
HOW YOU CAN
Thanks to FHR Cuba’s supporters, the Contests program continues to instill dreams of a brighter tomorrow for every man, woman and child. With your support, we hope to expand this Entrepreneurship program to reach many more on the island and provide trainings/financial support to be independent from the government.