Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner’s government is openly practicing “human trafficking and slavery” with the over 200 Cuban physicians it indicated it will deploy to Argentina with the alibi of “providing medical care in the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Carlos Sánchez Berzaín


Carlos Sánchez Berzain*

The group led by Cuba’s dictatorship and comprised by Venezuela and Nicaragua’s regimes, that had subjected Ecuador and Bolivia, is revealing the return of Argentina to its organization.  Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner’s government is openly practicing “human trafficking and slavery” with the over 200 Cuban physicians it indicated it will deploy to Argentina with the alibi of “providing medical care in the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In the over 12-year regime of the Kirchner’s (May 2003 – December 2015), Argentina was part of the system installed by Cuba and Venezuela self-designated as “21st Century Socialism” which today is known as “Castrochavism”.  The Fernandez/Kirchner’s government has made it clear -in only four months- that it is the fourth term of the K’s government, that Castrochavism has returned to Argentina with the mission of sustaining transnational organized crime’s criminal dictatorships from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua and the fugitive dictators Rafael Correa from Ecuador (an invited guest to the inaugural ceremony), and Evo Morales (currently protected in Argentina).

Fernandez/Kirchner pretend to ignore the condition of “slaves” subjected to “forced labor” these Cuban physicians and the so-called “internationalists” have, that they are subjected and manipulated by Cuba’s dictatorship to generate illicit revenue and be a means of transnational political expansion, intervention, and control.  Human beings that in this 21st century are victims of “human trafficking”, a criminal practice that would not occur if governments, like the one in Argentina today, would not be part of this criminal operation.

Annex 2 of the Palermo Convention’s “Protocol to Prevent, Repress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons” in its Article 3a. determines: “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation . . . ”.

It has been proven that “in 2013, nearly 3,000 Cuban professionals, mostly physicians, deserted the programs in Venezuela”.  The New York Times, in its March of 2019 edition revealed that “Nicolas Maduro used Cuban physicians, and health services to pressure voters”.  In 2018, Brazil revoked the “mais medicos” program (more physicians in Portuguese) and nearly 8,500 slaves returned to Cuba.  In 2019, Ecuador and Bolivia withdrew those who were at the service of Correa and Morales, respectively.

In United States’ federal courts there is a lawsuit filed by Cuban physicians against the Pan-American Health Organization alleging that it “violated international law and benefited itself by the crime of Trafficking in Persons” in Brazil, as Cuba’s intermediary.

The United Nations’ “Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences” in a report signed by special rapporteurs Urmila Bhoola and María Grazia Giammarinaro, sent to Cuba’s government on 6 November of 2019, determined that “Cuban medical missions are forced labor” and would be catalogued as “a contemporary form of slavery”.  The report describes “participation by fear”, the “withholding of salaries”, the “excessive number of work hours”, the “violation of freedoms”, the abuse of “depriving of earned vacations as punishment”, “jail for abandoning the mission” and the “threats” as common practice of the Cuban regime.

On 13 January of 2020, Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, wrote: “while we commemorate the month for the Prevention of Slavery and Human Trafficking, we urge host countries to end contractual agreements with the Castroist regime that facilitate the abuse of human rights that occur in these programs”.

On 16 April of 2020, Florida’s Attorney General accused the World Health Organization of “trafficking Cuban physicians in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic”, stating that “Cuban physicians are being sent with little or no pay, and possibly against their will”.

On 19 November of 2002, Argentina ratified the “Protocol to Prevent, Repress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons. . .” and Cuba joined on 20 June of 2013.  In this legal framework and the context of worldwide repudiation, accusation, and proof of human trafficking and slavery that Cuba executes in this the 21st century, everything indicates that using the Coronavirus’ pandemic to sustain these crimes is an unacceptable alibi.

*Attorney & Political Scientist.  Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.

Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators’ Association, ATA # 234680.