Italy should be wary of communist Cuba’s COVID-19 ‘medical brigades’

Cuba’s Castro dictatorship has received much praise for sending its “medical brigades” to Italy to battle coronavirus, but few have mentioned those doctors are slaves and part of the socialist regime’s modern-day slave trade.

Alessandra Pinna writes at Freedom House:

International Medical Aid to Italy: Solidarity or Propaganda?

Italians should be wary of autocrats bearing gifts.

Since late February, Italy has been grappling with one of the world’s most severe outbreaks of COVID-19. To date it has reported the largest number of deaths in Europe, despite extreme mitigation measures including a nationwide lockdown that was imposed on March 10.

This unusual suffering in a wealthy European democracy has drawn the attention of authoritarian powers, which see an opportunity to insinuate the superiority of their systems and the failure of Italy’s traditional allies to come to its aid. The delivery of much-needed supplies and other aid by China, Russia, and Cuba has resonated with the Italian public and fed into a narrative that blames Europe for a lack of solidarity during the crisis. Upon closer examination, however, it is clear that these authoritarian aid initiatives were more about propaganda than solidarity.

Swift, misleading, and self-serving

As the huge number of infections rapidly overwhelmed the Italian health care system, China, Russia, and Cuba promptly responded with concrete emergency actions. China first sent nine medical personnel along with 30 tons of equipment on March 13; additional doctors and supplies arrived in several tranches over the following weeks. On March 22, a Cuban medical brigade comprising 37 doctors and 15 nurses arrived in Lombardy, and four days later the Russian government arranged at least 15 military flights carrying medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and military medical personnel—including nuclear, biological, and chemical protection troops.


The brigade of Cuban doctors and nurses who arrived brandishing a photo of Fidel Castro was perhaps the most warmly welcomed by Italian media and politicians. However, Havana’s medical diplomacy has a complicated history that deserves scrutiny. While the Cuban government touts its international medical program as a show of ongoing solidarity with people in need around the world, more than 100 doctors who defected and filed testimony as part of a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have reported working conditions characteristic of modern-day slavery. According to the complaint, half of the doctors did not voluntarily join the overseas missions, and most had no prior knowledge of where they would be posted. Once the doctors had arrived at their destinations, their passports were confiscated by a Cuban official, nearly all were monitored by Cuban security personnel and asked to pass on information, and between 75 and 90 percent of the salaries paid by host countries was reportedly kept by Cuban authorities.

Read the entire article HERE.

2 thoughts on “Italy should be wary of communist Cuba’s COVID-19 ‘medical brigades’”

  1. If there is a picture that reeks of totalitarian sh^t-hole…

    Mind you, what does it also say of Italy and all those “exemplary democracies” that patronize such propagandistic and costly charade under the pretext of “need” and “help”? Nothing good.

    Suddenly a first-world nation needs the medical services of a crumbling stalinist nation, not to say sh^t-hole, in need of doctors, blankets, and aspirin.

  2. One would think that, after getting so VERY badly burned by its ties to China, Italy would go nowhere near one of China’s little friends. However, I’m hardly holding my breath.

    And again, don’t bother criticizing the parasite for doing what it MUST, which is to feed off an external host. Criticize whoever chooses to host the damn parasite.

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