Castro dictatorship pocketing millions from enslaved Cuban doctors sent to Algeria

Algeria pays Cuba’s socialist dictatorship $70 million annually for 900 doctors. Since March, however, the Castro regime has failed to even pay the enslaved doctors their measly salaries and has been pocketing all the money.

Thanks to some excellent investigative reporting by Nora Gamez Torres and Mario Penton via the Herald Mail Media, the world can learn the truth that outlets like CNN, Reuters, AP, and others avoid reporting on for fear of losing their Havana bureau:

Cuba pockets $70 million for its doctors in Algeria, but has not paid them salaries since March

The Algerian government pays Cuba $70 million a year for the services of nearly 900 doctors. Still, the island’s government has not paid their salaries since March, several Cuban doctors in that country told el Nuevo Herald.

The allegations come just after Algeria made public the agreement with the Cuban government to hire doctors. The export of medical services has become Cuba’s primary source of foreign exchange.

“We are eating from what they give us at the hospitals. It is a desperate situation. Cuba says it has no money to pay us,” said a doctor who works in the African country and asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.

According to the agreement published in Algeria’s official gazette last week, the government pays around 72,000 euros ($79,000) annually for each of the 890 doctors Cuba has sent to the African country.

But the Cuban government keeps most of it and pays doctors about $900 a month. Of that, $350 is deposited in a bank account on the island. According to three doctors who talked to the Herald, the rest is paid directly to them in Algerian dinars.

“Algeria pays with hard currency and for a specific time. Cuba uses all that money and then has no way to pay us,” said another doctor. “The explanation is that the country needs that money to invest in health and education, but every time I return (to the island), things are getting worse.

“We live in crowded conditions, many of us sharing the same place,” he added. “Conditions are bad, security worse. We do this for our families.”

The conditions described by doctors in Algeria are common in the so-called Cuban “medical missions.”

Documents published in Brazil, where thousands of Cuban health professionals worked through the Mais Médicos program, show that the Brazilian government paid $4,000 per month for each specialist. Still, the island government only gave them $1,000 per month as a stipend. And almost half of it stayed in a Cuban bank account to which the doctors did not have access until they returned to the island after finishing their contract.

Human rights organizations have documented that Cuban authorities also restrict doctors’ movements abroad and punish those who decide to escape from the missions. Abandoning them entails the prohibition of entry to Cuba for a maximum of eight years.

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1 thought on “Castro dictatorship pocketing millions from enslaved Cuban doctors sent to Algeria”

  1. Everybody knows what the score is with this business, but they just play the usual game. For practical purposes, foreigners will NEVER do right by Cuba–they’ve failed to do it for over 60 years, and counting.

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