Several reports from the island in recent weeks have noted that the government is scrambling to prevent doctors on loan overseas, a significant source of hard currency for the Cuban government these days, from abandoning their assignments. If a recent report in the Havana Times is any indication, the measures be taken by the government are far from ad hoc — they are part of a documented campaign of threats and reprisals against those who contemplate such defections and those who harbor them.
One doctor in Brazil fled to Miami with her husband and five-year-old son after the Cuban government issued a decree that all family members of doctors abroad had to return to the island after three months. Reports about her case noted that of the $4,300 in salary reimbursements paid by the government of Brazil to Cuba for her services, the doctors received only $1000. The difference was pocketed by the regime in Havana. Last year, the government bragged about making $8.2 billion off the scam.
Writing in the Havana Times, Francisco Aburto says the health ministry is desperate over the exodus of doctors and trying to do something about it. He says he got his hands on a document detailing the measures the ministry would take against unruly doctors, among them demoting and/or invalidating the medical degrees of offenders and cutting off the supply of medical workers to countries that allow the defections.
1- Image was taken by aljazeera