NEWS ALERT: GLA Files Criminal Complaint in Uruguay for Use of Cuban Medical Brigades, Continued Exploitation of Forced Labor
On July 26, GLA counsel in Uruguay filed a criminal complaint with the Attorney General’s office regarding Uruguay’s continued exploitation of forced labor via Cuban medical brigades.
GLA attorney in Uruguay, Sabrina V. Peláez Iglesias, issued the following statement shortly after submitting the complaint, "Today we criminally denounce the slave labor of the Cuban Medical Brigades in Uruguay. We continue fighting for human rights and appealing to the republican culture and respect for human rights in that country."
Cooperative agreements between Uruguay and Cuba for health and medical services have continued since 2007, with modifications made as the agreements have been renewed over the years. Cuban medical professionals transported to work in Uruguay are compensated at such a minimal rate that it is considered slave labor. Medical brigade staff are subjected to long hours of work absent of fair wages, and are pressured into participating, fearing reprisal by the Cuban state if they do not comply.
While several countries have taken measures to eradicate the human rights violations perpetrated under these medical brigade programs, including Bolivia, Guatemala, Brazil and Mexico, Uruguay continues to utilize forced labor provided by the Cuban state. The European Parliament even approved Resolution 2021/2745 condemning the exploitation of Cuban doctors sent abroad on these “missions” just last month.
The Global Liberty Alliance has spent the last two years applying for records and information on Uruguay’s cooperative agreement with Cuba. Among other actions, Ms, Peláez also filed a complaint with Uruguay's National Institute of Human Rights and Ombudsman Office in July 2020.
See below for the complaint and attachments.
For more information on GLA’s work on Cuban Medical Brigades in Uruguay, see our Uruguay Cuban Medical Mission Files HERE.