Yesterday, Uruguay’s Ministry of Social Development (MIDES) announced it would not be renewing the contract it has with the Cuban government for work through Uruguay’s National Center for Technical and Technological Aid (CENATT).
The Global Liberty Alliance (GLA), which has spent close to two years has used various legal tools, including freedom of information laws and human rights litigation, to hold to account officials who authorized the Cuban Medical Brigade programs in Uruguay and other nations. GLA issued the following press release in response to yesterday’s important events.
GLA President Jason Poblete commented, “This is a decisive win that will boost the morale of Cuban medical workers trapped in the Brigade Program. Practicing medicine should be a choice, not forced upon medical workers and politicized by the Communist Party. Uruguay is also defending Uruguayan labor laws that all guests in their county must obey, including Cuba. Other nations in the Americas should follow Uruguay’s example.”
GLA attorney in Uruguay, Sabrina V. Peláez Iglesias, added, “Little by little, Uruguay’s government is exposing the actions of the Cuban regime, which violates human rights. We’re seeing the efforts that we’ve undertaken bear fruit, and soon these inhumane practices of slave labor will be stopped.”
Read the full press release below:
The agreement, originally signed in 2008 and updated in 2018, committed the Cuban government to providing five medical professionals to work in Uruguay, four with bachelor’s in Orthopedics and one doctor in Traumatology.
When Pablo Bartol began as the Minister of MIDES in March 2020, attempts were made to renegotiate the contract, which Uruguay considered expensive at the time. Though proposals were made to reduce the number of Cuban doctors provided to CENATT, no agreement was finalized. Regardless, Cuba removed the doctor and two professionals with Bachelor’s in Orthopedics. The newly appointed MIDES director, Martín Lema, denounced the breaches in contract in front of Uruguay’s Parliament last month. On July 15, an appeal was made to the Cuban Embassy in Uruguay regarding the noncompliance with the approved agreement, and allowed for a 30-day period to “correct the breaches.” It was noted that Cuba’s diplomatic personnel acknowledged receipt of the complaint but took no action in response.
Global Liberty Alliance Legal Measures in Uruguay: