Monday, February 05, 2007

Cuban doctors

Over the past several years, both Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro have trumpeted the loan of Cuban doctors to treat the poor in Venezuela. The Associated Press has an article highlighting the plight of the doctors themselves.

In short, they are not treated very well:

The couple said they were forced to work seven days a week for little pay in the countryside near Caracas, and their relations with Venezuelans were tightly controlled.

'We couldn't call our families or go out after 5 p.m. The Venezuelan national guard and Cuban authorities watched our every move,' Viamonte said. 'We never planned on abandoning our duty, but we got tired of being treated like slaves.'

It’s estimated that some 500 Cuban doctors (out of a total of about 20,000) have defected from Venezuela in the past two years, and currently there are 38 stranded in Colombia, hoping to achieve refugee status in the U.S. Meanwhile, last year the Bush administration created a new policy--the Cuban Medical Professional Parole program—to facilitate the entrance of Cuban doctors. For reasons unknown, these doctors in Colombia have been denied entrance. This underlines how our immigration policy toward Cubans is ad hoc, bizarre and unpredictable. Actually, I suppose that describes our immigration policy toward most other other countries as well.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP