Cuba Illegal Exit
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Cuba welcomes back doctors who fled to work abroad

Cuba welcomes back doctors who fled to work abroad
4 September 2015

Cuba has said it will welcome back doctors who deserted while serving on
government-backed programmes abroad.
The health ministry said doctors who fled in those circumstances would
be guaranteed a job in Cuba and would incur no punishment or loss of status.
Some 25,000 Cuban doctors are currently working abroad in programmes
organised by the island’s communist government.
In the past, most Cubans who fled the country were banned from returning
to the island, often for long periods.
The offer has also been extended to doctors who were allowed to emigrate
on official visas, under a more open policy introduced in 2013 by
President Raul Castro.
‘Brain drain’
The Cuban government says it has some 50,000 health workers engaged in
health projects in 68 countries. Half of them are doctors.
Critics say the highly-trained professionals are underpaid, while the
Cuban government charges other countries for the service and make
significant profits.
“We have agreements with other governments, by which we are compensated,
with benefits to both sides,” reads a health ministry statement
published on the Communist Party newspaper, Granma.
“But we will continue to provide free assistance to the nations that
request it. That is the case at the moment in Haiti, Niger, Honduras,
Eritrea and other countries.”
The United States previously accused Cuba of coercing doctors and other
professionals to travel abroad and work in government programmes.
But last month the US State Department removed Cuba from its list of
countries that fail to combat human trafficking.
“The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards
for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant
efforts to do so,” read the annual State Department report.

Source: Cuba welcomes back doctors who fled to work abroad – BBC News –
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34158513

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