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VOA常速英语:古巴免费医疗体系真相

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2020-03-17   English BBS   Favorite  

For decades, the Cuban government has sent medical providers to different countries around the world. These doctors have helped many people in countries where medicine and healthcare are scarce, but the program is also a source of income for the Cuban government. Cuba portrays its Medical Missions Program as altruistic, but as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, “The program forces Cuban medical professionals to work long hours and live in unsafe areas while advancing the Cuban government’s political agenda.”
John Barsa, USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean notes that the Cuban regime has a strong motive behind its program that has little to do with altruism:
“The medical missions program provides hard currency to the Cuban regime... What’s not known and what we’re trying to bring to light is the fact that when these doctors are sent abroad, the recipient, the host country, doesn’t pay the doctors directly, they pay the Cuban government, which basically turns around and pays the doctors pennies on the dollar.”

Assistant Administrator Barsa calls the Cuban program state-sponsored human trafficking:
“The service is not one where doctors volunteer to go overseas . . . This is more where they’re forced by the regime to go overseas to provide medical services. And should the doctors refuse to go? We find things like their families being punished. They lose their jobs. So it’s in the repressive regime toolbox, ways to punish people for not following the dictates of the regime.”
Assistant Administrator Barsa encouraged host countries in need of medical services to start paying doctors directly. He praised Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who insisted on such an arrangement with Cuba. The Cuban regime refused to comply and pulled its personnel out of the country:
“Recently we’ve seen the governments of Ecuador, Bolivia, and others call this what it is -- state-sponsored human trafficking -- and ending the programs in those countries. We certainly applaud those countries for taking this moral lead.”
Assistant Administrator Barsa said that USAID has many programs throughout the hemisphere and the world to help people access medical care: “It’s in our DNA to try to help,” he said. But “what we want is human trafficking to stop. If people want to volunteer medical services, let them volunteer. No one should be forced into a situation, modern day slavery, where at gunpoint they’re there to provide a service.”


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