Cuban doctors in Brazil file lawsuit claiming U.N. agency made US$75 million from “slave trade.” If true, it’s criminal

Cuban doctor Elisa Barrios Calzadilla inspects a patient during a house call in the city of Itiuba in the state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

The scandal surrounding the 15,000 Cuban doctors who have been working as virtual slaves in Brazil is growing: Some of them filed a lawsuit in Miami against the Washington-based Pan American Health Organization (PAHO.)

The lawsuit, filed Friday, claims that the regional health organization not only supervised the programme, but pocketed US$75 million of its funds. Meanwhile, the doctors were receiving less than 10 percent of their salaries.

Sam Dubbin, a Miami attorney representing at least four Cuban doctors who defected in Brazil, told me that the lawsuit alleges that PAHO, an agency of the U.N. World Health Organization, supervised and profited from an illegal scheme under which the Cuban doctors had to work in conditions that violate U.S. and international forced labor laws…..

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