Cuba objects to being placed on US trafficking list
Havana (AFP) - Cuba objected Wednesday to being placed on the US human
trafficking list, saying it distorted the overseas work of its doctors
and its requirement that students work as part of their education.
The US State Department on Monday removed Cuba from its bottom rank of
countries with the poorest records on human trafficking, noting
improvements in Havana's handling of sex trafficking. But it placed it
on a second-tier watchlist instead.
"Cuba should not be on any unilateral list nor be the object of
surveillance of any kind," the Cuban foreign ministry said in a statement.
It added that Cuba was committed to a policy of "zero tolerance" of
prostitution or the commercialization of sex.
While acknowledging that the State Department had noted Cuba's efforts
to combat sexual trafficking, the foreign ministry hit out at US
criticism of its record on forced labor.
"It continues to present tendentious and manipulated elements on the
selfless work, amply recognized internationally, of our medical
collaborators in third countries," it said.
Thousands of Cuban doctors and health workers are stationed in countries
in Latin America and Africa under government to government contracts
that have become an important source of hard currency as well as
diplomatic good will.
But there have been complaints that the Cuban doctors are paid far less
than their local counterparts, or than what Havana receives for their
The foreign ministry also said the State Department "distorts the Cuban
educational system, which applies the teachings of (independence hero
Jose) Marti in linking study with work, in qualifying as supposed forced
labor these tasks these Cuban students carry out."
Source: Cuba objects to being placed on US trafficking list - Yahoo News