Opposition spokesman tells J’can Gov’t to take stance on US bill targeting Cuban missions

Jamaica’s Opposition spokesman on Health, Morais Guy, has called on the Andrew Holness- led administration to make its position known on a new bill introduced by a US senator that would target countries that accepted Cuban medical missions. 

Part of the Cuban medical mission which arrived in Jamaica in March to assist with the country’s COVID-19 efforts.

 Jamaica in March 2020 welcomed over 100 Cuban medical professionals to support the island’s national response efforts for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, in light of the latest bill proposed by Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott, Guy is urging the government to make known its position on the matter.

“Tell the country what is the Government’s position on this. Through thick and thin the Cuban authorities have been assisting countries all over the world including Jamaica with their doctors and nurses,” said Guy on Facebook 

“They have been a responsible country and have been willing to share their medical expertise and personnel whenever called upon. #mpcentralsaintmary,” added Guy. 

The new Cut Profits to the Cuban Regime Act proposed by Scott, if passed, would require the US State Department to release a list of countries working with the Cuban regime on its medical missions programme.

 The bill would also factor that information in the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons report.

The Florida Republican has accused the Cuban government of participating in human trafficking through its medical missions.

“Cuba is participating in the human trafficking of doctors, and now Cuba is using the coronavirus pandemic for profit at the expense of these hardworking physicians,” said Scott, who led the effort along with senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz

“It’s despicable. Any country that requests medical assistance from Cuba is aiding their human trafficking efforts. The international community must stand against the use of forced labour and the Cuban regime’s exploitation of this crisis, and I’m proud to lead my colleagues today in calling out this injustice and helping to bring a new day of freedom for the people of Cuba,” added Scott. 

In addition to Jamaica, several other Caribbean countries have benefitted from Cuba’s medical missions.