USAID is seeking applications until Aug. 26 from groups with experience in Cuba or similar countries that can develop tools for this activity, and said it will not force organizations inside Cuba to reveal that the U.S. government is funding their work.
The agency’s move follows the State Department’s decision last June 20 to include Cuba on a list of countries that Washington says do not meet the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking, despite zero tolerance declared by Cuba against the phenomenon.
Donald Trump’s administration has condemned supposedly bad working conditions suffered by Cuba’s doctors in state missions abroad, ignoring the international recognition that this program enjoys in beneficiary countries and among health organizations.
After the report on human trafficking, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel denounced the lies and slanders of the U.S. government by placing Cuba in the worst category on the list, and said that Cuban doctors are ‘slaves only of love for others.’
The head of state pointed out on Twitter that Washington thus attacks Cuban medical collaboration, which is ‘an example of solidarity, humanity and noble and legitimate cooperation among the countries of the South.’
The new moves do not constitute the first time that Washington has attacked Cuban medical missions, since it had already made them the target of its policy against Cuba with the implementation of the so-called Parole Program for Cuban doctors.
This mechanism, approved during the administration of George W. Bush (2001-2009) and suspended under that of Barack Obama (2009-2017), fostered a brain drain from the island by encouraging doctors and other health professionals to abandon internationalist missions and emigrate to the United States through special agreements.