In 2008, three Cuban workers forced to travel to Curaçao sued the government of Cuba for using them as slave labor. The three were sent off to work for a shipping company, theChristian Science Monitor notes, in exchange for a debt Cuba held with the island. Their salaries went to paying that debt, so they themselves never saw any of it. A judge in Miami ruled this slave labor and ordered $80 million in damages.
It's tough to argue that the Cuban government treats doctors any better than they do shipping workers, part of the "proletariat" the Revolution was intended to empower. Cuban doctors traveling now to Guinea and Sierra Leone will not even enjoy the support of their country once they leave. Unlike Spain and the United States, whose governments went out of their way to repatriate Ebola volunteer workers who succumbed to the virus, Cuban doctors have been told they are never to return to Cuba if they contract Ebola. This also applies to any other deadly disease that may threaten them. A doctor who died of Malaria in Guinea after being sent to fight Ebola was buried in Guinea this month, never to return to the island. Given Cuba's travel restrictions, this means his family will likely never be able to visit his final resting place.
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