Cuban doctors file lawsuit against health agency with United Nations

Pan American Health Organization faces accusations of labor laws violations

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter, Andrea Torres

DORAL, Fla. - A group of Cuban doctors filed a lawsuit Friday in Miami federal court against the Pan American Health Organization, or PAHO, part of the United Nations' system, alleging the organization violated labor laws.  

Sam Dubbin, of Dubbin & Kravetz & Associates in Coral Gables, is representing Cuban doctors, who claim PAHO, an international public health agency, played a "principal role in the human trafficking of thousands of Cuban doctors and other healthcare professionals" since 2013.

Dubbin & Kravetz & Associates is also working with attorneys from Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, a firm with offices in Washington, D.C, where PAHO is based. 

Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo issued a statement siding with the doctors who filed the lawsuit saying the Cuban government has profited from "the human trafficking of medical professionals" and PAHO has "facilitated the sale of Cuban medical labor to foreign countries."

PAHO supervised the Mais Medicos program, a partnership between Cuba and Brazil under former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. Brazil’s new president-elect Jair Bolsonaro referred to the program as modern-day slavery.

 Diaz-Balart applauded the doctors who spoke against the Cuban government from Doral's City Hall. 

"It takes tremendous courage for those trapped in Cuba’s medical professional exploitation scheme to describe the abuses that they have suffered," Diaz-Balart wrote.  "I applaud their bravery in bringing these stories to light."

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