When I called PAHO to ask how much the Cuban doctors in Brazil will be paid by Cuba, I was told that PAHOs director, Carissa E. Etienne, was not available but that PAHOs Brazil office would respond via e-mail.
A few hours later, I got PAHOs non-answer. It said that that the Cuban doctors are Cuban government officials, and that they will be paid their normal wages with an additional salary by the Cuban government according to the laws of that country.
As for the Brazilian doctors federation assertion that the deal amounts to slave labor, PAHOs response was that, This question has been examined by various departments of the Brazilian government and the countrys authorities do not agree with that assertion.
My opinion: There is nothing wrong with Brazil hiring Cuban doctors who are willing to go to remote areas of the country, where Brazilian doctors allegedly refuse to go.
But the Brazil-Cuba deal whereby the Cuban government reportedly pockets 93 percent commission on the Cuban doctors salaries is scandalous.
And for an affiliate of the United Nations an organization whose charter calls for the abolition of all sorts of slavery, and that celebrated the U.N. International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade just last week is even more outrageous.
Cuban doctors should be allowed to work in Brazil, but they should be paid their full salary. Otherwise, its hard to see the ongoing deal and the fact that all three sides are not disclosing how much the Cuban doctors in Brazil will be paid as anything other than a modern day high-skilled slave trade.