Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

Aug. 3, 1999.


HAVANA - The government has just applied another totalitarian regulation throughout the country, aimed at hindering the legal migration of medical and paramedical personnel, especially those active in the different institutions of the Cuban health system.

The ministerial resolution imposes a three- to five-year waiting period before such professionals can be released from their "labor obligations" to the state. During that same period they must be willing to accept any reassignments or relocation requested of them by the authorities.

This measure is already being applied, according to independent media people who have spoken to different physicians. Another common denominator found is the failure of the government officials to link a complete legal reference with their actions even as they invoke this or that article of the "legislation."

All this mystery is probably due to the fact that official regulations go against the spirit of past well-published statements by the government when trying to normalize immigration with the U.S. along lines established by the migratory agreements signed by both governments in 1995.

Observers see in this new move an irrefutable proof of yet another way in which the island government contributes to the continued and dangerous illegal immigration across the Straits of Florida. It means, for those involved, their renunciation of any plans to get to the United States no matter how attractive that opportunity may seem. Authorities now can block such plans as family reunification, political asylum or even the visa lottery system begun recently by the United States. Three to five years is a long enough period for visas to expire. It also may influence those affected to reach such levels of despair as to try their chance at sea, on a raft.

>From these facts observers infer that for the Cuban government the citizens are considered as possessions, controlled so that such elementary rights as leaving or returning to their countries can be completely ignored. As far as the health professionals go, their "human product" is state-owned and they may only leave the country as part of a political move for the "honor and recognition" of the Cuban government's services in whatever Third World country benefits from their presence.

The basic reaction of the professionals themselves when interviewed by the author is resignation in the face of yet another humiliation.

Orlando Bordon Galvez, Cuba Free Press.

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