28 October 2006

Exporting Cuban Slavery

The Cuban regime has found a new way to profit from the exploitation of the workers held captive in their “Workers Paradise”. Cuba’s program of indentured servitude where medical professionals are sent abroad to work in exchange for hard currency or goods is apparently more widespread than we had imagined.

The Miami Herald has reports that the Cuban government had contracted with a Curacao drydock ship repair company to supply laborers to repair ships. A civil suit has been filed on behalf of three Cubans who managed to escape their indentured servitude.

The Highlights:

  • According to the suit, the men often worked 112 hours a week.
  • Their wage amounted to 3 ½ cents an hour
  • ''They always told us if we didn't work, they'd throw us out of the country, fire us and send us to jail,'' Rodríguez one of the plaintiffs said. ``Really, we were slaves. We didn't have a voice or a vote.''

The Cubans were also tortured:

  • On time off, Rodríguez said, they were forced to watch videos of political speeches, marches and the Cuban government Mesa Redonda -- Round Table -- TV news shows.

The Cuban government had a joint venture with Curacao Drydock, who are of course, shocked and appalled at the allegations and are “investigating” while at the same time trying to get the suit dismissed because of lack of jurisdiction.

There is, of course, little difference between the indentured servitude that these 3 Cubans endured in Curacao and the captivity endured by all Cubans living on the island. The Cuban government, the only employer, pays meager wages to all workers and allows them to buy meager rations from the government, the only supplier. The only real difference is that the abuse and exploitation of these 3 Cubans occurred outside of the island.

The whole sad tale here. Frances Robles of the Miami Herald/Nuevo Herald continues to impress with her bi-lingual by-lines on Cuban issues

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