Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart: Disgraceful that U.S. Sent CDC Official to ALBA Meeting in Havana and Condoned Exploitation of Cuban Doctors

Oct 30, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after recent press reports that the United States sent a Center for Disease Control (CDC) official to an ALBA (Aliazna Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) meeting in Havana, where the CDC official condoned the Cuban regime’s use of doctors in West Africa.

"It is a disgrace that the United States sent a representative to an ALBA meeting in Havana and praised the Cuban dictatorship for sending forced medical labor to Western Africa. 

“ALBA, the brainchild of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, was created solely to oppose U.S. interests in our hemisphere.  It enjoys the support of other anti-American regimes such as Syria and Iran.  That the U.S. would send a representative to such a meeting is by itself ludicrous.

“Furthermore, there is nothing charitable about the Cuban dictatorship's actions in Africa, and there is no parity between American doctors, who are expertly trained and voluntarily travel to risky destinations on their own terms, and Cuban medics.  Cuban doctors are hastily trained, poorly equipped, and forced to work in dangerous conditions while most of their pay is siphoned to the Castro dictatorship.  That a U.S. official would condone their overt exploitation is outrageous.  The U.S. does not belong at an ALBA meeting, nor should it applaud the Castro regime's use of forced labor under any circumstances."