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The Complicity of the ILO in Cuba’s Slave Trade

Cuba embargo

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Cuba’s cleverly devised slave trafficking and human exploitation operations and the International Labor Organization (ILO) are closely intertangled. Since 1963, the Cuban communist regime has utilized its workforce for human export purposes, particularly in the medical field. Lauded as “internationalist” socialist solidarity, the truth is that it has always about money for a parasitic dictatorship incapable of fomenting a system that could provide for the most basic needs of its citizenry.

Along this path of human capital leasing, a slave labor market ensued and was deepened by the collaboration of international organizations and governments, many of them, representing democratic societies.

The medical services sector has been particularly seized upon. Calling them “medical brigades”, Cuban communism has had, at any given time in recent history, over 30,000 medical professionals in over 70 countries. The Cuban “laborers” never contract directly with the hiring entities. All the agreements are between the Marxist regime and the international organization, such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) or with foreign governments.

The PAHO and WHO, as part of an international (or regional) public health agency, are direct extensions of the United Nations (UN). Their partnership in negotiating, assigning, and often directly funding the utilization of the Cuban medical services, affords the communist dictatorship a shield of validity in the work that is done. However, what happens when the very nature of these assignments violates elemental human and labor rights? For the most part, sadly, nothing. At least until most recently.   

In Cuba, the medical services sector has been particularly exploited. (EFE)

The International Labor Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919 as part of the League of Nations and it was incorporated into and is part of the UN. It is, in fact, the first and the oldest agency that serves in a specialized field. Its task is to promote and monitor basic and minimally essential labor standards. In other words, it establishes a standardized global set of rules as far as what labor norms must be universally upheld. By way of legal instruments called conventions, international law is extended to the ratifying nations that subscribe and agree to honor them. While there are 8 fundamental conventions, since its inception, the ILO has adopted approximately190 of these codifications.   

Irrelevant of whether how many or which of the ILO’s 187 member states have ratified any convention, these are considered established international labor standards for the world. Recently, the Independent Trade Union Association of Cuba (ASIC) won an unprecedented victory for human and labor rights by approving a report against Castro-Communism based on the regime’s prohibition of independent trade unions. Iván Hernández Carrillo, General Secretary of the group, stated to Radio and Television Martí on March 26th, “It is the first time, in these 60 years, that the ILO Governing Body approves a case related to the dramatic situation of trade union and labor rights in Cuba…It is a real triumph for ASIC in its struggle for the legitimate representation of workers”.

This most important victory which was obtained despite the enormous pressure that Havana placed on the ILO to not approve the measure, is a but a puddle in the vast sea is the aggregate violations of the world’s standardized decency norms for labor protection and as set by the ILO’s conventions and protocols. The Castro government’s medical services leasing business offers a stellar case for the most flagrant abuse of international labor laws, as well as the criminal codes of most democracies.

Between 75% to 90% of the remuneration that foreign governments and/or the PAHO/OMS pay for the services of the Cuban medical professionals is expropriated by the communist regime. This illicit activity violates the ILO’s conventions number 100, 111 and 131. The communist government directives that the Cuban medical labor is made to irrefutably obey tramples numbers 9, 29, 105 and 190. The non-complying of its own internal accords signed by the Cuban state and the medical personnel is habitually misrepresented to gain volunteers and then it becomes a state secret, and the “agreement” cannot be divulged.

Much has been done to unveil the truth about the culpability that the world’s premier health organizations, like the PAHO and OMS, have in this shameful endeavor and its complicit role in setting the stage for Cuba’s Marxist dictatorship to keep itself afloat, in great part, by the capital it confiscates by the captive labor force it leases out. The labor services human capital exportation is Cuban communism’s main source of declared hard currency entry. Democratic governments that import and lease this work force are also culpable and an accessory to this 21st century slave and human trafficking travesty.      

It is a grave moral contradiction when one agency of the UN condemns a regime for crimes that other agencies of that same organization help carry out. This is unacceptable. However, no one should be surprised. After all, if the WHO was capable of covering up for communist China and the barbaric dispersion of it’s Made in China virus upon the world, that fact that it underwrites a slave trade system for communists in the Caribbean is understandable.   

Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.