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  • Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel

    Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel | Photo: EFE

Published 21 June 2019

The U.S. blacklisted Cuba for allegedly using its overseas medical program for human trafficking.

Cuba denounced a decision by the United States to blacklist the island nation for allegedly contributing to human trafficking as based on “lies and slander.”

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The U.S. State Department’s annual report on human trafficking released Thursday added Cuba and Saudi Arabia to the list of countries allegedly “not doing enugh” to prevent human trafficking and warned sanctions could follow. To add insult to injury, the U.S. also accused Cuba of using its overseas medical program for trafficking.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel rejected the claims on Twitter, writing, “More lies and slander by #US in ranking #Cuba in the lowest tier of trafficking in persons report, attacking Cuban medical cooperation, (an) example of solidarity, humanity and noble and legitimate collaboration between countries of the South #SomosCuba #SomosContinuidad," Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel wrote on Twitter.

“This is the conservative ideas that prevail in the #US, confusing people. We denounce this immoral, lying and perverse accusation. #WeAreCuba. Cuban internationalist doctors: slaves only of love for each other.”

Cuba’s international medical program Operation Miracle travels the world offering free medical treatment to impoverished and needy communities. They have been praised by numerous international organizations for their selfless dedication to their patients and their rapid response to areas struck by disaster.

To discredit the program by accusing it of aiding human traffickers would also, by association, discredit the hundreds of surgeons who have worked to care for Mozambique's cyclone victims, Bolivia's most remote villagers, Puerto Rican hurricane victims, Ecuadorean earthquake survivors, and Chernobyl's cancer patients.

Diaz-Canel denounced it as a ploy to increase sanctions against the Caribbean country​​​​​​​. The United Nations has denounced the compounding number of sanctions imposed by the United States as a violation of human rights and international law.

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