Thursday, January 03, 2008

In East Timor

Today’s edition of The Sun-Sentinel has an interesting (and depressingly familiar) story on the plight of three Cuban doctors who have defected in East Timor hoping to make it to the United States.

The doctors are part of a group of about 200 doctors and medical staff sent by the Castro regime in December 2005 to provide “humanitarian aid” to the people of the small former Dutch colony, just north of Australia.

Similar groups of Cuban doctors have also been sent to a number of other Pacific nations in the past couple of years as part of a controversial push by Havana to make friends in the region.

Although some of the doctors are indeed sent on humanitarian grounds, the majority are used by the Castro regime as income earners.

In most cases, the governments of the Pacific nations pay Havana between USD300 and USD400 a month per doctor, which is a lot cheaper than importing doctors from say, Australia or New Zealand. But unlike their counterparts from Australia or New Zealand, the Cuban doctors get only a portion of this payment, with the bulk of the money going straight into the Castro brothers' coffers. Very humanitarian.

According to the Sun-Sentinel report, the three defecting doctors have been given visas by the US but they still need permission from the East Timorese government to leave the country.

Why? Because they don’t have any legal papers. You see, as soon as they arrived, the doctors had their passports confiscated by Cuban officials to avoid defections.

Read the story here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former Dutch colony? East Timor has been occupied by the Portuguese, Indonesians and is now under Australian occupation but the Dutch were never there.
On the more substantive issue, perhaps you should be asking that Australia replaces its soldiers with doctors, and stop stealing East Timor's oil and gas, rather than sniping at the Cubans who are actually helping.
Then again, that wouldn't suit the ideological purpose of your blog, would it?

2:42 pm  

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