Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made his debut on the world’s biggest stage for world leaders, the U.N. General Assembly, on Tuesday, warning against the “cruelty of socialism” and accusing the U.N. itself of engaging in slave labor.
Bolsonaro made the accusation in relation to Cuba’s slave doctor system, in which the communist regime forces doctors to work without pay abroad, taking almost the entirety of their salaries and investing them in the luxury lifestyles of the regime’s leaders. The doctors are expected to live off of a “stipend” that many say often fails to cover basic food needs. Cuba makes an estimated $11 billion off of the slave doctor trade in deals with African, Latin American, and Pacific Island states.
Íntegra do discurso, abrindo a Assembléia Geral da ONU 2019. https://t.co/QPMGSh4uYu
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) September 24, 2019
One of Bolsonaro’s first acts after taking office in January was to end the Brazilian Cuban slave doctor program, known as Mais Médicos (“More Doctors”). Bolsonaro demanded that Cuba give a reasonable salary to its doctors from the payments that Brasilia makes Havana, prompting the regime to end the program entirely.
In New York, Bolsonaro noted that U.N. bodies like the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) openly aid and benefit from the Cuban slave doctor trade.
“In 2013, an agreement between the former[ly ruling] Workers’ Party [PT] and the Cuban dictatorship brought to Brazil 10,000 doctors,” Bolsonaro explained. The agreement “prevented [the doctors] from bringing their spouses or children and 75 percent of their wages were confiscated by the Cuban regime.”
“They were further prevented from enjoying fundamental rights like, for example, coming and going [from Brazil,” Bolsonaro noted. “It is truly tantamount to slave labor.”
Bolsonaro made clear that this slave labor was “supported by human rights organizations in Brazil and United Nations organizations.”
The PAHO was a signatory to the deal between Brazil and Cuba that created Mais Médicos. Inviting PAHO to participate in the deal would allow the then-socialist government of Brazil not to have to put the plan to import thousands of Cuban slave doctors before Congress, where it would have failed. An agreement between only Brazil and Cuba would legally be a treaty and thus require legislative approval. An agreement with the aid of an international organization like PAHO made the terms of the agreement secret and out of reach of the voters or lawmakers.
PAHO took a payment from the Brazilian government to be involved in the deal.
The Brazilian president also made the case that his country had direct experience with the evils of Cuba’s communist regime, when mass murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara attempted to foment revolution in South America.
“In the 1960s, Cuban agents were sent out to several countries to collaborate towards implementing dictatorships in the region. A few decades ago, they tried to change the Brazilian regime … they were defeated,” Bolsonaro said, making a vague reference to the right-wing Brazilian military regime that took over in response to communist agitation.
Bolsonaro ended his remarks warning the world that socialism and communism have “left a path of death, ignorance, and stark poverty wherever [they go].”