U.S. Interests Section in Havana
U.S. authorities say the Cuban government has not done enough to stop human trafficking.
Josefina Vidal, chief of the North America Department at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, denied that in the following statement:
Cuba categorically rejects as false and disrespectful the allegations in the State Department report on trafficking in persons and the irrational inclusion of Cuba as the worst in its category.The inclusion of Cuba on the State Department list:
This shameful slander deeply offends the Cuban people. In Cuba there is no sexual trafficking of minors, but rather an outstanding performance in the protection of children, youth and women. Cuba does not qualify as a country of origin or transit, and destination of this scourge. The legislation and the measures taken in this area places us among the countries of the region with the most advanced standards and mechanisms to prevent and combat trafficking.
...can only be explained by the desperate need for the U.S. Government to justify, under any pretext, the persistence of his cruel policy of blockade, overwhelmingly rejected by the international community.The State Department report, released Monday, said Cuba was "principally a source country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically commercial sexual exploitation within the country."
The report continued:
Some Cuban medical professionals have stated that postings abroad are voluntary and well paid; however, others have claimed that their services “repaid” Cuban government debts to other countries and their passports were withheld as they performed their services. The scope of trafficking within Cuba is difficult to gauge due to the closed nature of the government and sparse non-governmental or independent reporting. The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. In a positive step, the Government of Cuba shared information about human trafficking and its efforts to address the issue. However, the government did not prohibit all forms of trafficking during the reporting period, nor did it provide specific evidence that it prosecuted and punished trafficking offenders, protected victims of all forms of trafficking, or implemented victim protection policies or programs to prevent human trafficking.