Bolsonaro Threatens To Cut Diplomatic Ties With Cuba

In an interview, president-elect criticized Venezuela and the MD exchange program between Brazil and Cuba "Mais Médicos"

São Paulo

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) said on Friday (2nd) that there is no reason to keep diplomatic ties with Cuba because the country doesn't respect human rights.

During an interview published by the newspaper Correio Braziliense, Bolsonaro criticized the program Mais Médicos (More Doctors, in English), that keeps 11,420 Cuban healthcare professionals working in deprived areas in Brazil.

Bolsonaro mentioned the fact that the Cuban doctors receive only 25% of the Brazilian payment for their service to the Cuban government, and that the doctors are not allowed to bring their children with them.

Brazil and Cuba started diplomatic relations in 1906. They were severed after the military coup of 1964 and were resumed in 1986.

Bolsonaro said that the Mais Médicos program could continue, but only if the Cubans received 100% of their earnings and if they can have their children with them. The program started in 2013 during the Rousseff administration.

About Venezuela, Bolsonaro said: "The ambassador already returned, the embassy has been terminated, we no longer have contacts in the country. Now, the ambassador came during the Temer administration, because while PT was in power... This decision needed to be taken earlier: call the ambassador, talk to him."

He was referring to Ruy Pereira, Brazil's ambassador in Caracas, who was declared "persona non grata" by the Venezuelan government in December 2017. The measure is equivalent to being expelled from the country.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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