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U.S. Accuses Cuban Dictatorship of Human Trafficking, Deploys Workers to Foreign Countries Using “Deceptive and Coercive Tactics”

The 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) was released Monday by the U.S. Department of State.

Cuba is among some of the countries with the highest number of human trafficking, according to an official government report compiled and published by the United States Dept. of State. The U.S. alleged that the Cuban communist regime does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and does not make any significant efforts to do so.

The State Department made the assertion in the 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) published this Monday by the U.S. Department of State, which divides countries according to the degree of human trafficking and places them at the highest level (level 3) to the island, along with Venezuela and Nicaragua, countries that also appeared in the same report last year.

The DOS said the Cuban regime is “complicit” in “state labor export schemes by prosecuting people who left government-sponsored labor export programs due to abuses and exploitative practices with strong indicators of human trafficking” despite the fact “the government criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking through various provisions of its penal code.”

It also said the regime failed to ensure that “government-sponsored labor export programs meet international labor standards,” and that participants receive fair wages, and that money is fully deposited into bank accounts that workers can control.

The report emphasizes that the dictatorship “continued to deploy government-affiliated Cuban workers to foreign countries using deceptive and coercive tactics.”

On the matter, the State Department also explained that the regime “failed to address trafficking crimes despite an increasing number of accusations from survivors, credible NGOs, international organizations and foreign governments about the involvement of Cuban officials in facilitating serious human rights abuses,” including forced labor.

Another recommendation for the communist Caribbean nation was to stop using article 176.1 “to penalize government-affiliated workers who abandon the labor export program.”

Likewise, the report called for an investigation into possible complicity between the Cuban regime and in “the alleged fraudulent recruitment of Cubans” to fight in the large-scale, illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It also calls for investigating and prosecuting sex and labor trafficking crimes and convicting traffickers, as well as ending the recruitment of children for military activities before the age of mandatory military service.

The document highlights that the regime “decreased its efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims and continued to coerce people (using deceptive, manipulative and exploitative tactics) to participate and remain in sponsored labor export programs” by the Cuban Communist Party and its affiliates.

As the U.S. has previously reported during the last five years, “sex trafficking and extraterritorial commercial sexual exploitation and abuse occur within Cuba, including of child victims.

Traffickers exploit Cuban citizens in sex trafficking and forced labor in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Latin America and the United States,” the report says.

Regarding Cuba, specifically, the report highlights that the most updated data on human trafficking and judicial processes to confront the cases date back to 2022 were published at the end of 2023.

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