Venezuela: Cuban Doctors fleeing to U.S. under little known visa parole program

Posted on November 17, 2014 • Filed under: Cuba, Latin America Health, United States, Venezuela

Venezuela’s brewing economic troubles and high crime rates have been prompting Venezuelans — particularly young professionals — to emigrate by the thousands in recent months. But Cuban doctors stationed there are also getting in on the exodus: The number of Cuban medical professionals defecting from their posts in Venezuela has ballooned over the past year, and many of them are winding up in the United States.

The U.S. has been a prime destination of Cuban defectors in the health-care sector, with the help of the little-known Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, launched by executive order under President George W. Bush in 2006. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, the number of medical workers from Cuba who have come to the U.S. under that program quadrupled over the last four years, aided heavily over the last year by defectors from Venezuela. Read Article

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