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Castro medical scholarships targeted



The controversy of Cuba-Castro politics is never far from Florida, and tomorrow the debate comes to the Legislature.

Hialeah Republican Rep. Eddy Gonzalez wants to ban U.S. residents or citizens who receive their medical degrees through a Castro-sponsored scholarship program from practicing medicine in Florida.

Fidel Castro now offers 500 scholarships for U.S. nationals to obtain their medical degrees in communist Cuba through what Gonzalez's office described as a "cultural exchange loophole."

Gonzalez also said the Florida Medical Association has expressed support for his proposed legislation, HB685. Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, is sponsoring matching legislation. (SB 2866)   

"Our students should not be contributing to, nor legitimizing Castro’s apartheid healthcare system, which gives high government officials and hard currency-paying foreigners state-of-the-art care, while everyday Cuban citizens are relegated to subpar, archaic, and quite frankly, abusive conditions," Gonzalez just said in a written release.

"Those who turn a blind eye to such basic human and civil rights abuses do not possess the basic judgment and character required for the ethical practice of medicine in Florida."

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