Sen. Rene Garcia, R- Hialeah, and Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R- Hialeah, have introduced companion bills in their chambers that would prohibit Cuban-trained physicians -- particularly if a U.S. citizen -- from practicing in the Sunshine State.
Senate Bill 456 and House Bill 517 would forbid U.S citizens or residents who travel to Cuba for the purpose of medical training or a medical degree from practicing in Florida.
Those who trained in Cuba before coming to the U.S. wouldn’t face the ban.
“Using American students and training them in the medical field will not forgive the basic rights denied to the Cuban people,” Garcia stated in a release.
The release from Diaz’s office estimated that the “free” medical training in Cuba has attracted 150 American students in the past decade.
“U.S students who turn a blind eye to basic human and civil rights abuses in Cuba do not possess the moral clarity to serve patients in Florida,” Diaz stated.
“The Fidel Castro medical scholarship program is purely a propaganda tool. Hopefully this legislation will stop American citizens from participating in Cuba’s medical apartheid system.”
Similar efforts have been advanced for more than a decade. The House approved a similar proposal in 2008.