Castro Condemns U.S. H-1B Policy

Castro Condemns U.S. H-1B Policy

Friday, July 20, 2007 6:07 PM/EST

Cuba's ailing leader, Fidel Castro, issued a missive July 17 condemning the U.S. and other wealthy nations for causing Latin American “brain drain” and damaging their economies by encouraging the migration of skilled immigrants.

Written on the occasion of the graduation of the first class from the Cuba's UCI (University of Information Sciences), Castro's essay was published in Daily Granma, the Cuban Communist Party's official news publication.

Castro denounced a world order which fosters “the egoism, individualism and dehumanization of humanity” and has led to more than 70 percent of the software programmers employed in the U.S. being from India and Latin America. The migration of students, he argued, is a precursor to brain drain.

“In recent years, encouraging this type of emigration has become an official state policy in a number of North countries, which use incentives and procedures especially tailored to suit this end,” wrote Castro.

“This relentless plundering of brains in South countries dismantles and weakens programs aimed at training human capital, a resource which is needed to rise from the depths of underdevelopment. It is not limited to the transfer of capital; it also entails the import of grey matter, which nips a country's nascent intelligence and future at the bud.”

The U.S., through its unjust policy, has “deprived” Cuba of just over 5 percent of the professionals who graduated during the Revolution years (1959 to 2004), Castro argued. Yet, not even these elite immigrant workers enjoy the working conditions and salaries of U.S. nationals.

“The United States, Japan and Germany combined have a percentage of the world's population similar to that of Latin America, but their investment in research and development is of 52.9 percent, as opposed to 1.3 percent in the latter. Today's economic gap foreshadows what tomorrow's may be if these trends are not reversed.”