New Jersey Rep. Albio Sires displays an admirable Hudson County loyalty to Sen. Bob Menendez in an interview with the Newark Star-Ledger, speculating that the Cuban government is behind the Senator’s recent troubles. “I won’t even be surprised if somehow the Cuban government is involved in this to try to damage Bob Menendez because he’s been so steadfast against the Castro government,” the Congressman said.
And meanwhile in Miami-Dade, two state legislators want to deny eligibility for Florida physicians’ licenses to Americans who earn a medical degree in Cuba. From the Herald’s Naked Politics blog:
Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., and Sen. Rene Garcia, both Hialeah Republicans, filed bills last week, seeking to clamp down on U.S. medical students who go to Cuba for training. “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” said Diaz in a statement. “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.”
Last I checked, the number of Americans attending medical school in Cuba amounted to dozens, and they go through a six-year program in conditions that are far from luxurious. If these legislators have their way, any Florida graduates will have to leave their state to practice medicine. Which might induce even more of their constituents to travel to Cuba for medical care than already do.
What a circus.
[Nj.com photo of Sen. Menendez, Rep. Sires, and Jacquelyne Herrera, Miss Colombia NJ.]