Cuba ends medical exchange program with Brazil

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba says it is ending a program that sent government doctors to remote regions of Brazil in exchange for millions in badly needed dollars.

The end of the “Mas Medicos,” or “More Doctors,” program signals a sharp deterioration in relations between communist Cuba and Brazil, which just elected far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who takes office Jan. 1

Cuba made the announcement after Bolsonaro said the program could only continue if doctors directly receive their salaries from Brazil and could bring their families with them.

The Cuban government generally takes most of the salaries of employees working in other countries in what are called “international missions.” Mission participants also are generally barred from bringing family members in a measure that critics argue is designed to prevent them from emigrating.