Lawsuit filed in USA by 3 Cubans held as "virtual slaves" in Curacao Drydock shipyard - includes comments by the company

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Author: AP

Alberto Rodríguez expresa que las autoridades cubanas...le dijeron que viajaría a trabajar a un astillero de Curacao. Rodríguez sostiene que durante los tres años siguientes fue un esclavo virtual junto a decenas de compatriotas suyos, que eran obligados a trabajar durante largas jornadas por centavos al día, en condiciones peligrosas. El hombre, que escapó en octubre del 2004 [junto con] otros dos...dijeron que sufrieron heridas de gravedad...Ahora, los tres cubanos han presentado una demanda ante los tribunales federales de Miami, en busca de una recompensa no determinada por los daños causados por Curacao Drydock Company Inc...En una declaración escrita...Curacao Drydock dijo que busca "mantener los máximos estándares alcanzables de hábitos de trabajo seguro" y que todo su personal está entrenado en políticas de seguridad...[y que] muchas de las alegaciones de la demanda están focalizadas en Cuba, no en la empresa.

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Article
28 October 2006

Lawsuit claims Cuba forced citizens to work at Curacao shipyard

Author: AP

Alberto Rodriguez...[was]...told...he was being sent to work at a shipyard on Curacao. Over the next three years, Rodriguez claims he and dozens of other men were held as virtual slaves, forced to work long hours for pennies a day in dangerous conditions...Now, Rodriguez and...two other[s]...have filed a federal lawsuit in Miami seeking unspecified damages from the Curacao Drydock Company Inc. for what they claim was a conspiracy in which Cuba provided low-cost, forced labor in return for hard currency..."Curacao Drydock Co. knew that the Cuban laborers that the Cuban government provided to it were not free individuals but...were compelled to perform the will of the Cuban state," said their lawsuit...In a written statement...Curacao Drydock said it strives to "maintain the highest achievable standards of safety work habits"...that all personnel are trained in safety policies [and that]...many of the lawsuit's allegations were focused on Cuba and not the company.

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