Brazil's Bolsonaro says to grant asylum to any Cuban who seeks it

Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro attends a meeting with governors-elect in Brasilia, Brazil November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday that he will grant asylum to any Cuban national who asks for it, escalating tensions with the Caribbean island after it ended a program placing its doctors in rural Brazil.

Far-right legislator Bolsonaro described the Cuban medical program as “slave labor,” as doctors based in Brazil do not keep all of their salaries, with much of the crucial foreign income going to the Cuban government. Bolsonaro added that Cuba’s decision to pull the program was unilateral.

Reporting by Mateus Maia; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe