A Cuban physician who was working in Brazil as part of a cooperation agreement left his assigned post in the city of Pariquera Acu, in Sao Paulo state, and claims to have traveled to the United States.
"The Cuban doctor abandoned the job and left the city several days ago," the municipal health director of Pariquera Acu, William Rodrigo Souza, told Efe.
The physician was identified as Ortelio Jaime Guerra, a native of the central Cuban province of Camagüey, and he apparently posted a message to his Facebook page saying he was in the United States.
Guerra is part of the contingent of 5,400 Cuban doctors with the "Mas Medicos" program, the Brazilian government's plan to fill almost 15,000 vacancies in the healthcare area in rural and marginal parts of the South American country.
In accord with the plan, in addition to welcoming doctors from other countries, the Brazilian government signed an agreement with the Pan American Health Organization to hire Cuban healthcare workers.
On his Facebook page on Monday morning, Guerra wrote that he had left Pariquera Acu without notice "for questions of security."
"Now I'm in the United States," he said in another part of his message, adding that he feels "very proud" of his country and his roots.
Souza said that two other Cubans are working in Pariquera Acu, which is located 170 km (105 mi.) from Sao Paulo city.
This is the second time that a Cuban doctor has left the Mas Medicos program - one of the key initiatives of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff - with an apparent eye toward defecting.
Last week, Cuban physician Ramona Matos Rodriguez left the city of Pacaja, in the Amazon state of Para, and took refuge in the offices of the rightist Democratas, or DEM, opposition party in the National Congress in Brasilia. EFE