Oil-for-Doctors: Cuban Medical Diplomacy Gets a Little Help From a Venezuelan Friend

Medical diplomacy is one of the key elements of Cuban foreign policy. In 2008, more than 30.000 doctors and other health professionals collaborated in 70 countries across the world. The strategy, based on the successes of the health system under the Revolution, has given Cuba international prestige and political capital, reflected in the annual votes against the blockage in the United Nations. In recent years, the existence of the Chávez government has enabled the island to sign an agreement exchanging doctors for oil, converting the exportation of health into the most promising economic activity for Cuba.

Article by: Julie M. Feinsilver