Cuban Medical Internationalism: Fidel Castro’s humanitarian legacy

by John Kirk
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), 1 December 2016

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Even in death, Fidel Castro remains a divisive figure. Fearless revolutionary and defender of the poor to some, tyrannical dictator to others, the legacy of his five decades of rule for Cuba will doubtless be contested for many years to come. For the wider world, there is a less controversial aspect of Castro’s legacy that has been largely overlooked. As well as bringing free healthcare to his countrymen, he presided over a “Medical Internationalism” programme that exported medical aid to 158 countries and continues to provide more medical personnel to the developing world than all of the G7 countries combined.

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