If you ask most people what Cuba is famous for they probably will name two things: rum and cigars. But if you ask leftists what Cuba is famous for they will usually say something altogether different: healthcare and education.Despite all the government oppression and poverty and the endless speeches by el líder maximo and his sibling, the Cuban healthcare and education systems are still held up as justification for the 1959 Cuban revolution in and of themselves.So good is the healthcare system on the island supposed to be, and such is the abundance of skilled doctors, that Cuba can even afford to export medical personnel to disease- and crisis-stricken parts of the world in a gesture of international solidarity that the capitalist West does not begin to rival.
The communist government’s medical missionaries win praise for the regime, but they are victims, too.
Estimates suggest that around 50,000 Cuban-trained health workers are spread across 66 countries, with many stationed in some of the poorest corners of the globe. In 2010 Cuba provided the largest contingent of medical staff during the aftermath of the huge earthquake that shook Haiti. Similarly, after an earthquake devastated Pakistan-administered Kashmir in 2005, there were more Cuban doctors on hand to aid the relief effort than there were medics from Pakistan proper. Who said socialist internationalism died in 1989? (read more)