In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Acknowledgments This book has been a labor of love for almost a decade, one that started by accident and continued because of an ever-growing fascination for a topic that deserved to be told but had scarcely been touched. Many could argue that it had been deliberately ignored. Looking back now, it is clear that the long conversations on healthcare between Canadian premier John Savage and Cuban president Fidel Castro that I witnessed in 1994 and 1996, and that are the seed for this book, were extremely important. Since then, I have been fortunate to have met some extraordinary Cuban medical professionals whose conduct has consistently reminded me of the observation of nineteenth-century Cuban writer/revolutionary José Martí that “patria es humanidad” (All of humanity is our homeland). Over the course of this long journey of discovery, I have interviewed hundreds of people throughout Cuba, especially internacionalistas who have returned after completing medical missions. They are the protagonists of this epic story, and I owe them all an enormous debt of gratitude. The Universidad Médica “Carlos J. Finlay” in Camagüey deserves special recognition, where I interviewed many members of the faculty who had served on diplomatic missions in developing countries. In particular I am indebted to Arturo Menéndez, who established a medical faculty staffed with Cuban professors in Gambia and later served in Venezuela. His sound counsel was always appreciated. In Havana I met with numerous people responsible for the planning of medical cooperation. Drs. Jorge Delgado Bustillo and Yiliam Jiménez at the Unidad Central de Colaboración Médica (UCCM) and Néstor Marimón, José Portilla, and especially Víctor Manuel Rodríguez of the International Relations Department of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) all gave generously of their time. A source of invaluable information on the Cuban public health system is MEDICC, and a tremendous amount of solid xiv · Acknowledgments research is carried out there by Conner Gorry, Christina Mills, and Gail Reed. I am particularly grateful for their permission to use several tables that have appeared in MEDICC publications. All author royalties from this book are donated to support MEDICC’s work. Particularly helpful in making contacts with individuals and institutions were the hardworking people at ICAP, especially Sandra Ramírez, Odalys López, and Esperanza Luzbert. Julio Medina, director of the Tarará program where the Chernobyl patients stayed, also provided insights into their experiences. I undertook several trips to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) and am grateful to dozens of professors and students there for their assistance. Many members of the medical profession throughout the island have been useful sounding boards, speaking about their own experiences on missions abroad or providing context for this project. They include Enrique Beldarraín Chaple, Rafael Llanes, Jorge Balseiro, Danay Saavedra, Pura Avilés, and especially Nicolás Garófalo. By expanding my understanding of the historical roots of medical cooperation, José Miyar Barrueco (“Chomi”) enhanced my understanding of the significance of medical internationalism for Fidel Castro, whom he served for many years as a confidant in health matters. The experience of accompanying Cuban medical personnel in Central America offered the opportunity to see Cuban medical cooperation firsthand . The support of Pedro Pablo Prada, Cuban ambassador to El Salvador, was particularly important, as was that of members of the Brigada Médica Cubana Salvadoreña Mons. Óscar Romero, especially Eduardo Ojeda and Mayra Fontes. I am grateful to the Brigada for permission to use tables located in chapter 11. Ronald Chávez and Jay Hartling provided invaluable insights into El Salvador and assisted me in making some key connections. In Guatemala the medical personnel at three Operación Milagro clinics that I visited and José Ramón Ruiz of the Brigada Médica Cubana provided insight into the large Cuban medical operation there. I am especially grateful to the many Salvadoran and Guatemalan graduates of ELAM who agreed to be interviewed and especially to Sandra Galdámez, an exemplary ELAMista. Over many years of travel to Cuba I have been assisted by members of Cuba’s diplomatic corps in making contact with medical cooperation officials and practitioners. A debt of gratitude is owed to Raúl Delgado, whom I met when starting my research on the topic. Carlos Castillo, Teresita de Jesús Vicente, and Julio Garmendía, all ambassadors of Cuba to Canada, Acknowledgments · xv have always been supportive of my research, and their assistance is gratefully acknowledged. In Canada...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.