Cuban Medical Scholarships to Help Disadvantaged Neighbor to the North

January 15, 2001


Cuba may be short on hard currency and spare parts but the small Caribbean nation is rich in medical schools andpersonnel, including some 66,000 doctors. A recently instituted program is seeking to share the wealth with those lessfortunate including the United States.

In a speech at Riverside Church in September 2000, Fidel Castro offered 500 scholarships to medical students from thepoorest regions of its neighbor to the north. Bennie Thompson, a congressman from Mississippi, has eagerly embracedthe offer of 250 places for African Americans, with the other 250 spots reserved for Latinos and Native Americans.

The students will attend Cuba’s a new Latin American Medical School, one of Castro’s long-cherished projects. Theschool currently trains around 3,000 students from 19 Latin American countries. Tuition for the six-year course,together with full board, and lodging are free.

As deadline for applications is nears, we talk to an official with the Cuban Interest Section about the program.


  • Fernando Garcia Bielsa, First Secretary of the Cuban Interest Section.