Rethinking the U.S.-Cuban Embargo: U.S. Minorities at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana

By Rosa Mathai.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In 2001, a group of American minority students defied their home country’s law and entered Cuba to begin a medical school education. The Latin American School of Medicine in Havana (ELAM) was founded by Castro to educate foreign students, but did not accept U.S. nationals until 2001, when U.S. politicians and religious leaders from the traditionally-poor South and the Bronx expressed the need for more physicians in their districts. I propose that while students at ELAM did not explicitly matriculate there with pro-Cuba ideologies, their controversial decision effectively questions the viability of the U.S.’s current anti-Castro policy, revealing the power globalization and a commitment to the rights of education and healthcare have over embargos in an increasingly connected world.

Keywords: Cuba, Education, Minorities, Embargo, United States, Globalization

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.85-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 581.026KB).

Rosa Mathai

Student Researcher, The Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Tulane University, New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, USA

Rosa Mathai is a senior pursuing joint B.A./B.S. degrees in Latin American Studies and Cellular and Molecular Biology. Originally from Leesville, LA, she is a graduate of the Louisiana School for Math, Sciences, and the Arts with Distinction in History. Her experience with Latin American Studies began in high school, when she researched and defended a Social Studies Fair project on the role of Mexican migrant labor in the U.S. Agricultural Industry, culminating in state-level honors and a senior thesis. Since then she has parlayed stints in Mexico, Costa Rica, and a dental assistant job in Cusco, Peru into internships with Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and applications to dental school. Committed to journalism, she serves as Main Section Editor of the Tulane Hullabaloo newspaper and is a free-lance writer for Men’s Fitness Magazine, among other publications. Her interests in Latin America include U.S.-Latin American relations, Public Health, Human Rights, and Indigenous Cultures.


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