Unraveling the “Cuban miracle”: A conversation with Dr. Enrique Beldarrain Chaple


  • Claudia Chaufan University of California San Francisco


social medicine, health systems, health justice, health equity


An interview with a Cuban physician and professor of Epidemiology and Anthropology at the Medical University of Havana, Cuba, unravels so-called Cuban miracle, by laying out the history and foundations of a health system built on the principles of health equity and justice. The interview traces the beginning of the system to the Cuban revolution, briefly providing the social and public health background to this revolution, elaborates on the training of medical personnel and on the Cuban state policy of medical internationalism, and underscores that achieving a modicum of health justice in Cuba’s neighboring country will require freeing US health care from the chains of a profit driven system.

Author Biography

Claudia Chaufan, University of California San Francisco

Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Sociology Dept. of Social & Behavioral Sciences in the School of Nursing



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Further readings

Bernstein, E., Cuba's Health Care System: Where Humanity Comes First. 1 ed. 2010, Vancouver: Battle of Ideas Press. 139.

Lamrani, S., The Economic War against Cuba: A Historical and Legal Perspective on the US Blockade. 2013, New York Monthly Review Press.

Lamrani, S., ed. Superpower Principles: US terrorism Against Cuba (Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, William Blum, Michael Parenti, Leonard Weinglass, Nadine Gordimer and others). 2005, Common Courage Press: Monroe.

Brouwer, S., Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba are Changing the World's Conception of Healthcare. 2011, New York: Monthly Review Press.






Social Medicine in Practice