This paper considers distinct views of ‘capacity building’ in health aid, using the example of the largest health aid programme in the Asia-Pacific region, the Cuba-Timor Leste health cooperation. By 2008 there were 300 Cuban health workers in Timor Leste, while 850 Timorese students were studying medicine with Cuban trainers. The paper contrasts ‘big money’ neoliberal notions of aid with Cuban notions of solidarity amongst peoples and investment in human resources. It makes use of existing literature, health indicators and interviews with doctors, students and families in Timor Leste and Cuba.

2008 Solidarity aid: The Cuba-Timor Leste health programme PDF

The International Journal of Cuban Studies Issue 2