As it did during the Angolan War of Independence, Cuba has once again come to the aid of the southern African country as it fights the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to an appeal for aid by Angolan president João Lourenço, 250 Cuban doctors arrived in the capital Luanda on Friday, April 10. Angolan minister of health Silva Lutucuta and Cuban ambassador to Angola Esther Armenteros greeted the doctors as they got off the plane. The Cuban medical team is set to operate throughout the country, beginning with a health education campaign.
Cuba has a history of using its robust medical system as a form of diplomacy, sending doctors to practice in about sixty countries, many of them in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Cuba had, however, begun a process of reducing its overseas medical missions, until early March, when COVID-19 led to a spike in demand for Cuba’s medical expertise.