Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Hilary Appel

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This thesis uses the historical and structural characteristics of the Venezuelan-Cuban healthcare program, Mission Barrio Adentro, to identify areas of resource mismanagement and how such abuses of government capital has negatively affected the Venezuelan medical system as well as the Cuban healthcare professionals involved. Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro’s healthcare diplomacy under Mission Barrio Adentro, which trades Cuban doctors for oil, has failed to provide adequate medical services to the Venezuelan citizens. Despite the drop in oil prices, the Venezuelan government has continued to funnel money into Mission Barrio Adentro using PDVSA revenues. Such reliance on oil wealth and the continuation of increased social funding in the face of economic hardship has contributed to the near collapse of the current Venezuelan medical system. The elimination of Chávez’s overly politicized policies and the development of management structures to promote transparency around government expenditures will aid in creating more efficient and beneficial social programs for the Venezuelan people.