Since the beginning of the Cuban Revolution (1959), more than 55,000 students from over 148 countries have been granted full scholarships by the Cuban government, allowing them to pursue their secondary and/or tertiary education in the Caribbean island (Martínez-Pérez 2012). By the early 2000s, an estimated 16,500 international students had completed their professional university degrees there (Martín Sabina 2002; Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2010); by 2008, over 30,000 international students had graduated from Cuban universities and 24,000 from vocational and technical courses of study; and in 2010 approximately 30,000 foreign students from 123 countries were enrolled in Cuban higher education establishments (Martínez-Pérez 2012: 75). Amongst these beneficiaries, thousands of young citizens and refugees born in the MENA have attended Cuban universities and other further education institutions, with many of these also having received their primary and/or secondary schooling in the Cuban Isla de la Juventud (Island of Youth).