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Reply #76: "..the Bushes wont lift a finger to help little poor Cuba.." [View All]

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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 10:07 AM
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On the other hand, the Bushes wont lift a finger to help little poor Cuba.."

WTF is that supposed to mean?

How on earth could Bush "help poor Cuba"?

Before the 1959 revolution (with "help" from the USA)

  • 75% of rural dwellings were huts made from palm trees.
  • More than 50% had no toilets of any kind.
  • 85% had no inside running water.
  • 91% had no electricity.
  • There was only 1 doctor per 2,000 people in rural areas.
  • More than one-third of the rural population had intestinal parasites.
  • Only 4% of Cuban peasants ate meat regularly; only 1% ate fish, less than 2% eggs, 3% bread, 11% milk; none ate green vegetables.
  • The average annual income among peasants was $91 (1956), less than 1/3 of the national income per person.
  • 45% of the rural population was illiterate; 44% had never attended a school.
  • 25% of the labor force was chronically unemployed.
  • 1 million people were illiterate ( in a population of about 5.5 million).
  • 27% of urban children, not to speak of 61% of rural children, were not attending school.
  • Racial discrimination was widespread.
  • The public school system had deteriorated badly.
  • Corruption was endemic; anyone could be bought, from a Supreme Court judge to a cop.
  • Police brutality and torture were common.


    After the 1959 revolution (with nothing but interference from the USA)

    It is in some sense almost an anti-model, according to Eric Swanson, the programme manager for the Banks Development Data Group, which compiled the WDI, a tome of almost 400 pages covering scores of economic, social, and environmental indicators.

    Indeed, Cuba is living proof in many ways that the Banks dictum that economic growth is a pre-condition for improving the lives of the poor is over-stated, if not, downright wrong.


    It has reduced its infant mortality rate from 11 per 1,000 births in 1990 to seven in 1999, which places it firmly in the ranks of the western industrialised nations. It now stands at six, according to Jo Ritzen, the Banks Vice President for Development Policy, who visited Cuba privately several months ago to see for himself.

    By comparison, the infant mortality rate for Argentina stood at 18 in 1999;

    Chiles was down to ten; and Costa Rica, at 12. For the entire Latin American and Caribbean region as a whole, the average was 30 in 1999.

    Similarly, the mortality rate for children under the age of five in Cuba has fallen from 13 to eight per thousand over the decade. That figure is 50% lower than the rate in Chile, the Latin American country closest to Cubas achievement. For the region as a whole, the average was 38 in 1999.

    Six for every 1,000 in infant mortality - the same level as Spain - is just unbelievable, according to Ritzen, a former education minister in the Netherlands. You observe it, and so you see that Cuba has done exceedingly well in the human development area.

    Indeed, in Ritzens own field, the figures tell much the same story. Net primary enrolment for both girls and boys reached 100% in 1997, up from 92% in 1990. That was as high as most developed nations - higher even than the US rate and well above 80-90% rates achieved by the most advanced Latin American countries.

    Even in education performance, Cubas is very much in tune with the developed world, and much higher than schools in, say, Argentina, Brazil, or Chile.

    It is no wonder, in some ways. Public spending on education in Cuba amounts to about 6.7% of gross national income, twice the proportion in other Latin American and Caribbean countries and even Singapore.

    There were 12 primary school pupils for every Cuban teacher in 1997, a ratio that ranked with Sweden, rather than any other developing country. The Latin American and East Asian average was twice as high at 25 to one.

    The average youth (age 15-24) illiteracy rate in Latin America and the Caribbean stands at 7%. In Cuba, the rate is zero. In Latin America, where the average is 7%, only Uruguay approaches that achievement, with one percent youth illiteracy.

    Cuba managed to reduce illiteracy from 40% to zero within ten years, said Ritzen. If Cuba shows that it is possible, it shifts the burden of proof to those who say its not possible.

    Similarly, Cuba devoted 9.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) during the 1990s to health care, roughly equivalent to Canadas rate. Its ratio of 5.3 doctors per 1,000 people was the highest in the world.

    The question that these statistics pose, of course, is whether the Cuban experience can be replicated. The answer given here is probably not.

    What does it, is the incredible dedication, according to Wayne Smith, who was head of the US Interests Section in Havana in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has travelled to the island many times since.

    No one can say with any credibility that universal education and universal health care is forced on Cubans. Castro didn't give it to them. They worked hard to create the infrastructure and systems that they felt were essential for any progressive system.

    Cubans wanted universal health care for all Cubans, and they have it. They pushed for government that represented their ideals, and organized and formed infrastructure that enabled Cubans to create a fair and complete h-c system. Cubans wanted universal education for all Cubans, and they have it. They pushed for government that represented their ideals, organized and formed infrastructure that enabled Cubans to create a complete and world class ed system, and they have it. Cubans want to assist the world's poor with doctors and educators, instead of gun ship diplomacy.. and that is what they have done WITH their government, not at odds with their government.

    Can Americans make this claim about their own country? I'm afraid not.

    FYI, The Cuban government was reorganized (approved by popular vote) into a variant parliamentary system in 1976.

    You can read a short version of the Cuban system here,

    Or a long and detailed version here,

    I am so sick of hearing the reichwing crap about the US "helping" Cuba. How about Americans cleaning up their own garbage strewn back yard before "helping' others do so.

    Viva Cuba!

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