Fidel’s Cuba vs. U.S. Interventions in Latin America
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2006-08-19, 5:31PM EDT
The United States (THE world superpower) has been attacked only once in a major way (9/11) by a rag-tag band of resistance fighters who are now hiding in caves in a remote part of the world, but that one attack has resulted in a massive curtailment of the civil liberties and basic Constitutional rights of all Americans in the name of fighting "terrorism". Castro's Cuba (a tiny and poor nation) has been under continual attack both economically and sometimes physically for almost 50 years by the superpower bully to its north. They have had the example of numerous invasions, military interventions and CIA sponsored coups in many other nations in Latin America as well as the previous American invasions of Cuba itself (see list at end). Cuba had to institute some serious security measures to protect their nation, some of which are indeed somewhat oppressive. They claim necessity just as the Bush regime claims necessity for their oppressive security measures. Cuba is poor but not because of Castro or his government. Rather it is the result of US economic warfare intended to provoke a overthrow of the government. In spite of this embargo, Cuba has survived and, in many ways, is doing a better job for its people than our government has done for us.
Cubans don't enjoy the dubious benefits of our consumer society (mostly because of our foolish embargo to get the Florida vote), but they do have universal health care and more doctors per capita than we have. They have a greater investment and dedication to education and the arts, and an enviable record of providing medical assistance to other countries.
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Castro offered the U.S. 1,500 bilingual doctors trained in disaster relief and 82 tons of medical supplies. The Bush administration turned it down.
Cuba was quick to offer help after the tsunami in 2004, and to Pakistan after the devastating earthquake last year. Cuba provided over 19,000 child victims of radiation in Chernobyl with medical care. Contrast this with FEMA's feeble and grudging response to Hurricane Katrina.
Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine provides free medical education for up to 8,000 students per year from 23 developing countries, including 88 low-income and minority students from the United States who pledge to work with poor and minority communities when they return here.
Cuba has the highest standards of health, education and housing of any Latin American country, and a literacy rate exceeding that of the United States.
An offer made to the United Nations in 2001 to send 4,000 doctors to Africa, as with free medical education.
Miracle Mission started in July 2005, where over 1300 Dominicans received free surgical eye treatment in Cuba. “Thousands of persons in fourteen countries in the Caribbean Region have received treatment for various eye aliments in the last year.”
“While under a rigorous blockade and economic warfare that have lasted for almost half a century, Cuba was able to eradicate in just one year the illiteracy that has still not been overcome in the course of more than four decades by the rest of the countries of Latin America, or the United States itself.”
Cuba “has brought free education to 100% of the country’s children.”
Cuba “has the highest school retention rate –over 99% between kindergarten and ninth grade– of all of the nations in the hemisphere.”
Cuba’s “elementary school students rank first worldwide in the knowledge of their mother language and mathematics.”
Cuba “also ranks first worldwide with the highest number of teachers per capita and the lowest number of students per classroom.”
“Discrimination against women was eradicated, and today women make up 64% of the country’s technical and scientific workforce.”
Cuba’s “infant mortality has been reduced from 60 per 1000 live births to a rate that fluctuates between 6 and 6.5, which is the lowest in the hemisphere, from the United States to Patagonia.”