Hands Off Cuba!
Cuba is far from perfect, but far more perfect for the majority of islanders
, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada and other countries that the US has
Here are some interesting stats for the open minded:
• In 1980 an estimated 41% of the population of Latin America
lived in poverty, with nearly 19% of the total living in extreme poverty.
• Pre 1959 Cuba was considered to have one of the higher per
capita incomes of Latin America. However, the poorest 40% of the population
received only 0.066% of income. By the mid 70s this had improved to 25%.
In 1996, the income of those with highest earnings was around 4 times
that of those with the lowest earnings.
• 1996 - Infant mortality 8 per 1000 vs 70 per 1000 in late 50's
during Batista's reign.
• By 1963, old age and disability pensions applied to all in
a non-contributory scheme, and the 1979 law tied pensions to up to 90
% of salary. Health care and unemployment provision became universal,
with unemployment benefit up to 70% of salary. Illiteracy was reduced
• In 1991 there were 300,000 teachers in the country - the highest
per capita rate of teachers in the world.
• Post revolution, Cuba confiscated vast estates, owned mainly
by US companies, five of which owned more than 2 million acres. The nationalisation
of foreign property was in line with the 1940 constitution, reinstated
on 6 Feb 1959 after it had been suspended by Batista's coup in 1952. Compensation
was offered to US interests, but not accepted, thus being a rationale
for US hostility.
• According to Cuban statistics, the trade embargo cost the island
at least $15 billion between 1961 - 1991. By 1994 over 35,000 Cubans had
attempted to cross to Florida, predominantly to escape economic hardship.
The US began returning would be immigrants in May 1995.
• By 1990 Cuba came to have more doctors working on missions
abroad than the World Health Organisation. Between 1982-85, for every
625 Cubans was one civilian aid worker overseas; in the US the ratio was
one worker per 34,704 inhabitants.
Ends | Aug 06 | The Leg