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    A mirror of the Pinochet thread.

    The population
    - Before 1959 the Cuban population was just under 7 million and life expectancy was 58 years.
    In 2005 the population is 11 million and life expectancy is 77 (UNESCO’s figure).

    Distribution of wealth
    - Before 1959 the wealthiest 20% of the population enjoyed 58% of the country’s income. The poorest 20% received 2% of the country’s income.
    In 2005 all Cubans are guaranteed their basic requirements of cheap food and the right to employment, social security, free health care and education up to and including university level.

    Property and land ownership
    - Before 1959 75% of the land was in the hands of 8% of the population. A handful of wealthy families owned large estates – latifundios - where they reared cattle or cultivated sugar cane. Other rural families often lived in extreme poverty. In 1956-57 a survey carried out by the Agrupación Católica Universitaria of 4000 rural families (10,000 people) revealed that 66.35% of families lived in ‘bohíos’ – thatched hovels with earthen floors.
    In 2005 there is flexibility of ownership of land and property. Just over 75% of homes in Cuba have been built since 1959. Housing is 85% privately owned. The rest is let at minimal rents by the state. In 2002 just over 5% of homes were ‘bohíos’.There is a maximum limit to the area of land an individual can own. Some smallholdings are state owned, others are private and there are different types of co-operative ventures.

    Living conditions
    - Before 1959 only 35.2% of the Cuban population had running water and 63% had no WC facilities or latrines. 82.6% had no bathtub or shower. There were 13 small reservoirs.
    In 2005 94% of the population receives good-quality drinking water. Sanitation has been a priority since the revolution and all Cubans now have WCs or latrines and are able to attend to personal hygiene in their homes. There are 240 reservoirs.
    - Before 1959 just 7% of homes had electricity.
    Now 95.5% of Cubans have access to electricity. Solar panels and photovoltaic
    cells have been installed in schools and clinics in isolated areas

    Employment
    - The 1953 Population and Housing Census revealed that 51.5% of the active
    population in Cuba had a job.
    The present Constitution guarantees permanent employment to all Cubans who wish to work.
    - Before 1959 Cuban peasants often could only find work for just 4-6 months of the year and had to maintain their families for the rest of the year on the money earned during those months. In the cities, low pay and job insecurity were common and begging and prostitution were rife.
    In 2005 all Cubans who wish to work have the right to a job. If a worker becomes unemployed he or she is entitled to re-training and unemployment benefit of 60% of previous earnings.

    Women
    - Before 1959 women were just 17% of the labour force in Cuba. About one half
    of working women lived in Havana.
    In 2005 women constitute 44% of the active population.
    - In the 1950s women worked mainly as domestics or were manual workers,
    producing cigars or clothing. Many worked as prostitutes. Qualified female workers could only aspire to be nurses, teachers or secretaries.
    The Constitution introduced after the Revolution guarantees women equal rights with men in all aspects of their lives, including the right to equal opportunities in all areas of employment, as well as equal pay and equal labour rights. Just under 28% of deputies in the National Assembly are women. Only Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway have higher percentages of women parliamentarians. (The US occupies the 60th place.)

    Health Facilities
    - Before 1959 there was just one medical school in Cuba.
    In 2005 there are 21 faculties of medicine, 4 faculties of stomatology and 4 higher institutes of medical sciences.
    - Before the revolution there were 1076 inhabitants per doctor. However the
    numbers of inhabitants per doctor differed greatly in different parts of the country. Medical assistance was found mainly in the cities, particularly in the capital, home to 22% of the population but which had 65% of the country’s physicians. Just 8% of the rural population received free medical attention.
    In 2005 there are 165 inhabitants per doctor (the lowest number in the world). All Cubans receive free medical care and 99.1% of the population is registered with a GP. The Cuban health system is recognised by the World Health Organisation as being the best out of all those existing in third-world countries and as being one of the best in the world by international standards.
    - In 1958 there were 250 dentists in the country: one for 27,052 inhabitants.
    In 2003 there were 10,219 dentists – one for every 1,098 inhabitants.
    - In 1958 there was just one rural hospital, which had 10 beds.
    In 2001 (last figures available), there were 62 rural hospitals as well as 267 general hospitals, 33 specialist hospitals, 444 polyclinics as well as other medical institutions such as maternity and paediatric hospitals.

    Health of the population
    - In 1958 infant mortality was 60/1,000 live births and 98% of births took place at home.
    In 2004 infant mortality was 5.8/1,000 live births and 100% of births receive medical attention.
    - Before 1959 TB affected just under 14% of the population and 30% of Cubans
    suffered from malaria. 36% suffered from diseases caused by parasites.
    In 2005 all babies and young children are vaccinated against TB, as well as
    against 12 other illnesses. Malaria has been eradicated, in addition to polio, neonatal tetanus, diptheria and congenital German measles, rubella, mumps and parotitis meningoencephalitis.

    Education
    - In 1959 23.6% of the population over the age of 10 was illiterate.
    In 2005 illiteracy affects just 3.8% of the population.
    - Before 1959 there were 7,679 schools in Cuba and 55.6% of children between
    the ages of 6 and 14 attended school. Secondary and higher education had to be paid for and was the preserve of the wealthy minority, mainly concentrated in the cities.
    In 2002-3 there were 12,615 schools in the country, including in the most isolated rural areas. Schooling is free up to and including university level and is compulsory for all Cuban children between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age. In primary schools no class has more than 20 pupils. There are two educational TV channels.
    - Before 1959 there were three universities in the country.
    There is now a university in each of the 169 municipalities of the country. There is also a University of the Third Age with branches throughout Cuba.
    - Prior to the revolution the average educational level of young people over the age of 15 was lower than third grade (the level attained by 9-10 year olds).
    In 2005 one in every five Cubans has a university degree. Vocational courses are offered to young people not engaged in academic study. Workers are frequently offered training courses to update skills. Cuba has the most qualified work force in Latin America.

    Clearly, the achievements made by the people of Cuba as a result of socialism are not simply material. Socialism has enabled Cubans to determine their own future and to decide their own destiny, rather than having to rely on conditions set by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or on policies imposed by large global companies. Ordinary Cubans, rather than foreign companies and institutions, take part in decision-making processes and this in turn has fosters a sense of pride, solidarity and dignity in the population. Their awareness of the strength and justice of socialist values has led to a firm sense of solidarity with other oppressed populations, with the result that many Cubans are found in 2005 in countries all over the world bringing to impoverished communities the benefits that socialism has brought to them.


    Overall Socialism has done the Cubans proud. Without the embargo, no doubt things would be better. Should Cuba be a democracy? Of course, everywhere should, but, overall, Castro has been more good than bad.
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    (Original post by Northumbrian)
    A mirror of the Pinochet thread.

    The population
    - Before 1959 the Cuban population was just under 7 million and life expectancy was 58 years.
    In 2005 the population is 11 million and life expectancy is 77 (UNESCO’s figure).

    Distribution of wealth
    - Before 1959 the wealthiest 20% of the population enjoyed 58% of the country’s income. The poorest 20% received 2% of the country’s income.
    In 2005 all Cubans are guaranteed their basic requirements of cheap food and the right to employment, social security, free health care and education up to and including university level.

    Property and land ownership
    - Before 1959 75% of the land was in the hands of 8% of the population. A handful of wealthy families owned large estates – latifundios - where they reared cattle or cultivated sugar cane. Other rural families often lived in extreme poverty. In 1956-57 a survey carried out by the Agrupación Católica Universitaria of 4000 rural families (10,000 people) revealed that 66.35% of families lived in ‘bohíos’ – thatched hovels with earthen floors.
    In 2005 there is flexibility of ownership of land and property. Just over 75% of homes in Cuba have been built since 1959. Housing is 85% privately owned. The rest is let at minimal rents by the state. In 2002 just over 5% of homes were ‘bohíos’.There is a maximum limit to the area of land an individual can own. Some smallholdings are state owned, others are private and there are different types of co-operative ventures.

    Living conditions
    - Before 1959 only 35.2% of the Cuban population had running water and 63% had no WC facilities or latrines. 82.6% had no bathtub or shower. There were 13 small reservoirs.
    In 2005 94% of the population receives good-quality drinking water. Sanitation has been a priority since the revolution and all Cubans now have WCs or latrines and are able to attend to personal hygiene in their homes. There are 240 reservoirs.
    - Before 1959 just 7% of homes had electricity.
    Now 95.5% of Cubans have access to electricity. Solar panels and photovoltaic
    cells have been installed in schools and clinics in isolated areas

    Employment
    - The 1953 Population and Housing Census revealed that 51.5% of the active
    population in Cuba had a job.
    The present Constitution guarantees permanent employment to all Cubans who wish to work.
    - Before 1959 Cuban peasants often could only find work for just 4-6 months of the year and had to maintain their families for the rest of the year on the money earned during those months. In the cities, low pay and job insecurity were common and begging and prostitution were rife.
    In 2005 all Cubans who wish to work have the right to a job. If a worker becomes unemployed he or she is entitled to re-training and unemployment benefit of 60% of previous earnings.

    Women
    - Before 1959 women were just 17% of the labour force in Cuba. About one half
    of working women lived in Havana.
    In 2005 women constitute 44% of the active population.
    - In the 1950s women worked mainly as domestics or were manual workers,
    producing cigars or clothing. Many worked as prostitutes. Qualified female workers could only aspire to be nurses, teachers or secretaries.
    The Constitution introduced after the Revolution guarantees women equal rights with men in all aspects of their lives, including the right to equal opportunities in all areas of employment, as well as equal pay and equal labour rights. Just under 28% of deputies in the National Assembly are women. Only Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway have higher percentages of women parliamentarians. (The US occupies the 60th place.)

    Health Facilities
    - Before 1959 there was just one medical school in Cuba.
    In 2005 there are 21 faculties of medicine, 4 faculties of stomatology and 4 higher institutes of medical sciences.
    - Before the revolution there were 1076 inhabitants per doctor. However the
    numbers of inhabitants per doctor differed greatly in different parts of the country. Medical assistance was found mainly in the cities, particularly in the capital, home to 22% of the population but which had 65% of the country’s physicians. Just 8% of the rural population received free medical attention.
    In 2005 there are 165 inhabitants per doctor (the lowest number in the world). All Cubans receive free medical care and 99.1% of the population is registered with a GP. The Cuban health system is recognised by the World Health Organisation as being the best out of all those existing in third-world countries and as being one of the best in the world by international standards.
    - In 1958 there were 250 dentists in the country: one for 27,052 inhabitants.
    In 2003 there were 10,219 dentists – one for every 1,098 inhabitants.
    - In 1958 there was just one rural hospital, which had 10 beds.
    In 2001 (last figures available), there were 62 rural hospitals as well as 267 general hospitals, 33 specialist hospitals, 444 polyclinics as well as other medical institutions such as maternity and paediatric hospitals.

    Health of the population
    - In 1958 infant mortality was 60/1,000 live births and 98% of births took place at home.
    In 2004 infant mortality was 5.8/1,000 live births and 100% of births receive medical attention.
    - Before 1959 TB affected just under 14% of the population and 30% of Cubans
    suffered from malaria. 36% suffered from diseases caused by parasites.
    In 2005 all babies and young children are vaccinated against TB, as well as
    against 12 other illnesses. Malaria has been eradicated, in addition to polio, neonatal tetanus, diptheria and congenital German measles, rubella, mumps and parotitis meningoencephalitis.

    Education
    - In 1959 23.6% of the population over the age of 10 was illiterate.
    In 2005 illiteracy affects just 3.8% of the population.
    - Before 1959 there were 7,679 schools in Cuba and 55.6% of children between
    the ages of 6 and 14 attended school. Secondary and higher education had to be paid for and was the preserve of the wealthy minority, mainly concentrated in the cities.
    In 2002-3 there were 12,615 schools in the country, including in the most isolated rural areas. Schooling is free up to and including university level and is compulsory for all Cuban children between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age. In primary schools no class has more than 20 pupils. There are two educational TV channels.
    - Before 1959 there were three universities in the country.
    There is now a university in each of the 169 municipalities of the country. There is also a University of the Third Age with branches throughout Cuba.
    - Prior to the revolution the average educational level of young people over the age of 15 was lower than third grade (the level attained by 9-10 year olds).
    In 2005 one in every five Cubans has a university degree. Vocational courses are offered to young people not engaged in academic study. Workers are frequently offered training courses to update skills. Cuba has the most qualified work force in Latin America.

    Clearly, the achievements made by the people of Cuba as a result of socialism are not simply material. Socialism has enabled Cubans to determine their own future and to decide their own destiny, rather than having to rely on conditions set by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or on policies imposed by large global companies. Ordinary Cubans, rather than foreign companies and institutions, take part in decision-making processes and this in turn has fosters a sense of pride, solidarity and dignity in the population. Their awareness of the strength and justice of socialist values has led to a firm sense of solidarity with other oppressed populations, with the result that many Cubans are found in 2005 in countries all over the world bringing to impoverished communities the benefits that socialism has brought to them.


    Overall Socialism has done the Cubans proud. Without the embargo, no doubt things would be better. Should Cuba be a democracy? Of course, everywhere should, but, overall, Castro has been more good than bad.

    So if the US invaded say ... Venezuala - banned political democracy, banned free speech, set up a dictatorial regime, but managed to use the oil revenue better so as to improve the life expectancy od the population - they would have done more good than bad?
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    The problem is at the moment the Cuban economy is going down the drain due to the US embargo and the withdrawal of Soviet support. Castro arrests and imprisons his opponents, and also tortures and executes them. There is also dangerously low levels of private enterprise in the Cuban economy. The state tends to run things inefficiently compared to private companies.
    When Castro seized power from Batista in 1959, his movement had many liberals and nationalists in it who wanted to see Cuba retain good relations with the US and to see Cuba become prosperous. Castro forced out, exiled, imprisoned and tortured many of these liberals, to the deteriment of Cuba. Also remember that the US actually supported Castro' rebellion to restore efficient government to Cuba. Only when his regime turned communist did the US become enemies with Castro.
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    Of course you should also keep in mind that much of the progress Cuba has made is progress that other countries have made too. To put it down to Socialism is post hoc ergo propter hoc ...
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    Oh also - simple question - if Life in Cuba is so great - why do people pile themselves onto fruit crates and try to float to Miami?
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    (Original post by Northumbrian)
    the result that many Cubans are found in 2005 in countries all over the world bringing to impoverished communities the benefits that socialism has brought to them.
    The reason that Cubans are found all over the world in 2005 is because they are persecuted by Castro for their political beliefs and they would be imprisoned if they stayed. Castro also sent misery to South America by funding Marxist rebellions, ensuring brutal civil wars throughout the continent.
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    So if the US invaded say ... Venezuala - banned political democracy, banned free speech, set up a dictatorial regime, but managed to use the oil revenue better so as to improve the life expectancy od the population - they would have done more good than bad?
    It depends if this was popular with the people. Foreign imposed ideas and systems are not generally received well. But if an invasion was genuinely welcomed and the US used oil revenue to create social justice, it would be a good thing overall, yes.

    Of course you should also keep in mind that much of the progress Cuba has made is progress that other countries have made too. To put it down to Socialism is post hoc ergo propter hoc
    Not many countries have been able to redistribute wealth and create publically funded education and health systems like Cuba has.

    Oh also - simple question - if Life in Cuba is so great - why do people pile themselves onto fruit crates and try to float to Miami?
    Many of them are the previous elite who saw their wealth being distributed and didn't like it. Many simply want democracy, a just demand. This is about the overall reult of Castro's policies, not whether he has ever done anything wrong.

    Castro also sent misery to South America by funding Marxist rebellions, ensuring brutal civil wars throughout the continent.
    Remind me who the Contras were?
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    (Original post by Northumbrian)
    It depends if this was popular with the people. Foreign imposed ideas and systems are not generally received well. But if an invasion was genuinely welcomed and the US used oil revenue to create social justice, it would be a good thing overall, yes.
    The Cuban population currently favours the dictatorship? Hmmm and how do you know that? Why not allow them to vote for it then - considering they never have.

    (Original post by Northumbrian)
    Not many countries have been able to redistribute wealth and create publically funded education and health systems like Cuba has.
    Well lets see:

    Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, the EU 25, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand... hmm seems that quite a few have been able to create publicly funded education like Cuba... and have superior standards of living based on international tests.

    (Original post by Northumbrian)
    Many of them are the previous elite who saw their wealth being distributed and didn't like it. Many simply want democracy, a just demand. This is about the overall reult of Castro's policies, not whether he has ever done anything wrong.
    Thats simply not true. I know a number of people living in Miami who can over as refugees. NON of them were previously rich, and NON of them agree with the results that Castro has produced for Cuba.

    Basically your approach is that the end justifies the means.

    As such - one could use that to justify a number of things you probably wouldnt wish to.
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    (Original post by Lawz-)
    Oh also - simple question - if Life in Cuba is so great - why do people pile themselves onto fruit crates and try to float to Miami?
    In shark infested waters as well.....thought i'd add some drama
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    In shark infested waters as well.....thought i'd add some drama
    And squid.
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    (Original post by Lawz-)
    And squid.
    Yeah they do the same trying to get to southern Spain too...but i don't know how many sharks there are down that way....
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    Sorry - but I really must reitterate - the notion that all those trying to get out of Cuba is simply because they are pissed off at how rich they used to be, and that they do this in SPITE of a standard of living that is eviable is sheer fantasy.
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    Havana with its Spanish colonial architecture could have been very beautiful, but the population had a general disregard for properly taking care of anything - garbage was everywhere.

    Exactly if no one owns it no one will look after it. Just look at many council estates.
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    You forgot to mention how a quarter of the population gradually fled for the USA; how democratic political opponents and fruit-stealing children were executed; how human rights campaigners were kept in concentration camps for 20 years. I've heard the same Gulags are still used to this day.
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    A part of me wants the West to liberate Cuba, though of course this would cost us too much and we should not be forced to pay for someone else's liberation.
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    (Original post by objectivism)
    A part of me wants the West to liberate Cuba, though of course this would cost us too much and we should not be forced to pay for someone else's liberation.
    It should be interesting to see how Castro's successor acts once Castro kicks the bucket in a decade or so.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    It should be interesting to see how Castro's successor acts once Castro kicks the bucket in a decade or so.
    Castro is never going to kick the bucket! :eek: He's like a Giant. Stands tall, he will live forever to torment each and every US president that comes around. I don't really agree with much of what Cuba is doing, diplomacy is the best for a country, I never liked how the US handled situations dealing with the Caribbean in the past either. But i admire Castro nevertheless.

    - Dexnell
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    (Original post by Dexnell)
    Castro is never going to kick the bucket! :eek: He's like a Giant. Stands tall, he will live forever to torment each and every US president that comes around. I don't really agree with much of what Cuba is doing, dimplomacy is the best for a country, I never liked how the US handled situations dealing with the Caribbean in the past either. But i admire Castro nevertheless.

    - Dexnell
    Which aspect of Castro's rule do you admire the most? The continued impoverishment of his country? The murder of all opponents? The conditions that have led hundreds of thousands (if not more) to flee Cuba? The lack of free speech or even elementary democracy? The economic and military support for Marxist guerillas in South America and Africa? The willingness of Castro to start WWIII? I really do want to know.

    (Original post by Gwenyth!)
    hehe :rofl:

    but, just in case he does hit the bucket, he's ever so carefully grooming his brother as successor.
    His brother is not much younger than him.
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    Raul Castro, he was also involved in the revolution so long ago. Probably just as extreme as Castro, so the US will be in shambles for a while.
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    (Original post by Dexnell)
    Raul Castro, he was also involved in the revolution so long ago. Probably just as extreme as Castro, so the US will be in shambles for a while.
    Last time I checked, our trade embargo against Cuba is hurting Cuba just a bit more than it's harming us.
 
 
 
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