In recent years the U.S blockade has taken the shape of a frontal attack on the nutritional and health needs of the cuban peole.The tiny Island is fi ghting back drawing strength from it's abundant reserves of humanitarianism sprit of independence and self respect.if we look back, when the revolutionaries took control of the government in 1959, Cuba had one milloin people who were illiterate and over a milloin were semi-illiterate. After the revolution illiteracy was wiped out in record time.now cuba has the highest literacy rate in whole Latin America.
Stress was laid on collective success rather than on individual material success as motivation for hard work in academics.Above all, the develpoment of a SENSE OF BELONGING TO CUBA AS A REVOLUTIONARY SOCIETY was emphasised. These efforts have strengthed the people's endurance and resolve to put up with enormous diffculties - such as milk,oil, fueland wheat-and still not yielding to the starvation blockade of the U.S
Cuba's National health system- a network of institutions providing entirely free coverage to 100 percent of the population- and the discoveries made to fight to many diseases are amazing feats for a new born rvolutionary state that had to start from scratch due t desertion of half of it's ndoctors , who were wooed away by the wolf- the U.S. Attempts were made to drain the Island of professionals in every field but Fidel Castro and cubans withstood the challenge. Now Cuba's infant mortality rate at 7.1 per 1000 births is way ahead of neighbouring Mexico's 42.It's ahead of even U.S'S 7.5 per 1000 births.
Even the head of the World Health Organisation(WHO) HIROSHI Nakagima, called upon the countries whose"health care systems are trapped in a process of deterioation to study carefully the Cuban experience and the rreasons why Cuba has had so much sucess". He said " Top among the reasons has been the political commitment of the government". The source of this commitment is the PERCEPTION OF FIDEL CASTRO THAT THE HEALTH IS NOT A COMMODITY TO BE SOLD WITH A PRICE TAG, BUT AIS A BASIC SERVICE TO WHICH ALL CITIZENS HAVE EQUAL ENTITLMENT.
It's the health system of Cuba that the U.S is hel-bent on destroying through it's several acts- latest among them being the Helms-Burton act, restricting the activities of other countries doing business with Cuba. Children born in this beleagured little Island that reels under a 37 year old "WAR WITHOUT BOMBS" far incomparably better than the six million children under the age of six in U.S -who live in extreme poverty.
The gains made by the Cuban workers after the revolution had been phonomenal.In a world plaqued by unemployment in developing as well as develpoed countries ,Cuba offers higher levels of pension to those willing to work after retirement. The Cuban constitution assures protection to every worker who is unable to work due to illness, disablity, age ,which is seldom been able to observe in other developing countries. the gender gap in employment and politics has greatly narrowed.forty percentof labour force consists of women. Very surprisingly 53% of advanced scientific workers and doctors are women!
"Violence is as american as apple pie" said a militant black american once. Violence is built into aall structures in the U.S from family to the state. Gun lobby is so stong that a law for the compulsary licensing of fire rms couldn't be passed resulting in proliferation of godfathers and gangsters.But believe it or not .ALL THE CUBA PEOPLE ARE ARMED. what is the impact there?Are the people killing each other?Are the roads, bars and casinos are unsafe for women? Definitely Not.
Fidel Castro asks "what would become of Cuban government if the people weren't armed?It couldn't exist". Then he goes on to say"what would happen in europe if the workers, students and all other sectors that are constantly repressed politically and economically were armed?A HOLOCAUST...nowere else in the world are people and government so closely identified as in our country... this is eloquent proof of the essence of democracy ..which can exist only in a fair social system.
Even the candidates for elections are nominated by the people of a neighbourhood not by the political party.New proposals are widely debated at worksites and other places at diferent levels and the insight provided by every individual benefits the government.Such a process activates the people politically giving them a sense of power and control over their own life and thus preventing alienation of the people from the power structure, a phonomenon common in most countries.
Most striking of all is the cuban people's grit and egalitarian sprit which was evident in every aspect of their life.Cuba's eminent scientist Dr.Alvarez's following words encapsulate the feeling of every Cuban."contrasting what success means to americans- a better car and a larger house and to Cubans-GREATER SOCIAL RECOGNITION and a PRIDE IN THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE.
He says that the scientific community "...is not ashamed of getting to work by bus or bicycle or living through the same difficulties as the rest of our people.Cubans have avoided the falling in to the mortal sin of poor countries...attempting to imitate the consumer society created as a model by the U.S led developed countries.Neither did we commit the error of pouring our scant resources in to extravagant articles or luxary cars".
If not the enjoyment of a high material standard of living ,what else serves to keep the Cuban morale high? THE SATISFACTION OF LIVINFG IN A COUNTRY WIHOUT POLITICAL CORRUPTION WITHOUT DRUGS,WITHOUT ILLITERACY, WITHOUT POVERTY FULFILS THEIR ASPIRATIONS.
Cuba holds many lessons for the world.It's a pity that those who would
listen are getting fewer in this unipolar world.
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