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A Few Cuban Resources

in support of Michael Stowell's article

by Swans

May 14, 2001



U.S. blockade/embargo against Cuba: 40 years and counting...
Loss of Former Soviet Union aid to Cuba: 10 years and counting...


Mortality Rate

Cuba 1990 infant mortality rate: 11 per 1,000 births.
Cuba 1999 infant mortality rate: 7 per 1,000 births.

For comparison:

Argentina 1999 infant mortality rate: 18 per 1,000 births.
Chile 1999 infant mortality rate: 10 per 1,000 births.
Costa Rica 1999 infant mortality rate: 12 per 1,000 births.
Average Latin American and Caribbean region 1999 infant mortality rate: 30 per 1,000 births.
USA 1999 infant mortality rate: 7 per 1,000 births.

School Enrollment

Cuba 1990 Net primary enrollment for both girls and boys: 92%
Cuba 1997 Net primary enrollment for both girls and boys: 100%

For comparison:

Same as most developed (industrialized) nations
Higher than the USA
The most advanced Latin American countries: 80 to 90%

Illiteracy rate

Cuba 1999 average youth (age 15-24) illiteracy rate: Zero percent

For comparison:

Latin America and the Caribbean: 7%
USA: If one can help Swans and find the official US illiteracy rate, we'll be grateful. The US Department of Education does not seem to know!
In the USA, 20% of adults nationwide are considered functionally illiterate but this figure is deceptive as it accounts for the entire population (not just the 15-24 age bracket). In addition one should be careful when comparing a nation like Cuba that is quite homogeneous and the USA with her large numbers of foreign immigration.
You may want to check these external pages to form your own opinion about US illiteracy statistics:
http://www.232.org.uk/uspolitics/poverty.htm (comparison with other industrialized countries)
http://www.oecd.org/statistics/ - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
http://nces.ed.gov/naal/faq/faq.asp#13 - US DoE, Discussion on illiteracy

We did not say it

"I think Cuba has done -- and everybody would acknowledge -- a great job on education and health."

"I have no hesitation in acknowledging that they've done a good job, and it doesn't embarrass me to do it. ...We just have nothing to do with them in the present sense, and they should be congratulated on what they've done."

--World Bank President James Wolfensohn

"It is in some sense almost an anti-model."

--Eric Swanson, the programme manager for the Bank's Development Data Group

"Six for every 1,000 in infant mortality - the same level as Spain - is just unbelievable,"

"You observe it, and so you see that Cuba has done exceedingly well in the human development area."

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

--Jo Ritzen, World Bank Vice President for Development Policy


The sun can't be blockaded, by Lilliam Riera

Campaign to End the U.S. Blockade of Cuba

End the Embargo of Cuba, by Wm Leler

Background on the U.S. Blockade Against Cuba

Some General Resources

Granma Internacional - Digital Edition:
Spanish Editon
English Edition
French Edition
Portuguese Edition
German Edition

El Economista de Cuba ONLINE (in Spanish)

Cubasolar (in Spanish)

Supporting Sustainable Development in Cuba

Comité de Solidarité Tiers-Monde de Trois-Rivières (in French)

Électrification de 60 cliniques à Cuba (in French)

In parting

"It is a system, which on the one hand, is extremely productive in social areas and which, on the other, does not give people opportunities for more prosperity."
--Jo Ritzen, World Bank Vice President for Development Policy

In other words, it is a system that favors the whole (human beings and nature) instead of the few. Definitely a system to be hated!

"There are always persons who have the right to doubt. We have the right to believe in a humanity which does not exclude, that does not marginalize, in which people have duties but also have the same rights." --Abdelaziz Bouteflika (President of Algeria)


The Cuban "system" may not be perfect but opening one's eyes and mind to it would not hurt... Don't you think?


Note: The sources for this page come from the various cited Web sites as well as an IPS article of April 30, 2001, by Jim Lobe, Learn from Cuba, Says World Bank, and the World Development Indicators 2001 (World Bank). Resources compiled by Gilles d'Aymery.


Michael Stowell's article: The Remarkable Mother of Invention.


Published May 14, 2001
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