Defending Cuba

Another one of those Guardian pieces about Cuba (not all that bad a one actually) and I spot this in the comments.

No Rory, for its achievements against the odds the revolution is respected. A better life expectancy than the vastly richer US is no mean feat, not to mention the educational methods which are now stamping out illiteracy across Latin America.

This is one of those things that always slightly puzzles me. Why such empahsis placed upon literacy in a place where the Government decides what you might be allowed to read or write?

7 comments on “Defending Cuba

  1. Are we meant to believe that 77.08. those of us who have witnessed the New Labour way with numbers?

  2. you can run the check on gapminder.org – since 1968, the USA and Cuba have been tracking very closely in terms of life-expectancy, although up until 1991, the infant mortality rate in Cuba was higher. On both measures, the UK tracks the US very closely. However, Cuba does a lot better than a country such as Venezuela. Costa Rica on the other hand is very close to performing along Cuban lines. If you plot those 2 variables against time, all four countries rise to the top-left hand corner of the chart – showing a trend of incresing life expectancy and reducing infant mortality. When you add Russia to the mix, you can see a country with higher infant mortality and lower life expectancy than the other four countries

  3. Re infant mortality: Cuba essentially cooks the books by not counting the deaths of premature babies in the figures. The US, on the other hand, goes to heroic, and often unsuccessful lengths to keep such babies alive.

  4. “not to mention the educational methods which are now stamping out illiteracy across Latin America.”

    Che Guevara did a lot to stamp out illiteracy, mostly by executing large numbers of peasants.

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