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Cuba 55 years after the triumph of the Revolution

By January 21, 2014No Comments

By Bernardo Guanche Hernández

Cubans celebrate the 55th anniversary of their Revolution on January 1, as they advance the social project they chose that same day in 1959 and while involved in a progressive update of their country’s socio-economic model. Despite the tightening of the US blockade, the global economic crisis and the systematic distortion of the Cuban reality in some media, Cuba advances in updating its economic and social model, and its prestige is increasing internationally.

Cuba has recorded important achievements over the past years, which are at the centre of the life of the people. In 2013, we reported the lowest infant and mother mortality rates ever in its history. This was the achievement of the island’s health system whose coverage is universal for all citizens and even benefits the nationals of other countries.

Cuba ranks among the 50 countries of the world with the largest number of people over 60 years of age, which is considered a result of the social policies of the state and its guarantee of citizen’s human rights.

Many United Nations millennium development goals have already been met by Cuba.

The 2013 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which considers the index of life expectancy, access to education and standard of living, ranks Cuba 59th in 187 countries, with high human development.

Measures are underway to provide greater autonomy to the socialist state enterprise.

The update of the country’s migration policy, the new labour code, the creation of the Mariel Special Development Zone, the leasing of lands, are some of the actions currently transforming Cuban economy.

Improving policy for foreign investment, which involves passing a new law next March in the National Assembly will encourage the production of goods and services to stimulate economic and social development.

The Mariel Special Development Zone is being developed, which represents an opportunity for Cuba to attract foreign investment and modern technology, expertise, forms and methods of management, and the expansion of new jobs for the people.

The experiment of non-agricultural cooperatives, have created domestic solutions and encouraged creativity while rescuing local and national traditions.

More than 400,000 Cubans who are self-employed are protected by the social security system, with guarantees for retirement.

Cuba guarantees free and universal access to public health to everyone. Public health constitutes a priority for the Cuban government. Public health uses 22 per cent of the running costs of the budgeted activity, which places Cuba among the countries with the highest state budget for this sector.

The social assistance programme will receive 341 million dollars from the state budget in 2014.

The Cuban government will increase financial support to ensure 22 million dentistry visits that will allow a better quality of life for the Cuban population. The public health budget is covered for 1,140,000 hospital admissions throughout the island in 2014.

Cuba continues to implement the Integral Plan for the Prevention and Control of Iron-Deficiency Anaemia in children and pregnant women.

Last year Cuba reached its lowest infant mortality rate in decades, 4.2 per 1,000 live births. This rate remains below 5, which ranks Cuba among the best countries in the world. The maternal mortality rate is at 21 per 100,000, also the lowest among all nations. Life expectancy at birth in Cuba is 77.9 years, a figure that places the country among the most advanced nations in the world.

The Immunization Programme ensures the widest immunization coverage in the world, allowing for the prevention of 13 diseases.

Last year, 300 corneal, 121 kidney, 17 liver, and 14 heart transplants were performed at no cost to patients.

In the field of education, Cuba is one of the few countries in the world that for half a century has been free of illiteracy and despite the ongoing economic crisis and US aggression through the blockade, has maintained free and universal access to education for all its citizens.

The UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report (2011) acknowledges Cuba’s high educational development, and ranks the country 14th in the world.

In 2014, 1,763,500 students will continue studies in preschool, primary and secondary education, and 229,800 in tertiary education in Cuba.

Cuba remains at the top of sports in the world, and ranked 15th at the London Olympics with 14 medals despite the theft of talent by developed countries.

The Cuban government implements measures to encourage artistic and literary creation, the preservation of cultural heritage, the defence of our identity and community work, as ways to enrich the cultural life and meet the spiritual needs of Cubans.

Cuba promotes a preventive approach to education and social reintegration to prevent crime. It is one of the safer countries to live in.

The Cuban prison system is characterised by its humanism and the implementation of various programmes for the reintegration of prisoners into society.

Cuba ranks fifth among all countries in terms of skills in the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), according to the 2012 International Telecommunication Union report, and in the midst of economic difficulties in 2014 we will continue to expand and increase the access to ICT in the country.

Cuba has started the migration to digital terrestrial television with a demonstration area in the Cuban capital, which will be gradually extended to the rest of the country. This project, which is to be completed in 2022, will increase the number of television programmes and include other services.

We are witnessing a new historic stage in the Cuban revolutionary process, which has been supported by the unity of this nation and by the resilience of its people to the hostility of successive US administrations.

Getting this far has not been easy. Cuba has withstood the longest blockade ever imposed on a country; a war-time siege that bans the island access to investment, credit lines, technology, food and even medications.

On this occasion, we should recall that more than 15 years of unjust imprisonment in US jails has not weakened the conviction and courage of the Cuban heroes Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando.

Faced with the current situation, the Cuban people is convinced that only unity around the Party and the Revolution will preserve the Cuban nation and our economic and social achievements. Socialism will continue to develop in Cuba, in a prosperous and sustainable manner, as stipulated by the social and economic guidelines which govern the ongoing changes on the island.


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.