"The US blockade on Cuba proclaimed after Fidel Castro's revolution ousted Batista's regime is 50 years old this 2010. Its stated objective has been to help the Cuban people to attain democracy but a U.S. Senate report from 2009 concluded that the unilateral blockade on Cuba has failed.
"Despite the blockade, Cuba has achieved better healthcare results than most Latin American countries and comparable with those of most of the developed nations. Cuba's average life expectancy is the highest (78.6 years) and it also has the highest density of medical doctors per capita 59 doctors to 10,000 people and the lowest mortality rate for children under one year of age (5.0 per 1,000 life births) and infant mortality (7.0 per 1,000 live births) among the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
"In 2006, the Cuban government allocated about $355 per capita for healthcare.
"The annual healthcare cost assigned to an American citizen that same year was $6,710. Cuba also assigned less money to healthcare than most European countries. But, the low costs of healthcare do not explain Cuba's successes, which could be attributed to a greater emphasis on prevention and primary care that the island has been cultivating during the American commercial blockade.
"Cuba has one of the most advanced primary care systems of the world. The education of its population in disease prevention and healthcare promotion has made the Cubans less dependent on medical products to keep the population healthy. The opposite happens in the United States, which is highly dependent on medical provisions and technologies to keep its population healthy, but at a very high economic cost.
"Cuba has the highest rates of vaccination in the world as well as the highest number of births assisted by expert healthcare workers. The clinical care provided in doctors' offices, policlinics and the largest regional and national hospitals are free of charge for patients.
"On March 2010, the U.S. Congress introduced a bill to strengthen healthcare systems and increase the number of healthcare experts sent to developing countries" "Cuba continues sending doctors to work in some of the poorest nations on the planet, something it started doing in 1961.
"Given the recent support for healthcare reform in the United States, the possibility exists of learning some good lessons from Cuba on how to develop a really universal healthcare system with an emphasis on primary care. The adoption of some of Cuba's most successful healthcare policies could be a first step toward the normalization of relations. The U.S. Congress could instruct the Medicine Institute to study the successes of Cuba's healthcare system and how to start a new era of cooperation between American and Cuban scientists."
On a related matter, the Tribuna Latina news website recently published an article on the new Immigration Law in Arizona:
"According to a survey published by the CBS network and The New York Times, 51% believe the law is an appropriate focus in relation to immigration, while 9% believe that it should go even further. Opposing them, 36% think that Arizona has gone too far.
"Two out of every three Republicans are backing the measure while just 38% of Democrats say that they are in favor of the law.
"On the other hand, one out of every two recognizes that, as a consequence of this regulation, it is highly probable that persons from certain racial or ethnic groups will be detained more frequently than others, and 78% recognize that it will pose more burdens for the police.
"At the same time, 70% consider it probable,
as a consequence of this measure, that the number of illegal residents and the
arrival of new immigrants in the country will be reduced.
On Tuesday, May 6, 2010, under the headline "Arizona: a pretentious death from hunger," an article by journalist Vicky PelÃ¡ez was published in Argenpress, which begins by recalling a phrase by Franklin D. Roosevelt:
"Remember, always remember, that we are all descendants of immigrants and revolutionaries."
It is such a well-argued document that I do not wish to conclude this article without including it: