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Chapters Twenty-six, Twenty-seven and Twenty-eight: Cuba Today, Summing Up Life and Revolution and After Fidel, What?

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A Spoken Autobiography; - Fidel Castro and Ignacio Ramonet

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World map of doctors per capita with Cuba having the lowest number

Cuba has forged ahead in providing disaster relief around the world. The Henry Reeve Contingent plans to have over 1,000 doctors at the ready to respond to any crisis anywhere in the world. In the area of first aid and under the ALBA principles, Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, over 100,000 Latin Americans will be trained and certified as doctors at no cost to the student.

Cuba's health care system is among the best in the world and certainly in the very top of all of the Americas. Cuba's infant mortality rate rivals that of Canada and the US and the life expectancy is almost as high as Sweden or Japan. When the revolution took over in 1959, the life expectancy in Cuba was 60. There are fifteen doctors today for every doctor that existed in 1959 and these physicians are equitably distributed throughout the country, not amassed in only the richest areas.

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Cuba has released tens of thousands of prisoners convicted of sabotage and terrorism against the Cuban people before their sentences had been completed. Cuba returned every single prisoner taken in the Bay of Pigs invasion to the United States. Yet, the man convicted of blowing up a Cuban civilian airplane in 1976, Luis Posada Cariles, remains free in the United States. The United States constantly accuses Cuba of incarcerating political prisoners, yet refuses to acknowledge the thousands inside its own jail system.

Foreign journals, foreign television stations and the entire internet are open to the Cuban people. They can read what the world has to say about Cuba and they can formulate their own opinion. There are local newspapers and other media outlets provided by all the various organs of society including the unions, the armed forces, all government organizations, and many citizen organizations. These groups are not run by media conglomerates and are not forced to print news only favorable to certain owners of their organizations such as Fox News, CNN and MSNBC in the US as well as other similar organizations around the world.

President Fidel Castro has personally fought against any and all attempts at a cult of personality settling in and has expressly forbidden any statues, monuments, schools, factories, hospitals, buildings or other artifacts from being erected or named in his honor. While there are many pictures of him in offices around the country, he forbids any official permanent process dedicated to his personage. In fact, he prefers being addressed simply as "Fidel" by the citizenry.

Today, the unilateral, bellicose role that the United States plays on the international stage needs to be curbed for the good of all nations. The United Nations needs to be able to control all of the various members through its current charter and the internationally binding treaties that they have signed. Having a rogue nation loose, especially one that has not only the largest world economy, but owns the world currency and is directly responsible for over half of global military spending, defeats the very purpose of the existence of the United Nations. [aut. note -- while I am completely against any institution founded by the Rockefellers and their cabal, I would agree with Fidel that having a superrogue state roaming free to unleash its tyranny on other nations is even worse].

Cuba throughout the years has been an outspoken critic of injustice wherever it occurs. Cuba was one of the first to send a condemning letter to Saddam Hussein in 1990 denouncing the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. Likewise, Cuba has strongly protested the illegal war in Iraq as well as the torture chamber set up at Guantanamo Bay, a piece of Cuban soil that the US refuses to liberate.

But ever since the Cuban Revolutionary War, President Fidel Castro has enjoyed a love/hate relationship with the world perhaps more than any other figure in modern history. He is loathed and condemned by my Western countries while being considered a modern hero in many third world countries. Yet, even though many people condemn Cuba's actions as being Fidel's Cuba, in reality, the executive branch yields little power in the country and he was but the figurehead of the Cuban government. The National Assembly of People's Power actually acts as the supreme parliamentarian power in Cuba, with the Council of State assuming that role when they aren't in session.

And the way that Cuba has met its dilemmas has been through the same group. They're the ones who decided to stop sugar cane planting in the early 1990s, for example, when oil prices had skyrocketed and sugar cane was at rock bottom and the Soviet Union had just collapsed. Some 70 different sugar cane centrals had to be shut down as a result. But Cuba reacts differently than other Western nations to such changing needs and rather than just firing the employees of the unneeded plantations, Cuba has actively pursued finding them another job or sending them back to school for additional training at government expense. During the entire transition time, the workers are given their previous salary by the government.

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The amount of transformation that President Castro has seen over these past 50 years is nothing short of staggering. It has turned out to be far greater than even his own dreams allowed him to contemplate in 1959. To begin with, his forces which numbered in only a few thousand at best, along with the will of the Cuban people, brought down a vicious tyrant who had more than 80,000 troops at his disposal and who was a complete puppet to the biggest superpower at the time.

One of Cuba's first acts was to turn the land over to the citizens. It then defeated the imperialist forces at the Bay of Pigs and has withstood countless continual threats from the US as well as all the chemical, biological and bomb attacks they backed.

Even though Cuba has been under a strict economic blockade for nearly 50 years, it still managed to end illiteracy, provide free education to 100% of all children, increase the overall educational level from 9th grade to 12th grade, and provide computers and computer technology to all schools. Cuba has brought its infant mortality rate down from 60 to 6, increased life expectancy by over 15 years, and brought its health care system to a level that can rival any nation in the world. Cuba has the highest number of physicians per capita in the world.

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60 year old Californian male - I've lived in four different countries, USA, Switzerland, Mexico, Venezuela - speak three languages fluently, English, French, Spanish - part-time journalist for Empower-Sport Magazine. I also write four (more...)

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