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International Issues
D E V E L O P M E N T : C U B A
Beyond Cigars
Cuba has lessons for all of us

   For all those who have made it a point that all the news about the progress of the third worldLessons to learn has to necessarily start and end with the comparative analysis of the GDP and its growth rates of India and China, here is an anecdote. An otherwise obscure (well according to mainstream media) and tagged 'destined to be doomed' Cuba has been ranked 50th in the UNDP HDR Index of 2006, in a list in which India have been ranked 126th (thanks to its dismal quality of healthcare and education) and China ranked 81st.

In fact, none of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations, around which global consulting giant Goldman Sachs has been creating major hype (that in the next 40 years combined, BRIC nations would be economically larger than G-6) have been ranked in the top 50 countries of the world. So forget overtaking the G-6, these countries should first attempt to learn some serious lessons on bettering the society from Cuba, a country with a life expectancy at birth of 75 years, a per capita expenditure on health at $252, with total health expenditure being 7.3% of GDP and an infant mortality rate, which is among the lowest in the region. If only the BRIC countries give a fraction of all the attention it gives to the predictions of American consulting giants and pseudo-development, these countries would have been far better place to live in.

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