Rerecent criticism of Cuba’s human rights record by western countries was portrayed by the first world media with vehemence. What was quietly and quickly forgotten and ignored was the phenomenal gain that the Cuban system has made for her citizens.
The specific complaint against Cuba to the UN Human Rights Council relates to Cuban legislation, arbitrary detentions, torture and unfair summary proceeding against civil rights activists and journalists. But quite pugnaciously, these criticisms against the regime seem more of a conjurer’s delight than having any relevance; especially after analysing the UNDP ranks and Cuba’s initiative towards better living.
Cuba occupies the 52nd rank in UNDP’s Human Development Report. Compared to other ‘developed’ economies of the world, it fairs remarkably well in terms of poverty alleviation, life expectancy and education for all. Cuba prides itself as the only country in the world to declare ‘Water as a Right’ and not as a commodity. It must be recalled that Cuba succeeded in providing safe drinking water to more than 95% of its population. It remains committed to ‘education for all’ and the teacher student ratio of 2:25 in Cuban classrooms remains the best in the world. Cuba also has one of the best healthcare systems in the whole of Americas and its doctors are known to compete with the best of the world. Even economically, Cuba has successfully withstood US sponsored embargoes to register a stunning 11% GDP growth for three consecutive years now. This criticism then seems to be one more US strategy to shake Cuban resistance. With Fidel Castro temporarily out of action, it is his brother Raul who has to stand up to prove the might of his country and people... and he has the backing of his whole nation; and of ours too!