8 thoughts on “Cuban Healthcare Smoke and Mirrors”

  1. But you don’t understand that Castro’s benevolence does not limit itself to the human species: it embraces all of God’s creatures, especially bovines. This is the world’s first Bovine Maternity Hospital, graciously ceded to these now almost mythic creatures by Castro himself.

    The cow is the Cuban unicorn; no one has seen much less eaten one in decades. In fact Castro has even instituted laws to protect cows that rival anything which India ever adopted, and there, of course, the cow is considered sacred.

    In Cuba cows enjoy greater rights than Cubans. Because all cows are owned by the State (i.e. Castro), it is a crime punishable by 10 years in prison to possess or consume beef, since the only way to acquire it is to steal a cow. Beef, of course, does not figure in the Cuban diet because it is not on the Cuban ration card: it never has been. Even milk is rationed and limited to children under 7. Cows, after all, need their milk to feed their own offspring. The recognition of this fact is perhaps the most profound and uber-humanistic innovation that Castro ever made in his life. That it benefits bovines and not humans is an insignificant objection and shows only the debased homocentric outlook of most humans. Castro understands that it is only by embracing the unhumans that we can show our own humanity.

    It has not been easy to work this miraculous transformation in Cuban ethics and mores. Before the Revolution Cubans were the largest consumers of beef in the Western Hemisphere after Argentina and Uruguay. But like all his social experiments this one was eventually embraced by his grateful people.

    Of all the bovines that Castro has known in his life, one in particular, the beloved Ubre Blanca (White Udder), was his favorite. She was a biologically engineered miniature cow that was his personal pet. Supposedly, she produced as much milk as a regular sized cow. Unfortunately, she was sui generis and could not be replicated. When she died Castro almost declared national mourning. He did cause a statue of his favorite cow to be erected. Cuba is probably the only country in the world to erect a statue to a cow; yet another first for the Cuban Revolution. It was Castro’s fond hope that every Cuban home would some day have a miniature cow instead of a cat or dog. This dream was partially realized as the cats and dogs disappeared into the olla podrida. The miniature cows never materialized. Well, it’s no sin to dream glandly and fail in the pursuit of a glorious dream.

    When all is said and done Castro will be remembered as the greatest “president” for Cuban cows, and that is legacy enough for any man.

  2. LOL 🙂 Manuel!

    Actually, I thought this photo shows a socialist state-organized protest of cows against “La Leche” league. Where else, but in front of the Maternity hospital! Ah! The rotten fruits of the rotten revolution, indeed!

    I wish you well 🙂 Melek

    “The girl who can’t dance says the band can’t play.” ~ Yiddish Proverb

  3. Reply of the Cuban Cows

    You must really be crazy, Manuel A. Tellechea. You sicken me and all Cuban cows by your shameless adulation of Castro’s bovine policy. If life is so good for Cubans cows why don’t you dress as a cow and come to live in Cuba? I thought not.

    Before the Revolution, there were almost more cows in Cuba than there were people. Now, we are all but extinct, except for the herd that the Maximum Ass keeps for his own table. And let me tell you, before his late beshittedness, no one in Cuba ate more beef than the caballo.

    Don’t you get it? The guy actually tried to shrink us literally. He not only took away our rights but wanted to turn us into “mini cows.” The bulls also had their own objections on that score. Yeah, Fidel gave us universal health care and taught us to read and write, but what good is being literate when we are denied the right to immigrate?

    Now, the pigs in Israel, they have it good.

  4. knoblock:

    Actually, Cuba is flooded with cheap Chinese condoms. But these are not what Cuban men need and much less what Cuban bulls need. However, when you come into contact with “Cuban prostitutes” be sure to use them yourself for their sake.

  5. In case anyone thought I had made any of this up, let me assure you that this satire is based on facts.

    I wanted to google a picture of the marble statue of Ubre Blanca, but found instead a series of articles detailing Cuba’s quixotic efforts to clone the legendary cow 20 years after its death.

    Te following article is not a satire but is written in deadly earnest:

    Still a Dream to Clone Miracle Cow

    By Dalia Acosta
    Inter Press Service (IPS)
    January 31, 2007

    Cuba continues trying — unsuccessfully — to produce a repeat of the mythical cow that reportedly produced more than 100 liters of milk in just one day.

    HAVANA – The unlimited multiplication of Ubre Blanca is the dream hounding a team of scientists in Cuba, bent on cloning the celebrated cow, who in January 1982 produced 109.5 liters of milk in a single day.

    A month later, the famous animal, belonging to the Cuban F-2 Holstein-Cebú species, broke another world record, by reaching a total output of 24,268.9 liters of milk in 305 days.

    Ubre Blanca’s death in 1985 did not leave her name in oblivion. A white marble statue pays tribute to her achievements, which are also recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    “How could I ever forget? That cow appeared every day in the newspapers. It seemed we were going to have many others like her,” Aurelio Ponce, a 43-year-old schoolteacher, told Tierramérica.

    But Ubre Blanca never made it beyond serving as a symbol. Cuban livestock production continues to lag behind the food demands of the island’s 11.2 million people.

    For years, scientists have been attempting to reproduce the prodigious cow through the cloning of embryos based on frozen tissue samples from the late Ubre Blanca.

    José Morales, director of the governmental Animal Improvement Research Center, said earlier this year that the Ubre Blanca cloning project “is very important” to the president of this socialist-run island, Fidel Castro.

    Morales acknowledged in 1999 that the possibility existed to clone the prodigious animal, though pointed out that the 14 years the tissue samples had been preserved meant that success cannot be assured.

    That same year, Fidel Oviedo, an expert with the state-run Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, revealed that local laboratories had obtained embryos using cloning techniques and were preparing “to transfer them to cows”. But it was not confirmed that the embryos came from cells of Ubre Blanca.

    The reproductive method of cloning allows the production of an embryo using a cell from a single adult — it does not require fertilization of an ovum by a sperm –, by extracting the cellular nucleus and introducing it into another cell. The result is an individual with identical genetic material to that of the cell’s origin.

    The first successful cloning procedure, which produced the sheep Dolly, took place in 1997, carried out by scientists at Scotland’s Roslin Institute.

    However, the method continues to face numerous roadblocks. Oviedo cited the premature aging experienced by Dolly. “We have to wonder if the cloned calves would be able to produce as much milk as their progenitor (Ubre Blanca), or if by age eight they would already have reached old age.”

    Cuba had hoped to produce its first cloned animal by 2001, but has yet to achieve that objective.

    Brazil became the Latin American pioneer in this field, when the first cloned calf was born in March 2001.

    Meanwhile, milk continues to be relatively scarce in Cuba. It is rationed and sold in Cuban pesos for children under age seven and for pregnant women. The rest of the population can only obtain milk by paying for it with hard to come by dollars.

    According to the official statistical almanac, in 1989 the country imported 38 percent of its dairy requirements from the European socialist bloc. After the 1991 downfall of the Soviet Union, imports stopped. And milk production on this Caribbean island fell from 1.51 billion liters in 1985 to 590 million liters in 1995.

    http://www.tierramerica.org/2002/1014/iacentos.shtml

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