One of the reasons that the World excuses castro’s atrocities in Cuba is that they assume that when he took control of the island back in 1959, Cuba was a backwater, underdeveloped banana republic with one school house, one hospital, 10,000 casinos and a Million prostitutes all run by Meyer Lansky and Batista.
But, that is not the case. And Cuban exiles aren’t victims of selective memory brought on by nostalgia.
In fact , castro took Cuba from its Renaissance back to the Dark Ages where it still is today.
I know you’re tired of reading about it and we’re tired of writing it, but I’m providing a link to a great –fact based- article in the Latin Business Chronicle to keep setting the record straight, How (f)idel Ruined Cuba’s Economy :
Even worse: Cuba today is far worse than it was before the 1959 revolution that swept Castro to power. Adjusted for inflation, the GDP per capita of Cuba is now only five percent of the one enjoyed in 1958, according to calculations by Salazar-Carrillo.
In 1957, Cuba’s real income per capita (national income divided by population) was $378, or fourth, in Latin America, according to Eric Baklanoff, a research professor emeritus of economics, finance and legal studies at The University of Alabama. (See Cuba Before Fidel). Even Spain ($324) and Portugal ($212), failed to reach Cuba’s level, he points out. Meanwhile, real wages in Cuba were higher than any country in the Western Hemisphere, excepting the United States and Canada, Baklanoff points out
On the castro-Care Myth:
And contrary to the widespread assumptions today, Cuba also fared well in education and health before the revolution, according to a groundbreaking overview by Norman Luxenburg, a professors emeriti at the University of Iowa. “Pre-Castro Cuba was defintely not a Third World nation in the commonly accepted sense,” he wrote in an article in Encounter magazine 24 years ago. “By whatevermeasure used, whether it is the number of students in higher and secondary education, the number of physicians per capita, the infant-mortality rate, the gross national product in relation to population, or number of telephones, television sets, or cars, the Cuba of the late 1950’s was far ahead of any other nation in the Caribbean and the Third World.”
According to Luxenburg’s investigation:
• In 1958, Cuba’s 6.6 million inhabitants had more than twice as many physicians as the 19 million residents of teh other Caribbean nations combined.
• The number of medical doctors in Cuba had grown from 3,100 in 1948 to 6,400 in 1958. The ratio in the ten-year period had gone from one doctor for evry 1,650 persons to one per 1,021. But between 1960 and 1976, the number of doctors relative to population declined slightly, while increasing very greatly in the other Caribbean nations.
• The pre-Castro rate of 32 infant deaths per 1,000 births was far not only better than any other Latin American nation, but also better than that of Germany, Italy, Spain and a host od developed countries. The rate worsened during the first decade of Castro, before improving. Yet, countries like Spain, germany and Italy now have lower rates.
• Cuba had a life expectancy of 61.8 years before the revolution. That compares with 43 and less for some Latin American nations and in the 30s for several African nations in teh period 1955-60.
Luxenburg disputes the conception that Cuba’s health care improved significantly under Fidel Castro as opposed to before he took power or if someone else had ruled Cuba. “To use the term “underdeveloped” to apply in terms of health both to Cuba and to these other [African] nations is stretching it somewhat,” Luxenburg commented on the pre-revolution state of Cuba’s health system. “With a steady increase in the ratio of physicians to population, with new treatments, improved medicines, greater hygienic awareness, increased medical knowledge, and such factors as refrigeration and education, it is only natural to suppose that there would have continued to be significant improvements in Cuban public health, and that this would be the case of who controlled the government.”
Read the Article here. It gets better.