While the pandemic is wreaking havoc in Cuba, the communist Castro dictatorship is spending little on healthcare and pouring cash into the military’s tourist operations. This is socialism in action.
Is Cuban public health being sacrificed for the benefit of the military’s businesses?
The Cuban State invests 57 times more in Tourism than in Health. DIARIO DE CUBA talked about this with economists Emilio Morales, Rafaela Cruz, Elías Amor, Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, and the sociologist Elaine Acosta.
In early September, when Cuba had been reporting dreadful Covid-19 pandemic figures for at least two months, and the health system was already overwhelmed, the state’s National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) recognized that the island’s authorities had invested 57 times more in Tourism than in Health in the last six-months.
Specifically, Business Services, Real Estate and Rentals (a category encompassing Tourism) accounted for 45.5% of the state’s total investments, compared to just 3.1% dedicated to Agriculture, 0.8% to Public Health, and 0.6% to Science and Innovation.
The figures are shocking, especially at a time when the tourism market is practically at a standstill, but the construction of hotels has never stopped in Cuba, even while hospitals have been unable to respond to the demands of the pandemic, and the shutdown of the country’s only oxygen-producing plant caused yet-to-be-determined number of deaths.
Faced with such a situation, DIARIO DE CUBA asked the economists Emilio Morales, Rafaela Cruz, Elías Amor and Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, as well as the sociologist Elaine Acosta , a question: is the Cuban government mortgaging the future of public health for the benefit of the military, which controls tourism?
A lack of transparency, political decisions and an absent state
In the opinion of Emilio Morales, the president of the Havana Consulting Group, the extreme difference between tourism and health investments is due “to the lack of transparency regarding how the country’s finances are managed.”
“It is obvious that this dramatic disparity in the investments carried out in the aforementioned sectors of the economy is beyond the control of the Government itself, which indicates that the criminal group that controls Cuba handles the country’s financial capital however it deems fit, in its own interest,” the economist said.
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