Fidel Castro’s socialist revolution in 1959 promised Cubans they would live better and have more abundance than any capitalist country. 64 years later, nearly 90% of the population in Cuba is living in extreme poverty.
Cuban Observatory of Human Rights: 88% of Cubans live in extreme poverty
The Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH) says that almost 90% of Cubans live in extreme poverty, a 13% increase from 2022, according to the results of its Sixth Report on the State of Social Rights in Cuba.
Analyzing the total income of Cubans, and following the guideline of 1.90 dollars per day to determine the poverty threshold for a household of three members, 88% of Cubans live in extreme poverty, according to the study by the OCDH.
The Observatory also points out that both the food crisis and inflation “have impacted the economy of the majority of households in the last year.”
The research conducted by OCDH, which included 1,354 personal interviews in 75 municipalities across all provinces of Cuba, confirms “the gravity” of social rights on the island, “due to the structural and accumulated crises and the lack of political will on the part of the authorities” to make the changes the country needs. The survey was conducted between July 12 and August 7, 2023.
The same study indicates that concern about the food crisis has risen five points compared to the previous year, reaching 70%, followed by issues such as wages (50%) and inflation (34%). The results also indicate “a deterioration” in the services provided by the Cuban Public Health system.
Almost nine out of ten Cubans (86%) are critical of the economic and social management of the Government, according to the OCDH. Similarly, 68% of citizens view the Government’s performance as “very negative” (17 points higher than the previous year).
Other results of the research conducted by the Observatory indicate that “a majority” of Cuban citizens (over 80%) believe public investment in education, housing, agriculture and food, and public health and hospitals “is insufficient” (in food and health issues it exceeds 90%).
For example, according to the study, 15% of the population has taken expired medicines and 32% of those surveyed who needed medicines couldn’t obtain them, either due to their cost (12%) or their scarcity (20%). “Those who obtained medications did so through churches or charitable organizations, through relatives abroad, or through other means. Only 6% purchased them from the health system’s pharmacies,” the report specifies.
The Observatory’s survey also revealed that 62% of the respondents “have problems even buying the most essential things to survive,” 11 percentage points higher than what was recorded in the report from the previous year. Almost half of the respondents (48%) stated that they had stopped eating due to lack of money or resources to acquire food.