posted on 06/04/2021 06:00
By AMBASSADOR PEDRO MOZON – Consul General of Cuba in São Paulo
The history of relations between Cuba and the United States after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 is full of strong antagonisms and real paradoxes. On the one hand, there is a dismal virtual Cuba, which was built by the powerful neighbors of the north and which are disseminated continuously by major media outlets and, on the other hand, real Cuba, which is enjoyed by Cubans, many friends and tourists who visit us.
I could speak profusely about this topic, since it has been more than 62 years of aggression against this small island in the Caribbean, whose only sin was to obstinately cling to its independence, sovereignty and self-determination.
For this reason, in this article, the qualifications promoted by the United States against some attributes of the Cuban reality are synthetically opposed.
USA says: “In Cuba there is no democracy”.
Cuba says: “The people really participated in the government of the country”. This is demonstrated in:
– In the elections, the population elects its neighborhood representatives without party intervention; they do not matter ideology, political position, race, sex and sexual inclination. Vote more than 85%, without police presence, or violence. Children “protect” the polls and are elected by biographies, not promises;
– The people have identified themselves and are the protagonists of the policies that distinguish the country, so in Cuba one can speak of an authentic government of the people;
– Cubans participated massively in literacy, defense of the country, periodic vaccinations and protection against climate disasters, etc., and demonstrations in support of the government and against the blockade are historic.
– The population is consulted on government, economy and society. Multiple critical opinions are embedded in state policies. A recent show was the Constitution of 2019. The people contributed thousands of opinions to the project and were approved by more than 86% in a popular referendum, in a secret ballot and facing an antagonistic campaign by the USA;
– Cubans participated massively in multiple solidarity missions. Hundreds of thousands helped Angola’s independence; more than 400 thousand doctors and the Henry Reeve contingent collaborated in many countries against the covid-19 and in the aid against natural disasters. Cuba promoted international literacy projects;
– The people support and are proud of the decision to offer free medical care to more than 26,000 children infected in the Chernobyl nuclear accident and the existence of the Latin American School of Medicine, which trained millions of doctors in the poor world;
USA says: “Cuba does not respect human rights”.
Cuba says “Cuban human rights are not ethereal, they are tangible, they benefit the majority of the people”. This is precisely what holds them together in support of the system and the revolutionary government.
– In Cuba, legal and structural discrimination against women and racism disappeared;
– Medical care and education are free and universal. Maternal and child mortality is among the lowest in the world, life expectancy is one of the highest, the level of HIV is very low and is not transmitted from mother to child;
– Despite the blockade, there is a very low prevalence of malnutrition. There is no severe child malnutrition; there are no adults, nor children living on the streets;
It is a very safe country with minimal levels of delinquency, as the critical polarization of wealth is absent, and levels of education and culture are high;
– Although the people are very rebellious, there are no popular demonstrations of relevance against the government, nor police repression and torture, which is significant;
The US blockade hinders access to scientific and technological resources and should stop scientific and technological development in Cuba.
Right, but, paradoxically, scarcity spurred Cubans’ initiative, thanks to high levels of education, state policy and national pride. Too much has been done with too little. Proven, especially, in education, medicine, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
That is why, even with the blockade, many important Cuban medicines are unique in the world, against cancer, hepatitis, meningitis, diabetes, vitiligo, etc. Now Cuba has five vaccine candidates against covid-19, two of them in the final stage. The people will be vaccinated in 2021 and we will be able to export the medicine to other countries.
Finally, it is worth asking whether the Biden administration will be able to act with humanism and common sense in relation to Cuba.
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks