By Elio Delgado Legon

Cuban doctors training for their Ébola fighting mission in West Africa.

HAVANA TIMES – Cuba is a small archipelago in the Caribbean, which the world hardly spoke of before 1959. It was one of the poorest, most underdeveloped, illiterate and unhealthy countries in the world, which was only any good for foreign agricultural companies (mostly US) for 60 years, who made great profits at the expense of Cuban peasants’ hunger and misery. However, when the Revolution triumphed and came into power, everything began to change.

What used to be a country of illiterates living in complete underdevelopment, is today a State that is making steady progress towards development and winning a reputation worldwide for its seriousness and breakthroughs in different fields, in spite of a strict blockade which makes even the simplest bank transfer anywhere in the world difficult.

Educated in internationalism, without selfishness and offering those who need it a little of what we have, the Cuban people’s solidarity efforts and altruism have ensured us the friendships of most countries. From the gratitude of African nations for the role Cuba played in the way history played out on this continent, to its medical collaborations in over 165 countries, Cuba has sowed friendships, which has immeasurable value.

When I talk about Cuba’s “reputation”, I’m thinking about the high esteem and comments from countries where Cuba’s excellent medical services are offered, comments made to the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization about the Cuban health system. It still isn’t as perfect as we would like as the US blockade makes it hard for us to get a hold of cutting-edge technology, but still, UN officials use Cuba as an example within the underdeveloped world and beyond.

When there was an Ebola outbreak in three countries in Western Africa, the World Health Organization turned to Cuba asking it to collaborate in wiping out the virus, which threatened to spread to other parts of the world. This is an obvious testament to the great reputation that Cuban medicine now has.

Scientific research centers in our country have had astonishing results, developing unique drugs and vaccines of their kind in the world and others which, haven’t been the first, but are far superior to those that already exist. This consolidates the reputation Cuban science and its research facilities have which Bush’s plan to restore capitalism on the island said had to be closed down, because an underdeveloped country couldn’t have these kinds of centers as they resemble progress.

Every scientific breakthrough on the island, and those that are in progress (which is what we are working towards) is a result of progress made in Cuban education, which wiped out illiteracy in 1961 and has a universal, free high-quality education system, which has been recognized by high-ranking UNESCO officials. Plus, Cuba has worked with other nations to erradicate illiteracy and to reduce it in others, even developed nations, which has also contributed to securing Cuba’s prestige in this field.

Closely-linked to our education system, we can also say that great headway has been made in all art forms, especially music, which has great prestige worldwide. Training to become a musician in any capitalist country costs a lot of money, which is why the majority of talent is lost because they can’t afford to pay for their studies; however, it doesn’t cost a dime in Cuba. This is why there are Cuban musicians working in countless countries and they are highly-prized.

I have only mentioned some of the points that have contributed to Cuba’s great reputation in the world, but I could also add the political point, because when a Cuban leader speaks at an international evemt, they do with truth in the palm of their hand and they say what many would like to. That’s why Cuba’s reputation is on the rise worldwide.


Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

19 thoughts on “Cuba’s Reputation on the Rise Worldwide

  • How about the way people are treated in Cuba? I too Bonnie am disturbed by the treatment of animals in Cuba and think several factors are in play.
    Firstly the Spanish colonialists brought traditional Spanish cruelty to animals with them, believing as Catholics that animals have no soul. Bull fighting and cock fighting are to them entertaining sports – the latter still being widespread in Cuba. Secondly the well below poverty level income (I use UN standards) means that the older generations have to daily struggle to feed their children and themselves using the food rations as a basis, they put their own survival ahead of that of animals. As for the Castro regime, they give not a damn as it doesn’t affect their power and control.
    Communism certainly is not empathetic and some would say not civilized either as human welfare is secondary.

  • This comment by Zeus Omega has the real touch of Adolf Hitler and his German National Socialist Party. It was he who described the Jewish people as: “sub-human”. Remember the consequences!
    But also let’s hope that others will scorn this comment – which merits total rejection.

  • It is seldom that I disagree with Moses Patterson. But Moses, the very word computer was first used in a paper given by Alan Turing at Cambridge University in 1935, when he said in describing what was in his mind: “Let’s call it a computer.”
    The world’s first computer was Colossus designed by Dr. Tommy Flower at Bletchley House an MI6 facility. Ten copies were made and all destroyed after the Second World War for secrecy reasons. But the US now accepts that Colossus preceded INEAC. It was Bletchley House that de-coded the Nazi (and Japanese) ENIGMA messages giving initially Britain and later after Germany declared war on the US and it joined in the fight (December 1941, two years and three months after the war commenced) the US a huge advantage.
    The Internet was introduced some 27 years ago by Sir Tim Berners-Lee of the UK.
    So the US cannot claim the invention or introduction of either computers or the Internet. Berners-Lee incidentally is still alive.
    It is interesting to recall that in his memoirs, Winston Churchill wrote of those of genius level who were selected to work at Bletchley House: “They were the geese who laid the golden egg and they never cackled.”
    There are nay-sayers of Churchill who contribute to these pages, but they should recall that in 1940, the British Labour Party (Socialist) at its Annual Conference voted 2,450,000 to 170,000 to support Churchill to become Prime Minister (93% in favour). This was perhaps that Party’s “Finest Hour” Subsequently a vote in the House of Commons resulted in 380 to 0 in favour of Churchill as Prime Minister.

  • Just a correction Anton!
    Average earnings in Cuba equal $21 (US) per month. The pension is 200 pesos per month ($8).

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