The Cuban Revolution’s Undeniable Progress

Elio Delgado Legon

Photo: Arletty

HAVANA TIMES — I find it despicable to question the Cuban Revolution’s achievements, from any angle, even more so when lies are used to take advantage of the ignorance many readers have about the subject. Attempts of this kind spread like wildfire in reactionary media, both in the United States as well as other countries, playing into the Imperial masters’ game and win them over.

Recently, women’s inclusion in the workforce was questioned as not being an exclusive achievement of the Revolution, but a global trend. This is false, as the majority of countries still don’t even consider women when working out the unemployment rate, which is much higher than that of men. Plus, in nearly all of these countries, women earn less than men do working the same jobs, which is a form of discrimination, but not the only kind. There’s a reason why the United Nations develops campaigns against the violence that women and young girls suffer, which leads to femicide in many Latin American countries.

The respect and consideration that women in the Cuban Revolution have doesn’t exist in any other country in the world, not to mention in capitalist countries regardless of whether they are developed or underdeveloped nations.

Cuba was the first country in Latin America to wipe out illiteracy and I will dare to say that it was the first country in the world to make sure all of its population was literate, as there are remote places where illiteracy exists even in developed countries that have widespread access to education and many of these places have improved their literacy situation with the help they have received from Cuban experts. The same thing has happened in Latin America, where countries have wiped out illiteracy or are on their way to doing so, doing this with the Cuban Revolution’s help. Therefore, no other country can compare to Cuba in this regard.

With regard to current health indicators in Cuba, which are equal to or better than the First World in many regards, no other underdeveloped country has even come close to what Cuba has achieved and the fact that the Cuban Socialist Revolution has provided aid in the field of health in over 60 different countries is proof of this. In some countries, it takes on almost all of the country’s healthcare and also trains up health personnel in its universities so they can then go and practice in their own countries.

The claim that countries that were in the same position as Cuba before the Revolution have reached the same level as Cuba is an absolute lie. Let’s take one index as an example: the infant mortality rate. Last year, it was 4 children under 1 years old for every 1000 live births, and it has been the lowest in the continent (including the United States and Canada) for the past decade. This would be unthinkable if it weren’t for a socialist system, where profits aren’t given priority, but the wish to satisfy the people’s needs does.

Some people, who try to defame and belittle the Revolution’s achievements, argue that Cuba has always depended on “foreign benefactors”, but this is just another lie. The fact that the Cuban Revolution has been subject to a cruel economic, commercial and financial blockade is what needs to be said, which makes it impossible for Cuba to get funding from any international organization, like the rest of countries do, and therefore Cuba has had to depend on loans from other countries and favorable trade deals, like many countries have with the United States, on the condition of countries that are more favored in international trade.

It’s not that Cuba has depended on “foreign benefactors” and not on its own wealth, but rather that we are talking about a country which lacks huge reserves of natural resources, which makes it difficult to establish sustainable development and even more so when there is a tight blockade which makes progress even slower.

However, the Cuban Revolution’s achievements are becoming more and more certain, you can be sure of that! Cuba is making progress, although not as quickly as we all would like, but advances made in science and human capital which it has in every sector is a guarantee that we will have sustainable development, it’s making headway slowly but surely.

However, the Cuban Revolution’s achievements aren’t limited to just the education and health sectors, like many people want to pass it off as. Achievements made in sports and culture are something that many developed nations haven’t been able to do. Cuba can also flaunt the fact that it is one of the safest countries in the world, where the violence that prevails elsewhere in the world doesn’t exist here, where there aren’t any drugs which cause so much harm to the majority of their people.

I could add many others but I can’t make this article too long. However, what I have pointed out until now allows me to positively say that the Cuban Revolution has made undeniable progress.

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 “The Cuban Revolution’s Undeniable Progress

  • Socialist worker, maybe you misunderstand what I say. I am as sicked by the greed in my country that you speak of, as you are. I am equally nauseated by the lazy non-working sluggards, who drain the social welfare system coffers that they could and should be contributing to with their earned income, instead sitting at home on their fat leotards, while I work mine to shreds. But this one thing I know from experience in a working commune; I was working hard every day, to contribute to the “common good” as much as I could, while others who were as capable as me didn’t produce 10% of what I did in a day. When I asked why? They said “why should we work as hard as you do, we will get the same reward if we don’t work so hard as you”. Now tell me good sir, what would incentivize me to continue to produce so much more? And that is why the once proud USSR failed, and Cuba to follow. Find a way to incentivize the producers, so that they will voluntarily be motivated and produce, and while preventing the abuses that are driven by excessive greed. Let those who will produce, be motivated to do it without force and fear, fill the social coffers to overflowing, by not feeding the lazy sluggards, and there will be plenty to care for the unfortunate needy ones; the widows, orphans, disabled through no fault, etc. Do you understand now? We are not succeeding with this lofty goal in the USA. The greedy have too much, the faultless needy have too little, sexual immorality is rampant, atheism is infiltrating our schools, our once great medical professional community is shrinking, illegal immigrants are violently destroying our cities, and the great moral majority producers get discouraged and go away. Maybe there’s a new hope growing with our new President, we’ll watch and see. So I’ll pray for my country, and for Cuba too.

  • Moses, you have confirmed what I’ve been saying herein, and I agree with your latter statement completely. Tempered Capitalism and combined with tempered Socialism, will produce wealth for the hard working masses, humanitarian charitable subsistence for the unfortunate needy, and punish the lazy sluggards. As the wise old Apostle Paul, a Talmud and emissary of Yeshua Hebrew Messiah said “If a physically capable man/woman refuses to work, he/she doesn’t deserve or need to eat”. The Judeao/Christian work ethic of Yeshua the Messiah, first son of the one true G-d. And I sincerely believe that this is exactly what Raul Castro has been trying to accomplish since we discussed this together in June 2004. So it is said, so let it be. A friend of the Cuban peoples.

  • Well if finish your night job as a dishwasher then you go Jaywalking down a deserted street in the US you can expect a police beating. In fact when the US police murder someone they are awarded a paid vacation.

  • “There needs to be personal and individual economic incentives, base on merit and performance, to generate wealth for the masses.” This is the same ‘Happy Meal’ mantra that has been repeated over and over and enforced by management prerogative in the US. Has it worked for the masses?

    The corporations through de unionization campaigns have forced a change from a 30% union membership to 7% in the private sector. This has given management a free hand.

    Since the end of WW2 productivity and real wages rose until about 1970 since then average real wages in the US have been been about flat with the peak wage in about 1970. However productivity has just kept rising. CEO pay went from about 40 times the lowest wage worker to about 400 times the lowest wage worker. So who is refusing to work but insists on the right to steal?

    Since Cuba is not organized to pay out shareholder dividend checks to people who survive on other peoples labor they don’t have the problem of capitalist leeches seeking to maximum return on investment or an economy where millions are employed part time despite wanting full time work while 23% of productive capacity sits idle.

  • Your point is true, and give me more reasons to say Castro just thought about himself, if you are going to rule a poor country and you already know that your neighbor is a bad giant, them you should be responsible and try to avoid the giant, not to provoke him, it is not a matter of nationalistic pride but a matter of improving people’s life.

  • You accuse Castro of making an enemy of the US. Any act of independence in a poor country is enough to arouse enmity from the US. Years before the Cuban Revolution, Arbenz provoked the hostility of the US just by distributing land to poor people in Guatemala.
    The Eisenhower Administration painted the coup as an uprising that rid the hemisphere of a Communist government backed by Moscow. But Mr. Arbenz’s real offense was to confiscate unused land owned by the United Fruit Company to redistribute under a land reform plan and to pay compensation for the vastly understated value the company had claimed for its tax payments.

  • when I think about the hostility from the actual worldwide empire, I think in what my government could do to reduce that hostility, for example, do not send money, weapons, men, ideological and practical support to paramilitaries all around the continent. To reduce the violent speech against the US, do not become a fortress of the American’s enemy empire, the Russians, a more aggressive empire, in this side of the world and of course do not install nuclear missiles.

    I disagree a lot with US being the gendarme of the world, but all empires in history had to be this big police to keep their status, it is realpolitik, it is wrong, but it has being always like this.

    It was a Fidel Castro decision to make of Cuba an enemy of the US because he needed a foreign enemy to justify his repressive politics that allow him to remain in power. Fidel didn´t suffer the outcome of that decision because him, his family and the clan that rules Cuba have lived like millionaires all this time.

    You cannot argue that Fidel was supported by the people, the people never had a chance to speak freely, to listen to other opinions different to those that came from Fidel´s party, other ideas of how to go forward improving the country and being as independent as you can be living 90 miles away from the biggest power in history without embrace a calamitous ideology as communism, communism was never popular in Cuba.

    The literacy campaign has nothing to do with the Dr. Leonela Relys Diaz method, this method is an enormous contribution to humanity and we all should be grateful for such persons that can provide such important thing for human improvements, but if we assume that all good things done in Cuba are an achievement of the revolution them we have to assume that all good thing done in the US are an achievement of the imperialism, I deny both.

    Of course that you can criticize US policy about Cuba and that does not mean you support Castro´s regime, there is a lot to criticism everywhere and the US, as the main figure of the world playground is the center of all critics, Europeans for example have a bad opinion about Americans that I think is not fair, but that does not mean America and Americans are pristine, for example, they voted George W Bush for a second term, incredible, and now they elect Trump, how is that possible?, I still cannot believe it.

    I hate, yes, hate, people like Chomsky that criticize US hardly, sometimes unfairly, and at the same time they come to Cuba and shake the dictator’s hand. I wrote about it in my post The Global Left’s Romance with Cuba published right here in HT.

    Thanks for caring about Cubans and our humans rights, I am aware that neither the Castros nor the US politicians care about it a shit.

  • You make reference to “60 years, 60 years!”
    In almost all of those years Cuba has faced the hostility of the most powerful country in the world.
    If I am opposed to the US campaign against Cuba, does that make me an uncritical supporter of the Castros? I don’t think so.
    Why is the US so hostile to Cuba? Human rights?
    We can see exactly what the US thinks of human rights by watching their behaviour throughout the world. Palestine is a good example.
    Also, Honduras. See below.

    US support for repression and fraud

  • Give Cuba over to the Cuban people and they will not let you down!

  • As a frequent American visitor to Cuba, my observation is that the achievements of Cuba, as limited as they are relative to the rest of developed world, have been made despite the Revolution, not because it. The Cuban people are bright, artistic, warm and energetic. Given the opportunity, they would excel in the modern world. But shackled under the yoke of socialism for 50 years, they struggle to get by. Socialism has succeeding only in making everyone equally poor.

  • Struggle towards a future and distance justice cannot be done over the freedom of a people. I invite you to pay a visit to those Cubans of your age, that in the final chapter of their life have to live with 12 dollars a month.

    All regimes have achievements, the great industrial progress made by the Nazis justify the horrors they did? the way they controlled inflation was great for German people, even for Jews, do that compensate their criminal ideology?

    There is public, not free, education and health care in Cuba, is that a justification to keep population poor and the governors living like millionaires?

    I know there are honest people that do not live in Cuba and still defend this regime, I wonder how can they do that reading all they read in a web like Havana Times, do they really believe that what we write here is a lie, that we just enjoy to talk bad about Fidel and the revolution because of the pleasure of do so? Do they think that all the people that write here are mercenaries as my government says we are?

    Of course there are good things in Cuba that we have to maintain, but that do not means to maintain the regime and the bunch of people that have being running this island for 60 years, 60 years¡¡¡

    You people have the right to love Cuban regime, but I ask, what will happened to you if because you are a Castro groupie go and run throw the streets with a Cuban flag, are you going to be almost a year in a mental hospital, that happens in your admired Cuba.

  • The literacy campaign in Cuba was such a success that it has been exported to 29 other countries.,_I_Can
    Yes, I Can (Spanish: Yo, sí puedo) is a teaching method for adult literacy which was developed by Cuban educator Dr. Leonela Relys Diaz (es) and first trialled in Haiti and Nicaragua in 2000.[1] To date, this method has been used in 29 nations allowing over 6 million people to develop basic literacy.[1] The program was originally developed in Spanish and known as Yo, sí puedo. It has now been translated into many languages including Portuguese, English, Quechua, Aymara, Creole and Swahili.[2] T

  • Every one who can produce should be given an equal opportunity to do so. Those who can not due to age or illness, should be cared for appropriately. Those who CHOOSE not to contribute should allowed be allowed to do so. That is too say, and here is the difference between capitalism and socialism: willing non-participants are allowed to fail.

  • Your continued efforts to defend The Revolution are appreciated by those of us who are in solidarity; those who are antipathetical will always find fault. Of course those who are in solidarity fall into two categories: those who do not recognize the Revolution’s short fallings, and those who do, but realize that the struggle towards justice is an ongoing process. Likewise, the struggle to overcome our shortcomings is an ongoing, life long process. This has something to do with the duality of our nature: part material and part spiritual, and the perpetual dialectic to unite the two. In any event, don’t pay attention to that cacophonous chorus of nay-sayers; they offer no vision of a better future, but rather the same warmed-over penny and petty cynicisms of those who have soured on life. Incidentally, back in the 1960’s through 1990’s there was one woman at Radio Habana Cuba whose task it was to answer the letters sent in. They were often negative, and filled with misinformation. Yet she patiently answered them and attempted to respond to the misinformation with the truth as she saw it on the ground. Maria Montero Triana had the patience of Job. Where is she now? I hope just retired, but I suspect no longer with us. Now that I have entered the final chapter(s?) of my own life I have developed greater patience; she developed this quality at a much younger age, and I salute her for that ability.

  • Those who have firm anti socialist opinions are unlikely to ever recognise any of Cuba’s achievements.
    Interesting that you should mention Margaret Thatcher. The lady was indeed an ardent anti-socialist. Public services in the UK have suffered greatly since her era. Her core economic policy (The de-regulation of the banking/financial sector) which was copied by Ronald Reagan, led to the catastrophic and inevitable financial crash of a decade ago. Dunno about your country Mr P, but here in the UK the financial crash and subsequent bail-out was the biggest case of ‘spending other people’s money’ in our history. This evidenced the underlying hypocrisy inherent within the ‘Thatcherite’ (or neo-liberalist) economic model.
    Given the ultimate failure of the neo liberalist economic experiment, the old witch’s criticisms of socialist economics are now way out of date.

  • Moses, egalitarian socialist society can only exist on other people’s money, and after the OPM is depleted, the society goes broke. There needs to be personal and individual economic incentives, base on merit and performance, to generate wealth for the masses. But what do you do with the folks who can’t produce, or just plain refuse to work hard? Come up with a practical and rational solution to that, and you’ll be the ruler of the world.

  • Elio is at least consistent in his over-the-top Castro propaganda. Every single index of progress he has described as a result of the Revolution is 1) self-reported and therefore probably statistically false, and 2) more than offset by the negative trends in the current state of affairs. For example, public education indeed remains “free”. To be sure, “free” means classes in dilapidated and crumbling buildings lacking water and adequate lighting, antiquated textbooks and obsolete technology. Cubans also understand that in addition to these free services, parents must be prepared to pay teachers for basic classroom activities. Health services suffers a similar fate. In addition shortages of medicines exacerbate the failures of the Revolution. Elio also highlighted sports and cultural achievements. Boxing, baseball, volleyball and the national ballet have been in a death spiral for many years with regards to quality and international acclaim. Finally, Elio failed to refute the charge that Cuba’s achievements have been bought and paid for by foreign support. Nothing, however fleeting, that Cuba has achieved is owed entirely to home-grown Cuban initiative. As Margaret Thatcher so aptly coined, Socialism, especially in Cuba has been based on spending “other people’s money”.

  • I agree and applaud all that you say, the revolution seems to be based on an egalitarian altruism that is a shining example to the world. What is necessary for the improvements in economic growth, and preservation of the egalitarian ideal, is an introduction of individual incentive that doesn’t promote excessive greed, and rooted in the Judeao-Christian morals and ethics, on the foundation of faith and devotion to the one God and father of Yeshua the Messiah, which will help to prevent the spread of violence, crime, and dependence on intoxicants of the masses. I am a citizen of the USA, I have visited Cuba by special license and permission from my President George Bush, and Fidel Castro in 2004, and I spent my time not as a tourista, but as an inquisitor seeking truth about your country and with your people, and a brief meeting with Raul Castro. I especially admired Raul and his deep commitment to betterment of life for the Cuban people, and I share this message with every opportunity with peoples of my country, and in it’s government. I recognize the strengths of Capitalism to create great wealth, and also the weakness that concentrates the wealth on the few, while ignoring the plight of the masses. I also recognize the tendency of unfettered individual liberty and godlessness, to promote all sorts of depravity, violence, and dependency on intoxicants. My prayer is for our countries to come together, and that the combination of the goodness of egalitarianism, and economic potential of Capitalism, could be joined together and tempered by individual faith in, and devotion to the Judeao-Christian God and by and through the growth of the Talmidim of Yeshua the Messiah throughout the masses of the peoples, of Cuba and the USA together. That would be a miracle of the one God, who deserves our praise and glory, amen.

  • this article is a direct answer to my previous publication “Cuba: About Merit and Blame and the Revolution’s Achievements” published here in Havana Times

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