Cuba Raises MD’s Salaries By Up to 150%

Starting in June Cuban doctors working at home will begin to receive their new salaries. Photo: telesurtv.net

HAVANA TIMES — The government of Raul Castro adopted a wage hike for doctors working in Cuba that increases the income of the most qualified by more than 150 percent, according to information released today in the official media.

The long awaited measure sees the most highly trained specialists receiving the equivalent of US $60 a month, up from $23.  Nevertheless, even with the raise the state sector wages remain very low, reported dpa news.

President Raul Castro announced over a month ago that a raise was coming, taking advantage of the funds derived from Cuba doctors contracted to work abroad, especially in Venezuela and Brazil.

The Council of Ministers approved on Wednesday a “substantial increase” according to the official press. “The biggest winners will be the doctors, dentists and nurses,” said Vice President Marino Murillo, who heads the commission of the market economic reforms taking place on the island.

State media published a table that lists the new monthly salaries, ranging from just over $60 to the highest to $22 for a basic nurse. The new wages will begin to be paid in June, corresponding to the May salaries.

With this, doctors will be among the highest paid workers in the state sector on the island. For years Raul Castro has been saying that those that produce more should be earning more.
“Let’s keep in mind that to achieve the essential principle to distribute wealth we must first create it, and to do so we have to steadily increase efficiency and productivity,” said Castro in February in a speech to the Federation of Cuban Workers.
The new salaries of doctors, however, remain very low for example in relation to the income of some people who work in tourism or in the emerging private sector.

The island has issued licenses to some 450,000 self-employed, who work mainly in the food and small services sectors. According to the success of the business, some of these people can earn several hundred dollars a month. (No statistic has been forthcoming as to how many of the total figure of self-employed has had to turn in their licenses because their effort was a failure).

Despite extensive subsidies for basic services, Cubans complain that government salaries are not enough to live on. Many people get by receiving remittances from relatives abroad.

The announcement of salary increases for doctors also has benefited those working in missions in other countries. Among other measures, “the hard currency (CUC) payments “for the thousands of employees in Venezuela will be doubled,” said Granma daily.

Recently, the Brazilian authorities reported that Cuba rose to $1,250 the salary of their physicians in Brazil, where some 11,430 are now located.

72 thoughts on “Cuba Raises MD’s Salaries By Up to 150%

  • March 21, 2014 at 11:40 am
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    It will be interesting to read critique about this from the “eternal” dissidents. In addition they have a ration card, they also make money under the table and goods are very cheap and now the mercaditos are more plentiful than before. I am sure some will critique that they want “Whole Food” market!

    Reply
    • March 22, 2014 at 9:18 am
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      The reality is that despite the increase the salaries are still not enough to live comfortably. Worse yet, a dancer in a tourist hotel still earns more money! The Castro-style form of socialism simply does not work. An adjustment here and there won’t fix what is unfixable. And yes, a “Whole Foods” market would be nice.

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      • March 23, 2014 at 9:33 am
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        I have a few medical doctors friends and they do well (one integrado theother dissident) , would they like to own a BMW, sure, I would like a Jaguar myself.

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      • March 23, 2014 at 9:48 am
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        You need to be realistic. A dancer in a tourist hotel earns better money because there are rich European and Canadian tourists who have plenty of money and sperm to splash out. The same is true in most third-world tourist destinations. What do you expect the government to do? Stop allowing tourists into the country? Stop Cubans having access to tourists? Stop tipping by tourists? Tourism along with remmitances and the embargo are causing huge negative market forces and the government has very little room to manouvere.

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        • March 24, 2014 at 11:17 am
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          Wait… the embargo AND tourism & remittances are hurting the Cuban economy? A lack of trade and too much trade, both hurt the economy? Is that like no rum and too much rum both hurt the drinker?

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          • March 25, 2014 at 2:25 am
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            It is a disincentive for someone to go to college, study and gain skills and work hard in their profession if their neighbour gets far more money doing nothing or by servicing the needs of a tourist. That is a negative market force.

    • March 22, 2014 at 10:15 pm
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      The ration card is a pitiful admission that the Castro regime has utterly failed to provide a functioning economy. The fact that most Cubans have to resort to earning money under the table is further proof, and the fact you mentioned it is proof even you don’t really believe in the ability of the Cuban system to provide the people with a decent standard of living.

      The Cuban people don’t need a Whole Foods franchise. All they need is a chance to grow food and feed themselves without the heavy government interference and control.

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      • March 23, 2014 at 9:32 am
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        The ration card by the way is free and most people buy additional stuff in the markets at higher prices. I did not see children with the bloated stomachs like I see elsewhere in Latin America because of diseases…..and now it seems, Yoani is not the only one to have a cell phone (thanks to her American supporters) lots of people do.

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        • March 24, 2014 at 11:13 am
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          I understand how the card ration card works, and that the products it covers are shrinking. Cubans are forced to buy additional foods on the “dollar” market or to obtain them through some form of “resolver”.

          True, the Cuban system, which includes both the official and black market economy, does feed almost all Cubans a minimal diet. There also exists a well connected elite who eat very well indeed.

          Would you say the Cuban ration card food system is worth the political oppression and lack of human rights?

          Or to put it another way: Do YOU live in Cuba where you enjoy the marvellous benefits of the rations card you insist is the good fortune of the Cuban people?

          Reply
  • March 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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    $60 a month is the equivalent of 30 bottles of cooking oil. That a sales assistant makes in half a day in Europe.

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  • March 22, 2014 at 4:37 am
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    If you were in charge of Cuba? The Cuban budget, what would you do? Hire American doctors? Try $60 per hour to cover salary, overhead, etc. Good luck. And would you continue to provide health care (Doctors, hospitals, surgery, training, etc.) Free to all? Or would you drop coverage for dental, glasses, for all or just uncover say 15 to 20 % of citizens. And by the way the average income in Cuba never was close to the US, only if you were a rich or in the Mafia

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    • March 22, 2014 at 7:02 am
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      Cuban doctors would like the same. They just aren’t free to leave, negotiate, change jobs, set up private clinics, …
      You are just supporting repression.
      Europe provides health care for all, has well paid workers, … That is the example. Not Cuba.
      Remember: before Fidel Cuba was at par or above all European nations in development.
      The subsequent path they chose shows which one works.

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      • March 22, 2014 at 9:38 am
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        In all of rich, industrialized Europe no country pays for a medical education.
        You perhaps did not know that Europe is capitalist and it works that way.
        In the U.S. graduating doctors can be in debt amounting to close to $300,000.oo when they graduate and then have to go through internship and setting up of their practice after that .
        They simply cannot afford to volunteer their time.
        Cuba has a socialist-style healthcare system and can do this .
        It is only fair for Cuban doctors to spend a great number of years returning the societal gift that their education is.
        For any of them to get that education and then bolt is simply unethical, unprincipled and immoral .
        It’s about making poor people healthy not making money.
        The problem with people like you is that making money (capitalism) is more important to you than providing necessities to all ( socialism) and when the dollar is paramount you have the perpetual 25% poverty rate in the capitalist world that we do under capitalism .
        Lastly , to say that largely AGRICULTURAL and just ex-colonial Cuba was on a par with some of the richest countries on Earth is just a breathtakingly stupid claim although not mentioning the trillion dollar loss to the Cuban economy due to the U.S. embargo when discussing the Cuban economy does approach that level as well .
        We

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        • March 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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          False. Access to university education – including medical school – is cheap. People from low income families are even except from the low fees ($700 a year) and get state sponsorship to study (no need to repay any or perform a “national service” afterwards). Those are the facts in most European nations (UK may be an exception).
          Doctors graduating in Europe end up wit 0 debt in most cases.
          Even so: how much is a life of work worth? Lets assume you are right about the $300,000 of debt a US doctor has. He can easily live well and repay that is 5 to 10 years.
          Venezuela paid the regime $130,000 a year for Cuban doctors. The doctors got less than $15,000. That means that in 3 years they paid more than a US student. But then: theirs is a life of servitude … not a decade of repayments of low interest loans.
          So on the whole: Europe is the best place to study and graduate followed by the US and UK and Cuba is at the bottom because it demands a life of low earnings work for an education. As such the Cuban education is more expensive than anywhere in the wold: it requires you to hand over 90% of your real income for the rest of your life.
          The problem with “people like me” is that we want things to work well and ensure everyone is taken care off without denying other people’s human rights. European Christan democracies and social democracies have achieved a lot more than Cuba. Need is a lot less in countries like France, Belgium and The Netherlands that were at par or below Cuba before the Castro coup.
          Lastly: as socioeconomic indicators from the UN show and as revolutionaries up to Fidel himself admitted: Cuba was one of the most developed nations of the Americas even beating rural US in lots of indicators.

          “Armando Hart, a member of Castro’s
          innermost ruling group, made the extremely significant observation that:
          . . . it is certain that capitalism had attained high levels of organization,
          efficiency and production that declined after the
          Revolution. . . (Juventud Rebelde, November 2, 1969; quoted by Rene Dumont, Is
          Cuba Socialist?)

          Paul A. Baran, an ardent pro-Castroite in the equally ardent Monthly Review pamphlet, Reflections on the Cuban Revolution (1961) substantiates what every
          economist, as well as amateurs like Castro, has been saying: …the Cuban Revolution was born with a silver spoon in its mouth.

          Theodore Draper quotes Anial Escalante, (before he was purged by Castro) one of the leading communists, who admitted that: …in reality, Cuba was not one of the countries with the lowest standard of living of the masses in America, but on the contrary, one of the highest
          standards of living, and it was here where the first great . . . democratic
          social revolution of the continent burst forth. . . If the historical development had been dictated by the false axiom [revolutions come first in poorest countries] the revolution should have been first produced in Haiti,
          Colombia or even Chile, countries of greater poverty for the masses than the Cuba of 1958. . . (quoted in Draper’s Castro’s Revolution: Myths and Realities; New York, 1962,
          p. 22)

          Reply
          • March 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm
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            Don’t expect a response. When confronted with actual facts and figures JG usually retreats, unable as he is to actually respond to them.

          • March 24, 2014 at 4:35 am
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            I don’t expect a response. All I care is that the facts are on the table and that lies are exposed.
            I also reject the “dualist” thinking of some people that act as if the systems – be they medical, economical, social, … – of the US and Cuba or other are the only ones in the world.
            Europe with its social-democratic systems can be a great example for a new Cuba.

        • March 22, 2014 at 7:02 pm
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          $60 a month is still exploitative. Fair enough that one owes the community for the education. But in the interest of fairness let’s consider the work effort of the individual to acquire the educated and then practice the trade. Cuba has a ways to go to balance the scales of fairness with it’s most productive citizens. Increasing the productivity of the society by unleashing discretionary effort and creativity will give the state more wealth that all can share. An equal share of misery is not an equality worth having.

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          • March 26, 2014 at 4:50 pm
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            Exploitative is to work for Walmart and survine on food stamps that I pay with my taxes.

        • March 24, 2014 at 4:29 am
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          Just to prove my point:

          If you wish to study in a university in Wallonia-Brussels:

          The basic tuition fees for one year of main studies for the academic year 2013-2014 amount to 835 euros.

          In addition to the basic tuition fees, students from outside the European Union are required to pay additional fees. For the academic year 2013 – 2014, the amount of these fees varies between 1,923 euros and 3,845 euros.

          Source: Tuition fees | Study in Belgium – http://www.studyinbelgium.be/en/tuition-fees

          That includes medical school.

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          • March 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm
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            Thanks to democratic socialism…

          • March 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm
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            Thank you for admitting you lied. In Europe countries do pay for medical education as I have shown.

          • March 26, 2014 at 4:49 pm
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            I think you are a bit confused, I don’t lie. I read my statement and I am puzled at which one you are referring to!!!

          • March 27, 2014 at 11:32 am
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            No confusion on my part. Just denial on your part.
            You said: “In all of rich, industrialized Europe no country pays for a medical education.”
            I showed that that was a lie with information about Belgium.

          • March 28, 2014 at 8:37 am
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            You need to change your glasses I could never have said that since I support democratic socialism which pays for many things in Europe. You read John Goodrich and in your confusion ascribed what he said to me.

          • March 29, 2014 at 3:48 am
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            My mistake.
            But note that most European countries aren’t socialist.
            Belgium fr example is a country that has a Christian democrat and Liberal (economically conservative) majority.
            All parties there agree that education must be free.

          • March 26, 2014 at 7:48 am
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            Belgium isn’t a socialist state. Socialism wasn’t at the root of education.
            From it’s world renowned University of Louvain, founded in 1409 and place of study of people like Rafael Correa, to local primary schools all were founded by the Catholic Church. Local, provincial and national schools were also created. The educational system now is a mix of opinions under a national curriculum and with state subsidies for all schools.
            Belgium is a primarily Christian democrat and Social democrat system based on varying coalition governments based on a consensus between center right and center left parties. The extreme – communist – left is nil.
            Its high level of development is the results of a mixed economic system that has capitalism as its basis with some elements of national importance in state hands (train system, roads, …). The model is one of state – private cooperation and the economy’s strength is based in its medium and small enterprises.
            It is the opposite of Cuba with freedom of speech.
            Its workers have a lot better living standard than Cubans.
            in 167 deaths per 1000 births was better in Cuba than Belgium (32 to 36). By 2000 – with doubtful statistics – Cuba was at 9 and Belgium at 7. Belgium has nearly completely free education from handing out books, pencils and paper in primary school to very low fees for universities and a generous system of educational assistance. A national health insurance system that covers nearly all medical costs. Both are amongst the best in the world.
            This while Belgium rated below Cuba in the late 1950’s.
            Mu daughter did a medical specialization in Belgium. Her education – under a Belgian scholarship – was free. I know her Belgian friends also paid very little – as Cubaqus pointed out – and that they graduated without debts and without servitude to any authority.
            You are blatantly wrong Rodrigvm.

      • March 23, 2014 at 9:29 am
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        That is a myth, Cuba was never at par with Europe (maybe in the number of prostitutes businessmen loved to go there for that) only in the dreams of the elite. Argentina was the only country which “almost” made it until the WWII ended and they had to deal with the rise of US control of global market.

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        • March 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm
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          The following link is an interesting academic paper, footnoted and sourced (including United Nations statistics), that would seem to confirm CUBAQUS. It’s some interesting data on how pre Castro Cuba ranked in numerous categories, including infant mortality, literacy, capital food consumption, milk production, export earnings, etc.

          Feel free to point out the errors

          Reply
          • March 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm
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            There is no paper, by the way you should not use Cuban exile sources and their dreams about la “cuba que nunca fue….”

          • March 25, 2014 at 9:01 am
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            Nice try, Hugo Lorens is a Peter Pan immigrants from Cuba and a politician, extremely conservative (citing Von Mises is like citing a Roman philosopher justifying slavery) Alvarez is also Cuba but more balanced, note how controlled Cuba was by the United States. The wealthy lived well (vacations in Miami) but inequality was quite stark, that’ what the revolution was all about. My mom’s boss used to travel to Cuba for “business” and take his cronies to enjoy the prostitution which compared to today (which there is) was incredible with houses, bar, and brothels. I guess this is what was meant that is was like Europe?

            http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FE/FE47900.pdf

          • March 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm
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            There are many thousands of Peter Pan emigrants and it’s an interesting parallel to see their success in comparison with the same generation that remained in Cuba. But it’s a red herring meant to distract from the actual information contained in the link. When you are unable to refute the information, simply cast aspersions, eh rodrigvm? …how very transparent. But it’s ok, I didn’t actually expect you to be able to refute the information.

            However, regardless of our political differences, the reality of Cuba is far more nuanced, as professor Alvarez’s agricultural paper shows. But there is no getting around the failure that is socialism, and communist central planning.

            And by the way rodrigvm, Europeans, Canadians, and yes even Americans continue to visit Cuba to engage in prostitution. If anything it’s worse than ever. So I don’t know what the heck the point of your little anecdote was.

          • March 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm
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            I guess you have not see the documentary of the Peter Pan children by Estela Bravo and how many ended up being abused? But then of course banned in Miami!

        • March 24, 2014 at 11:06 am
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          Cuba was at or above the level of development several Western European countries, (Portugal and Greece are usually cited) but not at the top when compared to the UK, France or Germany. Cuba was ranked as next highest standard of living in Latin America, after Argentina, and the highest in the Caribbean.

          Argentina’s economy was not hurt by the alleged US control of the global market. If the US controlled the global markets and hurt other countries, then the rise of Japan & South Korea over the same period would not have happened.

          Argentina was done in by their own political class and their ruinous projectionist Peronist economic policies. Sadly, Kirchner is busy driving the last few nails into the coffin.

          Reply
    • December 5, 2014 at 1:00 am
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      8 months later! I came back to see if any of the haters of the Cuban Revolution addressed my question. None did. The closest they came, is their usual argument that if you get rid of socialism, then freedom and the market will make life better (for their chosen concerns).

      But as usual, they don’t address the responsibility governments of any human worth have for all of their citizens and in a real democracy or even semi-socialist state, citizens and their human needs (not just the selective “rights” the haters refer to) are of equal concern. I pointed out for comparison sake what happens in the US, not a socialist state by far, when the market and citizens medical needs interact; Huge out of pocket costs or really lousy medical care, no coverage of dental, eye or ear care except maybe for emergencies, and three tiered medicine – Boutique for the rich, OK for those with good jobs and poor to lousy for the rest. Lastly, if you call for erasing the revolution, what would happen to the elderly, poor, disabled and folks far from the market?

      And please stop showing that you have no real interest in facts by erroneously comparing European countries as if they were all the same. They are not, some are more social than others. All have mixed economies, with mixed results, many of which are worth studying.

      One last example; In the US and other countries without universal or eye coverage, cataract surgery can cost from $5,000 (Medicare) to $10,000 or more regular insurance. Now Cuba provides thousands of free surgeries to Cubans (no charge) and people from other countries (no pay or small payments by the host country). If Cuban doctors were paid even half of the US salaries, where would the money come from? Answering this question is both political and financial. Give it a try.

      Reply
  • March 22, 2014 at 6:36 am
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    The Cuba economy does not use salary as the primary means of distribution of economic production. It is a Socialist barter system run by the state. A system Raul has figured out creates insufficient incentive and is fraught with avenues of corruption. This is just one more baby step on road to transforming Cuba into a modern state with socialized institutions. The rise of a controlled private sector is a recognition that the state does not need to directly provide all goods and services. State regulation and taxes on private activity can give the state sufficient control.

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    • March 22, 2014 at 9:26 am
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      Good post.
      Cuba seems to be carefully changing and reforming its processes so as to not endanger the already existing and very popular social welfare programs and maintenance of an equitable society.
      This , of necessity means no neo-liberal capitalism which is the sure road to oligarchy and totalitarianism worse that that which already exists in Cuba.
      Cuba’s massive training of doctors from all over the POOR world and its very humane help in poor CAPITALIST countries where poverty is endemic and eternal is a perfect example of the differences between the imperialist U.S. and Cuba.
      The U.S. has military installations in 70% of the countries of the world and spends a trillion dollars a year on war.
      The Cubans spend their scarce resources on helping the poor of the world.
      To get some idea of what a trillion dollars is , it is the huge amount that the U.S. embargo has cost Cuba since 1960 and the same amount of money that has been transferred from the poorest U.S. citizens to the richest since the Reagan years.
      The U.S. has immoral priorities
      Cuba has moral and humane priorities .

      Reply
      • March 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm
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        The US spends billions of dollars on international aid. Cuba’s largest foreign aid project right now is spent on their MININT agents in Venezuela violently putting down the popular protests against Maduro’s the puppet regime.

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        • March 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm
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          The US spends trillions in war and defense, a drop in the bucket compared to humanitarian aid….

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          • March 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm
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            Where ‘da hell is that comparison coming from? We probably spend more on a lot of stuff. So what? Americans give more per person than any other country. That is a fact.

          • March 25, 2014 at 8:51 am
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            They should, they steal more…to who much is given (or taketh), much is required…

          • March 25, 2014 at 10:38 am
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            The careful reader easily notices the retreat in your comments. First, you deny the FACT that Americans give more than anybody else. Second, you attempt to use the red herring that US military spending negates humanitarian aid. Now, you accuse Americans of stealing. I suppose Bill Gates held you at gun point and forced you to hand over your money and all he left behind was his operating system for your computer. Being more creative, more innovative, and more willing to take risks than most does not make Americans thieves. The sooner you can get past petty emotions of jealously and envy, the sooner you can engage in valid debates over where American exceptionalism truly crosses the line.

          • March 28, 2014 at 8:35 am
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            You have a cognitive inability to comprehend, US compared to the wealth it has basically gives “limosnas” compared to military spending. Stealing, they just stole the gold from the Iraq reserves and just recently from the Ukraine (reading other source than Fox is healthy for the mind) and we can go back about stealing Indian land, Mexican land, Dominican land Puerto Rican land and Cuban land until stopped by Fidel. I suggest you read “Lies my Teacher Taught Me” by social historian James Loewen (best seller) and be enlightened other wise your stories are like the fairy tales I used to tell my kids. Bill Gates used his monopoly power to force us to use his software and did not allow competition which is why he paid millions in fines…did you forget?

      • March 23, 2014 at 6:57 am
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        The US spends more $$ in international humanitarian aid from both government and non-government sources per person than any other country on the planet. Cuba sends doctors to other countries taking full advantage of the extremely low wages these doctors would have earned in Cuba.

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        • March 23, 2014 at 9:26 am
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          Your facts are wrong, US spends more in military hardware, intervention than all the nations of the world together. A bit of truth every once in a while would make your comments more credible.

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          • March 23, 2014 at 10:25 am
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            Reread my comment. It is a fact. Bill Gates, by himself, has donated more money than 55 countries. Oprah Winfrey has personally spent more on one school in Africa than any other non-African has every spent on education there…ever! Micheal Jackson’s “We are the World” song (remember that one?) raised more money for fighting hunger than all other entertainers combined.

          • March 24, 2014 at 9:02 am
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            moses you are quite the character. the good old usa steals 25% of the worlds resources through any means they can including war. bill gates became rich because he was extremely lucky and broke every law in the book. in case you haven’t noticed the rest of the world fines him for the crimes he commits. giving back a small portion to repair the damage done does not make a hero. again, are you sure your not working for the cia spreading propaganda to
            those limited enough to embrace it?

          • March 24, 2014 at 11:59 am
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            Steals resources? From whom? Name one “theft”. Gates was lucky? Is that illegal? He broke which law? Where? Name one country that has revoked his visa because of his “crimes”. There is a lot of spreading going on, and it is not propaganda, and it is not by me.

          • March 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm
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            Gates used Chinese children to build his IPhones is that exploitation?

          • March 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm
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            Not in China it isn’t. Just as I expected, hey’s comments are unfounded. I am no fan of child labor but I also don’t support paying Cuban neurosurgeons $23 per month either. You seem more selective in your definition of exploitation.

          • March 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm
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            united states vs microsoft to name one of a great many law suits. the judge ruled microsoft was acting as a monopoly.

          • March 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm
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            Yours is the kind of thinking that makes people poor. Bill Gates creates an operating system, out of his garage, that enables the average person to have a home computer (and in the process almost drives IBM out of business) and that’s lucky?

            I think you better go back to raking leaves (not that there’s anything wrong with that) It’s probably what you’re best at. And throw away your computer. After all you’re just putting money in his pocket.

          • March 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm
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            bill gates met with ibm because his mother arranged the meeting. he tried to sell his program for $60000 but ibm decided to lease it from him thinking the pc had no future. gates then proceeded to use the funds to destroy the competion and extort money from every pc and software manufacturer. a little research might make you a little more credible.

          • March 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm
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            Wow talk about twisting history to fit your world view. Don’t be such a hater. Bill Gates is the definition of entrepreneur.

          • March 25, 2014 at 8:46 am
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            You are right about that, a bit of luck and then monopoly, just like Adam Smith said, “when capitalists are meeting they plan monopolies…”

          • March 26, 2014 at 4:47 pm
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            Good so they can pay more taxes!

          • March 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm
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            Bill Gates didn’t invent the first computer, he didn’t invent the first operating system, he didn’t invent the first multitasking OS, he didn’t invent the first windows/wimp system, he didn’t invent the first multimedia system, the first spreadsheet, the first wordprocessing package, the internet, the first browser, the first graphics package. For someone who had such opportunities in life, he singularly failed to actually create anything original.

            The real heroes of IT are the people who contributed their free time to create open source developments, freeware, algorythms and contribute to forums helping others and sharing their knowledge freely.

          • March 25, 2014 at 10:53 am
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            Sounds like a savvy businessman to me.

          • March 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm
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            Even if all the money billionaires have given (which is still a paltry sum) US spent more than a few trillion in the hardware, armed forces etc. Show me where they have given more humanitarian aid than that…don’t try your facts are wrong.

          • March 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm
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            My claim is that Americans are the world’s biggest givers. Do we ALSO spend a huge amount of money on defending freedom, yes we do. So what? Every time a terrorist posts a threat on the internet to bring down the Great Satan, I begin to wish we had spent more.

          • March 25, 2014 at 8:50 am
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            They are part of the world’s largest taker and exploiter of other countries, spreading freedom like in Chile 1973? Honduras? Haiti (kidnapping a democratically elected president send to the Central African Republic?) Venezuela 2002 (US airplane ready to fly Chavez to the Dominican Republic after the coup) should I cite 30 more? No more lullabies or fairy tales…hey about the cherry tree, Washington was a lier….

          • March 25, 2014 at 10:51 am
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            Engaging in international politics is universal. Castro has intervened where he believed his interests would be served and the list of other left-leaning regimes who have wandered beyond their borders to influence policy in the affairs of other countries is too long to detail here. The fact that the US, being the world’s only superpower, does the same as everyone else but with more success is where the debate should begin. No one, not even your banana republics are without blood on their hands in extraterritorial tampering.

  • March 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm
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    Man a lot of the people posting are idiots… (the usual ones) Sorry short and simple fools… Cuban doctors do this not for money but because they actually care about helping people. Cuban doctors saved my life one night… My Spanish was not that good and they looked at me and knew what my problem was. And I had no money nor any ID on me… Just a hysterical woman with me watching me die… I came back the next day and paid… Just try doing the in the Usless of A…. I would have died… Anaphylactic shock if you are wondering… Allergies… Cuban doctors are amazing…

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    • March 22, 2014 at 10:05 pm
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      I’m glad you survived, Michael, but treating anaphylactic shock is no miracle. Any boy scout trained in first aid could have saved your life. Why did you not have your epipen with you anyway?

      Besides, as meaningful to you as it is, your personal anecdote bears no relevance to the issue of the rightness or quality of the Cuban medical system and certainly does not justify the pervasive political repression of the Castro regime. Is that the argument you are trying to make? “Hey, never mind the gross and consistent violation of human rights in Cuba, a Cuban doctor once saved the life of a naive tourist who forgot to pack an epipen, so it’s all cool?”

      Who are you to call other people posting “idiots”?

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      • March 23, 2014 at 9:25 am
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        The only gross violations in Cuba are committed in Guantanamo by the US.

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      • March 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm
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        Listen bonehead. I did not expect to have any clams in Cuba when I ordered a lobster. And I could smell them and should have known better. And yes I am an idiot as well… Though unfortunately they were all being cooked on the same grill. My mistake and now I carry epi-pens… And please explain what boy scout carries a epi-pen (actually 2) of Benadryl and adrenaline in his pack… In Cuba… I was luck and now I know…

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    • March 23, 2014 at 6:54 am
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      …so based on your own common personal anecdotal experience you are qualified to opine on the entire public health care system in Cuba? Have you ever been to a Cuban hospital? Did you spend the night? Have you ever had surgery performed in Cuba? Have you even been to the pharmacy in the neighborhood (and not the one for tourists)? Still, you share your opinion and call other people idiots!

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      • March 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm
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        And as a matter of fact I have… I have went and given donated drugs to the big Hospital in Habana. I have taken people (Cubans to small clinics) And I have been in both the tourist and the local Cuba pharmacies. As well as dental and opticians… Helping people. So do not try to tell me what I have not seen…

        Reply
  • March 23, 2014 at 9:24 am
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    It’s not that they are “idiots” its the ideological blindness that leads them to find everything wrong about Cuba. Let them get sick in Honduras, Dominican Republic etc and see what their experience will be. The experience of Michael was my experience too…the folks can’t believe some people can do the right thing and feel good about it.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2016 at 1:52 pm
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    definition of liberalism– reaping all the benefits of capitalism and doing nothing but complaining about it.
    You cannot seriously argue that life in Cuba is fair. Without remittances received from relatives who work hard in Miami, Cuba would have nothing. In the United states it is not unusual for nurses, PA’s. pharmacists, doctors, and other health care professionals to provide free services to poor countries. In Cuba they are forced to do so. If a Cuban doctor decides to stay overseas, their family will be jailed. That is not the case in America.
    One more point. A few people mention our strong international military presence as if that is a bad thing. Do you seriously believe that western Europe could have avoided falling to Russia without our troop presence. We didn’t steal their resources. We helped build and protect them. As a European American, I would like to thank America for protecting my basic human rights. Something Cuba would never do.
    One last point. Americans are still sending remittances to Europe. Take away America’s military presence and American remittances, and the world would truly be a sad place to live.
    Conclusion: if you are a liberal who blames capitalism, go ahead and give up your right to vote, assemble, freedom of press and religion. Give up the ease by which you can obtain a passport to travel to most countries. Go to Cuba and live with the common people without any of the American tourist perks. Go for it. If you are not happy with the outcome, remember you can’t vote to change things. But you can complain and be imprisoned for doing so. A small price to pay for free healthcare.

    Reply

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