Cuban Gov. Tries to Promote More Births

By Aurelio Pedroso   (Progreso Semanal)

Foto: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban authorities have finally began to crawl and take their first steps in the face of a discouraging landscape which is on the horizon with an island full of elderly people given the country’s low birth rates and the rise of walking sticks, walkers and wheelchairs on every street corner.

With the country hovering around zero population growth for several years, four new policies have been introduced so as to encourage an increase in offspring. The question is will they be enough to make a dent in the problem?

Whether or not those who rule us want to admit it, we have to recognize the fact that we are losing our youth, in view of the mass exodus to other countries. And on the other hand, we aren’t able to give those who stay a roof over their heads and enough wages to face some of the necessary material factors of settling down and starting a family.

It’s hard to procreate when many couples are living a nomadic lifestyle: sometimes at the home of one of their in-laws and the rest of the time at the other in-laws. In summary: there aren’t any incentives for people to go down the family-making route.

It’s really good that they are beginning to take into account the magnitude of this tragedy and to prioritize benefits to mothers who have few resources and have three or more children aged 12 or under to repair or extend their home.

One of the other measures outlines the possibility for women to go back to work before their year of maternity leave ends and to receive both financial benefits.

Grandparents, who traditionally take care of the grandchildren a lot of the time, will also receive financial benefits for their work as custodians and raising them.

Women will receive a 50% discount at day care centers and starting with the third child will not have to pay.

Having two or more children under 17 will benefit mothers who will now receive a 50% reduction in their personal income taxes [which workers who earn over 25 USD a month must now pay].

It’s a good start although many young people will see it as too little and a little late. And most importantly, authorities need to urgently create an organized framework of actions beyond these first steps if they truly want to reverse the trend.


7 thoughts on “Cuban Gov. Tries to Promote More Births

  • February 20, 2017 at 4:42 pm
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    Wow. That’s. …..intense.

  • February 20, 2017 at 7:27 am
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    If people need to be jailed to prevent them from sabotaging the revolution; then they should be jailed.

  • February 19, 2017 at 9:51 pm
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    What are you talking about?! The Cuban government provides free contraception to all it’s citizens! If you punish people for aborting aggressively enough there won’t be a “huge spike in illegal abortions”. And so what if there is?! More children would still be born, the revolution would be strengthened, Cuba’s workforce would be reinvigorated, and less babies would be murdered! It’s a win-win-win-win for the Cuban people!

  • February 19, 2017 at 8:27 pm
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    What retrograde and idiotic thinking. ‘Cubans have no issues making babies’ – neither would most nationalities where contraception is not so freely available. ‘A huge spike in birth rates’? What about a huge spike in illegal abortions? Are you a Trump supporter or something?

  • February 19, 2017 at 8:49 am
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    In other words, force women to continue unwanted pregnancies? Sure, that’s a real positive step. By the way, by making abortion “illegal”, how are you suggesting that the law be enforced? By putting women who have had abortions in jail? Are you suggesting that doctors who perform abortions go to jail?

  • February 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm
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    The easy and obvious solution is to simply outlaw abortion. Cubans have no issues making babies. The problem is Cubans have economic incentives to abort; and very little legal or social pressure to counteract that. If abortion was outlawed you’d see a huge spike in birth rates.

  • February 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm
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    Rather than subsidize services and discount taxes, why doesn’t the regime raise wages?

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