The Elderly in Cuba: Are they Forgotten?

By Aurelio Pedroso  (Progreso Semanal)

Foto: progreso semanal
Foto: progreso semanal

HAVANA TIMES – Cuba as a country with alarming growth statistics of its aging population poses a real headache in the short term for government authorities if they are not intending to turn the entire island into a nursing home. And for the first time it seems to bring to memory a commercial, with not very good intentions to say the least, where it is announced that the old pay less.

Besides the list of benefits society offers its citizens there is an almost international practice which is applied even in countries of third world Latin America, where seniors enjoy certain privileges when opening the wallet or boarding a public bus.

I read and reread with care the offers 0f national and international hotel institutions associated with Cuban entities for this summer, where one of them says that people over 65 years have a 10% discount. What a novelty! However, such promotions are not offered by goodness but by a careful business strategy.

Since quite a while ago, although it is reported with some anesthesia [perhaps because it emphasizes the growing class differences], the domestic market is among the leading visitors to Cuban resorts along with Canadians, Mexicans and Germans.  The real reason, among other more caring ones, is for Cubans living abroad to cart their “elderly” to the beach, taking advantage of any discount. Although not everyone has almost a hundred dollars per head daily to stay in Varadero hotels or the cays.

But what about the vast majority of the elderly

It is time, and not later, to begin thinking about how to make life more enjoyable for those people who saw the birth of the revolution and today, for strange reasons, are dying off without reaching 70 years of age.

One advantage they should receive is regarding diet. A quick look to what a ration card buys a person leads one to conclude that it doesn’t even cover half of the month or even less. In addition, most pensions range from only 8 to 12 dollars a month.

The state should eliminate the ration book and dedicate the resources to those families unable to go to the government’s hard currency stores where precisely the things you need to live are sold.  It’s unbelievable that people who roll up in a Mercedes or an Audi receive rations at the neighborhood store.  Five of them renouncing the rations would allow a decent amount of the products to go to one elderly person who doesn’t receive remittances from Miami or Europe.

And even more. An elderly that doesn’t even dream of feeling included in that 10% hotel discount.


6 thoughts on “The Elderly in Cuba: Are they Forgotten?

  • July 13, 2016 at 3:12 pm
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    So now, your knowledge of the statistics relating to age exceed those of the UN World Population Data Base? Why don’t you challenge the UN?
    As you are convinced in your combination of ignorance and conceit that the figures I gave are incorrect why not supply your own?
    I have no form of relationship with any US organization other than one publisher.
    I only proved that your statement was as usual wrong. As a parroting puppet for the Castro communist regime you now have opportunity to correct the UN.

  • July 13, 2016 at 1:49 pm
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    You didn’t include your “handlers” (USA). Wonder why? Besides, your figures are not accurate. Just another attempt to try to prove something (nothing).

  • July 13, 2016 at 11:38 am
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    Please read Carlyle MacDuff’s reply to your vacuous comment. Then read it again.

  • July 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm
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    Bunkum!

    The following countries have longer life expectancy than Cuba (2015 figures):
    Monaco 89.6 years
    Japan 84.3
    Hong Kong 84.2
    Switzerland 83.2
    Australia, Italy and Singapore all at 83.1
    Spain 82.8
    Andorra and Iceland 82.7
    South Korea 82.6
    France and Israel 82.5
    Martinique and Sweden 82.4
    Canada and Norway 82.1
    Guadeloupe 81.9
    Austria and New Zealand 81.8
    Lichtenstein and Netherlands 81.7
    Greece and Ireland 81.5
    Germany 81.4
    Belgium, Lebanon Luxembourg and Macau 81.3
    Finland and United Kingdom 81.2
    Virgin Islands (US) 81.1
    Bermuda, Channel Islands and Chile 81.0
    Costa Rica 80.9
    Portugal 80.8
    Reunion 80.7
    Cyprus 80.6
    Malta 80.5
    Slovenia 80.3

    The absence of countries with communist/socialist regimes is noticeable.

    Russian men have a life expectancy of 62.4 below that of India at 65.8
    Chinese men have a life expectancy of 74.8 below that of Hong Kong
    Venezuelan men have a life expectancy of 72.5 and in Zimbabwe it is 61.3 although Mugabe the socialist dictator who like Fidel receives special care, is 92.

    It just goes to prove that CErmle doesn’t know what he is talking about and is as usual particularly ignorant about Cuba.

  • July 12, 2016 at 5:38 pm
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    The life expectancy for Cubans exceeds that of most countries in the world, including the so-called developed world. Socialism has been good for Cuba.

  • July 12, 2016 at 11:07 am
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    For the Castro regime the sole purpose of maintaining the elderly is to be able to publicize the expectancy of life in Cuba.
    If receiving similar levels of care to that which is bestowed upon Raul at 85 and Fidel at 90 (on the 13th August) many more Cubans would achieve such ages.

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