TRAVEL: CUBAN SOCIETY

SOCIETY

Cubans seem to be content.

They have an established social system with established local, regional and national infrastructures. These infrastructures may be inferior in quality when compared to those in Canada but they exist. There are schools, hospitals, office buildings, paved highways and solid bridges. Their second-class nature of these infrastructures is understandable when one considers that the Cuban Revolution not only had to rebuild a country from scratch, but it had to do so with problematic conditions and a poor economy. Every cent of profit earned by pre-revolutionary industries, the majority owned by American companies, was bled from the country. Imagine the challenge facing Fidel Castro in trying to rebuild a nation with no money, no established national industries, and limited natural resources. Compound the task in the context of all of the following in the decades subsequent to his revolution: American embargoes, American counter-revolutionary attempts, economic reliance on Russia another country in economic turmoil with an agenda of establishing itself as a world power, the eventual collapse of any the Russian economic support with the collapse of the Russian confederation. It is an incredible achievement to have succeeded at all, never mind enduring for more than 50 years.

Cubans seem to be accepting of the conditions under which they live. Their philosophy is one of acceptance of less and contentment with that rather than complaining about what they lack and fomenting revolutionary initiatives in hopes of improving their social situation more like those in richer countries.

Cuban achievements have been remarkable. They have free universal education, free universal health care with hospitals and well educated medical professionals, a viable economy with world trading partners, partners who accept Cuba not as an evil revolutionary regime, a communist one but as country working hard to establish itself, socially and economically. Today Cuba trades with Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Spain, Russia and many other countries. The country’s major problem is having enough credit and currency to maintain strong trade partnerships. The saviour of this economic/social disparity may be most heavily thrust upon Cuba’s tourist industry. Tourist revenue may be Cuba’s ultimate redemption. Hence, Cuba treats tourists very well.

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