[Documents menu] Documents menu
Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 97 11:28:03 CDT
From: rich@pencil.gwu.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Latin Am Poverty.Cuba Blockade
Article: 13629

/** reg.nicaragua: 26.0 **/
** Topic: Latin Am Poverty.Cuba Blockade **
** Written 12:35 PM Jun 28, 1997 by peg:jclancy in cdp:reg.nicaragua **
from:jclancy@peg.apc.org subject: Poverty -Latin Am. Cuba Blockade

Latin American Poverty; Cuba Blockade

28 June 1997

CUBA provides detail of "The Labyrinths of Poverty" in Latin America, published in "Granma". A recent UNDP-Development Program report reveals that 110 million people in the region live or survive on an income of $1 or less per day; that is to say 24 percent of the population.

However, AMONG all the Third World regions, and applying the new UN Human Poverty Index (HPI), advanced level of human development-general living conditions-is to be found in Latin America.

The HPI is based on those under 40 years, illiteracy levels and lack of access to health care services, food and drinking water.

The study states that, of the 78 countries under that index, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Chile, Singapore and CostaRica are the only countries that have reduced human poverty to less than 10 percent of the population. "The problem arises from the fact that there is a greater concentration of income among those that have the most. At the present time, 20 percent of the population possesses 78 times more than those that have the least."

The Report states that, in Latin Am today, there is greater social exclusion and lack of freedom, greater marginalization of trade and world financial currents, a higher occurrence of AIDS, an accelerated degradation of natural resources, and higher levels of displacement from home and country. 1.2 billion people in the world lack drinking water. Of these some 13percent are from Latin Am. In the region, 13percent (that is 507 million people) will die before reaching the age of 40.

Latin Am countries that were detailed in the UNDP report on those achieving less than 10percent poverty include TrinidadTobago 4.1, Cuba 5.1, CostaRica 6.6. Compare that with Colombia 10.7, Mexico 10.9, Panama 11.2, Uruguay11.7, Jamaica 12.1, Ecuador 15.2 Dominican Rep 18.3, Honduras 22, Bolivia 22.5, Peru 22.8, Paraguay 23.2, Nicaragua 27.2, ElSalvador 28, Guatemala 35.5, Haiti 46.2.

The Report recognizes that, to a large extent, globalization is benefiting the rich countries to the detriment of the less-favored ones, and, if action is not thought out more carefully, the poor countries will become steadily more marginalized. It confirmed that the developing countries are recording annual losses of 500 billion dollars as a consequence of unequal terms of trade and globalization. In this context, countries like Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic, the FREE TRADE model has been accompanied by greater inequality.

In terms of income, it points to a significant decrease registered in 1990-95 years especially in Colombia and Chile, as well as the relatively stable poverty levels in Mexico and Argentina during the last 10 years.

Richard Jolly, UNDP deputy manager, stated that "Poverty is much more complex than it seems. The real human tragedy lies in the lack of opportunities and life choices, which often have a permanent effect."

(JC. The UNDP provides statistics. If controlled by the US then the actual figures are worse. The causes are ignored. Cuba would have the lowest figures in the world -if the Blockade was lifted.)


A far-reaching document, The Havana Charter, was approved by 890 delegates from 22 countries to the 2nd Congress of Municipal Health Secretaries of the Americas, held recently in Havana. The Charter states, "We declare ourselves in favor of an equitable participatory and a supportive model, opposed to any kind of aggression that affects the health, integrality and well-being of the peoples, such as the case of Cuba: a country with an integral, universal, equitable and accessible national public health system, engaged in a battle to preserve its unquestionable advances in the face of the genocidal blockade imposed by the United States of America more than 35 years ago."

The Charter condemns the fact that, at the threshold of the 21st Century, millions of people in OUR AMERICAS lack any possibility whatsoever of access to Public Health systems and services. It also recognises that there is an increase in inequalities, the result of a free market policy in the field of health care. The tendency to convert health care into a consumer item, it notes, implies an evasion of responsibility on the part of States and governments in office in relation to the promotion and protection of health and the environment.

Speaking in the closing session, DrOswaldo Penaherrera Loaiza, an Ecuadoran delegate and mayor of the Duran canton municipality, stressed that he could see for himself that Cuba had not only sown green areas, health and education, but:"It has also sown the seeds of Freedom!"

Next Congress will be held in Quebec, Canada in 1999. JC