FYI: Learn from Cuba, says World Bank... (Fwd) <caravan99>

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Date sent:      	Mon, 21 May 2001 11:24:20 +0100 (BST)
From:           	ryan 
Subject:        	<caravan99> FYI: Learn from Cuba, says World Bank...

Caribbean Update; May 15, 2001

World Bank President James Wolfensohn extolled the
communist government of President Fidel Castro for
doing "a good job" in providing for the social welfare
of the Cuban people, reports IPS (May 1, 2001):

His remarks followed the April 28 publication of the
Bank's 2001 edition of "World Development Indicators"
(WDI), which showed Cuba as topping virtually all
other poor countries in health and education
statistics. It also showed that Havana has actually
improved its performance in both areas despite the
continuation of the U.S. trade embargo against it and
the end of Soviet aid and subsidies for the Caribbean 
island more than 10 years ago;

Cuba has reduced its infant mortality rate from 11 per
1,000 births in 1990 to 7 in 1999, which places it
firmly in the ranks of the Western industrialized
nations. By comparison, the infant mortality rate for
Argentina stood at 18 in 1999; Chile's was down to 10;
and Costa Rica, 12.

For the entire Latin American and Caribbean region as
a whole, the average was 30 in 1999;
The mortality rate for children under five in Cuba has
fallen from 13 to 8 per 1,000 over the decade. That
figure is 50% lower than the rate in Chile,
the Latin American country closest to Cuba's
achievement. For the region as a whole, the average
was 38 in 1999;

In education, net primary enrollment for both girls
and boys reached 100% in 1997, up from 92% in 1990.
That was as high as most developed nations, higher
even than the U.S. rate and well above 80-90% rates
achieved by the most advanced Latin American
countries. Public spending on education in Cuba
amounts to about 6.7% of gross national income, twice
the proportion in other Latin America and Caribbean
countries. The average youth (ages 15-24)
illiteracy rate in Latin America and the Caribbean
stands at 7%; in Cuba, the rate is zero.

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