• Robert Spicer

Human rights in Cuba

Human Rights Watch acknowledged advances in education and healthcare for the general population but lamented that they were not matched by respect for civil and political rights. It concluded that Cuba had the worst human rights record in the region.

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign responded to these allegations with the following:

• Cuba had 40,000 doctors providing healthcare in 80 developing countries.

• 1.5 million people had received sight-saving operations.

• Thousands of students from poor countries were in receipt of free medical scholarships.

• Cuban priorities were health, education and literacy.

In October 2009 the UN Development Program’s Human Development Report, which measures and compares development status in 182 countries, made the following points about Cuba:

• Cuba’s education index is the equal highest in the world, ranked with Australia, Finland, Denmark and New Zealand.

• Its adult literacy rate is 99.8%.

• School enrolments are 100%.

• Public expenditure on education is higher than that of Australia.

• Cuba has the highest ratio of female to male enrolment in education.

• Life expectancy is 78.5 years.

• 43% of seats in Parliament are held by women. This is the third highest level in the world.

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