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Friday, May 23, 2008


No child left behind

In the country which, contrary to the opinion of George Bush, John McCain, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and every other establishment politician and pundit in the United States, is in fact a beacon to millions of people around the world. This is from the latest column by the former President of that country, Fidel Castro, someone who I suspect Barack Obama would describe as someone whose "actions just serve[d] his own power":
Just a few days ago, a friend of mine sent me the text of a report from Gallup, the well-known U.S. opinion pollster. I started to leaf through the material with the natural lack of confidence given the lying and hypocritical information usually used against our nation.

It was a survey on education in which Cuba was included, although it is usually ignored. It analyzed the situation in four regions of the world: Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. A number of Caribbean nations were included in some aspects.

First question: Are children in your country treated with dignity and respect? Positive answer: Asia 73%, Europe 67%, Africa 60% and Latin America 41%. If the Caribbean countries are included, Gallup states that in Haiti, only 13% of those surveyed responded affirmatively to that question.

Second question: Do children in your country have the opportunity to learn and grow every day? In Asia 75% answered yes; in Europe, 74%; in Africa, 60%; in Latin America, 56%. Many of the countries of this region were under 50%.

Third question: Is this country’s education accessible to anyone who wishes to study independently of his or her economic situation? The answers reveal a painful situation in many Latin American nations and better answers from the English-speaking Caribbean.

I do not wish to offend any of the countries that I mention, but it would be meaningless to write these lines without noting the place occupied by Cuba – so many times slandered – in the survey. It was in first place among all the countries in the world. Of those surveyed by Gallup, 93% answered yes to the first question; 96% to the second; and 98% to the third. As it is known, Cubans have the habit of answering any question with complete frankness.

Another particularly salient fact is that in Venezuela, 70% and 80% answered positively to the first and second question, respectively. This is a country that is developing a large-scale education program, eradicating illiteracy and promoting study at all levels, a process that began only a few years ago. On account of that, Venezuela occupied second place in the region.

The response to the third question was a yes from 82%, placing it third in Latin America and the Caribbean, exceeded by Trinidad and Tobago, in second place with 86%.

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