Category Archives: Cuba

Charts of the day: Cubans outlive folks in U.S.

Two fascinating charts from the Federal reserve Bank of St. Louis reveal that Cubans live longer than folks in the United States. For Cubans, the average life expectancy is 79.39 years for both men and women, while the comparable figure for the U.S. is 78.94 years. Shaded years in the U.S. chart represent economic recessions.

First, the chart for Cuba:

BLOG Life Cuba

And for the U.S.:


Venezuelan program brings agroecology home

We’ve had a long fascination with agroecology, the practice of growing food with the use of environmentally damaging synthetic fertilizers and corporatized seeds and pesticides.

Giving the ever-growing corporate domination of the American university, it’s no surprise that the best-paid academic scientists are busily churning out highly profitable patented pesticide, veterinary drugs, and plants and animals for the Big Agra and Big Pharma.

UC Berkeley, which once had one of the country’s finest agroecology programs, has dropped it ad huge Big Agra bucks have flooded the campus, most notably in the form of a half-billion-dollar BP-funded program to create cellulose-chomping bacteria designed to poop out the basic ingredient of clean-burning, high-energy fuel.

So far, with all the original cash spent, there’s still no superfuel, but, golly, there was all that cash, and all those wobnderful corporate connections.

To paraphrase an old and very sexist joke, they know what UC Berkeley is, and they’ve already established the price.

So it’s up to countries like Cuba [previously] and Venezuela [previously] to give backing to agroecological programs.

And that brings us to this report on one Venezuelan agroecology program, via teleSUR English:

Agroecology: A Latin American Movement

Program note:

Is Agroecology a viable option for Latin America? This small Venezuelan institute may have the answer.

Another version of the urge to purge, in Brazil

This time the targets of folks who have done a lot of good for Brazil’s poorest.

From teleSUR English:

Cuba is negotiating an extension beyond November for some 2,400 doctors in Brazil working under the joint social program “Mais Medicos (More Doctors).

Implemented by the government of suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the program has benefited nearly 63 million poor people.

According to an agreement reached by the Pan American Health Organization and the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the doctors will stay until at least November – after the Olympics in Rio and the country’s municipal elections. The new announcement follows a visit last week by the deputy Minister of Public Health of Cuba, Marcia Cobas Ruiz, who met in Brasilia with health authorities.

However, interim President Michel Temer announced last May that he wants to reduce the number of foreign doctors in the program from 13,000 to 3,000.

Since it was proposed, the social program has been criticized and opposed by pharmaceutical and medical corporations, as well as right wing politicians in the country.

Headline of the day II: A truly electrifying story

From teleSUR English:

In Cuba, Lightning Kills More People Than Guns

Cuba ranks seventh in the world when it comes to lightning fatalities in the world, with an average of 65 victims per year.

Headline of the day III: Not on the Grassy Knoll

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

Tabloid says it has proof: Ted Cruz’s father is mystery man in Lee Harvey Oswald photo

  • National Enquirer claims photo is proof that Rafael B. Cruz was standing alongside JFK assassin
  • Cruz campaign dismisses allegation as ‘garbage’
  • Cruz’s father had been pro-Castro but had turned on him when Cuban leader said he was a communist

Headline of the day II: An offer they can refuse

The heirs of the man who served as the model for the Hyman Roth character in Godfather II want to get paid for the hotel and casino nationalized after the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

From CNN:

U.S. mobster’s heirs to Cuba: You owe us — so pay up

For Meyer Lansky, a mobster and casino impresario known for his business savvy, Cuba was the worst bet of his life

Headline of the day II: The Day of the Locust

From the Washington Post:

Lobbyists descend on Havana for Obama’s historic Cuba trip

Lobbyists for the U.S. agriculture industry and major business groups are descending on Havana, hoping to leverage President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba to advance their interests on the island.