Since Castro’s death there has been raised interest to look inside world he created. The conditions women live under, the compulsion, their lives planned from beginning to end is enough to make us weep. And here in America we’re embracing aspects of this Cuban life as though we’d been denied some great privilege. Feminism would have us grasp at our very deaths. If you find it hard to look through the issues in our country and see the truth, look at Cuba and look into what could become our future if we fail to live as the free people we are and were born to be. Now is not a time to be faint hearted or to look the other way. The object lesson is clear.
As in Big Brother Soviet Russia, legalised abortion became necessary to the Cuban revolution, facilitating women’s equality and liberation into the workforce, where they were needed to replace the vast numbers of their countrymen who fled the revolution, and to achieve the agricultural miracle that Castro dreamed of.
It has also been essential to the success of Castro’s much-vaunted public health miracle, based on the preventive model praised by the Director General of the World Health Organisation a couple of years ago. Among its achievements Margaret Chan pointed to an infant mortality rate of 4.2 per thousand births – lower than in the United States and one of the lowest in the world.
That would indeed be a credit to the system, but some experts are sceptical. Tassie Katherine Hirschfeld, chair of the department of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, who spent nine months living in Cuba in the late 1990s studying the nation’s health system, reported that “pregnant women are treated with very authoritarian tactics to maintain these favourable statistics.
…after decades of the crassest form of birth control – multiple abortions in many cases — Cuba’s women are not only infertile in the sense of not giving birth, but also in the sense of being physically unable to.
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