Ariadne’s Notes: On April 4, 1-2 PM PST, the World Poetry Café, 100.5 FM, CFRO had a great show with featured guest and WP Radio host, Diego Bastianutti. Diego had just come back from spending two weeks in Cuba and was able to share with us a fascinating glimpse of life in Cuba. The radio show was in Spanish, English and Italian with poems by Diego also in Spanish, Italian and English.
When I was working with Survivors of Torture, I arranged for a young man from Central America to get the medical treatment he needed in Cuba for free. We only had to raise the airfare. The treatment made a big difference in his life.
Here are some of the highlights about life in Cuba: from the show:
*Diego says that there are two Cuba’s , one wealthy by the tourist trade and one for the Cuban people.
*Due to the US Blockade, there is a rationing of food staples. Also due to the blockade , other countries are not allowed to trade with Cuba. Each person has a rationing card for basic foods.
*The markets mostly have Cuban soft drinks and very little else which has causes health problems. This is due to lots of sugar cane which is abundant. One person told Diego that he had not been able to get any butter for three months.
*Education from kindergarten through university is free as is a high standard of comprehensive medical care. Doctors trained in Cuba are in great demand all over the world.
*Everyone has housing and if you buy a home, your mortgage rate is 10 % of your income.
The Literacy rate in Cuba is 100 %. Books are plentiful and cheap. They are from all over the world without restrictions on topics.
*Recognized poets, artists, musicians, even ping pong players are considered to be professionals are paid a monthly stipend
to live on.
*While Diego was there, a new constitution was being written with input from all the communities. Every point was discussed and put down for review.
To know more, please listen to the show.
CLICK HERE! *Please wait. for some reason, the link is not working again!