How Cuba survived sanctions

ZIMBABWE can learn from Cuba which survived for over half a Century under comprehensive sanctions from the most powerful countries in the world, the Latin American country’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe has said.


Elio Savin Oliva said Cuba has managed to plan its economy and allocate national resources to key issues using a socialist approach to make sure that everyone benefits.

He said, unlike capitalism that has created wealthy billionaires, Cuba’s socialism introduced by retired president Fidel Castro has worked well for the Cubans who have managed to survive for more than half a century without United States aid.

“Cuba has a planned economy. It is not a market-driven economy. The government plans and allocates resources. We get loans from friendly countries but we don’t have access to financial support from monetary institutions,” Oliva told journalists a fortnight ago.

“It is the unity of the people and confidence in the leadership that has taken us to where we are. Socialism has been working well for us, and we are in a process of improving it.”

Zimbabwe, like Cuba, has been under US sanctions for over a decade due to “a deteriorating human rights record’ under President Robert Mugabe’s rule.

The west says there are no sanctions on Zimbabwe but restrictive measures on President Mugabe and his close associates.

Unlike Cuba, Zimbabwe has vast mineral resources which observers say in the absence of corruption could have helped the cash-strapped southern African country out of its economic quagmire.

Oliva said the island of 11 million people, now under the leadership of Fidel’s young brother Raul, had survived through tourism, exporting of skills and nickel exports.

“We don’t have millionaires in Cuba. We have managed to control corruption. We have managed to raise money through exporting skills generated through a vibrant educational system.
The ambassador said education, from Grade One to doctorate level, was free while health was a human rights issue.

“You can imagine the burden on government. Government should see to it that every pupil has a desk, books, teachers and so on. Through this, we have produced excess labour which we export to other countries. We offer scholarships to many people across the globe to learn in Cuba for free. The literacy rate in Cuba is 100%. We have helped other countries like Bolivia and Nigeria to improve in their literacy,” Oliva said.

Cuba today has the highest doctor-to-patient ratio of one doctor to 137 patients, according to Oliva.

“Every part of the country is accessed by doctors. Cuba has the lowest child mortality rate. The life expectancy is 70 years for men and 81 years for women. Even the death of a child is a State problem because a child will be looked after while it is still a pregnancy.

“We have doctors in more than 70 countries across the world. We have 11 000 doctors in Brazil alone and many more in other countries. The countries will pay for the doctors,” he said.

Cuba has many doctors in Zimbabwe but Oliva said they were only helping a friend for free since the Zimbabwe government cannot afford to pay them.

He said Zimbabwe could also learn a lot from the former Spanish colony in the areas of science and research, agriculture and tourism.

23 Responses to How Cuba survived sanctions

  1. Jonathan Nathaniel manheru June 8, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Zimbabwe and Cuba politically are like salt and suger. Cuba does not have a corrupt mafia like Zimbabwe. So all the effort above will not hold. The hypothesis is wrong. Zimbabwe is not under any sanctions. Its only dreamers and propagandists who think otherwise. The only solution for Zimbabwe is to wipe out ZANU(PF) from our map and you will see things going back to normal.

    • Cubaverdad June 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      Cuba does have a corrupt mafia. Fidel, Raul and their elite live very well while the people suffer.
      In a recent book a bodyguard of Fidel says he lives like a king and always has.
      Rafin, a company owned by RAul and FIdel (Raul Fidel Finance) is the largest shareholder of the monopoly phone company. Fidel is worth 800 million dollars according to Forbes.

      • Ngoko June 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

        Utter Rubbish

        • Cubaverdad June 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

          You are the only one posting rubbish

          Posted on Friday, 05.23.14

          Former bodyguard to Fidel Castro describes dictator’s luxe life in new book
          With luxury homes, diamonds, women and more, Fidel Castro ‘lives in a
          luxury that most Cubans can’t even imagine,’ says a former bodyguard who
          wrote a book of memoirs on the dictator.
          BY JUAN O. TAMAYO

          Report: Cuba’s Castro worth a cool $900M
          Fortunes of dictator estimated at nearly twice that of Queen Elizabeth
          II in
          annual ranking of ‘Kings, Queens & Dictators.’
          May 4, 2006: 7:33 PM EDT

          • QTrne941 June 19, 2014 at 8:30 am #

            ᴍʏ ᴄʟᴀssᴍᴀᴛᴇ’s ᴍᴏᴍ ᴍᴀᴋᴇs $74 /ʜᴏᴜʀ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ . Sʜᴇ ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴜɴᴇᴍᴘʟᴏʏᴇᴅ ғᴏʀ ɴɪɴᴇ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜs ʙᴜᴛ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ᴡᴀs $19254 ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ғᴏʀ ᴀ ғᴇᴡ ʜᴏᴜʀs. ᴡᴇʙsɪᴛᴇ ʟɪɴᴋ
            ================== >>>>>>>>>>>

      • Kondo June 17, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

        Cubaverdad, you are the biggest liar under the sun! Fidel Castro is not a millionaire and he DID NOT accumulate wealth when he was president. The hospitals he built for his people were/are good enough for him. The schools and universities offer high quality education for all who want to study. The opposite is prevailing Zimbabwe. A corrupt mafia is ruining resource-rich Zimbabwe. The same mafia ignores the hospitals and when the mafia leader is sick, he flies to singapore for treatment. In 2008 even the schools were closed and the mafia send their children to learn abroad, while claiming they are running the country well. A shameless mafia! And by the way, where are Fidel Castro’s millions hidden?? Difinitely NOT in the west!!!!

    • Col Nyathi June 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

      If we had all the money we could pay off these ZANU-PF leaders so they leave us alone to start all over again. The leadership just has no clue Manheru and the majority of them are holding on for fear of losing ill-gotten wealth. Jonathan I propose and amnesty for these people and we should put as a condition that they don’t participate anymore in country’s politics

    • tafamutekwe June 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

      True the diagnosis and prognosis are both far fetched. Cuba is a model country wherein Zimbabge is a mafia, banana republic. Whereas it was an honor for the likes of Commandant Fidel Castro to serve his people selflessly alongside his other equally committed comrades like Che Guevara in our beloved Zimbabwe the mafioso-cracy believes that they alone are the mudzimu- appointed rulers of the land and everyone and everything should faithfully bow down to them.Every single fruit and pebble, let alone the mineral and other wealth, solely belongs to the Zanu-pf oligarchy. How do you equate that to the Cuban example? A case of comparing oil and water!

  2. jah June 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    True,our situation is not caused by sanctions but by lack of leadership,corruption and patronage.

  3. Cubaverdad June 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Cuba did not succumb to the sanctions. The subsidies of the Soviet Union and Venezuela saved it but they also compensated and have hidden the economic disaster that is Castro’s Cuba. From a food exporting country it became a “food deficient country” (WFP) with no real industry to speak of. The imports needed for the tourism sector consume 87% of the revenues. The biggest export earner id “indentured labor” of doctors that are used as slave labor.

    • Ngoko June 8, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      Im laughing at you

      • Cubaverdad June 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

        Ngoko, you just show your ignorance. Nothing to be proud of.
        In Soviet times Cuba received 30-35% of its GDP in subsidies from the Soviet Union. That paid for all social and educational spending (30%). It received food at reduced prices and was allowed to “trade” sugar at inflated prices. Read up and learn.
        Venezuela’s subsidies (5 to 6 billion dollars) are currently Cuba’s biggest income.

  4. Col Nyathi June 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Until someone explains how Ian Smith managed to keep the Rhodesian economy intact despite war and UN sanctions I will not believe that the illegal sanctions are a cause for our suffering. I think corruption and skewed policies are largely to blame. This explains why almost the entire cabinet is made up of millionaires. Can someone explain if White racist ministers were as corrupt as our liberators.

    • mukwerekwere June 9, 2014 at 6:14 am #

      Cuba is the pits…..poverty is rife there…if you have ever been there.

  5. Cubaverdad June 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    Cuba is as corrupt as can be: get informed

  6. Godonga June 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    You are missing the point. The issue is Cuba as a socialist model has led to better health and welfare for its people. The capitalist model looks at material benefits only yet life expectancy, moral values and health are equally important goals for a nation. Corruption is everywhere more so in Wall Street!

  7. Shmeack June 11, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    my neighbor’s sister makes $75 /hour on the computer . She has been unemployed for 8 months but last month her pay was $20890 just working on the computer for a few hours. visit site………………………………… W­W­W.W­O­R­K­7­2.ℂ­O­M

    • Kondo June 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Hey conman stop this!

  8. moris June 15, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    I am shocked Zimbabwe was never given sanctions, they were given to Rhodesia long back but there was no effect. People need to understand the definition of sanctions . When individuals are banned its not sanctions for the country ,its unfortunate that our ignorance is taken for a ride. Who can tell me and read to me were Zimbabwe is sanctioned kkkkkkkk

    • mbatatisi June 16, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      A certain guy called ZIDERA in USA has answers to what you are asking for. Consult him.

      And also if you Sanctioning the CEO of a company is the best way of destroying the company too.

  9. tiktak June 15, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    the rhodesian sanctions effect is beginning to be felt now.

  10. tiktak June 15, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    the rhodesian sanctions effect is beginning to be felt

  11. mafirakureva June 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    In as much as Ngocko would like us to believe sanctions have lead to Zimbabwe’s demise the rest of the populace is not blind to the fact that it is the ZANY PF leadership’s love of the finer things in life which has led grandiose corruption which has drowned the country in the abyss we find ourselves in.

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