Little Homeland, Too Much Death

Fidel Castro’s fatal prophecy of “Homeland or Death” is being fulfilled. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yunior García Aguilera, Madrid, 24 January 2024 — The Homeland, or what remains of it, is in danger of extinction, and the data prove it. It is not a campaign of the regime’s enemies; their own statistics say it clearly, even if they try to hide them, delay them or cover them with clumsy makeup.

In 2021, the same year that people took to the streets to shout “Homeland and Life,” 167,645 people died in Cuba, about 55,000 more than in the previous year. An average of 459 Cubans died every day, and it is even worse if we compare ourselves with other countries. That year alone, the gross mortality rate in Cuba was 14.65 per thousand inhabitants, one of the highest in the world. In the United States it was 10.40; in Brazil, 8.33; in Colombia, 7.74. Cuba was even higher than Haiti, where the mortality rate was 8.68.

It is evident that the regime concealed the real number of deaths from Covid-19, but it is also obvious that it was not difficult to die of anything in a collapsed country, without medicines, with poor food and with terrible hygienic-sanitary conditions.

Nor is there optimism about total births. In 2021 this fell to less than 100,000 for the first time. It was even worse in 2022, with 3,693 fewer births

Unfortunately, the situation did not improve much after that year. The National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei) published the figure of 120,098 deaths in 2022, well above the number  before 2021. And it is suspicious that the second head of that Institution, Juan Carlos Alfonso Fraga, admitted a much higher figure shortly before during an interview with the AP agency: 129,049 deaths. In four months, almost 9,000 numbers of that statistic disappeared.

Nor is there optimism about the birth rate. In 2021, total births were less than 100,000 for the first time. It was even worse in 2022, with 3,693 fewer births. The Regime pats itself on the back, bragging that Cuba has birth rates similar to that of developed countries. Another lie! People don’t want to have children in Cuba because of the misery and insecurity they experience. Even Cubadebate has had to admit that there has been no generational replacement since 1978.

And then there is the migratory phenomenon. The country does not want to include in its statistics the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who have left without returning in the last three years. They hold on to the fact that the population continues to be more than 11 million inhabitants. They have extended the allowed time of stay abroad again and again. They say they do it because of the pandemic and its effects, they are so good! In reality, they do it so as not to have to admit the tremendous gap that the Island has suffered. Cuba is, on top of that, the country with the lowest proportion of immigration worldwide.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, the first cause of death is related to heart disease. It is fatally ironic that the Regime’s slogan was precisely: “On Cuba, put a heart.” It would seem like black humor in another context, but in this one it sounds like premeditated cruelty. The constant stress to which they subject a people who no longer know what the next order or package will be has the country at permanent risk of a heart attack. It is also alarming that, among the top 10 causes of death, suicide is found, even if they use the euphemism “self-inflicted injuries.”

In a country with destroyed roads and obsolete cars, how can we expect accidents to go down?

When all the statistics for 2023 come out, it will be hard not to cry for Cuba. If we add to all of the above the sudden increase in violence, femicides, drug use among young people, machetes, stab wounds… God!

In a country with destroyed roads and obsolete cars, how can we expect accidents to go down? In a country that gives combat orders against its own people and plays dice with the economy, how do they expect young people to stay? In a country that has made an apology for violence, where its officials hand out slaps, how can they expect young people from the slums not to pick up knives?

If the Regime does not fall soon, do not imagine that they will be there for 62,000 millennia; at this rate, the population will become extinct in ten years. This will fulfill Fidel Castro’s fatal prophecy when he said “Homeland or Death.” There is very little left of the homeland, and what is left is unrecoverable. Death is the one equalizer, from Punta de Maisí to Cabo de San Antonio.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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