May Day Speech by Dr. Fidel Castro
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA,
AT THE INTERNATIONAL WORKERS' DAY CELEBRATION
IN REVOLUTION SQUARE, HAVANA, MAY 1st 2002
Data excerpted from the Official Translation done on May 3, 2002.
For the sake of time, I will outline just a few figures for Latin
America as a whole as compared to Cuba.
Illiteracy rate: Latin America, 11.7%; Cuba, 0.2%
Inhabitants per teacher: Latin America, 98.4; Cuba, 43, in other
words, 2.3 times as many teachers per capita
Primary education enrolment ratio: Latin America, 92%; Cuba, 100%
Secondary education enrolment ratio: Latin America, 52%; Cuba, 99.7%
Primary school students reaching Fifth Grade: Latin America, 76%;
Infant mortality per thousand live births: Latin America, 32;
Medical doctors per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America,
160; Cuba, 590
Dentists per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 63;
Nurses per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 69; Cuba, 743
Hospital beds per 100 thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 220;
Medically attended births: Latin America, 86.5%; Cuba, 100%
Life expectancy at birth: Latin America, 70 years; Cuba, 76 years
Population between 15 and 49 years of age infected with HIV/AIDS:
Latin America, 0.5%; Cuba, 0.05%
Annual AIDS infection rate per million inhabitants, i.e. those who
develop the disease: Latin America, 65.25; Cuba, 15.6
The first international study of the Latin American Laboratory of
Evaluation of educational quality, carried out in 12 Latin American
countries including Cuba, produced the following results. Although
these data have been already mentioned, I would like to briefly refer
to them in detail:
In Language, 3rd Grade: Cuba, 85.74 points; the remaining 11
countries, 59.11 points
In Language, 4th Grade: Cuba, 87.25; the rest, 63.75
In Mathematics, 3rd Grade: Cuba, 87.75; the rest, 58.31
In Mathematics, 4th Grade: Cuba, 88.25; the rest, 62.04
According to these figures, of the seven Latin American countries that
voted against Cuba, four --Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay--
that had boasted in the past of being the most advanced in the region,
fall well behind Cuban figures. In some of these, they reach or scrape
past the half way mark in comparison to Cuba, but in others they are
very well below. This is the case of pre-school education for 0-5 year
olds, for example, that only reaches 15.8% of the children in that
age group in Chile as compared to Cuba's 99.2%.
Cuba already occupies worldwide outstanding and hard-to-surpass
positions in a growing number of fields essential to guarantee life and
the most fundamental political, civil, social, and human rights to
ensure the well-being and future of our people. The mass political
knowledge of the Cuban people is unrivalled in any other country. Its
cultural and social programs and achievements advance at an
Our dreams become reality. A more humane society is possible, lies and
slander notwithstanding. History will bear this out.
Long live Socialism!
Motherland or Death!
We shall overcome!