On Tuesday Fox News Latino published a report on how Cuba’s aging population should inflame the already ravaging economic fires of the Communist island nation:
“So few children, so many elderly. It’s a central dilemma for a nation whose population is the oldest in Latin America, and getting older.
The labor force soon will be shrinking as health costs soar, just when President Raúl Castro’s government is struggling to implement reforms that aim to resuscitate an economy long on life support.”
As the article explains, Cuba has been able to do what few Latin American countries have: it’s raised its life expectancy “from 69 years during the 1960s to 78 today,” and its aging population is attributed to the fact that more Cuban women are graduating from university and having less children as a result. For any other Western country, such statistics would be a welcome sign of success, but not for a developing country that cannot afford to have such a large section of its society out of work and collecting government benefits.
“Cuba’s National Office of Statistics says about 2 million of the island’s 11 million inhabitants, or 17 percent, were over 60 years old last year. That’s already high compared to Latin America as a whole, where the rate is somewhere north of 9 percent, extrapolating from U.N. figures from 2000.”
But the Castro regime, despite its many sins, is still true to its socialistic principles and is not abandoning its elderly:
“In recent years Cuba has implemented a number of measures for the aging, including an expanded denture distribution program and establishing ‘grandparents’ circles’ of elderly citizens who get together for activities and help each other out when the relatives they live with are at work …. Cuba recently allowed retirees to return to work and still collect their pensions.”
On Monday, just a day before the report on Cuba’s aging population crisis appeared, Fox News Latino also reported that Cuba’s second oil well attempt of the year failed to find any oil off the Cuban coast. The government had hoped that a successful rig might pump out enough Texas tea to give the Cuban economy a much needed boost.
So it appears that after 50 years, “el bloqueo” may finally achieve its goal and see the Castro regime starved into submission. The dream of a socialist Cuba will be dashed like waves against the Malecon, and Cuba will become like the rest of Latin America: sick, violent, and securely under the heel of Lady Liberty.
“Viva Cuba Libre,” indeed.