Cuba’s government-owned healthcare apparatus is just as oppressive as the rest of the socialist regime’s cancerous dictatorship.

Cuba’s Healthcare Bureaucracy Deserves No Praise

Cuba’s government-owned healthcare apparatus is just as oppressive as the rest of the socialist regime’s cancerous dictatorship.

By Logan M. Williams

Recently, a series of news articles have been published extolling the virtues of Cuba’s national biotech industry and its state-owned healthcare system, such as Achal Prabhala and Vitor Ido’s June 1st article in the Washington Post titled “Next Pandemic, Let Cuba Vaccinate the World.” Stories like Prabhala and Ido’s have chosen to praise Cuba’s national vaccine program, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have made spurious claims about the island nation’s contributions to global pandemic management. Even worse, these articles often state that the rest of the world should attempt to learn from Cuba’s example. What example, exactly, would that be?

The admiration expressed in these publications, unfortunately, is undeserved, and not in accordance with the lived reality of Cuban citizens.

At the inception of the pandemic, the Cuban regime made a conscious decision not to take decisive action, and even continued to promote accelerated outside tourism to the island at the expense of the lives of both Cuban citizens and visiting tourists.

The government chose not to initiate any quarantine or control mechanisms to slow the spread of the virus, until weeks after most of Europe and the United States took those necessary steps.

Cuba then proceeded to bypass opportunities for the rapid vaccination of the Cuban people, including through COVAX and the importation of other countries’ vaccines, in favor of developing their own. The result of this was the creation of a vaccine months after the United States and several other countries had already successfully done so, the delayed vaccination of the Cuban people, and the widespread administering of a vaccine before testing had been completed to calculate its efficacy. 

The success of this venture can be seen in Cuba’s emergency importation of Chinese vaccines in August 2021 (due to Cuban vaccine shortages), by the fact that The Economist Magazine states that Cuba’s excess deaths (due to mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic) place it amongst the lowest-performing 20 countries in the world, and by the scattered reports of mass graves being used to bury the victims of the virus.

 It is also important to remember that Cuban medical aid often comes in the hands of Cuban medical “missionaries.” These doctors are the victims of human trafficking by their own government, and they’re often forced to work in deplorable conditions, without just compensation. To say that the world has anything to learn from repressive dictatorship is myopic, regressive, and offensive to the victims of government abuse worldwide. 

Perhaps it is time to stop venerating a brutal totalitarian regime, and to cry with one united voice, Cuba Libre!