Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Viva Fidel! You broke the mould!

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-02-20


How many dictators resign?  How many dictatorial regimes (in the last few centuries) lasting decades create massive improvements to public health and education, and make countries environmentally sustainable?  How many dictators are never accused, even by enemies, of pilfering the country’s wealth, living in palaces, and corruption?

You probably have to go all the way back to Napoleon to find a dictator who was such a progressive and effective reformist for education, health, and law, who was so hated by the "nobility" of other nations, and even then, you’d have to discount the massive deaths in the Grand Army on the way back from Moscow.

Fidel, on the other hand, has sent a large army of doctors, nurses and teachers around the world.  Even The Economist gives him some praise, and data proves he is the only leader in the world ever able to create a healthy, educated and green country, and he did this with almost no money and no oil.

If and when his policies are overturned, I predict that the most important metrics for long term human welfare will take a sharp turn for the worse, including the: UNDP human development index (HDI) education and health components, global hectares per capita and Happy Planet index.

I’ll go further, and posit that there will be a negative correlation between health, education and sustainability indices on one hand, and the degree to which the US is happy with "political progress" on the other.

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2 Responses to “Viva Fidel! You broke the mould!”

  1. Dave Bath said

    In response to an anti-Castro diatribe at LP’s Hasta la Vista Castro, I posted the following (which I wish I’d included in the main post)

    Actually, Cubans-against-Castro are a bit like the Judean People’s Liberation Front from “Life of Brian”:
    “What has that despot ever done for us apart from remove our political freedoms?”
    “Well, there’s education”
    “… and better child mortality indices than the US”
    “… close to the best doctor/patient ratio in the world”
    “… almost no incidence of AIDs”
    “… the world’s only country that meets sustainability and human development criteria of the UNDP”
    “… Yes, but apart from health, education, and a sustainable environment, what’s he ever done for us?”

  2. […] "Viva Fidel! You broke the mould!" (2008-02-20) starts: How many dictators resign? How many dictatorial regimes (in the last few centuries) lasting decades create massive improvements to public health and education, and make countries environmentally sustainable? How many dictators are never accused, even by enemies, of pilfering the country’s wealth, living in palaces, and corruption? […]

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