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    The Numbers that Cuba Shelves

    The Numbers that Cuba Shelves / Juan Juan Almeida
    Posted on May 22, 2013

    According to the newspaper Granma, Cuba is among the 16 countries that
    have already reached the goal set by the World Food Summit in 1996,
    halving the number of undernourished people in every country of the
    world before 2015.

    It is sad that Mr. José Graziano da Silva, director general of the
    United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO, for its
    acronym in English), asserts that the credit has been possible thanks to
    the priority given by the Cuban government to guaranteeing its people’s
    right to food and the policies implemented to achieve this objective.

    Nonsense, but explainable. It’s hard to see beyond the growth with its
    perfection that aims to show a government that distorts all its data and
    knows that for the vast majority of international organizations, the
    world is reduced to numbers. We are numbers and calculations; very
    dangerous arithmetic that some Cuban officials handle with excellence.
    My country is a place of impunity reigned over by an impeccable
    combination of politics and prostitution.

    I don’t want to go overboard citing old familiar tactics used by the
    Cuban government to lobby and win votes in the different international
    level forums. It makes no difference if it’s the CDR, FMC, UNICEF, FAO,
    HRC, EU, UNDP, OEI, CARICOM … Every acronym is handled the same,
    national or international. When there are funds, nothing will be
    impossible because in island politics you just have to wait and what is
    won is lost and what is lost is won.

    In the mid ’90s, a young neonatologist who worked in the Ramón González
    Coro OB-GYN Hospital in Havana Vedado, formerly the Sacred Heart clinic,
    was among the many selected to be part of a commission that would study
    what then was a TOP SECRET investigation.

    Hiding a smile, and trying not to show her immense gratitude for such
    reliability, the talented doctor went to work. And counting on the full
    support of the Council of State itself, she thought that telling the
    truth would be the seed of what with great passion she called “My

    The hurried exploration found that the Cuban infant born underweight,
    which later resulted in a considerable and irreversible decrease in size
    of the Cuban child, which even scientifically established standards
    considered “alarming.”

    For this study, which lasted some time, this multidisciplinary team
    compiled a spreadsheet which took into account variables such as
    maternal age, health status assessment to detect pregnancy, treatment
    with nutritional supplements, weight gain in pregnancy , history of
    curettage, etc.. All these data were extracted from the records of
    pregnant women in doctors’ offices, and in the various departments of
    statistics for each local polyclinic.

    The final report revealed that the factors associated with the preterm
    birth of many Cuban infants weighing under 2,500 grams, are inadequate
    nutrition of the future mother (this represented the highest percentage
    of cases studied), anemia during pregnancy and an inadequate time
    between births.

    Since then, and as appropriate, the results were altered and the real
    results were shelved under lock and key. And my friend, who left
    medicine and has dedicated herself to painting, says that facial hair is
    not the only thing that connects Cuban officials with the Taliban.

    21 May 2013

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