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LATIN AMERICA: The facts and statistics

Like others, WAISers disagree sharply about the relative merits of left-wing and right-wing dictatorships. Carlos López, who defends Pinochet, says his regime did more to help the poor than any other country in Latin America. Tim Brown is highly critical of Castro and the Sandinistas. My solution to this argument is to get the hard facts, supported by statistics. Tim Brown replies:

"On Cuban statistics, there are lots, but they are not public. On Cuba at present there is a real internal debate going on inside the EU aid establishment. According to official Cuban statistics, Cuba is right up there with Switzerland in terms of literacy, infant mortality and the like. And yet Cuba receives more EU aid than any country in the hemisphere after Haiti. The Brits are saying that if the official stats are right, and that Cuba doesn't need any aid. The French are saying yes they do because of the American blockade. I'm told that the EU actually has stats on all this, but is keeping them confidential for political reasons as they battle it out. For example, literacy is actually around 40% outside Havana, or lower than before the revolution".

Ronald Hilton - 3/13/01