Sunday, May 07, 2006

Suicide in Cuba

Cuba may flaunt their "free" healthcare, low infant mortality rate and most recently length of life expectancy as "triumphs" of the rob-olution. But what The Bearded Stooge cannot flaunt is this - Cuba stands first in suicide rate.
According to the Basic Health Indicators of a 2005 report by the OPS, Cuba had an18,1 rate of suicides in each 100.000 inhabitants during the 2000-2005 period, far from the second place occupied by Uruguay with 15,9 and very far from countries like Peru with 2,3 and Guatemala with 1.9.
But why are Cubans committing suicide? Surely, the apologists will say, Cuba has always had a high suicidal rate. Wrong.
“By the hopelessness, the social atmosphere without horizons, a sort of collective depression that impels to escape via the suicide route”, assured to the New Herald a sociologist Cuban investigator who works for the ministry of Public Health.

The suicide phenomenon as social problem does not have a historical precedence in Cuba; the suicides in the island has varied clearly from the first years of the Republic, but with very inferior indexes from the present ones that go from 2,2 in 1907, to a 13,1 in 1957.

The suicide statistics in Cuba seem to have ties to the social political process of the country. Thus an analysis of the statistics at the beginning of the decade of 1960 sample shows the suicide index was between 10 and 8 for every 100.000 inhabitants, concretely a 10,2 in 1963 according to the World-wide Health Organization (the WHO), and soon shot to alarming 23,2 in 1982, two years after the Mariel exodus.
If things are so great in Cuba, why is the 25 - 45 YOUNG population, and mostly the men, committing suicide at such an alarming rate?

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