Pope Benedict’s comments on Cuba “do not correspond with reality”.

Despite his provocative, disparaging and demonstrably inaccurate remarks directed towards the Cuban people and their system of government Pope Benedict XVI can still be assured of the customary warm welcome, generous hospitality and forgiving spirit for which the people of Cuba are well known.

Benedict, speaking aboard his plane to reporters as he flew to Mexico on Friday, said in reference to Cuba that “Today it is evident that Marxist ideology in the way it was conceived no longer corresponds to reality.” Before offering the Roman Catholic Church’s help in “peaceful transition on the island”.

Corresponding papal criticism of Mexico’s system of governance was conspicuous only by its absence from the Pontiff’s pontifications. A curious reporter in the papal entourage might have wondered how Mexico’s performance under neo-liberalism compares to that of socialist Cuba? However the Pope’s comments were instead uncritically parroted by news agencies and mainstream media organisations without any analysis of how the two Latin American nations actually compare.

While the doctrine of papal infallibility is still accepted by the Irish Time et al, Cuba Support Group is happy to fill the information gap and provide the analysis that the mainstream media neglected to. Data is sourced from The United Nations Human Development Report

Human Development Index Mexico V Cuba

On analysis the UN data clearly shows that in comparison to their Mexican neighbours, Cuban’s live longer, have a higher literacy rate and have a lower infant mortality rate.

The political system that they have built spends a higher proportion of GNI on health and education, has the second highest level of female participation in Parliament in the world and protects its population more successfully, and more frequently from natural disasters than does Mexico’s neo-liberal system.

The nonexistence of homelessness in Cuban society, combined with the free provision of healthcare and education, and guaranteed provision of essentials means that the UN cannot measure poverty in Cuba as its traditional manifestations are not found on the island. Mexico’s level of asset poverty consistently hovers between 46% and 50% of the population.

The Cuban economic system produces less carbon emissions and greenhouse gases per capita than Mexico’s while also being more sustainable and less harmful to the environment.

The only category in which Mexico outperforms Cuba is in the generation of wealth, however despite being a richer, larger and more populous country, Mexico fails miserably to provide for the needs of its people. Perhaps because neo-liberalism ensures that the vast majority of this wealth goes into the pockets of Mexico’s tiny elite of Billionaires at the expense of its ordinary citizens.

In literally every other category examined by the United Nations Human Development Report Cuba’s performance is superior to that of Mexico when it comes to meeting the needs of its citizens.

If Pope Benedict were to acquaint himself with the facts then surely, as a Christian, he would be compelled to call for Mexico to adopt Cuba’s successful socialist model and abandon neo-liberalism and the inequities and injustices that are inevitably caused by it’s policies.