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Investment in social development programs bears fruit as Cuban indicators have come to show.

According to national statistics, in 1958, there were one million illiterates and over one million of functional illiterates in the island. At the end of 1961, Cuba was free of illiteracy. Four and a half decades later, inhabitants of the Caribbean nation hold one of the highest schooling indexes in Latin America, if not the first.

One out of eleven Cuban citizens are college graduates today.

Full employment policy is considered unprofitable in a capitalist society. In 1959, Cuba had an unemployment rate of 24 per cent and in 2006 it was already down to 1.9 per cent, the lowest in the island's history.

Houses with electricity amounted to 56 per cent in 1959, while in 2006, power services reached 95.56 per cent of all homes.

To achieve the above indicator, it was necessary to increase the number of power plants and installed capacity. In 1958, plants barely generated 397.1 megawatts, while 48 years later, installed capacity soared to 4,605 megawatts.

As for health care, Cuba has one doctor for every 159 inhabitants, compared to one for every 1,076 inhabitants in 1958. Dentists rate one for every 1,066 people, against one for every 27,052 in 1958.

The population's health indicators show 77 years of life expectancy, among the 25 leading countries worldwide. Back in 1950-55 it was estimated in 59.6 years.

Infant mortality is lowest in all Latin America, with 5.5 dead for every thousand infants born alive. Fifty-five years ago, Cuba reported 118 for every thousand live births.

The environment has also improved significantly. In 1959, only 14 per cent of the Cuban territory was covered with woods, rate that amounts to 24 per cent today, due to the reforestation drive conducted by the government.


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