How Cuba Does It


Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died. What is Cuban President Fidel Castro’s secret? According to Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico, and specialist in Latin America,  "the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. People know ahead of time where they are to go."

Sidebar: Where the hell is Dick Cheney? Can someone please threaten to defibrilate his ass if he doesn’t at least show some fake empathy? What an asshole. Everybody else is down on the ground and he just now cancels his trip to Alberta to investigate – wait for it – wait for it – Alberta’s vast oil sands region, where steam is used to extract oil from oil-bearing rocks.






5 responses to “How Cuba Does It”

  1. palochi Avatar

    We had a national civil defense program like that back in the 50’s and 60’s. However, it dealt with what to do if the Evil Ruskies (TM) attacked with nukes. “Stop, drop and roll” was the catchphrase. Fallout shelters, survivalist propaganda, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t think that phrase works so well with hurricanes and massive floods happening on your doorstep. Then again, I’m not so sure how well it would’ve worked in a nuclear scenario either. “Stop, drop, roll and incinerate or die of a painful overdose of radiation and flash burns.”

    Also, since when was Darth Cheney even capable of showing “fake” empathy? Have you seen the man emote? Although it infuriated me to no end how he was MIA during this crisis, I’ve convinced myself it’s pointless to even ask these questions anymore.

    They. Just. Don’t. Give. A. Crap.

    Better question: Why are the Canadians even thinking of letting that man tread upon on their soil?

  2. Damian Avatar

    That quote from Dr. Valdes is simplistic and misleading. It’s not as if 1.3 million Cubans (or 10% of the population) relocated by driving to safety in shiny new SUV’s because they knew “ahead of time where they are to go”!!! In a country where vehicles are scarce, trucks and busses were brought in by the government and local emergency committees in the sort of collective effort that typifies their society (as opposed to the US). Cuba is often battered by large storms, but the govt there prides itself on the way all citizens are protected (rich or poor). Even third world countries like India seem more willing/able to respond to large disasters than does this particular US administration. If it doesn’t affect their own self-interests, the Bush-gang just don’t care.

  3. Danelle Avatar

    Trust me palochi, this here girl is Canadian, and if it were up to me he wouldn’t be allowed to come here. But I guess even after all that madcow shit, and how “Dubya” and his boys used that to get back at us feeble Canucks, some of us still feel the need to kiss ass. Just for the record, I wouldn’t even recessitate that man if I was the last dumb Canadian holding a defibulator! And I don’t even care that I am probably going to hell for saying that. I’ve had worse things come out of my mouth. Not as bad as “Dubya” mind you….

  4. Beastmomma Avatar

    I think the point of the article was to show that Cuba does a good job of taking care of all its citizens, even those who do not have many material goods. It is touching that the government says that those who have been displaced by the hurricaine should be treated by all countries as their own. I think that captures the spirit of a true global community and is really what it means to have compassion.

  5. David Avatar

    I think the civil defense program of the 1950’s motto was “duck and cover”, as in duck under your desk and cover your head. (As if that’s any good in deflecting a nuclear blast).

    “Stop, drop and roll” is what you are supposed to do if you catch on fire. I agree, though that utility of the tactic is useless in a flood situation.

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