The Cuban Lesson for a Desolate Nigeria

December 5, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Ogunniyi Abayomi

His demise was announced via broadcast and print medium of communication globally on 26th November,2016.

The revered Cuban politician and revolutionary Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was pronounced dead on Cuban state television by his brother Raul, declining to disclose the cause of his death publicly at the state capital, Havana.

The inquiry to his identity and contribution to the political, social, educational and economic sphere of the Republic of Cuba were questioned triggering controversial attributes from different political domains across the continent. A misidentified dictator, enigma and Marxist moving against the ideology of Cuba enacting a capitalist policy in a communist society, transforming Cuba to a one party socialist state with the state controlling industries and business organisations with socialist reform implemented across society.

The son of a sugar cane farm owner, graduate of law at the university of Havana via his revolutionary group, alongside Argentine Che Guevara and Raul Castro, overthrew Batista after his sojourn from Mexico imploring a military and political strategy. Ascending to the political post in 1959 as Prime Minister, he was opposed by the United States of America, every attempt to evict him failing, which enforced the Americans to cut international ties between them.

He introduced socialist policies in his regime which were central economic planning, expanding healthcare and education, in addition to the supervision of the press by the government, some of the socialist reforms enacted by Castro who never delved into the capitalist system of economy.

Cuba, a country located on the northern Caribbean, joining the Caribbean sea connecting the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic ocean, was ranked highly in the sector of education and health care. It was described as a country with high human development and was ranked 8th across North America.

The elusive challenges encountered before the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union was endearing, they were mostly farmers, agriculture the main source of livelihood. How did they move and what were the strategies implored, despite the absence of international aid from the super power of the world, except Russia who decided to tie along because of the socialist system of government?

Cuba generates a GDP of 78% or more by a centrally planned economy that supports the needs of the proliterian who can fend for themselves without depending on capitalist money to survive. Each citizen has the right to education and health facilities to enact human development of its citizens rather than watch people die of hunger and starvation, or commit crime and robbery due to a high rate of unemployment.

This scenario of an industrialized state where everyone benefits from each other cannot be ascribed to the Nigerian society. In a sphere of various human and natural resources, survival is limited whereby acquiring a job to meet your needs is inevitable.

The fall in oil price creating a new reality whereby we are poor is unknown to us. Fund mismanagement and wastage of public funds over obscene projects endeared us to a state of hardship despite a massive population and land mass across the African continent.

Can our leader observe some lessons from the Cuban political administration concerned with human development rather than their own pockets? We are separated by class yet we are languishing as a nation suffering in pride over the wealth of the affluent and the noble.

Our standard of education has not improved, meanwhile only affluent men send their kids abroad. The societal and economic crime would not evolve if Olu is engaged with his trade to meet his needs across society.

Ade would not compromise to stealing if he was gainfully employed after graduation from the university. Ronke would not venture into prostitution if she has harnessed her fashion skills with proper empowernent for her to meet the needs of the people.

Ali would embrace the thought of violence if he was properly educated and groomed during his youth. This was what Castro considered when he assumed power citing the need for human development across Cuba.

Deoluwa would not have died of cancer if there were facilities provided by goverment to hospitals. Gabriel would not be involved in a ghastly accident if our road network was good.

Where do we go from here if we are not concerned about his welfare, her state of education or cannot empower a nation?

Our citizens are valuable if they are properly given the power and hope of surviving. Should we not learn from the Cuban people?











Ogunniyi Abayomi

Ogunniyi Abayomi was born July 11, 1991 in the city of Lagos, where he resides. A poet and essayist whose works have been published in various journals.


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