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Study: Economic Crisis Improved Cuba’s Health

April 13, 2013

Cuba will rise from it’s economic demise!

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The devastating economic crisis that gripped Cuba in the 1990s led to a marked improvement in the nation’s health, researchers have found.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union — and the subsequent termination of Soviet aid — and amid the tightening of the U.S. embargo, Cuba’s government was forced to implement tight rationing of food and fuel. But it also introduced  policies like commercial neighborhood gardens and the use of animals in farming in place of machinery. Cuba imported 1.5 million bicycles from China, and produced half a million more.

By looking at health statistics from that time—known in Cuba as the “Special Period”—researchers could see if such wholesale changes in dietary and exercise habits, across the population, made a difference to the nation’s health.

(MORE: Cuba’s Yoani Sánchez: What to Make of the Dissident’s World Tour)

Cuba has a long tradition of public health…

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