Growing old in Cuba. Advantages and privileges.

Cuba is the country with the most elderly in Latin America. Most of the elderly who live in Cuba today grew up under the promises of Fidel Castro. This man, like every Dictator, promised things for free to the young people of the time. Promised a good life in exchange for work, effort and sacrifice but it was all a great lie which our grandparents believed.

Socialism uses people and then discards them regardless of the contribution made to society in many years of work.

Fidel was always a manipulator, he had the ability to convince millions of people to carry out any action, as a result of this capacity, many young people of the time (1970) were practically convinced to fight in a war that dis not belongs to them. I am talking about the Cuban invasion to the country of Angola, where thousands of Cubans lost their lives unnecessarily, only for the economic interests of a Dictator. 
He sent troops to Angola not to help the liberation of this country, he did it because this country had large reserves of oil and other natural resources. Which Fidel agreed to protect those reserves and he would charge money for this action. He earns an average of $ 20 million a year for serving in this war. Many Cubans survived this battle and were decorated. Close example, my father, decorated with the medal of honor for having served the country in international struggle. Despite all this, my father, like thousands of Cuban combatants was never compensated for his service by the Dictatorship. *Fidel directed the invasion from Havana, he never fought on the battlefield.

In any country in the world where the human being is respected, any war veteran will have an fair payment retirement for the service rendered to their country but in Cuba, the Dictatorship does not care about this, it simply abandons the people because, they are no longer useful to society. Millions of elderly Cubans who worked more than 20 years for a slave wage, today, do not have food to eat and live in absolute poverty. In any normal country in the world, people work and have retirement. With this money individuals are able to enjoy their last years of life. This can be taking vacations, going fishing, spending time with the family, etc but the Cuban elderly are simply forgotten by the Government. 

The average monthly payment in Cuba to the elderly is around 15 dollars, with this money it is impossible to survive not even 10 days! Most of them suffer from serious illnesses due to the lack of medicines and the low budget of these people, for whom it is very difficult to pay for the food they need to be able to live. 

Unlike the young Cubans who mostly seek to escape the country, the elderly are resigned to ending their lives in that hell. Many feel guilty for the bad decisions they made in the past by trusting Fidel, others still support Socialism in the hope that the Government will take pity on them, which will never happen. They also refuse to stop working because they have no money. This is one of the reasons why Cuba is so inefficient. Young Cubans do not work in companies that belong to the Dictatorship due to low wages and the elderly find an opportunity in these vacant positions. Another group of extremely marginalized elderly are those with a mental or physical disability who do not have the required care. In most cases the family must assume full responsibility without any help from the Government.

In 2010 there was a scandal in the "Mazorra" Psychiatric Hospital in Havana where a dozen elderly people died due to the cold and the poor care of the hospital's medical staff. Regarding this news, the Cuban Dictatorship does not speak, but it does speak of the people who die in the United States every day on National TV News. This is called cynicism at its finest. Millions of elderly people in Cuba are homeless or live in precarious living conditions. On the other hand, the Dictatorship has a social program of care for the elderly where it shows the world the good care given to these individuals. The reality about this social program is painful. 

There is no trained staff to take care of them because the salaries are very low, the facilities where these people are living are in very poor condition due to the long time without being repaired, among other problems such as the lack of existing medications. Due to housing policies existing in the country many elderly people found it difficult in their youth to acquire a house or to obtain enough money to fix their property that’s why many of them live practically on the streets.

All this problem has been reflected in the demographic data of the country where the aging population is increasing and the replacement is not equivalent due to the emigration of the young Cuban workforce who know that there is no future in Cuba and decide to move out of the country but despite all this many Cuban elders have had the courage to protest in the streets against the Dictatorship. People still with courage and dignity, elderly who deserve a better life.