08:39 GMT18 January 2021
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    Is Cuba's Response to Hurricanes a Lesson in The Virtues of Socialism?

    Hard Facts
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    The recent Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes that have wreaked havoc in the US and throughout the Caribbean - referred to as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma respectively, came as yet another reminder of the grievous folly in believing that we, as a species, are in control of the forces of nature.

    They also shine a light on the cultural and ideological differences between a society, in Cuba, that is underpinned by cooperation, solidarity, mutuality, and one, in the United States, which places a premium on individualism, self reliance, and competition.

    According to a 2004 UN report, "“Disaster preparedness, prevention and response are part of the general education curriculum in Cuba.  People in schools, universities and workplaces are continuously informed and trained to cope with natural hazards.  From their early age, all Cubans are taught how to behave as hurricanes approach the island. Each year they undertake two-day training session in risk reduction for hurricanes, complete with simulation exercises and concrete preparation actions. This facilitates the mobilization of their communities at the local level when a hurricane hits.”

    On this episode, John Wight is joined by Bernard Regan from the UK's Cuba Solidarity Campaign to explore not only Cuba's response to natural disaster, but the ethos which underpins this response.

    Hard Facts is out every Wednesday. Join in the discussion here.

    Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey, Donald Trump, Fidel Castro, Cuba, US
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