|Cuban children are happy|
Response to article Canadians are major customers in Cuba’s child sex market, published in The Toronto Star on Sat Mar 16, 2013
In 1959 prostitution was rampant in Cuba, especially in areas of big cities, but was also present in small towns: it was a means of survival then. One of the first tasks undertaken by the Revolution after its triumph was to rescue all those women, by educating and providing them with jobs, so they could have a dignified life in the future.
It is my belief that Cuba is aware of the problems that tourism may bring into the country, and consequent with its principles, has implemented harsh laws to tackle drug trafficking, child prostitution and prostitution itself; and imposes severe punishments on those individuals who engage in these kinds of acts, whether locals or foreigners.
It is a gross infamy to say that Cuba ignores or turns a blind eye to a matter where children are harmed. According to government sources “child prostitution is a minor problem and (the) Government has accorded it significant attention”. It is monstrous to make the Cuban government appear as an accomplice in child corruption, and it is unprofessional to manipulate and distort facts to present readers with the dishonest generalization that child prostitution is growing without check in Cuba. That is a complete fallacy.
There’s possibly no other country in the world that has devoted more resources and effort to protect children as much as Cuba. According to the United Nations, Cuba is the only country in Latin America that has eradicated malnutrition in children, and has an infant mortality rate of 4.6, which is lower than that of some developed countries, including those where the article was written. Cuba provides schools, vaccination and all basic needs to its children; and that is a well known fact all over the world.
Those countries that allow its sexual predators to travel to third world areas to prey on its most vulnerable sector, their children, bear responsibility for those crimes. They should share information about these individuals. It is clear that when it comes to the protection of children more cooperation is needed between the governments of countries where that tourism is originated and the receiving end.
Despite the longest economic and financial blockade ever imposed in history on a country, Cuba, by a mighty power, the United States of America, and the continued and mounting hostility of the latter trying to suffocate its economy; the Cuban Revolution has struggled to provide its citizens with quality and sustainable education and comprehensive free health care. Cuba has the second highest life expectancy in Latin America and has elevated the dignity of its people by creating an environment of respect and solidarity among themselves and others. And these are facts, not manipulations.
President, Association of Cubans in Toronto “Juan Gualberto Gómez