Cuba's Human Rights Record is Not Improving
Whereas some claim that "Cuba Slowly Improving Human Rights Record," and misguided politicians from all portions of the political spectrum are arguing that capitulating to the wishes of a communist dictatorship is good foreign policy -- all the while spinning correspondingly fantastical tales to support this narrative, the reality tells a far different story.
In 2013, I showed that Cuba's record on a number of basic human rights issues was abyssmal -- and since that time it has not improved.
In 2012, Cuba was ranked 167th worst on the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders. Its 2015 ranking has dropped down to 171st. That is not improvement. Only China, Iran, Somali, Syria, Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea have less free press systems.
Over the past few years, Cuba's corruption index ranking by Transparency International has also declined substantially, representing yet another diminishment of its human rights record.
The Economist Intelligence Unit assigned Cuba a democracy index score of 3.52 in 2012 -- placing it ranked 127th among all nations and a clearly authoritarian regime. As of 2014, the latest rankings available, Cuba's democracy index is still 3.52 at a rank of 127th. There is no sign of improvement.
The World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators also illustrate there has been no improvement in any human rights related indicator for Cuba over the past few years (2013 is the latest data available).
Regarding claims by Castro apologists that the sanctions against, and isolationalist policies towards, Cuba were harming its economy -- these fantasies overlook the basic fact that during the past decade, Cuba's real per capita GDP increased by 64 percent, compared to less than 9 percent in the U.S., Canada, and the European Union. Whose economy was really suffering?
Cuba's per capita GDP is now ahead of Turkey -- a member of NATO and the OECD -- and 20 percent higher than in Mexico (a member of NAFTA). Reflect on that for a while. The total size of Cuba's economy is now greater than Ireland's and nearly twice the size of New Zealand's. It will overtake Finland's economy in the next few years, and it is only modestly behind Israel and Denmark in terms of economic size.
The greatest propaganda about Cuba isn't coming from this island nation, it is instead being disseminated by its useful idiots and influence operatives within the West.