Information Warfare: Protecting the Revolution

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September 17, 2006: There is a major outbreak of dengue fever in Cuba, with perhaps 30,000-35,000 victims hospitalized. The government is trying to keep a lid on this, as it is very embarrassing. One of the few solid achievements of the communist regime has been a significant improvement in national health standards and medical care. Dengue fever was thought to have been eliminated in the country earlier. But as has happened in most other communist nations, the "universal health care," and better health in general, was always something of a myth. While many doctors and nurses were trained, there was not much money available for medical equipment, hospitals and salaries. The poorly paid doctors and nurses often took second jobs to make ends meet, and frequently required gifts (bribes) from patients to make anything happen at all. Most importantly, lack of money, or effort, to maintain clean water supplies and mosquito control inevitably lead to things like outbreaks of dengue fever. Seen in this light, a major outbreak of dengue fever (and other preventable diseases) should not be surprising. But since it threatens the illusion of success for the Communist Party in Cuba, the government mobilizes the media to downplay and bury the incident, and all others like it.

 


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