Human development (Updated)
The media-friendly report includes an annual table – the Human Development Index – ranking all members nations on a range of indicators, including life expectancy, educational levels and per capita income.
In other words, the higher the ranking, the better the place.
And sure enough, Cuba has been ranked at number 51 – one spot below last year's ranking.
This places Fidel Castro’s island paradise ahead of countries such as Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation, Brazil, India and even Venezuela, which won’t make Hugo Chavez all that happy.
However, there are four other Latin American countries ahead of Cuba on the ranking table: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and once again, Costa Rica.
That’s right: Costa Rica. A small, spectacularly beautiful nation in Central America, with limited natural resources that was poorer and less industrially developed than Cuba was in 1958. And it has a functioning, multi-party democracy, a lively press, freedom of association …
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
You can read the UN report here.
But be warned: as with most other UN reports, you need to take these figures with a pinch of salt, at least when it comes to Cuba. Why? Because the UN relies on data supplied to it by the member countries. Now, I have absolutely no doubt that the data compiled and provided by say, Australia, or the UK, or New Zealand … or Costa Rica … is fair dinkum. The data supplied by the Castro regime? Hardly.
By the way, Australia once again ranked number three on the table, just behind Iceland and Norway.