On Fri, 11 Dec 1998, Louis Proyect wrote:
> >As for the relation between smoking and capitalism, what was Fidel thinking
> >during all those decades he smoked cigars?
> From a 1994 speech:
> We can continue advancing, with the resources we have of this system of
> primary health care, which no one else has, through the family doctor
> program. We have to learn to work. We have to say that we have not learned
> how to make it work. We have not learned how to work with it yet. We have
> to improve the work of the family doctors' system. We are sure that, with
> the quality of life that our country has, with the diet our country has,
> and with these possibilities, life expectancy will continue to increase.
> But, furthermore, I believe that all of us, beginning with me, we have to
> change our conduct and lifestyle. The habit of smoking is still very
> widespread here in our country. We have a high percentage of doctors that
> still smoke in this country. We were saying to the comrades in Sancti
> Spiritus that despite all of their achievements, 34 percent of the doctors
> in that province are smoking. We cannot be an example that way....
> From a 1993 speech:
> For many years, Cuba has been fighting for the Third World at the United
> Nations, independent of our interests; defending issues that many times
> went against our national interests. I can cite an example: Cuba
> immediately supported the campaign against smoking. However, tobacco is one
> of Cuba's most important sources of hard currency. We did not hesitate to
> support the global health campaign because it was in the interest of
> mankind's health. And like this, there are many other things for which Cuba
> has waged a consistent battle all through the Revolution. We have been
> preventing problems. We have been foreseeing them; unfortunately, they are
> becoming ever greater realities.
> From a 1991 speech:
> The struggle is very difficult. The least we can say regarding the
> circumstances is that we should all struggle in our countries, in our
> fields, to improve medical care and health conditions of the population. We
> need to continue to struggle a lot. We need to continue perfecting what we
> have and overcoming the deficiencies we still have. They can be other types
> of battles; they are no longer technological. They can be social in nature
> or regarding education; for example, the battle against smoking that we
> have to wage. It is big, simply big. What education measures can we adopt?
> What type of economic measures? In spite of the fact that we have never
> followed the policy of low prices for alcohol or tobacco. On the contrary,
> we have followed the policy of low prices for milk and foodstuffs but not
> for these vices.
> What type of arrangement can we have to get better success in this battle?
> [Words indistinct] we watch the alcoholism matter quite a bit, and we are
> willing to prevent this from being a problem here, of course. We have
> problems with early pregnancy. This is a battle we are waging. We have not
> won it completely. Progress is being made, according to what family doctors
> said here.
> Louis Proyect