Is Democrat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell stupid or merely gullible?
No other possibilities exist from comments she made about a recent junket to Cuba. The city hasn’t released exact figures, but it probably will cost taxpayers several thousand dollars (a total has been announced, but some of that includes private funds) to send her there, along with other area politicians, bureaucrats, and business and educational leaders.
Cantrell gave the same pie-in-the-sky answer that Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards rendered for a similar junket he took in 2016, bleating about economic ties with the communist island nation. Economic relations with Cuba beyond the trivial will happen no time soon and didn’t need any but the lowest functionaries to negotiate abstract deals that probably never will come to fruition.
But at least Edwards wasn’t as foolish to claim he went to Cuba, as Cantrell indicated, to study its educational and health care system and apply any lessons to Louisiana or New Orleans. She seems to have no clue that delivery of both spans the continuum from mediocre to awful, despite a grand mythology touting Cuba on both accounts built up by faithful hard left ideologues.
Its educational system is unremarkable, having reached the same literacy gains as many Latin American states. And that rate may have fallen since its last (self-)reported statistics from 2012, given the tremendous instability in its teacher corps, plagued with high turnover because of extremely low salaries. That’s the model that interests Cantrell?
Cuba’s health care system fares even worse. Its tiered structure leaves the vast majority of Cubans with decrepit, woefully inadequate hospitals, almost no access to outpatient medication (except through the black market), and severely underpaid doctors. As a result, its population’s life expectancy has hardly increased during its communist period while many countries once behind it have surged ahead (and its rate propped up by rampant abortions ordered on the preborn who have any hint of abnormalities).
What success it has had in the area comes from a preventive medicine model where doctors show up unannounced on an annual basis to give checkups in the home (and perhaps shuttle to the authorities on the side some information about the household’s revolutionary fervor). This is health care delivery that Cantrell envies: patient care settings little better than the rotting hulk of abandoned Big Charity before its demolition, no medication available, sky-high abortion rates, and sending doctors into every neighborhood (where they may not escape a stickup or mugging)?
Facts about Cuban education and health care myths aren’t scarce, and Cantrell probably isn’t a dumb human being, but she does have a record as a blind ideologue. Likely she simply doesn’t have the intellectual curiosity to challenge her preconceived prejudices on this and many other issues, so she has swallowed the leftist party line on Cuban without questioning it.
Cantrell’s wasting taxpayer dollars is bad enough. Her doing so out of a combination of vapidity and ignorance is inexcusable.