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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 23 - 29  > Nation unwilling to establish good relations with its neighbors will be left behind
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2016 March 23 - 29 [WORLD]
column 

Nation unwilling to establish good relations with its neighbors will be left behind

March 23, 2016
Akahata ‘current’ column

Cuba is considered a treasure-trove of vintage automobiles. In the capital city of Havana, many classic cars such as 1950s American cars are in use. This appears to be a heaven for classic car enthusiasts and attracts many foreign visitors.

After the 1959 revolution, Cuba and the United States severed diplomatic relations. The long years of the U.S. embargo has made it difficult for Cuba to import industrial materials which hindered the manufacture of domestic vehicles. That is why many people are using their aged cars by repeatedly having them repaired.

The Caribbean island nation has a land area of 110,860sq km (42,803sq mi) and a population of over 10 million people whose lifestyle is easy going and frugal. Although the nation is struggling with the supply shortage as shown by the example of the presence of many old cars and buildings, it has achieved various highly acclaimed social developments.

Among them is a free health care service system. Cuba ranks the top in the world in terms of the number of doctors per capita and their level of medical skills. It even sends doctors to other countries in need of medical assistance. This humanitarian contribution has drawn global attention.

A standing President of the United States visited Cuba for the first time in 88 years. Leaders of the two countries have displayed their desire to overcome the difficult legacies from the past and to build friendly relations.

Times change, the world changes. A nation which sticks to the past and shows unwillingness to move forward to be able to get along with neighboring countries would be left out of the world.

Past related article:
> ‘New relations’ with Cuba will depend on US efforts [April 13, 2015]
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