Cuba a model for national mobilisation

The Maori Party offered both condolences and congratulations to the people and government of Cuba, for the unfortunate loss of life during the recent hurricanes, and also for their fortitude and the systematic mobilisation of people and resources which prevented a much greater disaster.

Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said in a press release that he has been greatly impressed by Cuba’s response to the series of deadly hurricanes that has lashed the region in recent weeks.

“A series of hammer blows like this compounds the pain of the people, and the devastation of homes, crops and infrastructure. Nations may be able to recover from a single disaster, but their resilience is sorely tested by three cataclysmic events coming so soon after each other,” he said.

“Cuba has suffered for generations under an economic blockade, and is certainly not an
economically wealthy country. But by massive investment in the nation’s greatest resource – its people – and by high-level planning, organisation and mobilisation of resources, the government of Cuba has been able to protect their people from the onslaught of the climate, with minimal loss of life and personal injury,” he said.

“In that sense, the hurricanes have created an opportunty for Cuba to demonstrate the true wealth that lies in the spirit of the people – their willingness to work together in the face of adversity, to look after each other, to take responsibility, to protect the vulnerable. This is an inspiration to us in the Maori Party, as we look to reinforce the traditional values of our ancestors as a pathway towards our own self-determination.

“This human wealth cannot be measured by conventional instruments. The Maori Party has long advocated that New Zealand adopt a Genuine Progress Index to evaluate our economic, social, environmental and cultural performance.

“We can only hope that the collective power of the Cuban people can cope equally well with the task of rebuilding, replanting and recovery, and we offer our solidarity with the people of Cuba in their task of national reconstruction,” said Dr Sharples.

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