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Archive for Monday, April 23, 2007

Cubans have longer life span than many

April 23, 2007

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— "Fidel: 80 More Years," proclaim the good wishes still hanging on storefront and balcony banners months after Cubans celebrated their leader's 80th birthday.

Fidel Castro may be ailing, but he's a living example of something Cubans take pride in - an average life expectancy roughly similar to that of the United States.

They ascribe it to free medical care, mild climate, and a low-stress Caribbean lifestyle, which they believe make up for the hardships and shortages they suffer.

"Sometimes you have all you want to eat and sometimes you don't," said Raquel Naring, a 70-year-old retired gas station attendant. "But there aren't elderly people sleeping on the street like other places."

Cuba's average life expectancy is 77.08 years - second in Latin America after Puerto Rico and more than 11 years above the world average, according to the 2007 CIA World Fact Book.

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