Culture

Some People Don’t Believe The Cuban Government Is Being Honest About The Number Of People Living To 100

Longevity is both the question and the answer to experts seeking to understand communities that live longer than average. In the U.S., wealth is often more correlated to health, with greater access to both healthcare and self-care. Cuba, however, is not a wealthy country. With the average monthly income being publicly listed as $30 per month, experts are puzzled as to why there are 2,070 Cubans living over 100 years old on the island.

Like many other communities of centenarians, experts suspect a strong family system is a key to a long life. Other experts suspect Cuba is lying.

The data on thousands of people living to 100 is released by Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health.

@AFP / Twitter

The data itself is based on the first quarter of 2017, which showed that more than 1,200 of the centenarians were women. According to the communist nation, 19.8 percent of its people are 60 years and older.

“Centennials now represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the population, with very special socioeconomic and health implications,” Dr. Alberto Fernández Seco, director of the Ministry’s Department of the Older Adult, Social Assistance and Mental Health told Juventud Rebelde.

Dr. Fernández Seco credits Cuba’s free healthcare for the success of its citizens.

“Health care is free in Cuba, a country with has an average life expectancy of 79.5 years. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

What’s more is that Dr. Fernández Seco says the population isn’t demented, disabled or heavily dependent. The majority of those 100 years and older live with their family.

Rigoberta Santovenia, 102, credits her family for her ripe age.

“Rigoberta Santovenia, 102, at her home in Havana. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

She lives with her 68-year-old daughter, Regla, who takes care of her. “I’m very family oriented — I love my children, my grandchildren, my six great-grandchildren. I’ve never been alone,” she said.

Regla is convinced her mom will make it to the “120 Club.”

“Rigoberta Santovenia, 102, reads a newspaper at her house in Havana. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

In 2003, Fidel Castro’s personal doctor, Eugenio Selman-Housein, created the “120 Club,” which is promoted to this day. Dr. Raul Rodriguez, President of the “120 Club” maintains that “biologically, it has been proven that humans can live for 120 to 125 years.”

Regla thinks her mother was born to live to 120 years old. “Her great-grandmother was a slave. Slave blood seems to be stronger — that’s why she’s kept going so long,” Regla said. Rigoberta continues to read the newspaper every day without reading glasses.

Delia Barrios, 102, also says that it’s her family that keeps her going.

“Delia Barroso, 102, blows out the candles on her birthday cake at a party in Havana. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

“I don’t feel like I’m this old. I have a family … that loves me a lot. That helps me to feel good,” she said. Barrios uses a motorized wheelchair–one that her great-granddaughter Patricia likes to join for the ride.

When Barrios was 60 years old, she was diagnosed with colon cancer and moved to the U.S.

“Delia Barroso (left) receives a present at her 102nd birthday party in Havana. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

Twenty years later, she moved back to Cuba so she could be cared for by family. She lives with her granddaughter, Yumi, 59. Barrios says she spent her youth dancing, drinking, and smoking.

Plus, like most of our abuelas, she’s still dressed for success.

@newsroll / Twitter

For Cubans, reaching 100 isn’t the goal. They want to join the “120 Club,” and to live as you’ve still got two decades ahead of you, once you’ve reached 100 years old, certainly offers motivation.

Some experts, however, think Cuba is smudging the numbers for propaganda’s sake.

@EmbassyofRussia / Twitter

Robert Young, an expert with the U.S. Gerontology Research Group, does acknowledge the family support system as a significant factor. “We see that in Japan, too,” he says. On the other hand, he thinks the numbers are meant to propel “a myth that’s used for ideologic propaganda purposes.”

The methods of manipulation are shocking.

@AFP / Twitter

An expert on the matter for Cuba, specifically, Vincent Geloso, says that Cuban doctors “have targets to reach or they’re punished.” Geloso references a similar government’s strategy–the Soviet Union used to record infant deaths as miscarriages to keep down mortality rates.

Regardless, Cuba’s life expectancy relative to revenue is truly remarkable.

@ANTICONQUISTA / Twitter

It doesn’t add up to other countries. Experts have a range of theories ranging from the low rate of car ownership and resultant accident deaths to even the 1990’s food rationing that kept diabetes rates down while other countries’ skyrocketed.

Whatever the case may be, many feliz cumple’s a Cuba.

READ: A Brazilian Social Security Worker May Have Discovered the Oldest Living Person Ever

‘Hamilton’ Star Miguel Cervantes And Wife Kelly Cervantes Share Touching Posts About Daughter’s Death

Things That Matter

‘Hamilton’ Star Miguel Cervantes And Wife Kelly Cervantes Share Touching Posts About Daughter’s Death

kellygc411 / Instagram

Miguel Cervantes, the man handpicked by Lin-Manuel Miranda to play Alexander Hamilton in “Hamilton,” shared the news of his daughter’s death. Adelaide Grace, his 3-year-old daughter, had been living with severe childhood epilepsy and was diagnosed with the disorder.

“Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes and his wife Kelly Cervantes shared the sad news of their young daughter’s death.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“The machines are off. Her bed is empty. The quiet is deafening. Miss Adelaide Grace left us early Saturday morning,” Kelly wrote on Instagram. “She went peacefully in my arms and surrounded by love. Finally, she is free from pain, reactions and seizures but leaves our hearts shattered. We love you so much Adelaideybug and forever after 💔💜”

Kelly’s Instagram is filled with photos of Adelaide surrounded by her loved ones.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

Adelaide suffered from consistent seizures and there was no cure for her disorder. While she was diagnosed with childhood epilepsy, the overall disease was neuro-degenerative, according to Kelly’s blog Inchstone. Kelly wrote the blogs to document and show readers the journey her family was facing every day with Adelaide’s deteriorating health.

Kelly detailed the decision to move Adelaide into hospice care earlier this year in a blog post titled “Dear, Adelaide.”

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

In the blog, Kelly reveals the work she and Miguel have put into Adelaide’s care. She admits that the focus of the family for so long was keeping Adelaide alive and in treatment but it finally became clear that things needed to change. In a heartbreaking decision, Kelly and Miguel agreed that it was time to move their daughter to hospice care and plan on making her remaining days as comfortable as possible.

“Becoming a parent is undoubtedly life-changing. But you, my dear, didn’t just change my life, you caused an eruption,” Kelly wrote in his letter to his daughter.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“As the pieces have fallen these last few years, I haven’t been sure what to make of the remnants. The once-familiar landscape was charred and with each step, I worried the ground might give way beneath me. You have been stronger than me every step of the way. Nothing has come easy for you, fighting for some of the most basic and essential life skills, then losing them and having to fight for them all over again,” Kelly wrote to her daughter. “I think that is why this next leg of the journey has been so hard for me to accept. We’ve been standing at the precipice for weeks? Months? I’ve allowed myself to be comforted by denial asking you to wait until I’m ready. Though I realize now, I’ll never be ready and even more so, that the timing is not up to me. You’ve been fighting for your life for so long and I can see now that you are tired. It is my turn to be the strongest… and let you go.”

Kelly continues in her letter showering her daughter with love and promises.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“I promise you, my angel baby, that your efforts, your fight, your life will not have been in vain. We will take the eternal lessons you taught us and continue to plant your seeds in the hearts of anyone who will listen,” Kelly wrote. “I promise you that I will never stop advocating on your behalf, raising awareness and money for research so that families in the future will receive their epilepsy, mast cell activation syndrome, dysautonomia, hypotonia or neuro-degenerative diagnoses along with a treatment plan to full recovery. I promise you that I will fight for science to catch up to the next child even though it could never catch up to you. I will fight so that you can rest, free from the pain this world couldn’t relieve. I love you so much, my Adelaidey baby. Your loss will shatter me in ways I never thought possible but you’ve provided us with everything we need to heal. When it’s time sweet girl, we’ll be with you, and forever after.”

The family is keeping Adelaide’s memory alive and raising money to research a cure for epilepsy.

Credit: cureepilepsy / Instagram

“I want a cure for epilepsy,” Kelly said, according to ABC7 Chicago. “I want the fear that people have of talking about it, I want that fear to end. I want my baby girl to live, and I don’t get that. So I’m going to fight like hell for the rest of it.”

Rest in peace, sweet Adelaide.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

Your mom and dad are doing everything they can to keep the promises they made to you. Rest easy, little one. Your story has inspired people to fight harder to find a cure to the disease that took you too soon.

If you would like to help the Cervantes family fight to cure epilepsy, you can donate here.

READ: Puerto Rican Art Groups Are Getting A Leg Up Thanks To This Foundation Created By The ‘Hamilton’ Family

Ranchero Star ‘Paquita La Del Barrio’ Was Hospitalized Due To Pulmonary Complications

Entertainment

Ranchero Star ‘Paquita La Del Barrio’ Was Hospitalized Due To Pulmonary Complications

We still haven’t recovered from the passing of ‘El príncipe de la canción’ José José and we’re already being hit with more bad news. After much speculation on social media, it has been confirmed that the controversial and iconic singer Paquita La del Barrio was hospitalized this week for pneumonia and pulmonary thrombosis. 

Paquita La del Barrio changed the genre of Bolero music forever with her salty man-hating lyrics and ‘borrachera’ worthy songs.

credit Instagram @paquitaofficialb

In her over 50 years of creating music, ‘La Guerrillera del Bolero’, Paquita la del Barrio has gifted us with endless beautifully shady catchphrases to use on shitty exes; “Rata de dos patas”, “Cucaracha del infierno” and “¿Me estas oyendo inútil?” to name a few. Her man-hating words changed Bolero music for women and will be sung in tequila-induced ‘borracheras’ until the end of time. Paquita’s controversial, and sometimes salty lyrics have earned her a few enemies, to say the least, but the truth is that Paquita La del Barrio shattered glass ceilings in the genre of Ranchero, a world of male-dominated, misogynistic music, just by speaking her mind through music.

The feminist ranchera canceled a show for the first time in her career, due to health complications.

Francisca Viveros Barradas a self-proclaimed warrior against ‘machismo’ culture, canceled a show scheduled for this Saturday in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, due to health complications. Francisco Torres, her manager —also known as Paquito— said in a public statement for the press, that Paquita had complained of ongoing chest pains which eventually landed her at Hospital Angeles Lindavista in Mexico City. “Siempre te imaginas lo peor,” he said. It was later discovered that the pain was caused by a pulmonary embolism and pneumonia. The 72-year-old singer was checked into intensive care for a 24-hour watch.

Torres confirmed that Paquita’s health first raised concerns on October 8,  “She started with discomfort, her blood pressure, she said her chest hurt. That night the situation worsened, she couldn’t stand, she complained about chest pain, and the first thing that came to mind was ‘her heart’. A doctor came,  prescribed medication and administered her a sedative, we thought she’d be better by morning. But she wasn’t.”

The singer’s health is now improving and she’s no longer in ICU.

Credit Instagram @paquitaoficialb

‘Paquito’ went on to describe how the star’s health continued to deteriorate; “The next day she still had chest and back pain,” he said, “we decided to call an ambulance and take her to the emergency room.” Paquita La del Barrio’s manager explained that doctors diagnosed the singer with pulmonary damage due to the varying weather conditions the 72-year-old had been exposed to during her tour of the United States. “We know that weather conditions in the U.S. are more extreme, that was added to her condition, she resisted until her lungs collapsed,” Torres confirmed that Paquita la del Barrio was in ICU on October 10 but is now stable and her health is improving. It seems like the singer is recuperating just fine, but will still need time to heal, which is why she was forced to cancel the concert scheduled for this weekend. 

‘La Guerrillera del Bolero’ has sung against machismo for over forty years, and although she’s received a lot of criticism, her words have resonated with audiences worldwide.

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Way ahead of her time, Paquita has fought machismo singing from the stage for more than four decades. At 72, the feminist ranchera has released 33 albums which have been classified by the genre as “duros contra ellos” for her harsh words against men. Amongst her many shade-throwing songs are “Tres veces te engañé”, “Las mujeres mandan”, “Viejo raboverde”, “Hombres malvados” and many more. Her most famous hit “Rata de dos patas”, which has become somewhat of a hymn against men, was the song that sky-rocketed Paquita to fame. After this song went public, she went from singing at bars in the popular Mexico City neighborhood ‘Guerrero’, and moved on to perform on stages internationally.

Paquita’s life has been far from easy, and her story has been turned into a bio-series by Imagen Televisión.

credit Instagram @paquitaoficialb

Paquita is an idol for many Latino women who were touched by her words. But her life wasn’t always so glamorous. The singer’s life has already been immortalized in a bio-series broadcasted by Imagen Televisión. Through the series, we found out that she married a 42-year-old man when she was just fifteen. She had two children with him only to find out that the ‘rata de dos patas’ had been cheating on him all along and had another family in a different town. Her love life has clearly not been as successful as her career —which is true of a lot of women in many different industries. The singer, however, is now an artist consolidated as one of the most famous feminist performers Mexico has ever seen.