Despite a fierce U.S. economic blockade, Revolutionary Cuba has made tremendous gains.
Gender equality: Cuba was the first country to sign and the second to ratify the Discrimination against Women convention. Nearly half of the parliamentary seats in the Cuban National Assembly are occupied by women.
Health: For all Cubans, healthcare is completely free. Cuba created the Meningitis-B vaccine in 1985, and later the vaccines for Hepatitis-B and Dengue.
Global humanitarian programs: Since 1969, a total of 325,710 Cuban health workers have participated in missions in 158 countries.
Under Cuba's constitution "any form of discrimination harmful to human dignity" is prohibited and gender reassignment surgeries have been available under its national healthcare, free of charge, since 2008.
Education: The literacy rate in the country is 99 percent. Cuba offers free education from elementary school through university.
Employment: The unemployment rate in Cuba as of 2014 was 2.7 percent. International Worker's Day, or May Day, is a major national workers celebration in Cuba.