Ah, the irony: Right after Michael Moore goes and pays for Assange’s bail, Wikileaks goes out and bites him in the butt,
WikiLeaks: Cuba banned Sicko for depicting ‘mythical’ healthcare system
Authorities feared footage of gleaming hospital in Michael Moore’s Oscar-nominated film would provoke a popular backlash (emphasis added)
Cuba banned Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a “mythically” favourable picture of Cuba’s healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a “popular backlash”, according to US diplomats in Havana.
The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.
But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so “disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room”.
Castro’s government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it “knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.”
Facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them – which, by the way, it’s a point I’ve been making for nearly half a decade.
This is what ordinary Cubans get in a hospital, where you even need to bring your own sutures thread if you need surgery. Only foreigners and Cuba’s elite paying in US$ get to be treated at the best facilities, which aren’t all that great:
The memo points out that even the Cuban ruling elite leave Cuba when they need medical care. Fidel Castro, for example, brought in a Spanish doctor during his health crisis in 2006. The vice-minister of health, Abelardo Ramirez, went to France for gastric cancer surgery. The neurosurgeon whoheads CIMEQ [Centro de Investigaciones Médico-Quirúrgicas] hospital – widely regarded as one of the best in Cuba – came to England for eye surgery, returning periodically for checkups.
I must point out that Fidel Castro not only bright in a Spanish oncologist/gastroenterologist, the doctor had to bring his entire medical team and all the operating room equipment.
insists that “Sicko” was not banned in Cuba, and links to reports in the Cuban media that it was broadcast on Cuban TV.
In full and unedited, at that?
Via Hit & Run, you can read the memo here.