A few days ago, Michael Moore, in his own way of posturing, posted bail for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
This act has a new sense of irony, as it has now been revealed, via WikiLeaks, that “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.”
Sicko investigated healthcare in the US by comparing the for-profit, non-universal US system with the non-profit universal health care systems of other countries, including Cuba, France and the UK.
It was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature but was also castigated for being naive and tendentious.
Oh, the irony.
UPDATE: Michael Moore is now claiming on his website that “Sicko” was not banned in Cuba. Say Anything Blog has a response to Moore’s claim.
Moore claims: “The entire nation of Cuba was shown the film on national television”
Unfortunately, The entire nation of Cuba does not own television sets. 75-80% of the population does not. I would imagine that the top 20-25% of income earners have both TVs and access to betterhealth care than the populace at large.
ownership tv-sets: 200 – 246 per 1000
I’ll have to look into that statistic, and see if it is households with (a) TV set or just the number of TVs per capita. If it is the latter, then, anyone with multiple sets would mean an even smaller percentage of the populace would have access to anything broadcast.
Of course, anyone who would take Moore’s explanation at face value is quite gullible. Moore’s deceptive practices with his “documentaries” are no secret. But hey, if Moore actually believes Cuban health care is so much better than ours, he is perfectly welcome to go there for all of his medical treatment. He’s gotta burn all that evil money he’s made thanks to capitalism somehow.