Sunday, April 15, 2007


Just who does Michael Moore think he's kidding? Does he actually believe that health care in Cuba is superior to anything found in the United States, let alone New York City? Yet, that's exactly what he's trying to say in his latest piece of agitprop.

He is taking a number of workers from Ground Zero to Cuba for treatment:
The trip was to be filmed as part of the controversial director's latest documentary, "Sicko," an attack on American drug companies and HMOs that Moore hopes to debut at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Two years in the making, the flick also takes aim at the medical care being provided to people who worked on the toxic World Trade Center debris pile, according to several 9/11 workers approached by Moore's producers.

But the sick sojourn, which some say uses ill 9/11 workers as pawns, has angered many in the responder community.

"He's using people that are in a bad situation and that's wrong, that's morally wrong," railed Jeff Endean, a former SWAT commander from Morris County, N.J., who spent a month at Ground Zero and suffers from respiratory problems.

A spokeswoman for the Weinstein Co., the film's distributor, would not say when the director's latest expose would hit cinemas or provide details about the film or the trip.

Responders were told Cuban doctors had developed new techniques for treating lung cancer and other respiratory illness, and that health care in the communist country was free, according to those offered the two-week February trip.

Cuba has made recent advancements in biotechnology and exports its cancer treatments to 40 countries around the world, raking in an estimated $100 million a year, according to The Associated Press.
Those supposed advances must be put in the context of this: the actual conditions in Cuba's medical community. The claims of a modern Cuban medical care industry are a myth. Hospitals that are unsanitary. Castro had to have doctors from Spain come in to try and deal with his ailment - complete with his own medical equipment. Hospitals overrun with vermin and little in the way of medicine or modern equipment.

Medical tourism is one of the few ways that the communists in charge can sustain their own lifestyle. There's a two-tier system that is nothing more than medical aparteid.

Moore is doing nothing more than supporting the communists with his agitprop. Cubans don't get anywhere near the kind of care that the tourists receive, which is still well below that which can be found in any American city, let alone New York City with its major medical research facilities, level one trauma centers, and where Ground Zero workers have access to health care the likes of which no one would have to travel to Cuba to receive.

Yet, Moore would like people to believe that medical care in Cuba is superior to that found here in the States? Get real.

The Flake and flack brigade (Reps. Rangel and Flake) think that Cuba has moved to a post-Castro era. That's most curious since for all intents and purposes Cuba hasn't budged one step from its Castroite communist roots. It's still a totalitarian regime where only the elites have the power to detain and imprison political enemies.
Today, Cuba may be on the cusp of change, and we need to take a fresh look. Raúl Castro, at age 75, is a committed socialist. He has convicted some pro-democracy activists, released others from jail and continued harassment of dissidents. He has also allowed a debate over past repression to open up in Cuba's cultural sector.

He acknowledges that his role is transitional, a bridge to Cuba's next generation, and his greatest interest is to set the stage for socialism's long-term survival.

It is a safe bet that he will seek to accomplish that goal through economic reform. His reformist record dates to the 1980s, and he has Cuban economists busy developing policy options. Dissident Vladimiro Roca calls him Cuba's "number one reformer."
It's a safe bet that Raul will do what is best for Raul, not what is best for the country. Rangel and Flake are clueless as to what they think Raul would do going forward, but with history as a guide, openness and freedom are the last things on his agenda.

There's absolutely no reason to believe that economic openness will be considered. As Fidel's right hand man, he had decades to preach economic liberalization but all that happened was more of the same communist economic failures.

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