A Cuban Hospital Is No Place To Be Sick

Castro banned "Sicko" for fear that ordinary Cubans would be up in arms seeing facilities that are not available to the vast majority of them.

Michael Moore’s Sicko was banned in Cuba:

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…

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.” …

But according to the FSHP, the only way a Cuban can get access to the hospital [featured in the film] is through a bribe or contacts inside the hospital administration. “Cubans are reportedly very resentful that the best hospital in Havana is ‘off-limits’ to them,” the memo reveals.

I’m shocked — shocked — that a Michael Moore film would misrepresent the truth to make a political point!

UPDATE (James Joyner):  Via Glenn Greenwald, I see that Michael Moore is actively refuting this report.

[T]he entire nation of Cuba was shown the film on national television on April 25, 2008! The Cubans embraced the film so much so it became one of those rare American movies that received a theatrical distribution in Cuba. I personally ensured that a 35mm print got to the Film Institute in Havana. Screenings of ‘Sicko’ were set up in towns all across the country. In Havana, ‘Sicko’ screened at the famed Yara Theater.

Later in the article, he provides quite a number of hyperlinks which demonstrate either that the film was widely shown in Cuba or the Cuban government really, really wants people to think it was.  The former strikes me as more plausible.

FILED UNDER: Health Care, Quick Takes
Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.


  1. james says:

    The Truth will alway rise to the Top,

    The Truth is a lie slayer.

    Go Navy 🙂

  2. daveinboca says:

    Of course the collection of cretins on the socialist d-bag condominium, a rapidly shrinking segment of the US political spectrum, can never admit of any fault on the left.

    The bloated lyin’ sack of shit that is Mickey Moore, who has a pile of stocks and bonds that he lives off by clipping coupons, makes Fox News look like the great days of yore of the Tiffany Network, before it went from Cronkite to Rather to Couric, surely the tightest talispin death-spiral in journalistic history. And even Uncle Walter was a liar by Fox standards—a network which at least tips a hat to the opposite point of view and which has more eyeballs than the rest of the sorry collection of agitprop libtard twit-cable outlets put together.

    This lying liar makes lying piece of pigshit Al Franken smell like a bouquet of gardenias.

  3. The Cubans would be happy just to have prescription drugs (or any apothecaries) in their pharmacies, much moreso to be rich enough to afford them. Even more happy to take antibiotics for the prescribed number of days and not dangerously hoard them for other family members.

    But the Cubans are happy because Papa Castro keeps them medicated with marijuana and rum. That will be our last bastion here: when they legalize the pot (or simply refuse to prosecute its possession) and we’ll self-medicate our troubles away! Que caray!

  4. Diggs says:

    Just remember that Moore was a welcomed, nay, honored, guest at the Democratic Party Convention. Socialism and its apologists are always going to be welcomed and honored by Democrats. Democrats believe that if a few old men have to sleep in their own shit in a hospital under socialism, that’s a small price to pay for the ultimate good that will come when “true” socialism is installed. If today’s Democrats can justify millions of deaths of people by starvation who didn’t support Joe and Mao in the Soviet Union and China, they can justify a couple hundred thousand deaths through withholding medical care to people who don’t support Obama in America. They will call it simply “the price that had to be paid” to advance into true socialist utopia.
    Now live and vote like you understand that truth.

  5. Kent says:

    Irony alert.
    This memo came from WikiLeaks.
    Michael Moore was one of the people who bailed out Julian Assange.
    Oops. 🙂

  6. Tano says:

    “This lying liar makes lying piece of pigshit Al Franken smell like a bouquet of gardenias.”

    Given the update, who is it that this charge should be aimed at?

  7. ExurbanKevin says:

    International Consensus…

    Michael Moore, a uniter and not a divider.   Canadians and Britons can’t stand him, Americans are up to HERE with him, and now the Cubans think he’s full of s…. stuff.  Michael Moore’s S ……

  8. BeckyJ says:

    “Later in the article, he provides quite a number of hyperlinks which demonstrate either that the film was widely shown in Cuba or the Cuban government really, really wants people to think it was. The former strikes me as more plausible.”

    Did you mean to say “the latter” strikes you as more plausible? Cuz I don’t really believe the former….

  9. Donna V. says:

    “Given the update, who is it that this charge should be aimed at?”

    Well, Tano since the original information came from Wikileaks and you believe “the update” does that mean you are going to treat all Wikileaks revelations with extreme caution from now on? Or only the revelations lefties don’t like?

    And are you planning to book a flight to Havana for your next medical procedure since care there is so stellar?

  10. Art says:

    OK, but how did the film do in the little Havanna section of Miami, where the were not forced to act like the really really liked it.

  11. Mike Crosby says:

    Someone I met visits Cuba a few times per year. A friend of hers in Cuba had to go to the hospital for surgery. She brought her own light bulb to provide light for the room and sheets for the bed.

    She asked the doctor how long to stay after surgery to recover, and the doctor told her she didn’t want to stay there after the surgery. Too dangerous.

  12. […] Moore says it isn’t true, his film was shown widely in Cuba, and provides links that convince Outside the Beltway. It wouldn’t be remotely unheard of for diplomats to be wrong, but there’s also no […]

  13. Dodd says:

    Given the update, who is it that this charge should be aimed at?

    Interestingly, Moore goes after the leaked cable’s allegation that the film was banned, not the rather more important one that the hospital he featured in the film as typical of the country’s entire system is only accessible to those who are well-connected or can afford a bribe.

  14. Michael Moore is greatly deceived, and that’s the best I’ll offer him. He was duped, stupidly duped. He doesn’t speak the language fluently and the closed nature of Cuba means it has its own modismos and manners of speech that even a deft translator would miss. Moreover, what government-paid Cuban translator for Mr. Moore’s travelling circus would dare breathe a word of dismay that could be captured on camera? Mr. Moore gets to travel back to the U.S. where everything is wonderful. The translator stays behind to answer for his work.