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Monday, July 09, 2007

Theresienstadt of the Carribean

For those who might have been taken in by Michael Moore's new film, "Sicko." A good description of what life is really like under the Cuban tyranny.

Healthcare and education are supposed to be the redeeming graces of the regime, but this is questionable. There are a large number of doctors, but, according to most Cubans I know, many have left the country and the health system is in a ragged state—apart from those hospitals reserved for foreigners—and people often have to pay a bribe to get treated. Michael Moore, the American film director, who has recently been praising the system should take note of the real life stories beneath the statistics. I went into a couple of hospitals for locals on my latest visit. In the first, my friend told me not to say a word in case my accent was noticed, as foreigners are not allowed in these places. I was appalled by the hygiene and amazed at the antiquity of the building and some of the equipment. I was told that the vast majority of Cuban hospitals, apart from two in Havana, were built before the revolution. Which revolution, I wondered; this one seemed to date from the 1900s.
The hospital Moore goes to with his Cuban minders is like the concentration camp Theresienstadt that the Nazis used to parade the Red Cross around in the 40's.


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