Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cuba Banned Michael Moore Film "Sicko"?

According to the December 17, 2010 Guardian, Cuba banned the Michael Moore film "Sicko" because it falsely portrayed their socialized health system as better than it really was.

From the article:
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."
(Read the full text of "WikiLeaks: Cuba banned Sicko for depicting 'mythical' healthcare system".)

I don't condone the actions of Wikileaks in releasing secret US diplomatic documents.

But the irony in this particular case was simply too perfect.

Update: Michael Moore is disputing this story.

Hmm, who should we trust here: US government officials or Michael Moore? Unfortunately, neither have a great track record with respect to unassailable honesty!...