The Left simply invents “facts” to support their ideological world view.
The inconvenient truth is, the Castro regime’s atrocities were the price for horrific healthcare for the average person. Read further down after the main article. The meme of “Cuban healthcare being first class” is pure bull crap. Only the upper echelon and tourist patients to the island (to get badly needed cash) received quality healthcare, the rest of the 11 million population of Cubans got the short end of the stick.
‘Cuba killed children trying to escape!’ Marr SLAMS Thornberry for PRAISING Fidel Castro
EMILY Thornberry clashed with BBC’s Andrew Marr after she joined left-wing supporters in praising Fidel Castro despite his record of depraved human rights abuses
Mrs Thornberry joined other far-left MPs in Britain in lauding Fidel Castro as a hero of the people.
The Cuban dictator’s death has prompted a wave of misty-eyed support from left-wing factions in Britain, among them Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Talking on The Andrew Marr Show, Mrs Thornberry heaped praise on Cuba’s “wonderful” healthcare service – but refused to discuss Mr Castro’s abhorrent human rights record.
Thornberry joined her fellow Labour comrades in praising Castro
Just because he wore a Red Star on his fatigues. you seem to be going easy on him
Mr Marr asked how Mrs Thornberry could reconcile her praise with his record of shooting those who tried to flee the tiny island country.
He said: “They machine gunned people in boats trying to leave the country, including children!
“Just because he wore a Red Star on his fatigues, you seem to be going easy with him?”
Thornberry said the human rights abuses in Cuba “were a price” of the wonderful health service
Armando Valladares was at Harvard, speaking to students. He had emerged from 22 years in the Cuban gulag, and had written the memoir Against All Hope. (Valladares is often called the Cuban Sol¬zhenitsyn.) In the Q&A, the kids spouted at him the usual line about Cuba: health care, literacy, and blacks. They had been carefully taught it by their teachers. And Valladares answered, in essence, “It’s all untrue — a pack of lies. But even if it were true: Can’t a country have those things without dictatorship, without tyranny, without gulags, without torture — with freedom?”
The Myth of Cuban Health Care
The myth of Cuban health care has been debunked in article after article, for the last several decades. (Remember that Castro took power in 1959.) But Michael Moore has given the myth fresh legs, necessitating another round of such articles. If I had a nickel for every article I’ve read entitled “The Myth of Cuban Health Care” . . . But here is another one.
SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL
To be sure, there is excellent health care on Cuba — just not for ordinary Cubans. Dr. Jaime Suchlicki of the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies explains that there is not just one system, or even two: There are three. The first is for foreigners who come to Cuba specifically for medical care. This is known as “medical tourism.” The tourists pay in hard currency, which provides oxygen to the regime. And the facilities in which they are treated are First World: clean, well supplied, state-of-the-art.
The foreigners-only facilities do a big business in what you might call vanity treatments: Botox, liposuction, and breast implants. Remember, too, that there are many separate, or segregated, facilities on Cuba. People speak of “tourism apartheid.” For example, there are separate hotels, separate beaches, separate restaurants — separate everything. As you can well imagine, this causes widespread resentment in the general population.
The second health-care system is for Cuban elites — the Party, the military, official artists and writers, and so on. In the Soviet Union, these people were called the “nomenklatura.” And their system, like the one for medical tourists, is top-notch.
Then there is the real Cuban system, the one that ordinary people must use — and it is wretched. Testimony and documentation on the subject are vast. Hospitals and clinics are crumbling. Conditions are so unsanitary, patients may be better off at home, whatever home is. If they do have to go to the hospital, they must bring their own bedsheets, soap, towels, food, light bulbs — even toilet paper. And basic medications are scarce. In Sicko, even sophisticated medications are plentiful and cheap. In the real Cuba, finding an aspirin can be a chore. And an antibiotic will fetch a fortune on the black market.
A nurse spoke to Isabel Vincent of Canada’s National Post. “We have nothing,” said the nurse. “I haven’t seen aspirin in a Cuban store here for more than a year. If you have any pills in your purse, I’ll take them. Even if they have passed their expiry date.”
The equipment that doctors have to work with is either antiquated or nonexistent. Doctors have been known to reuse latex gloves — there is no choice. When they travel to the island, on errands of mercy, American doctors make sure to take as much equipment and as many supplies as they can carry. One told the Associated Press, “The [Cuban] doctors are pretty well trained, but they have nothing to work with. It’s like operating with knives and spoons.”
And doctors are not necessarily privileged citizens in Cuba. A doctor in exile told the Miami Herald that, in 2003, he earned what most doctors did: 575 pesos a month, or about 25 dollars. He had to sell pork out of his home to get by. And the chief of medical services for the whole of the Cuban military had to rent out his car as a taxi on weekends. “Everyone tries to survive,” he explained. (Of course, you can call a Cuban with a car privileged, whatever he does with it.)
So deplorable is the state of health care in Cuba that old-fashioned diseases are back with a vengeance. These include tuberculosis, leprosy, and typhoid fever. And dengue, another fever, is a particular menace. Indeed, an exiled doctor named Dessy Mendoza Rivero — a former political prisoner and a spectacularly brave man — wrote a book called ¡Dengue! La Epidemia Secreta de Fidel Castro.
When Castro seized power, almost 50 years ago, Cuba was one of the most advanced countries in Latin America. Its infant-mortality rate was the 13th-lowest in all the world, ahead of even France, Belgium, and West Germany. Statistics in Castro’s Cuba are hard to come by, because honest statistics in any totalitarian society are hard to come by. Some kind of accounting is possible, however: Cuba has slipped in infant mortality, as it has in every other area (except repression). But its infant-mortality rate remains respectable.
You might suspect a story behind this respectability — and you are right. The regime is very keen on keeping infant mortality down, knowing that the world looks to this statistic as an indicator of the general health of a country. Cuban doctors are instructed to pay particular attention to prenatal and infant care. A woman’s pregnancy is closely monitored. (The regime manages to make the necessary equipment available.) And if there is any sign of abnormality, any reason for concern — the pregnancy is “interrupted.” That is the going euphemism for abortion. The abortion rate in Cuba is sky-high, perversely keeping the infant-mortality rate down.
Many doctors, of course, recoil at this state of affairs. And there is much doctor dissidence on the island. Some physicians have opened their own clinics, caring for the poor and desperate according to medical standards, not according to ideology or governmental dictates. The authorities have warned that, in the words of one report, “new dissidences in the public-health sector will not be tolerated.” Anyone trying to work outside of approved channels is labeled a counterrevolutionary or enemy agent.
Furthermore, the shortage of doctors on the island is acute — which is strange, because there are abundant Cuban doctors. Where are they? They’re abroad. In fact, a standard joke is that, in order to see a Cuban doctor, a Cuban must contrive to leave the island.
In his film, Michael Moore speaks of the “generosity” of Castro’s health programs. What he means, in part, is that Castro has long sent doctors overseas on “humanitarian medical missions.” These missions are an important part of the dictator’s self-image, and of his image at large. Cuban doctors go to such “revolutionary” countries as Chávez’s Venezuela, Morales’s Bolivia, and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. The missions are lucrative for Castro, bringing him about $2.5 billion a year.
Yet they are somewhat risky for him, too. The Cubans abroad are vigilantly watched, and the regime seldom sends unmarried doctors: They want wives and families back home, as hostages. Still, the Cuban doctors defect, and do so by the hundreds. They make a run for it in every country in which they serve, in any way they can. For example, doctors in Venezuela flee into Colombia; others try a friendly embassy, or start yelling in some international airport, during a transfer. Many of the doctors’ stories are heart-stoppingly dramatic. And when they have secured asylum, they tell the truth, about Cuban medicine both at home and abroad.