“My nation is hardly perfect in human rights. A very large number of our citizens are incarcerated in prison, and there is little doubt that the death penalty is imposed most harshly on those who are poor, black, or mentally ill. For more than a quarter century, we have struggled unsuccessfully to guarantee the basic right of universal health care for our people. …but Cuba has superb systems of health care and universal education.”
Thus did Jimmy Carter, in a May 2002 speech at the University of Havana that was broadcast throughout Cuba, prostrate himself before a regime that has jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin and murdered (in absolute numbers) more political prisoners in its first three years in power (out of a population of 6.4 million) than Hitler murdered in its first six years (out of a population of 70 million.) Not to mention that President Carter’s host, Fidel Castro, insulted his nation as “a vulture preying on humanity” and came within a hair of nuking it.
Carter is not the only one to trumpet the supposed glories of Cuban health care. Let’s consider the following quotes:
“Health care (in Cuba) was once for the privileged few. Today it is available to every Cuban and it is free….Health and education are the revolution’s great success stories.” – Peter Jennings, World News Tonight, April 3, 1989
“Castro has brought great health care to his country” – ABC’s Barbara Walters, Oct. 11, 2002
“Even today, Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.” – Katie Couric reporting on NBC’s Today, February 13, 1992
“Frankly, to be a poor child in Cuba may in many instances be better than being a poor child in Miami, and I’m not going to condemn their lifestyle so gratuitously.”– _Newsweek_’s Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, April 8, 2000
Contrary to the above “news analysts” and Human Rights spokespersons, Cubans have a drastically different story to tell. And even more unluckily for Castro and his MSM auxiliaries, the internet has pulled a stunning and (to them) infuriating end run around his traditional MSM defenses. Word is getting out about the disastrous state of Cuban health care.
During that cold snap in mid-January, Cuban dissidents snuck out, via internet, a report claiming that over forty patients had somehow frozen to death in Cuba’s Mazorra mental hospital – not far from the one featured in Michael Moore’s paean to Cuban health care, Sicko. Cuba’s Stalinist regime, along with the media courtesans to whom it grants press bureaus and “journalist visas,” were utterly mum on the matter, however. It took three days – as the word spread through the mostly Spanish-language web –but finally the Stalinist regime issued a terse and exculpatory press-release on the matter.
But the story did not go away. Just last week, pictures of some of the dead were snuck out of Cuba. They proved that hypothermia alone was not the cause of death, any more than it was the cause of the death for the prisoners at Dachau or Buchenwald. Horrific malnutrition and savage beatings were plain to see for anyone genuinely interested in the causes.
Needless to add, such interested parties do not include Castro’s favored members of the press. True to form, they dutifully connived with the regime, as they have for half a century, to hide the catalog of Castroite horrors.
But don’t take my word for it. Apparently tormented by their consciences, two Spanish journalists have just released mea-culpa- books (sadly available only in Spanish) about this collusion. “Self-censorship is a very common practice,” one writes. “No journalist on the island can write the truth of what happens there.” Whatever their faults, at least these Spanish journalists finally came clean. When will Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Andrea Mitchell, Ted Turner, Herbert Matthews and the rest of the bunch come clean? Don’t hold your breath.
The Cuban health stories ignored or buried by the MSM would require an entire 24-hour network broadcasting for five decades to disclose. Senor Marzo Fernandez, an economist who, until defecting in 1996, served as Secretary General of Castro’s Ministry of Nutrition gets us started. “The average height of Cubans has decreased by 8 centimeters in the past 25 years,” he reported on Miami television. “For the first time in Cuban history, thousands of Macrocepahlic children (abnormally large heads in proportion to their bodies) due to protein (primarily milk) deficiencies have been found in the eastern provinces.” This in a country that prior to the glorious revolution enjoyed a lower infant-mortality rate and more doctors and dentists per-capita than half of European countries, plus a larger middle class than Switzerland.
Not everyone welcomes the exposure of Cuba’s human rights record. Not so long ago, Alan Colmes on Fox berated me saying: “Oh! Ok, so now 40 years after his death all of a sudden YOU discover all this horrible stuff about Cuba Che Guevara!”
“No, no, no,” I patiently explained to Mr. Colmes, “many have been documenting and broadcasting accounts of Castro and Che Guevara’s butcheries, imbecilities and cowardice for decades–but the mainstream media was too busy eating out of Castro’s hand to pay attention. So these horrors could never make it past the mainstream media filter. Well Alan, I hate to break the news to you, but your side’s media monopoly is over.”