Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Searching Without Success for Detergent in Cuba, Where H1NI Has Fertile Ground to Reproduce

In his movie "Sicko" and elsewhere (see 20/20 interview here), Michael Moore has extolled the virtues of Cuba's universal health care system, including claiming that Cubans enjoy better health care than Americans, that there is a "clinic in every neighborhood in Cuba," and that according to the World Health Organization and others, "If there's one thing they do right in Cuba, it's health care, and there's very little debate about that."

Here's another version of the health care story in Cuba, told not by an obese, multi-millionaire filmmaker from America, but by a courageous woman who lives in Cuba, and writes about her daily struggles there on the
award-winning blog Generacion Y:

I search, without success, for a bottle of detergent to wash the glasses smeared with grease and fingerprints, which don't yield to water and the dishcloth. Looking for the soapy liquid, I have walked part of Havana today, as the television announcers call on us to strengthen our hygiene before the advance of H1N1. The alert occasioned by the epidemic, however, has not caused the shops to lower the price of cleaning products, not even the cost of simple soap which is the equivalent of the wages for a full day's work. Instead, the opposite has happened. The collapse in imports has been most notable in those that are used to bathe and disinfect.

The voice of the announcer calls on us to wash our hands often, use handkerchiefs when we sneeze and maintain good personal hygiene, but the reality forces us into filth. We lack face masks, running water in many houses, the simple possession of vitamin C to strengthen the organism, and cleanliness in public places. Thus, the so-called "swine flu" has fertile ground to reproduce. While it advances through our neighborhoods, the official media maintain their reserve and don't mention the closed schools, the quarantined sites and the full hospitals.

This illusion of paradise is killing us. This wanting it to appear that we live better and that our statistics put us at the world average, cannot manage to hide the fragility of our society in the face of an epidemic that requires material resources in the hands of citizens.

If soaping the body and having a bit of alcohol to sterilize the hands become luxuries, how can we stop the pandemic that is already upon us? If the September ration of soap never even reached the rationed market, how is it possible that on TV they call for hygiene without referring to the material resources to accomplish it. Is it that they haven't noticed before that we are sinking into the dirt?

They have to face the ravages of conjunctivitis, diarrhea, and the viruses to figure out that sanitation is not only a white coat and a stethoscope, but starts in the streets, with collecting the garbage, with showers in the houses and with a mother who should be able to wash the plate her child will eat off.


At 10/07/2009 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Sicko, when they showed the guy having to make a choice about which finger to have re-attached, well, they could've ended the movie right there. It didn't need Cuba.

Cuba is an island prison; you can't get fish, only pork, because there are no boats. They're illegal. Think about that, an island where you'd starve beside an ocean filled with fish. Still, considering the embargo that's been in place for so many years, it's silly to attribute it to communism as you seem to imply. Moore could just as easily have gone to China instead.

At 10/07/2009 4:05 PM, Blogger QT said...


Thank you for posting the full excerpt. Our trials and tribulations seem to pale in insignificance.

At 10/07/2009 4:12 PM, Blogger QT said...


One also notes that Mexico, Canada and many other European countries currently trade with Cuba.

Michael Moore is promulgating Castro's propaganda. Hey, his next movie could be about Hamas and what lovely folks they are...I'm sure Jimmy Carter would gladly volunteer.

At 10/07/2009 6:22 PM, Blogger KO said...

Anonymous said...'s silly to attribute it to communism as you seem to imply.

What's silly about attributing it to Communism? Why else is there lack of supply combined with inability to pay, other than the Castro brother's self imposed isolation?

At 10/07/2009 7:07 PM, Blogger fboness said...

Why are boats illegal? Isn't that, like the Berlin wall, a direct cosaequence of communism?

At 10/07/2009 7:25 PM, Anonymous Benny Telll It LIke It Is Man said...

Sad that Cuba is so badly managed. They could plant square miles of palm oil trees, from which oil and soap can be derived. Most likely they could be fuel sufficient, and export the oil they have in the continental shelf.
And, before they went commie, they were reputed to have the best whorehouses and casins in the Western hemisphere. Capitalism excels at some things.

At 10/07/2009 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Lots of revealing photos of the sorry state of Cuban health care for the Cuban people here.

Political Pilgrims like Moore get the showcase hospitals that are off limits to everyone in Cuba except the party elite.

At 10/07/2009 10:20 PM, Anonymous Titus Pullo said...

I'll never understand why so many leftist elites idolize dictators/murderers like Castro/Mao/Stalin etc.

At 10/07/2009 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The take-away from Sicko on Cuba for me was the amount of money spent on Gitmo keeping America 'safe' where terrorists get the kind of health care millions of Americans can only dream about. It's pretty much the definition of irony that tens of thousands of American citizens die every year from lack of medical care while billions are spent on homeland security keeping us safe.

At 10/08/2009 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scary thing is that people like anon 11:31pm get to reproduce and vote. God help us all.

At 10/08/2009 7:01 AM, Blogger skywalker said...

well, maybe if the US blockade against Cuba was ended.... our reporter would be able to purchase the much needed detergent.

At 10/08/2009 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> God help us all.

God's not on your side. Better stick your guns and your gated community.

At 10/08/2009 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure Cuba is a real paradise--the members of the Congressional Black Caucus went there a few months ago and reported it to be great.
Reminds me of the dunderheads who traveled to Mussolini's Italy and Stalin's Russia in the 20s-'30's and were so impressed with the systems.

The lefties are so predictable and gullible. And all these wonderful social experiments eventually turn to authoritarian dictatorships. Of course, that is Bush's fault.

The only joke bigger than Moore (excuse the pun) is the gaggle of dumbos who believe him. PT Barnum is validated once more.

At 10/08/2009 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously, WHO never set foot in those clinics. I'll bet they don't even have thread for sutures.

At 10/08/2009 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skywalker, the entire rest of the world can, and some do, trade with Cuba. The problem is mainly two fold. Cuba has very little to export. Communism has pretty much destroyed every good or commodity that they might export. (Think sugar & rum for openers.) Secondly, no country or business will extend Cuba credit because they have reneged on their foreign debts and the Cuban peso is worthless. Hard currencies and cash only, please.

The US embargo argument is without merit except for Castro to blame the abject poverty of his people on something other than the failure of communism and his leadership.

At 10/08/2009 9:19 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I don't think the embargo is without merit. Castro owns everything, including the casinos and spas Europeans and Canadians luxuriate in(but not native Cubans.) Trading with him would a) give him more opportunity to stiff us with the check, b)leave us with about zero leverage to ask for a change in behavior and c) give him more money to continue his attempted revolutions in Latin America. Terrorist groups like FARC already get enough help from Chavez, no need to strengthen that murderous alliance.

At 10/08/2009 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen rafts that cam ashore on the beaches here in Fla that were used by Cubans to leave Cuba. No right-minded US citizen would try to float across a small ditch in one of those things much less a shark infested sea. Very telling to me how much of a horrible Gulag is the whole of Cuba.

At 10/08/2009 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Cuba in 1986 leading a tour group from USA, and again in 1999 to a teachers convention in Habana. One thing in common both times was the number of people I talked to who WANTED TO LEAVE.

On this last visit, I saw many people (mainly women) begging for soap outside the big hotels.
Hey, soap is not rocket-science! Make it yourself, Cuba, or import it from somwhere. The USA is the only country to buy things from.

At 10/08/2009 8:41 PM, Anonymous Roxanne said...

That's sad. Personal hygiene is essential to achieve a good health.

At 10/11/2009 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

but bill mckibben said cuba was going to be the organic world savior
and bill mckibben knows every thing,


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