This kinda ruined my Father’s Day morning, but I wnat you guys to revel in this as I did:
Moore’s ‘Sicko’ gets nod from Cuba: Cuba health minister says documentary shows Cuba’s ‘human values’
by Andrea Rodriguez (The Associated Press)
Saturday, June 16th 2007, 4:00 AM
HAVANA – Cuba’s health minister said Friday that American filmmaker Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko” highlights the human values of the island’s communist-run government.
Moore flew to Cuba in March to obtain health care for three ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers as part of the documentary, which calls for an overhaul of America’s health care system. The trip has been the subject of a U.S. federal investigation for possible violations of the U.S. trade embargo restricting travel to Cuba.
Speaking to reporters at a Havana event, Health Minister Jose Ramon Balaguer did not say if he had seen the movie or was simply relying on snippets that have aired on international television. “Sicko” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but does not open in U.S. theaters until June 29.
Still, Balaguer said that in the movie “Moore explained his reasons why those patients were attended to in our country,” adding that Cuba is “always open to cases, that, from a human point of view, need our public health services.”
He said the film does not serve to “promote” Cuban health care, but conceded “there can be no doubt this documentary by a personality like Mr. Michael Moore helps promote the profoundly human principles of Cuban society.”
Most Cubans receive free care and housing and enjoy heavy subsidies on basic food, transportation and utilities. It’s unclear whether “Sicko” will be widely seen in Cuba, however, because the state controls what is shown on television and in theaters.
Moore confronted America’s passion for guns in “Bowling for Columbine,” which won the 2002 Oscar for best documentary, and skewered President Bush over his handling of the Sept. 11 attacks in “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Cuban state TV showed a bootleg version of “Fahrenheit 9/11” shortly after it was released.
Moore claims in his latest film that the American government left the workers he brought to Cuba to fend for themselves with ailments that resulted from their work at ground zero.
Last fall, Moore asked the Treasury Department for permission to go to Cuba under rules permitting travel here. But the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has noted that Moore flew to the island without receiving a response.
In first reporting about the U.S. probe against Moore last month, Cuban state media claimed the filmmaker was the victim of American censorship.