Propaganda hides Cuban suffering

In Sicko, Michael Moore parrots the Castroite claim that Cubans live longer than Americans. In fact the figures are practically identical, which actually casts Cuba's vaunted health care in a negative light, says author Humberto Fontova.

According to Fontova:

  • In all nations with high emigration rates, longevity rates skew high; this occurs because the birth is recorded but the death gets recorded in the nation migrated to, so it seems like fewer people die.

  • Naturally, the opposite effect appears in nations with a large influx of immigrants; the death is recorded but the birth was recorded in the nation immigrated from.

  • So generally speaking, a nation with high longevity but known to haemorrhage its people has little to boast about with regard to longevity figures; all they're proving is that theirs is a miserable place to live and from which massive numbers of people flee.


  • The mortality rate of Cuban children aged one to four years is 34 per cent higher than the United States (11.8 versus 8.8 per 1,000).

  • But these don't figure into United Nations (UN) and World Health Organisation spotlighted "infant-mortality rates" because those figures only follow death during the first year, allowing doctors to falsify figures to make death look like it happened after the first year.

  • In addition, Cuba's infant mortality rate is also kept artificially low by an abortion rate of 0.71 abortions per live birth – the hemisphere's highest by far, which "terminates" any pregnancy that even hints at trouble.

    More interesting (and tragic) still, the maternal mortality rate in Cuba is almost four times that of the U.S. rate (33 versus 8.4 per 1,000). It's also peculiar how so many mothers die during childbirth in Cuba, and so many one- to four-year-olds perish, but from birth to one-year-old infants are perfectly healthy, says Fontova.

    Source: Humberto Fontova, Moore's Pro-Castro Propaganda Hides Cuban Suffering, Human Events, July 30, 2007.

    For text:

    For more on International Issues:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 07 August 2007
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