Authorities feared footage of gleaming hospital in Michael Moore's Oscar-nominated film would provoke a popular backlash
This article was taken down on Sunday 19 December 2010 pending
investigation and the following correction was published in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Tuesday 21 December 2010
Contrary to a claim made in a leaked US diplomatic cable whose contents we reported, Sicko – a documentary by film-maker Michael Moore – was not banned in Cuba. The film, which examines US healthcare through comparisons with some countries' publicly funded systems, including Cuba's, was in fact shown in film theatres throughout the island and on national TV
- Production year: 2007
- Country: USA
- Cert (UK): 12A
- Runtime: 113 mins
- Directors: Michael Moore
Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a "mythically" favourable picture of Cuba's healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a "popular backlash", according to US diplomats in Havana.(Read More Click Here)
Day 20, Saturday 18 December
• Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir "stashed $9bn in UK banks".
• Michael Moore's film Sicko was banned by the Cuban authorities. The US film-maker is quick to state that his film was shown in Cuba.
• Julian Assange says his life is "under threat" and that the Swedish rape case against him is "a travesty".
• The US state department, along with its embassies, did its utmost to stop Spanish construction company Sacyr from winning a contract to extend the Panama canal. In spite of this, the Spanish consortium won the €2.4bn bid to build a third set of locks on the canal.
New York Times
• Bank of America says that WikiLeaks has fallen foul of its customer code of conduct and will not process any more payments made to the controversial website.
• Cables show that visitors from many of world's leading democracies are failing to criticise the Castro regime or meet with dissidents while on the island. A cable hints that there were economic motives behind the accommodating approach.
WikiLeaks cables detail Fidel Castro's doomed love for Obama
Dispatches chart Cuban leader's obsession with US president, from admiration to eventual sense of betrayal
Barack and Fidel: like so many great love affairs it was doomed. But memory of the passion, or at least infatuation, lingers.
Having seen off 10 US presidents – all committed to his assassination, overthrow or isolation – Fidel Castro had more reason than most to beware the occupant of the Oval Office.(More Read Click Here)
AUSTRALIA, Canada and several European countries have stopped pressuring Cuba over human rights in the hope of winning commercial favours from Havana, according to confidential US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
The western governments continued to pay lip service to concerns about political prisoners and censorship, but in reality were appeasing the island's communist rulers, said Jonathan Farrar, the US head of mission.(More Info Click Here)
Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 18:05
C O N F I D E N T I A L HAVANA 000344SIPDIS
DEPT FOR WHA/CCA
EO 12958 DECL: 06/09/2019
TAGS PREL, PGOV, CU
SUBJECT: FIDEL CASTRO IMPRESSED BY POTUS AFTER CAIRO SPEECH
Classified By: COM Jonathan Farrar for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) The Government of Cuba has offered no official reaction to President Obama's June 4 speech in Cairo. Former president Fidel Castro, however, previewed his interest in the Cairo speech in a Reflection article on June 6 that he started with "Yesterday afternoon, while I was carefully analyzing Obama's address at the Muslim university in Cairo..." (Note: Fidel's June 6 Reflection was devoted principally to linking the June 4 arrest in the United States of Kendall and Gwendolyn Meyers for espionage related charges to the June 3 OAS resolution regarding Cuba. End Note.) Fidel's subsequent Reflection on June 9 will only add to speculation from our civil society and diplomatic contacts that Fidel is obsessed with President Obama.
2. (C) Fidel's latest, lengthy (3,500 words) Reflection focused entirely on the Cairo speech, including pages worth of short excerpts from the speech itself. Fidel split the speech into two sections. Fidel mostly sympathized with POTUS - in his own way - regarding the first section, which included the fact that the U.S. is not at war with Islam, the Israel-Palestine issue, and Iran and nuclear weapons. Specifically, Fidel said, "One cannot blame the new president of the United States for the situation created in the Middle East...He takes office at an exceptionally complex time for his country and the world...It is still too early to pass judgment on his degree of commitment to the ideas he presents..." Fidel then continued his attempts to walk a thin line between a positive impression of a popular U.S. president and the idea that the evil empire will never change. For example, Fidel explained that "the current president's main difficulty lies in the fact that the principles he is advocating contradict the policy the superpower has pursued for almost seven decades...(Click Here for More details)
Cuba today unveiled its own version of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia devoted to the "accumulation and development of knowledge".
Cuba opens new online frontline in war of words: Castropedia
Havana's alternative to Wikipedia is intended to set the historical record straight – and it is unlikely to go down very well in the US
However, some of EcuRed's 20,000 entries appear to bear a slightly partisan stamp. Not only does the site refer to the US as "the empire of our time" and "the most powerful nation of all time", it also notes that Cuba's near-neighbour has historically taken "by force territory and natural resources from other nations, to put at the service of its businesses and monopolies".
Nor does the factfile end there: "[The US] consumes 25% of the energy produced on the planet and in spite of its wealth, more than a third of its population does not have assured medical attention," it reports.
With a poetic flourish, it also makes reference to US-Cuban relations. From early on, it says, Washington gazed at the island "like those who admire a beautiful fruit that will end up falling in their hands".