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30 December 2010

Comments

STRONGFORU

Many years ago (around 20+), the Miami Herald featured an article about Castro "imprisoning" all those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. I always remembered that article because it actually featured photographs of the former mental institution that was being used.

Chris Cruz

I am Cuban and Puerto Rican. My heart aches for some extended family members who are still there. The country is a mess and the healthcare system is bs. And I have been told about the aids prison firsthand from those who had the misfortune to be there.

Rod, this an excellent report. Many thanks.

Liberator Émigré Éire

An "AIDS prison"... God almighty, talk about man's inhumanity to man...

Colin

An unidentified nurse? This has got to be read against the backdrop of the unmitigated US propaganda campaign against Cuba. And aren't Cuban health outcomes still better, despite the increasing economic challenges, that those in the "free" US where folks think government-facilitated health care is "socialism"? The history of detention and abuse of human rights of people with HIV in Cuba is well documented. So too is the fact that it has the lowest HIV prevalence in the hemisphere and is fast becoming one of the leading governments in the Caribbean expanding recognition of sexual rights. Cuban advocates might argue that the horror stories in the cable are the product of the decades-long US embargo.

Greg G

>>>The history of detention and abuse of human rights of people with HIV in Cuba is well documented. So too is the fact that it has the lowest HIV prevalence in the hemisphere ...

Okay, so you believe the part about detaining people with HIV and marking their IDs ... but you don't believe patients have to bring their own light bulbs, bribe staff for xrays or CD4 counts, or that there is only one clinic in Cuba that treats HIV/AIDS?

But you do believe the statistics claimed by Castro's government, which doesn't even allow independent media and censors internet use? LOLZ

And if you read the ACTUAL cable, you'll see the name has been redacted. Unless you want his/her name publicized to the world. But that makes no difference.

You keep fantasizing about Cuba, Colin, and blaming their problems on the US. Maybe the simple fact is the state controlled economy is broke, there are no jobs, the currency is worthless, the bureaucracy is corrupt, there are no longer any Soviet or Chinese handouts and Havana spends more money on missiles than on medication.

Carlos

...is fast becoming one of the leading governments in the Caribbean expanding recognition of sexual rights. ...

Really? You must have missed this part: 'It is unclear why they were put in this prison-like facility but believe it is plain discrimination due to their homosexuality.' You also must have missed the part about the police marking national id cards for PLWHA and breaking up pride marches.

... Cuban advocates might argue that the horror stories in the cable are the product of the decades-long US embargo ...

Yes, Castro apologists say that about everything, but (a) the embargo doesn't cover medicine and medical equipment and (b) you claim Cuban health care and HIV outcomes are superior to USA.

If Havana's stats and HIV/AIDS claims are to be believed, then everything in this leaked, 'confidential eyes only' cable would be a lie. And how is this 'propaganda' if it was an internal secret communication illegally downloaded by a private and later released via Wikileaks? Did the USA expect all this to happen? And the imprisonment of the Pvt Bradley Manning, who stole these documents ... is that a conspiracy too?

Carlos

... that those in the "free" US where folks think government-facilitated health care is "socialism" ...

Aim higher. This blog and the people who read it are very supportive of health care reform and most think the government didn't go far enough. Anyone calling health care 'socialism' would most likely be antigay Republican and not reading this blog.

Colin

I'm just hoping for a little rationality and balance in conversations about Cuba. That's been one of the chief casualties of US policy. And it doesn't help Cubans. The cable, to its credit, does report on doubts about its accuracy. I'm just saying let's not swallow this stuff whole without a grain of salt. Isn't it likely the truth is somewhere in the middle of the propaganda from both sides; that's all. (And not all Nazi propaganda about Jews, e.g. was for public consumption.) Perhaps we should all visit Cuba and see for ourselves. I'd really welcome reality tours across the gay Caribbean, in fact.

Colin

Oh, the former Prime Minister of my country flew to Cuba twice, for pacemaker and kidney cancer surgery. It doesn't mean what he got is available to everyone; but it does provide another perspective on care there. Cuba provides doctors to other Caribbean countries and trains medical personnel.

Carlos

'Cuba provides doctors to other Caribbean countries and trains medical personnel. '

Yes it does. Medical students were the primary source of the intelligence in that cable, if you actually read it or the Miami Herald report.

Sorry Colin, you can wax poetic about your prime minister's cancer surgery all you want. I sincerely doubt that level of care is available to the average person. And the only 'perspective' it implies is that your country's healthcare must be substandard so your elites fly to Cuba.

Diplomatic cables are NOT for the public to read. This one was three years old . The Wikileaks cables date back 10 years and only came to light because they were stolen and leaked. It's tinfoil hat territory to argue this is all American 'propaganda'. But you sound like a communist apologist. You probably still refuse to believe Castro tortured and imprisoned gays, even though he's admitted it himself.

libhomo

I'm skeptical of the cable for two reasons. It's from the Bush regime, which isn't exactly the most reliable source of information about other countries in the world. (WMDs anyone?)

Also, if this were true, I think the Bush regime would have broadcasted it everywhere for propaganda purposes.

Colin

You've made the point for me, Carlos. What Cuba's managed with health care despite a badly damaged economy and a lack of rights is a whole lot more than we've done in my wonderful liberal oil-rich democracy. Sad that makes me a communist apologist. Which goes back to my point about the US: to its neighbours, on Cuba matters most Americans sound no different from Tea Party folks. My concern is just to make Caribbean realities a bit more multidimensional than they get painted in the US, where I also live.

Chris Cruz

@ Colin:

Your comments are insulting and naive. As I said above, I am Puerto Rican and Cuban. I been to Havana, Guantanamo and Santiago. And I have had family members imprisoned and tortured by Catro's regime. A second cousin also had AIDS and died in the AIDS prison. Phone, internet and mail is censored throughout the country and everyday good are rationed.

I didn't call you a Cuban apologist but you clearly are. So why you would choose to believe anything Havana claims and imagining leaked three year old cables as a conspiracy (without any evidence) shows your willingness to suspend reality.

Your several comments comparing people at a black and latino focused lgbt progressive blog to the Tea Party are trivial and meaningless. But luckily we have the right to access the internet, read blogs and publicly discuss and disagree on politics. There are no similar freedoms in Cuba.

After you've had family members imprisoned for having a mobile phone, and others who are forced to have SIDA stamped on their id cards, then come and talk to me. I am done discussing this with you and encourage others not to talk to you either.

C. Eliyah

This is not exactly news. The Cuban government has openly separated HIV-positive people from the rest of the population for decades. These people are not isolated from one another nor denied the opportunity to go outside, but they are quarantined from the rest of the Cuban populations in special "facilities." Some of these are converted hospitals, jails, etc. However, I am not surprised that the U.S. cable oversteps the truth in its analysis of the situation. Don't get me wrong, there are all sorts of things to pick on Cuba about, but their health care system is not one of them. It seems to me beneficial to ask why this supposed repressive dictatorship has far less people behind bars per capita than the U.S.

Colin

I've been responding to Greg and Carlos, Chris. (Or are some of you interchangeable?) But calling for me to be shunned for challenging US orthodoxy is kinda doing what you're saying is f*ed up about Cuba. I recognize the depth of hurt and anger by Cuban families who've experienced state abuses. But I'm about trying to get the Caribbean as a whole to be less one-dimensional to the world. Why would anyone choose to believe the USA government wholesale either, given WMD, the fact the Tea Party is running Parliament, and Wikileaks itself... I'm grateful to the progressive folks on here who've also posted, and not sure why I'm your target.

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