A Lesson on Cuba’s Healthcare for Bill de Blasio

Posted: Oct 11, 2013 1:44 PM

“I have a huge critique of the current government there (in Cuba) because it’s undemocratic,” snapped de Bill de Blasio to a Cuban–American radio interviewer two weeks ago. “I also think it’s well known that there’s some good things that happened — for example, in health care.”

Does it occur to people nowadays that Stalinist regimes might lie? For a guy who presumes to run New York Bill de Blasio sure seems bereft of one of natives’ most celebrated attributes: their “street smarts.”

Who told de Blasio that Castro’s totalitarian fiefdom has good healthcare? Maybe he saw it on CNN?

Indeed a CNN “Special Report” on Cuba’s healthcare gushed about the island nation’s "impressive health statistics." The show featured clips from Michael Moore's Sicko as CNN's Morgan Neill, on location in a Potemkin Havana hospital, reported live. "Cuba's infant mortality rates are the lowest in the hemisphere,” he recited from the regime-issued talking points, “in line with those of Canada! Cuba can boast about health care, a system that leads the way in Latin America.”

Besides plugging Moore’s Sicko, CNN’s “Special Report” also featured “medical expert,” Gail Reed, introduced on screen as “someone who’s lived and worked in Cuba for decades.” “They (the Cubans) concentrate on prevention,” she explained to CNN viewers. “When I first came to Cuba in the '70s, I was very impressed with their efforts in building a new kind of society," Reed explained.

Most of Reed’s companions of the time were also impressed. Bill Ayres’ wife Bernadine Dohrn for instance. Gail Reed, you see, visited Cuba as a member of the Venceremos Brigades, the starry-eyed college kids who visited ostensibly to cut sugar cane and help “build Cuban Socialism,” a volunteer Peace Corps of sorts. Or so we were led to believe. In fact the Venceremos Brigades was a joint-venture by Castro’s KGB-mentored DGI (Directorio General de Intelligencia) and the U.S. terrorist group known as The Weathermen, that included future Obama “neighbors” Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dorn.

CNN could have fluffed-up Venceremos Brigadista Gail Reed’s credentials by adding that from 1993 to 1997 she was a regular correspondent for Business Week magazine and from 1994 to 1996 she served as a Havana-based producer for NBC News, and today contributes to the Huffington Post. When Andrea Mitchell (NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent) interviewed Gail Reed in Havana on April 2012 for a MSNBC report, Mitchell introduced her as “international director of the nonprofit group Medical Education Cooperation.”

All true. But for the past 36 years Havana resident Gail Reed has also been married to an officer of Cuba’s KGB-founded-funded and mentored Directorio General de Intelligencia named Julian Torres Rizo. Reed is also a regular contributor to Cuba’s Communist party organ, Granma. In 1991 she was tasked by the Castro regime with writing its official “Island in the Storm: the Cuban Communist Party's Fourth Congress," a not inconsiderable honor.

She served in all these capacities while working for Business Week and NBC, by the way. Not that any American readers or viewers imbibing her reports on the marvels of Cuba’s healthcare and the wicked U.S. “Blockade” of her adopted country in those “mainstream” media organs might have guessed any of her background.

The above probably sounds “crackpot” but it was recently revealed in a bombshell book — and with full-documentation.

The partnership by this future CNN, NBC and Business Week correspondent with Castro’s secret police began in 1969 with those visits to Cuba as a member of the (DGI-created) Venceremos Brigades. This was also the beginnings of Reed’s romance with DGI officer Julian Torres Rizo. The terrorist offshoot from the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) known as The Weathermen and staffed most famously by Barack Obama’s future “neighbors” Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn served as the DGI’s U.S. recruitment officers at the time, which proved easy. In that heady Age of Aquarius hundreds of starry-eyed college kids were volunteering to “help build Cuban Socialism” and “fight U.S. Imperialism,” mostly by joyfully cutting Cuban sugar cane.

Castro’s DGI had other goals in mind. “The ultimate objective of the DGI’s participation in the setting up of the Venceremos Brigades,” says an FBI report declassified in 1976, “was the recruitment of individuals who are politically oriented and who someday may obtain a position, elective or appointive, somewhere in the U.S. Government, which would provide the Cuban Government with access to political, economic and military intelligence."

Among the items CNN and their “medical expert” Gail Reed left out of their report is that according to those same UN figures, in 1958 (the year prior to the glorious revolution), Cuba ranked 13th from the top, worldwide with the lowest infant-mortality rate. This meant that robustly capitalist pre-Castro Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality rate in the world. This put her not only at the top in Latin America but atop most of Western Europe, ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Today all of these countries leave Communist Cuba in the dust, with much lower infant mortality rates.

And even plummeting from 13th (Capitalist) to 47th (Communist), Cuba's "impressive" infant mortality rate is kept artificially low by Communist chicanery with statistics and by a truly appalling abortion rate of 0.71 abortions per live birth. This is the hemisphere's highest, by far. Any Cuban pregnancy that even hints at trouble gets "terminated."

In April 2001, Dr. Juan Felipe García, MD, of Jacksonville, Fla., interviewed several recent doctor defectors from Cuba. Based on what he heard, he reported the following:

"The official Cuban infant-mortality figure is a farce. Cuban pediatricians constantly falsify figures for the regime. If an infant dies during its first year, the doctors often report he was older. Otherwise, such lapses could cost him severe penalties and his job."

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). Peculiar how so many mothers die during childbirth in Cuba, and how many one- to four-year-olds perish -- while from birth to one year old (the period during which they qualify in UN statistics as infants) they're perfectly healthy!

This might lead a few people to question Cuba's official infant-mortality figures. But such people would not get a Havana bureau for their news agency (CNN, NBC, ABC, etc.) or get access to the Stalinist regime’s “medical experts.”

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