Stossel: Cuba Called ABC News for 'Questioning' After Health Care Expose

September 14th, 2007 1:29 PM
Hospital room in CubaHospital bed in Cuba (from The Real Cuba)

Is Cuba threatening ABC News? Why won't the media report that ABC's John Stossel stated the Cuban government's Central Committee “called members of the ABC Cuban bureau in for questioning?” (emphasis mine throughout)

After Stossel challenged “Sicko” director Michael Moore's claims that Cuba's health care system is superior to America's, which resulted in a stammering Moore reversing years of crowing about the island's excellent “free” universal health care, Cuba showed its true totalitarian colors.

According to Babalu Blog's Henry Gomez, Stossel posted an email on his “20/20” page that revealed Cuba's meddling:

Last week's piece featuring Cuba's health care system caused quite a reaction. It was just a small snippet to introduce my special "Whose Body Is It, Anyway? Sick in America," which will air this Friday at 10 p.m. EDT. I'll send another e-mail Thursday with more about that.

The Cuban government reacted swiftly. The Central Committee met to discuss the "case" and then called members of the ABC Cuban bureau in for questioning. That's all I have until the ABC foreign desk tells us more…

There's no more information as to whether ABC went, or if they ignored the demand. In addition, the original email is no longer posted on, and no other news agency has reported the story. Google shows only Babalu has the email now. Not even ABC's competitors reported the Cuban government may be interfering with an American news agency.

Babalu explained what may have happened behind doors:

Memo to ABC: This is how the Cuban government reacts to independent evaluations of its operations. They will intimidate and threaten you. They will threaten to expel your journalists and close your Cuba bureau. They will tell you that you will be on the outside looking in when the big story happens (fidels [sic] funeral).

Don't be fooled. Your Havana bureau is insignificant in comparison to the story that you are beginning to break for the first time in the major US media: the truth about castro's Cuba. If the regime closes your bureau in Havana you should be proud. Then you can report on that and how the regime has expelled other reporters who it found to be authoring "inconvenient" stories like Gary Marx of the Chicago Tribune and Stephen Gibbs of the BBC. But you will still be able to report on Cuba. You cadn send in journalists posing as tourists as some other media outlets have done.

The US media do not cover foreign governments as critically as their own. Contrast Bush's coverage to that of any dictator. Puff interviews are the norm; Diane Sawyer and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Barbara Walters and Hugo Chavez or any US reporter and Fidel Castro.

Will “20/20” cave in to Cuba? Will Stossel report that a country often held up as a health care ideal that America should emulate has a two-tiered system where doctors ration bandages, disinfectant and sutures and operate using acupuncture instead of anesthesia?

What about the Cubans who can't get their American relatives to send them medication are forced to grow medicinal herbs like aloe and chamomile instead? Maybe ABC will mention that the clinics treat chronic illnesses like diabetes or hypertension with tai chi. After all, who really needs luxuries like insulin?

Tonight's “20/20” might give a clue about ABC's response to Cuba's “questioning.”

Although really, ABC doesn't have too much to worry about, Fidel and Raul Castro only jail the Cubans who want journalistic freedom in Cuba.




*Above image and more at

Contact Lynn with tips or even complaints at tvisgoodforyou2 at yahoo dot com