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Here’s a guy who would probably welcome being moved to Guantanamo
Posted by: McQ on Friday, August 17, 2007

Peter Kirsanow documents the treatment of a dissenting doctor in Cuba. Somehow Michael Moore missed interviewing this guy while he was down there filming "SICKO":
Michael Moore might find it interesting that even before Dr. [Oscar Elias] Biscet was imprisoned he was barred from practicing medicine in the National Health System. Not because he was delivering poor quality care, (of course not; not in Cuba) but because Biscet was trying to secure for Cuban filmmakers and journalists the rights that Moore and all Americans take as a given.

Biscet’s condition is grave. Although reliable reports about his condition are sporadic because he’s rarely permitted visitors, it appears he’s lost at least 60 pounds during his latest confinement. While that may be a lot of weight, it’s a wonder he hasn’t lost even more. His treatment has been appalling even by the low standards applied to totalitarian regimes.

His cell is the stuff of a Victor Hugo novel: windowless and suffocating, with wretched sanitary conditions. The stench seeping from the pit in the ground that serves as a toilet is intensified by being compressed into an unventilated cell only as wide as a broom closet — and not much longer.

Biscet’s rarely permitted to leave this impossibly tiny cell that he somehow manages to share with a series of criminals who, it seems, are specifically selected by the authorities for violent tendencies, and who, Bisect maintains, are frequently incited by those authorities.

Biscet reportedly suffers from osteoarthritis, ulcers and hypertension. His teeth, those that haven’t fallen out, are rotted and infected. Water, if you can call it that, is at a premium. Prisoners often are forced to wash themselves and their clothing in water filled with feces and urine. Yet Biscet’s permitted no medicines or toiletries.

Nor is he allowed any communication with the outside world. He gets no newspapers. He can receive no visitors—not even doctors or clergy. Even his wife has only seen him fleetingly a few times over the last four years.

Despite the brutality and privation Biscet remains defiant. He somehow manages to compose brief, powerful anti-Castro letters that others smuggle out of the prison. He holds prayer vigils and hunger strikes. He continues to demand freedom and dignity for the Cuban people. In short, he insists on being an acute embarrassment to the dictatorship.
You have to wonder ... where's the outcry? As Kirsanow points out, he should be perfect for the usual suspects:
Ordinarily, the fact that Dr. Biscet is black, a follower of Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolence doctrine, and a political prisoner of an oppressive regime would ensure that his story would get widespread play. Actors, artists, authors, and activists would be clamoring for his release. Politicians would be making speeches condemning his treatment. Hollywood would be making movies about his struggles.
But they aren't.

Why do you suppose that's the case?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I can’t imagine why he’s complaining. He gets free health care.
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
Cuba, being a socialist state, represents an economic model cherished by many on the Left (including those in the media). It reasonably follows that pointing out the obvious problems of Cuba doesn’t exactly win friends and influence your audience to be sympathetic with your point of view.

But don’t for a moment believe that those on the Right aren’t guilty of the same behaviour. Isn’t it human nature to call attention to, and exaggerate examples which discredit the "other side’s" belief system?

Of course, its up to Libertarians to remain the arbiters of truth, right? Right?

Written By: JasperPants
URL: http://
Of course, its up to Libertarians to remain the arbiters of truth, right? Right?
Oh yeah.
Written By: McQ
Good point.

This is one great reason why I love this blog.

But don’t expect the partisans on either side to change their spots. Although it’s great to point out reminders of this kind of thing from time to time, we shouldn’t be at all surprised that it happens.

What will the near future look like? I can see it now: A Democrat wins the White House in ’08 and a new category of blogging will be born.

Blogs on the Right will devote millions of words and hours of research to point out the hypocrisy of Lefty blogs that will naturally support the same kind of policies they used to condemn under the Bush Administration.

"Fisking" is (was?) a great blogging metaphor, what should we call this? We need some snappy branding.
Written By: JasperPants
URL: http://
So has anyone found out why this guy is being treated this way, or are you all just gonna assume it’s for the reasons you want to believe ?
Written By: blewyn
URL: http://
So, uh, did you read the linked story?
Written By: McQ
Why do you suppose that’s the case?

Duh. Because this story was written by Scott Beauchamp, which makes it perfectly false. Uh, true. Uh, it happened in Kuwait.
Written By: dicentra
Why do you suppose that’s the case?

Maybe it ain’t in fact, the case, as you could have found out with 60 seconds of research. But hey, why bother? The professional humanitarians don’t avoid criticizing human rights violations of leftist governments. This is the same runaround as the "the Carter Center doesn’t criticize Middle Eastern governments", which turned out to have a lot of asterisks after it, like, "doesn’t only Middle Eastern governments" or "doesn’t criticize MidEast governments, as frequently as I personally think would be really moral." Throw the mud and count on people not to read further, since your readers hate the same people as you anyway...

Why isn’t there some sort of mass celebrity craze on the news every night? Because there never is. The guy’s one political prisoner among millions in a hundred countries. Who *are*, in fact "authors, actors and Hollywood" clamoring for the release of? If you just wanted to say the public should pay more attention to guys like this, you could have had everyone’s support, mine included. But you can’t settle for that, can you? You have to take unsupported digs at some imagined swarm of leftists who supposedly pretend human rights violations in Cuba don’t happen.

This case has recieved plenty of attention from - well, I can’t prove that you’d assume these people are your imagined silent leftists. Perhaps, for now, you’ll claim they’re simply neutral human rights warriors - until the next time they criticize US policy.

Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"So has anyone found out why this guy is being treated this way, or are you all just gonna assume it’s for the reasons you want to believe ? "

What reason would justify such treatment?
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

Thanks for the links.

I notice some of the on-line petitions, etc., and somehow had an image of some leftist wearing a Che shirt signing it to free the doctor. That would be really ironic.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Thanks for the links.

I notice now that I messed up about a third of the http addresses. I need some autoformatting helper program like Dale’s.
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"So has anyone found out why this guy is being treated this way, or are you all just gonna assume it’s for the reasons you want to believe ? "

What reason would justify such treatment?
None - but that doesn’t mean the guy is being punished for the reasons the post makes out. Maybe he did something else that pissed somebody off, and this is how they got him for it. You can’t just pick a prisoner that fits your desired story and assume he’s in prison for the reasons you want, or even the reasons he says. Why treat this guy so harshly if all he’s done is point out faults with the current system ? It doesn’t make any would make sense for the state to silence him....but to subject the poor guy to unusually cruel punishment, then allow his writings to get out ? It doesn’t fit.
Written By: blewyn
URL: http://
"Why treat this guy so harshly if all he’s done is point out faults with the current system ? It doesn’t make any sense......"

That’s a joke, right?

"It doesn’t fit."

People like Solzhenitsyn, Sharansky, etc. ad inf. might disagree.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The left justifies treating people like this, because they are opposed to civilization and decency.

And this doctor’s crime? Stealing bread to feed the starving or giving medical treatment to Castro’s political enemies or whatever. That’s all it takes. Democrats will spend billions to propagandize for socialist dictators, and forsake the innocent. They should be ashamed but I doubt they will be. What a delightful bunch of people, let’s vote for all their politicians.
Written By: jows
URL: http://

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