Lecture on Cuba

My lecture on Cuba was such a success that I already received 3 emails from students thanking me for it. One student writes that this was the best lecture she ever had in her life.

I especially enjoyed answering the questions students had about Cuba.

“So are you saying Cuban healthcare is not good?” one student asked. “Because this isn’t what we keep hearing.”

“Where did you hear it was good?” I asked.

“Well, there was this documentary by Michael Moore. . .”

This gave me the perfect opportunity to rant about Moore’s phenomenal intellectual dishonesty in the movie Sicko.

I think the lecture was so successful because I was acting more like I do here on the blog than the way I am normally in class. I spoke in a much more personal and direct way, shared my personal experiences in Cuba, used strong language. I don’t mean profanity, of course. I just said things like “the most horrifying, soul-crushing, degrading cynicism anybody could imagine.”

This was the kind of lecture where nobody even thinks of texting or checking their Facebook page because the discussion is so much more interesting. I’m smart, so I held teaching evaluations right after the lecture.

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38 comments on “Lecture on Cuba

  1. Hi Clarissa. I have one question for you. Would ever want to go to Cuba to get medical care in any fashion? Personally I wouldn’t, seeing as how corrupt the country that my own parents came from and how there are regular power outages in the Dominican Republic.

      • I can’t believe there are idiot lemmings like that wealthy hypocrite Michael Moore who defend Cuba for this for his own economic gain. I knew something was wrong. The fact that they would falsify certain information makes complete sense.

        According to this website, Cuba has a corruption perceptions index of 4.2 in comparison to the corruption index of the Dominican Republic, which is a 2.6. Meanwhile, socialist Venezuela has a corruption index of a 1.9. Something doesn’t add up.

        http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results/

        • I used to be a great fan of Michael Moore. And then that stupid Sicko came out. And it immediately cast doubt on everything he ever did or wrote. Because if you can stoop to such obvious and low form of lying in one case, then how can I trust anything you ever say? I mean, it isn’t like he could have failed to realize that showing up with cameras and an entourage as a world famous American film-maker and visiting the most important hospital for the party members in Havana wouldn’t bring you in touch with the state of actual healthcare that regular Cubans get.

          And what’s with interviewing Che Guevara’s daughter? What would she know or want to reveal about the lives of regular Cubans who don’t have ultra-famous fathers?

          I was so disgusted when I watched that film. I almost threw up, and it’s not an exaggeration.

  2. Since your lecture was so personal, did you tell your students when, in your opinion, everything went wrong in Cuba, and why?

  3. This is an interesting post as I am Cuban myself. I had some respect for Moore when he did Roger & Me and then Fahrenheit 9/11, but Sicko was just that. I hated that movie, we had to see it in college and I was very close to punching the professor in the face :D I hate, hate, hate, motherfucking hate Communists, really I do. I still got relatives down there and one of my cousins went to prison for selling meat on the black market, Castro is going to die soon and he’ll be tortured in hell forever, if he managed to remain a Catholic. If not, he’s worm food ;)

    I hope this isn’t off-topic, but I’ve noticed that many Latin American societies have the most messed-up governments without a whole lot of democracy. It is either Fascism or Communism or some military junta running everything, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot in between. I’m guessing is that there never was any sort of democracy in Spain to begin with, the king being autocratic and the nobles and a huge peasantry. They just imported that system to the New World and added slavery to the mix, I hope I’m in the ballpark with this because I’m not a Hispanic scholar like you :D

      • I loved how Bowling was made. It is a great work of film-making art. Fahrenheit was not too profound and a little sappy, but well-made, too. But Sicko just slaughtered me.

        I also always loved Moore’s books because he has a great sense of humor and writes well. But now I find it very hard to take him seriously.

    • Only somebody who has experinced comunism first-hand can understand what it is really like. It is easy to gush about Cuba while being safely ensconced in one’s comfortable capitalist existence. Like my professor in Canada who used to tell us that “the Cuban people have a very comfortable, dignified existence.” I almost clawed his stupid eyes out. Curiously, he never attempted to visit Cuba although it would be very easy and cheap to do it with his Canadian passport. I guess he always knew what the truth was but never wanted to face it.

    • You are absolutely right, Vanessa, in that democracy came to Spain very late and after a lot of trouble. The colonial system that Spain imposed in the Americas can still be felt in many ways.

    • “I hope this isn’t off-topic, but I’ve noticed that many Latin American societies have the most messed-up governments without a whole lot of democracy. It is either Fascism or Communism or some military junta running everything,”

      And the USA terrorist state hates communists but they support corpo-fascists dictatorial regimes, though.

  4. “I loved how Bowling was made. It is a great work of film-making art. Fahrenheit was not too profound and a little sappy, but well-made, too. But Sicko just slaughtered me. ”

    I agree but factually, I have some problems with this film, but not as shitty as Sicko, that neglects completely the sovietic waiting times in Québec, for example.

    “I also always loved Moore’s books because he has a great sense of humor and writes well. But now I find it very hard to take him seriously.”

    His books are WAY better than his films. It’s very easy to find better documentarists than him, even in this tiny Québec!

  5. I watched Sicko, and clearly it was contrived…designed to make Americans feel outraged about a lack of healthcare provision in their country. The part that stood out the most for me was the strange section where these very unfit, overweight parents have to move back in with their child. The passivity that leads to unhealthy states in one’s latter years is not related to government. Dignity is to some degree a state of mind.

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