Cuba's public health system is held up to the world as one of the glories of the revolution. It's supposed to be a major achievement of the Castro dictatorship, consistently used to justify the deprivations Cuba's people are forced to endure every day.
Most Cubans, if not all, know that's an exaggeration, to put it mildly. Yes, Cubans get free medical care. But it's neither quality care nor particularly good. Indeed, a form of health care apartheid exists in Cuba that offers a higher level of medical treatment for foreigners and anyone else who can pay for it, but doles out aspirin to everyone else (if they're available) regardless of ailment.
That hasn't kept the Cuban propaganda mill from extolling the virtues of the state-run health care system. But the latest events surrounding the horrific findings at the Havana Psychiatric Hospital, known as Mazorra, where electroshock ``treatment'' for political dissidents has been commonly used, are eye-opening and disgusting.
Pictures of the cadavers of 26 patients whose deaths were officially attributed to cold and malnutrition were widely circulated on the Internet. They looked like victims of a concentration camp, an embarrassment that forced the dictatorship to put some of the medical personnel on trial. Thirteen were convicted, with sentences ranging from 15 to five years in jail.
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