Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore reportedly brought sick Ground Zero relief workers to Cuba in a bid to show the Communist nation's medical care is superior to the United States.
Moore has spent the past two years filming his new documentary Sicko, a critique of US drug companies and health insurers, which is set to debut at the Cannes Film Festival in France next month (May07).
The New York Post claims the Oscar winning director invited ailing responders, who assisted in the clean-up of lower Manhattan following the 9/11 (01) attacks, to receive medical treatment in the Caribbean nation.
Cuba and the US have been at odds since current Cuban President Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista's capitalist government in the late 1950s and replaced it with a communist one. The US sanctioned a trade embargo on Cuba in 1962, which remains to this day.
New Jersey ironworker Joe Picurro, who worked at Ground Zero, said he received an invitation from Moore, but, "I would rather die in America than go to Cuba. I just laughed. I couldn't do it."
Disabled medic Michael MCCormack, said he was willing to go to Cuba, but Moore's invitation fell through.
MCCormack says, "What he wanted to do is shove it up George W (Bush's) rear end that 9/11 heroes had to go to a communist country to get adequate health care. You're promised that you're going to be taken care of and then you find out you're not. He's trying to profiteer off of our suffering."