Cuba: “You’re To Blame for Your Cancer”

Erasmo Calzadilla

HAVANA TIMES — In my previous post, I exposed the lies and half-truths about the state of cancer in Cuba divulged by high government officials. These officials have made an effort to convey a false image of control over this condition, an image than can be refuted with the most elementary of statistics.

To declare an epidemic under control when this epidemic is clearly anything but is very dangerous, because, without an alarm signal, people do not act with the swiftness and determination the situation calls for. To lie about the causes of the epidemic, however, is almost criminal, because it makes it more difficult for people to protect themselves and avoid a premature death.

When cancer experts and bureaucrats in the field are asked about the causes of cancer or the risk factors that have resulted in its violent spread, they invariably reply with the following list:

  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Obesity
  • The aging of the population
  • Bad eating habits
  • Excessive exposure to the sun
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
Viejo fumador.

This list is far from accidental. Behind it lies a politically-charged message we could interpret as follows: “The main, if not the only reason cancer has spread like crazy in Cuba are the habits of the population – the State and government are blameless. If there is anything to be said about the latter, it is that they devote extraordinary efforts to overcome this situation.”

The summary of the Round Table program aired on June 18, 2014 gives us a more concrete idea of how the country’s leadership is combatting the illness:

  • The government spends of millions of dollars purchasing or developing expensive medications for cancer prevention and treatment. Then, it offers medical attention to those in need without charging them a cent (as we are often reminded).
  • The government implements media campaigns destined to combat the bad habits that this drug-addicted population has deliberately picked up.

Of course, we are dealing with a crude and dangerous lies. Those who are chiefly responsible for the spread of cancer are, precisely, the government. In what way? Here are at least two, as far as I know:

  • Inadequate or no control over the spilling and presence of carcinogenic substances in the environment.
  • Failing to inform the population where the main threats lie and how to avoid them.

In my next post, I will demonstrate why the causes mentioned by experts and bureaucrats do not even remotely account for the spread of cancer in Cuba.


1) Below is an excerpt from the interview offered by Dr. Romero to the Xinhua news agency, in which she explains the reasons behind the spread of cancer in Cuba, as she sees it: “it is owed to an increase in risk factors such as smoking, alcoholism, poor eating habits, excessive exposure to the sun and sexually transmitted diseases. Another risk factor is the aging of the population, for, as the average life expectancy on the island is 78, the risk of the appearance of malignant tumors (which are more common after the age of 60) increases.”

2)  I use the words “epidemic” and “pandemic”, but cancer does not classify as either.

 3) The lies and unethical practices of a group of officials should not make us blind to the efforts that Cuba’s totalitarian State does devote to offer the population good healthcare services, in defiance of the US blockade.

Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

3 thoughts on “Cuba: “You’re To Blame for Your Cancer”

  • August 8, 2014 at 9:01 pm


    Take a deep breath. Ready?

    Cancer does not “spread” in a population. Unlike the flu or Ebola or dengue fever, cancer is not contagious. It does not spread from one victim to another.

    Now, whether you like it or not, whether you think it is fair or not, and whether you think it is politically desire able or not is all irrelevant to the central fact that behavior can greatly affect an individual’s risk factors for specific cancers. Smoking does increase the risk of lung cancer. This is just as true in Cuba as it is in the USA or China or Russia or Greece. It’s not a government plot or the fault of the US embargo. It’s simply what cancer does.

    Sorry if that hurts your feelings. Deal with it.

  • August 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I’ve often thought about the quote: “To the gods, we are as flies.” Of course there are no gods (or if there were, they’ve long since died and/or were obliterated). Likewise, Nature does not care a fig about our survival, either as individuals or as a species, and it is an erroneous habit of thought to even personify Nature. At least utilizing our faculty of reason, we may (but only may or might) have control over some of the cancers, such as smoking, drinking and, err obesity, since science has demonstrated a relation between these and certain cancers. At this point, however, there are many causes of this condition of which we are totally unaware. My best remaining friend, who was only 165 lbs.–now down to 121 lbs.–ate an absolutely healthy diet with many veggies, and cooking them by steam or baking, and got plenty of exercise, despite all these precautions, now lies dying of cancer. Of course he “chose” to live on the Lower East Side, probably one of the most toxic areas in the nation (along with Louisiana, Delaware, Texas, etc. where many petroleum and chemical industries are located), but as my aunt, who was one of the nation’s leading toxicologists, used to say, “there are many toxins in nature–in the trees, the water, the soil–which are very harmful to human beings.” (This caused an amusing dispute between her an another friend, who had an overly-romantic view of Nature!) In any event, our knowledge of the true causes of many cancers are in their infancy. Still, I’d rather place more faith in science, rather than conspiracy theories.

  • August 8, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Personally, I find your ‘ramblings’ to be more to do with your own opinions, more politically orientated and you come across as if you have some unwarranted axe to grind.
    I shall mention your waffle next time I meet with my fellow cancer friends.

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