LOS ANGELES - "Sicko" director Michael Moore jokes that Fidel Castro would be a "ratings grabber" at Sunday night's Academy Awards show. Moore's Oscar-nominated documentary on the health-care industry concludes with a trip to Cuba, where he seeks care for a group of 9/11 responders who have experienced health problems.
They are greeted with open arms at a Havana hospital and given what appears to be top-notch care that they could not get in the United States.
Castro, who is 81 and in poor health, announced his retirement as president of Cuba this week, ending a half-century of autocratic rule.
"I got some great news today because I was trying to figure out how I was going to get Castro into the Oscars and for me he resigns today so he can come to L.A. and go as my guest and perhaps give the acceptance speech," Moore told AP Television on Tuesday night.
"As long as he keeps it under five hours. I'm telling you, that's got to be a ratings grabber. Can you imagine him? Showing up? If I could talk to (Oscar producer) Gil Cates and maybe get Castro in a dance number at the beginning of the show? Great."