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Michael Moore Writes Open Letter to U.S. Treasury

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May 14, 2007 | 5:32am EDT

Filmmaker Michael Moore has called on the U.S. Treasury to abandon its investigation into allegations he broke a trade embargo with Cuba by traveling to the Caribbean island with a group of September 11th rescue workers.

The stunt was part of the Oscar winner's latest documentary Sicko, a critique of the health-care industry in America. He supposedly traveled with the 10 rescue workers, made ill from their efforts after the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center, in a bid to seek treatment for them.

Last week, Moore received a letter from The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, notifying him that it was conducting a civil investigation for possible violations of the trade embargo restricting travel to Cuba.

Moore has now written a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, in which he accuses U.S. President George W. Bush's administration of investigating him for political reasons.

Moore, who has posted his letter online, writes: "For five and a half years, the Bush administration has ignored and neglected the heroes of the 9/11 community. These heroic first responders have been left to fend for themselves, without coverage and without care.

"I understand why the Bush administration is coming after me - I have tried to help the very people they refuse to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws helping your fellow man, I have broken no laws and I have nothing to hide."

And Moore believes that because he criticizes the U.S. health-care industry in Sicko, his film is a target.

He adds, "I can understand why that industry's main recipient of its contributions - President Bush - would want to harass, intimidate and potentially prevent this film from having its widest possible audience."

As previously reported, Michael Moore has reportedly arranged for the film to be held in a "safe house" outside the U.S. to protect it from government interference - ahead of its planned premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next Saturday.

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