[Marxism] Fidel Castro Says Cuba Protects its People and Helps Others

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 24 03:46:13 MDT 2005

It's 5:45 AM Monday here in Havana. After a night of intermittent
rainfail, the rain now is a bit heavier in recent moments. Power
remains out  - it hasn't failed, it's deliberatly turned off when
the wind reaches a certain level of intensity - 75 KPH - and it's
left off until the wind declines. At the same time, gas is still
on and so I've got hot coffee to drink, which was warmed and put
in my thermos bottle last night. This will be the only message 
I'm sending this morning so as to conserve battery power for the
laptop and the flashlight. Will get back again later this morning.

Walter Lippmann

Fidel Castro Says Cuba Protects its People and Helps Others

Havana, Oct 23 (AIN) Cuba protects the lives of its citizens as no
other country in the world can do, said President Fidel Castro during
a televised informative round table discussion on the passage of
hurricane Wilma on Sunday.

President Castro commented on the measures adopted to protect the
Cuban population from the storm, whose effects were particularly felt
in the western province of Pinar del Rio, where 35% of the local
population was evacuated to safe places.

"I wish other nations could also protect their population as Cuba
does," said Fidel Castro and recalled the solidarity practiceí by the
Cuban people with other nations of the world by citing the more than
100,000 blood donations offered by the island to the Peruvian
population on the heels of the tragic effects of an earthquake that
hit that Latin American nation.

Chile, Iran and Armenia also received Cuban medical assistance after
earthquakes affected those countries and at present Cuban health
professionals are offering their services in Pakistan, said the Cuban
Revolution leader, and noted that some of those specialists arrived in
a Pakistani locality, 3,000 meters high in the mountains, where more
than half the population had died.

Nearly 20 years after the Chernobyl tragedy took place, Cuba continues
to treat its victims, particularly children who were born with the
effects of that accident, said Fidel Castro. He pointed out that,based
on Cuba's solidarity-based tradition, the island had created the Henry
Reeve international medical contingent to face catastrophes and
epidemics in any part of the world.

Fidel said that shortly after the medical contingent was created
Guatemala was hard hit by hurricane Stan and four 100 strong brigades
of Cuban doctors made up the international medical force that went to
assist the victims of that natural phenomenon.

At present some 700 Cuban doctors are giving their services in
mountainous regions and remote localities in Guatemala and many other
zones that remained incommunicado due to the dangerous storm.

Cuba has the human capital to help other nations of the world, even 
when the island is making big efforts to protect its population from
hurricanes such as Wilma, which is now moving along the northern
coast, said Fidel Castro. This can only be achieved when there are
organized, prepared and conscientious people like ours, concluded the 

Hurricane Wilma Leaves Cuba Heads for Florida

Havana, Oct 24 (AIN) Wilma is again a category three hurricane on the
five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, still affecting western Cuba is
heading  closer to Florida.

The most recent reports from Cuba's Meteorology Institute say that
Wilma is still dangerous for Cuba since its rains will continue to
affect the western and central parts of the island for some time.

Strong 90 and 110 kilometer-per-hour winds will be felt in Havana and
Matanzas provinces over the next few hours with stronger gusts. These
are expected to diminish as Wilma gets farther from the island on Monday.

The Meteorology Institute said that coastal flooding will continue to
occur in southern low-lying areas from western Pinar del Rio to
eastern Camaguey provinces, while they will start to occur on the
northern coast of Pinar del Rio and Havana over the next few hours.

Wilma has 185-kilometer-per-hour sustained winds and is moving
northeast at 27 kilometers per hour. This rapid movement will allow it
to reach the western part of the Florida peninsula over the next few

Strong gusts of wind have been reported in Havana, as well as
85-kilometer-per hour sustained winds during the past three hours.

 People at Risk from Wilma and Alpha Evacuated in Cuba

Havana, Oct 23 (AIN) More than 693,000 people were evacuated in Cuba
in the face of hurricane Wilma and tropical storm Alpha, said National
Civil Defense Authorities.

The figure included 52,393 people who were taken to safe places
provided with basic services and another 455,781 who found shelter at
neighbors or relatives' homes.

The civil defense system activated 10 provincial civil defense
councils, 126 municipal councils and 1,236 shelters were set up in
schools. More than 100,300 Cubans have been mobilized to guarantee the
implementation of the civil defense measures, which included the use
of more than 4,600 vehicles, 1,960 machines and 469 means of

Meanwhile, 49,529 people were evacuated in the provinces which were
likely to be affected by the tropical storm Alpha. The figure included
30,046 citizens living in low-lying areas plus 19,483 students.

Other measures in those zones included the movement of thousands of
animals which were taken to safe areas. 


Wilma soaks western Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba (AP) -- Hurricane Wilma drenched western Cuba with heavy
rains Sunday and flooded evacuated communities along the island's
southern coast after clobbering Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and taking
aim on storm-weary Florida.

President Fidel Castro appeared on television to calm Cubans
anticipating increased winds and potential overnight flooding on the
northern coast. He also offered doctors to Mexico to help the
neighboring nation recover from the natural disaster.

"It's the appropriate time to offer the people of Mexico the support
they need," he said late Sunday on Cuban TV public affairs program
"Mesa Redonda," or "Round Table."

Cuba has recently sent 400 doctors to Guatemala after Hurricane
Stan's devastating passage through Central America, as well as some
200 doctors to Pakistan after the October 8 earthquake that killed
tens of thousands.

Castro praised the island's efficiency in hurricane preparation,
saying that despite scarce resources, Cuba has become internationally
recognized as "a model country that protects the lives of its

Cuba prides itself on saving lives during frequent hurricanes
affecting the island, and its civil defense plans have been held up
by the United Nations as a model for other nations. Mandatory,
widespread evacuations are common and face little resistance.

The government in recent days evacuated more than 625,000 people,
particularly in the island's west, as Wilma stalled off the Yucatan

Some people were ordered by civil defense officials to leave their
homes as early as Wednesday, with most staying with friends and
relatives, and the rest at shelters set up at schools and other
government buildings.

Cuban state television reported Sunday that the ocean had penetrated
up to 2/3 of a mile (1 kilometer) in some southern coastal

Guanimar, a small fishing village of brightly painted wooden houses
due south of Havana, was totally under water Sunday, with floodwaters
as high as 3 feet in some places. The community frequently floods
during hurricanes and its several hundred residents were evacuated as
a precaution in recent days.

In another southern coastal community, Playa Cajio, the penetrating
sea carried numerous fish up onto the main highway, state television

Earlier in the day, Cuba's communist youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde
declared "The Worst is Yet to Come" in a headline in its Sunday

Rainfall of up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) was possible in some
parts of western Cuba when Wilma passed the island, the National
Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Cuban authorities were especially worried about coastal flooding
across the northern coast of the island's western provinces of Pinar
del Rio and Havana starting late Sunday and continuing into Monday.

One key point of concern was Havana's Malecon seawall, which high
waves can spill over during hurricanes and flood the adjacent coastal
highway and neighborhoods of old, multistoried buildings.

Alcohol sales in Havana, home to 2 million people, were shut down
Sunday afternoon, and all stores closed. Local civil defense
officials said the government would switch off electricity in Havana
-- a standard safety procedure -- if Wilma's high winds were
considered dangerous to the capital.

Wilma was not expected to make landfall in Cuba as it moved past the
island's northern coast, but did spin off several tornados over the
weekend that left six injured and destroyed more than 20 homes and
tobacco curing houses in the country's western tobacco-growing

Localized sporadic rains have fallen in western Cuba in recent days,
saturating the soil and filling some reservoirs. But especially heavy
and continuous rains soaked the region Sunday as Wilma began
sideswiping the island's northern coast.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This
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