[Marxism] IMPORTANT: Cuba agrees to U.S. offer of hurricane aid

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 27 13:59:42 MDT 2005


(This is of great interest. Let's follow this new development 
very closely. Who knows what it could presage. Very good news.)
===============================================================

Cuba agrees to U.S. offer of hurricane aid 
By Anne Gearan (AP)

Seattle Post-Intelligencer October 27, 2005

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1152AP_Wilma_US_Cuba.html

WASHINGTON -- Cuba has unexpectedly agreed to a quiet U.S. offer of
emergency aid following Hurricane Wilma, and three Americans will
travel to Cuba to assess needs there, the State Department said
Thursday.

Washington has routinely offered humanitarian relief for hurricanes
and other disasters in Cuba, and Cuban leader Fidel Castro himself
has routinely turned the offers down. After Hurricane Dennis pummeled
the island in July, Castro expressed gratitude for Washington's offer
of $50,000 in aid but rejected it.

"This was the first time they have accepted an offer of assistance,"
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, at least based on the
"collective memory" of diplomats at the department.

Washington sent a diplomatic note to Cuban officials on Tuesday, a
day after day the storm pounded the island nation, offering to send
emergency supplies. Cuba accepted the offer Wednesday, McCormack
said.

The State Department did not specify what supplies might be sent, but
humanitarian assistance generally covers food, medicine, related
supplies or emergency housing.

A three-person team from the U.S. Agency for International
Development is making travel arrangements now, McCormack said.
Additional aid offers would be based on what that team found, and all
aid would go to Cuba indirectly, through aid groups, McCormack said.

Cuba and the United States do not have full diplomatic relations, a
legacy of more than 40 years of Cold War acrimony. A U.S. trade
embargo on Cuba has been in place since the Kennedy administration.
More recently, the Bush administration has branded Cuba one of the
world's few remaining "outposts of tyranny" in a league with Myanmar,
Belarus and Zimbabwe.

Havana offered 1,600 doctors to help victims of Hurricane Katrina,
which hit the United States on Aug. 29. The State Department said the
Cuban help was not needed because enough American doctors had offered
their services.

Floodwaters in Havana caused damage to historic buildings and the
famed Malecon seawall. Dozens of city blocks were flooded by the
storm, but no deaths were reported in Havana. Wilma has been blamed
for at least 22 deaths, five in Florida, 12 in Haiti, at least 4 in
Mexico and 1 in Jamaica.






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