Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Cuba Recovered and Open for Business

Havana.

USA Today reported on Sept. 17 that the US government was providing humanitarian aid to numerous Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma. Cuba, located just 90 miles off the coast of Florida – was not among them.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Cuba was the first nation to offer aid. The island prepared thousands of volunteers and huge amounts of emergency equipment and supplies to assist the victims in the affected regions with all the expenses incurred by Cuba.

Even on that occasion, Havana organized a permanent aid brigade to send to to countries affected by natural disasters that was named after a US citizen, Henry Reeve (1850-1876), who fought in an outstanding way in the Cuban independence ranks against Spanish colonialism, and who rose to the rank of Brigadier General.

The US government of George W. Bush rejected the magnanimous Cuban aid offer, in spite of the enormous humanitarian catastrophe that was unfolding in Louisiana at the time.

Katrina caused damage to the city of New Orleans, but it did not devastate it. Shortly afterwards, the Pontchartrain lake dams and several canals were broken. A toxic broth of contaminated water flooded the streets, as well as thousands of homes and beyond the second floor of tall buildings. Tens of thousands of people, almost all of them black and poor, had to fight for survival in the worst conditions of official abandonment. An estimated 300,000 families were made homeless. Nor was the offer of Cuban aid accepted at that time.

At the moment, although Cuba is recovering from the serious damage caused by Hurricane Irma, it has not hesitated to give aid to neighboring islands that have suffered a misfortune similar to its own. Hundreds of professionals, with their assistants and medical supplies, have been sent by Havana in support their Caribbean neighbors.

It is known that there are now hundreds of millions of dollars worth of food, medicine, and building materials being stored in the US military base that Washington illegally occupied more than a century ago, on the shores of Guantanamo Bay, on Cuban territory, in the easternmost part of Cuba. (This also includes the concentration camp whose inmates have no rights or trial as prisoners war).

But it is also known that the US military base has not shared a single bottle of potable water with the Cuban residents affected by the hurricane outside the perimeter fencing at the base.

Among other nations, they are providing assistance to Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, Russia, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam, as well as some dependencies from the ONU. In contrast, the State Department has issued a warning against travel to Cuba and advises the Americans in that regard.

Meanwhile, millions of Cuban volunteers have cleared the tracks that provide the most evidence of the destructive passage of Hurricane Irma. Tourists from the most diverse countries are already going massively to the island.

By denying Cubans aid, and discouraging its citizens’ travel to Cuba, Washington is once again using the occurrence of a humanitarian disaster to punish Cubans for refusing to accept US meddling in their internal affairs.

However, as the Canadian tour operator “Cuba Explorer”, which has been based for years in Havana, states in a message to its clients, “Americans are preparing to visit Cuba in large numbers in the coming months, aware that social tourism is a form humanitarian and economic aid. The travelers want to keep alive the new spirit of cooperation between the United States and Cuba that began during the Presidency of Barack Obama.

“Cubans are showing their disposition and their desire to welcome and warmly welcome their arrival to the island to their American guests,” said the aforementioned US tour operator, based on his own experiences and expectations.

More articles by:

Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
Paul Street
For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity
Nick Pemberton
The Colonial Pantsuit: What We Didn’t Want to Know About Africa
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Summer of No Return
Jeff Halper
Choices Made: From Zionist Settler Colonialism to Decolonization
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Incident: Trump’s Special Relationship With the Saudi Monarchy
Andrew Levine
Democrats: Boost, Knock, Enthuse
Barbara Kantz
The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island
Doug Johnson
Nate Silver and 538’s Measurable 3.5% Democratic Bias and the 2018 House Race
Gwen Carr
This Stops Today: Seeking Justice for My Son Eric Garner
Robert Hunziker
Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, or Else!
Arshad Khan
Is There Hope on a World Warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius?
David Rosen
Packing the Supreme Court in the 21stCentury
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Threats of Death and Destruction
Joel A. Harrison
The Case for a Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail