[OPE] Help Cuba Recover from Its Worst Economic Disaster

From: <glevy@pratt.edu>
Date: Fri Sep 12 2008 - 21:26:44 EDT

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: [Fwd: Help Cuba Recover from Its Worst Economic Disaster]

From: "michael a. lebowitz" <mlebowit@sfu.ca>
Date: Fri, September 12, 2008 8:26 pm

Cuba has suffered "the worst /economic disaster/ in its
history," some
news agencies have reported. Damage from
hurricanes Gustav and Ike is
estimated between $3 and $4 billion.
2.5 million persons (from a
population of 11 million) were evacuated
and many thousands will remain
evacuated because they have lost
their homes. The total number of houses
damaged by the two storms
was 320,000 (entire small towns and 70% of
houses in the Western
provinces). Gustav alone totally destroyed more
than 30,000 houses.
Thousands of schools, hospitals, factories and other
buildings have
been damaged. Most crops in the entire island have been
lost due to
the winds and/or flooding. Most of the electricity network
damaged. And the list of destruction can go on and on...

some pictures of the destruction caused by hurricane Ike here:

and this video here:

Cuba needs your help because (thanks to the US
embargo/blockade) it does
not have access to the international
credit system, so it is short in
cash to deal with immediate needs,
especially food and construction

There are
seven organizations in the US that have licenses from the US
government to send humanitarian aid to Cuba. If you can, please consider

donating to one. Even five dollars would help. Here is the list:

*1. _The Disarm Education Fund_*

Since 1994, the
Disarm Cuban Medical Project has worked to combat the
effects of the
US embargo against Cuba on the health of the Cuban people
and to
advocate for a change in US policy, delivering more than $75
worth of desperately needed medicines and medical supplies to
benefiting more than 2 million people. They are committed to
supplying 60 Cuban hospitals and community clinics &ndash; 20 in Havana
and 40
in the countryside &ndash; with supplies ranging from such
desperately needed
basics as aspirin, insulin, gauze pads, and
syringes, to the most
advanced treatments for pediatric cancer and
AIDS. (www.disarm.org

*2. _Global Links_*

Global Links' program of medical aid to
Cuba began in 1994 at the
request of The Pan American Health
Organization/World Health
Organization (PAHO/WHO). This program is a
federally licensed
humanitarian aid program. Aid sent is received
and distributed to health
institutions by the PAHO/WHO office in
Havana and the Cuban Ministry of
Health. Global Links has received a
list of requested products from PAHO
and is raising funds to
purchase and send them to Cuba.

_Operation USA_*

Since its inception in September 1998, CMAP
has delivered major
shipments to pediatric hospitals and other
health facilities. Supplies
are donated by private companies,
hospitals and physicians and are sent
to Cuba under license from the
U.S.-Departments of Commerce and
Treasury. Operation USA is
accepting cash contributions to pay for
shipping medical supplies to

*4. _MEDICC_*
MEDICC&mdash;Medical Education Cooperation
with Cuba, is a non-profit
organization working to enhance
cooperation among the US, Cuban and
global health communities aimed
at better health outcomes. MEDICC
supports education and development
of human resources in health
committed to equitable access and
quality care, providing the Cuban
experience to inform global
debate, practice, policies and cooperation
in health.
is seeking financial donations to replenish stocks of key medical
reference books lost at the badly damaged Isle of Youth Medical School,

where over 2,000 young Cubans study medicine and public health.

_Catholic Relief Services_*

Catholic Relief Services has
worked with Caritas Cubana, the Catholic
Church's relief agency, to
provide emergency, humanitarian assistance to
the most vulnerable
and needy people in Cuba since 1993. CRS delivers
medicine, medical
supplies, food and clothing to Cuba for distribution
in hospitals,
homes for the elderly, and to children with Down syndrome
and other
vulnerable groups. CRS is working with Caritas Cubana in the
affected areas in infrastructure projects and assistance with access to

food, hygiene products and water. (http://crs.org/Cuba/)

*6. _Jewish Solidarity_*

Since 1993, Jewish Solidarity has
delivered over 35 tons of medicine,
food and other supplies to
Cuba's more than 1500 Jews in Havana and
throughout this island
nation. They have a humanitarian license that
allows them to collect
financial donations to then buy the necessary
items that are most
needed in Cuba. Jewish Solidarity is accepting
financial donations
to buy medicine, food and other supplies to be
distributed in Cuba.
7. _Daughters of Charity_ *

The Daughters of Charity,
a non-profit organization based in Miami,
Florida, that has been
sending humanitarian goods to Cuba since 1994.
You can send a check
donation so they can buy needed food items and pay
the cost of the
containers they will be sending to Cuba.

*/All donations are
tax deductible. Please include your name, address
and phone number
on any mailed donations in order to receive a donation
letter. /*

*/Please write checks to one of the organizations
listed above, and mail
to: Cuba Hurricane AID, P.O. Box 53106,
Washington, DC 20009./*

*Note: *you can also donate online
directly to any of these
organizations, or through the Cuba Central
site at*

If you cannot donate, please demand that travel and trade restrictions

are lifted, at least temporarily. Here are links to two online
that have been set up for this:

1) "US
assistance to Cuban hurricane victims" online petition to
president and Congressional Leadership put together by several US


2) ANSWER's Online Petition to your Representatives, President
and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez: Lift the Blockade Now!


* *

A quick note about why Cuba
turned down US aid offer:*

Cuba turned down US aid offer
because it was conditioned on accepting an
inspection by a USAID
team. Spain, Brazil, and many other countries have
offered aid
without any conditions, only the US plays politics with
suffering. And all the aid that the US had to offer is $100,000
much smaller countries like Timor Leste have offered $500,000 and
without any conditions. The Cuban government rejected the aid as
hypocritical and asked that Cuba is allowed to buy food and construction

materials using credits offered by private business willing to do
like any other country does (The Bush administration introduced
legislation that requires that Cuba buys from US business only
with cash).

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Received on Fri Sep 12 21:29:09 2008

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