08 September 2008

Life In The Cone

Waking up in the morning to find out that you’re in the path of a killer category four hurricane is unsettling. For us Floridians the fear of Hurricanes is more like the fear of the ensuing inconveniences –a few days of urban camping followed by the hassle of picking up the mess and making some repairs.

Watching an update on TV and finding out that the killer storm now has Cuba in its sights is disheartening. You know that whatever damage the hurricane causes will not be repaired and the victims will be suffering even worse hardships than the ones that they are ordinarily subjected to.

Here in Florida, most of us have homes built to standards that ensure that they will withstand hurricanes. Whatever damage a storm manages to inflict on our properties, there is insurance to help us rebuild and repair. Not so in Cuba. There is no insurance in Cuba because there is no private property and no money to pay for insurance and no Home Depot to go buy the materials needed for repairs.

In this Sun Sentinel article, we learn about a Cuban town, Playa del Cajio's, that is still waiting for regime officials to check on them to see how they’ve faired since the hurricane.

That would be Hurricane Charlie back in 2004…

In the days since Hurricane Gustav pummeled western Cuba, angry residents here aid not a single official had checked on this fishing town that was virtually erased by Hurricane Charlie four years ago.

"No one has stopped by to see if we're eating," said 91-year-old Juana Diaz Gonzalez, whose seaside home lost part of its roof to Gustav's Category 4 winds. "We eat what we can. We live like dogs."

The plight of many of Playa del Cajio's 1,500 residents offers a lesson for other hard-hit communities that hope the state will help them rebuild quickly.

People here said they have struggled with official bureaucracy and ineptitude since Charlie battered the town in 2004.

"It's been four years since Charlie and we're still waiting for new homes," said Rachel Gonzalez Ojeda, 44, seated outside her roofless wood and concrete home. "We never even got the materials to do the repairs. We rebuilt what we could on our own."

As she spoke, more than a dozen neighbors nodded in agreement. "We can't remain silent anymore," she said.

Meanwhile, the regime ignores the victims of Gustav as it will surely ignore Ike’s devastation. The Cuban regime will not allow the international Red Cross, for example, to help the Hurricane victims. Why? Because it wants absolute and total control of the aid. The aid will be distributed the way the regime sees fit, which is usually to take care of the party and its faithful.

The United States has offered to send humanitarian aid directly to the vivtims, but the regime “politely” declined. How you “politely” decline to allow international organizations to help victims of natural disasters is beyond me. It’s more like they negligently or criminally declined US assistance.

But the Castro regime did ask for the US to bend the embargo rules so that it could get “credit” from American institutions. Clearly, the regime is using the suffering of the hurricane victims for political reasons and to try to line the party’s, (the Castro family’s), pockets with money that they have no intentions of ever paying back. Cuba never pays its debts.

And here in the US, those like Presidential candidate Barrack Obama, who philosophically oppose the embargo, are also politicizing the devastation in Cuba. The Democratic candidate is calling for the relaxation of rules that govern remittances to Cuba from the US, to drive a wedge and divide the Cuban American community in South Florida where three democratic challengers are campaigning against the tightened Bush administration Cuba policies.

1 comment:

Fantomas said...

And here in the US, those like Presidential candidate Barrack Obama, who philosophically oppose the embargo, are also politicizing the devastation in Cuba


De acuerdo a lo que yo tengo entendido el sentarse a hablar con el regimen INCLUYE la liberacion de todos los presos politicos antes de suavizar las restricciones