17 September 2008

US Gives The Regime "More or Less" What They Wanted UPDATED

The Castro regime has admitted that it doesn’t have the resources to reconstruct the damages caused by hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

The problem is that they don’t have the resources to reconstruct the damages caused by hurricane Fidel.

Before the two storms hit the island, Cuba was already a crumbling, deteriorating shadow of its former self.

Of course they don’t have the resources to rebuild. They don’t produce anything or create any wealth.

But anyway, the US has quietly worked out a deal with the regime to “sell” it “agricultural” supplies:

Bypassing its trade embargo on communist Cuba, the United States on Tuesday announced approving 250 million dollars in "farm sales" to Havana after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike devastated Cuba's crops.

The licenses for agricultural sales, which include food and construction materials, were approved after Ike lashed Cuba a week ago and "wood, a material essential to rebuilding, is included," read a State Department communiqué delivered to reporters at the US Interests Section in Havana.

The United States has decided to pay part of the ransom that the regime was asking. The regime wins again:

The bilateral breakthrough "is more or less what they (the Cubans) are asking for, not credit because our law does not permit it. That will have to be through third parties. The license includes food and wood," a US diplomat in Havana told AFP privately.

Right. More or less. Credit through “third parties”-Leahman Brothers maybe?

Without a doubt, the Cuban people are in dire straights and those of us who know how the regime operates, realize that for all intense and purposes the Cuban people are on their own. Even if one quarter of the US aid reaches the Cuban people, that’s one quarter more than they would have gotten from their “government”.

From what we’re hearing and from past experience, Cubans will be have to “buy” much of the foreign aid from the regime at the regime’s company stores. Keep in mind that the state owns all property in Cuba. So Cubans will be forced to buy the materials to repair the state’s property from the state at the state set prices.

Lest you think that that statement is just another exile rant here’s a quote form a Cuban government official from a Miami Herald article:

''In an eight-day period, two hurricanes struck us; that had never happened in the history of Cuba,'' politburo member Estéban Lazo told the Cuban media last week. ``Gustav affected the people in Pinar del Río, but Ike caused damage to the 169 municipalities. The country does not have sufficient economic resources, so we can't allow someone whose mattress was soaked or who lost a zinc roof tile or several planks of wood to demand that we replace each item.

``The mattress must be dried, the roof tiles must be replaced, the nails must be recovered and re-used to affix the wooden planks. Everything must be recovered. That's what the country is asking for today.''

I’m sure in the coming weeks we will be treated to an article by Anita Snow telling us how much we can learn from Cuba’s hurricane recovery plan because by “recycling” storm damaged materials to repair damaged state property, Cubans are not only teaching us the real meaning of community but also setting the example on how to be better global citizens by reducing the human footprint

AND....Here's a picture from the Miami Herald of a Cuban woman straighting out the "recycled" nails so they could be re-used to repair her blown out roof:

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