Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Aid from Fidel and Hugo

left i on the news has been pointing out that Fidel Castro offered to send 1100 Cuban doctors (now upped to 1586), specifically equipped with exactly the equipment needed to do the work required in a disaster situation - Cuba has lots of experience in that area, having evacuated 1.3 million people from the path of Hurricane Ivan, without death or injury - and that the offer was made when Bush was strumming his new guitar (you know, at the time when no one could have possibly predicted the disaster; left i on the news also un-spins the spinning on the guitar story). Had the generous Cuban offer been accepted, there is no doubt that the Cuban doctors could have relieved much suffering and saved a considerable number of lives. For one thing, they would have been on the scene days before American doctors, who are still setting up operations. Hugo Chavez has also sent money, and offered to send humanitarian aid and fuel to the 'king of the vacations'. Needless to say, all these offers will be ignored, as they do not suit the geopolitical strategy of the United States in the Caribbean. While the rest of us have nightmares about Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney has nightmares that Americans might make a personal connection with the people of Cuba and Venezuela, and thus lose the taste for inflicting suffering on them. It's telling that one of the main complaints that the United States has about Venezuela is that it has invited thousands of Cuban doctors to help its poor.