Thursday, September 08, 2005

Martinez: Cuban aid should be welcomed

I'm officially going to have a sirimba! I'm going to march over to Martinez's Senate office and shake the legislative aide doing Cuba policy and ask him - WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING!!!!!!!!!!!

The Miami Herald article states "Martinez said Wednesday that the U.S. government should accept Cuba's offer to send hundreds of doctors to treat victims of Hurricane Katrina, provided they are needed and 'reasonably well-trained." "

In addition Martinez advocates the US should accept money and oil from Venezuela. (not sure how I feel about that. what does this loser want in return! - clearly we aren't giving him anything!)

Martinez goes against all other Cuban Americans federal elected officials. For example. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said: ``I see no need for us to accept the doctors, because we have many U.S. doctors who can meet the medical needs of Katrina's victims. Cuban doctors should take care of poor Cubans who lack proper medical care on the island.''

In the past, Cuba and Venezuela have rejected U.S. offers to send money and assistance after those countries where hit by natural disasters.

The US government has also rejected Iran's offer to send 10 million barrels of crude.

Though the US has accepted about $1 billion in aide, about $350 million are cash donations. (which are much easier to process) The majority of the donations are in kind donations, such as helicoptors, ready-to-eat meals, tents, baby formula and equipment.

Even though President Bush stated that he had not asked for foreign assistance and didn't believe the US needed it on national morning tv, a week later the international support came pouring in. The State Department said they were happily accpting the unprecedented support.

Here is some examples of support.

-Canada: sent 3 warships and one coast guard ship. Canadian divers to help repair the damaged harbor in Pascagoula, Miss.

- Mexico: army convoy and a navy ship stocked with food, supplies, baby clothes and specialists. First time in 159 years that the Mexican Military has operated in US soil. (The Mexico government feel very proud to help a country that assist them so much)

- France: a planeload of tents arrived in Little Rock, Ark., also a plane filled with food for Biloxi, Miss.

- Thailand: food aid and medical supplies from

- Germany: high-speed water pumps

- Isreal: first aid kits

- Netherlands: levee specialists

Accepting this money has symbolic and political implications. Some poor countries have provided $25 thousands. Clearly a small amount, but a symbolic gesture. (and every little bit helps.) Many countries feel proud to help their rich neighbor and show their support. Others believe accepting money from such poor countries is embarrassing. Even though we are happy to see the international support - we can't accept all donations. The US has currently accepted 48 of the 95 offers of assistance. When the US accepts the money, they accept the country. We do not accept the actions of Cuba or the missery of the daily life of the Cuban people.

Cuban's are dieing in Cuba. Fidel just wants to use this for political reasons, not because suddenly he is Mr. Nice Guy. There is nothing nice about Castro or Chavez. He should keep those doctors in Cuba and help the Cuban people, many who have not seen a doctor in months! The US should not, and can not, accept doctors or his so called 25 tons of medical supplies!!!

In reality if these doctors come to the US how many do you think are going back to Cuba. Even at our worst, the US is still better then living in Cuba.

Martinez needs to wake up and realize what he is saying. Who ever is doing Cuba policy in that office is CLEARLY out of touch with his constituency! And Martinez needs to think before he talks!

Walk around Miami and you'll see they all want give Martinez a piece of thier minds. And right now, Martinez is giving me a headache.

In a article in the Boston Globe, there is list of all foriegn donations. (see below). These are only Cash donations.

Kuwait: $400 million in oil and $100 million cash

United Arab Emirates: $100 million cash

Qatar: $100 million cash

Republic of Korea: $30 million cash and in-kind donations

Australia: $7.6 million

China: $5.1 million cash and relief supplies

India: $5 million cash

Ireland: $1 million to Red Cross

Iraq: $1 million cash

Bangladesh: $1 million cash

Azerbaijan: $500,000 cash

Gabon: $500,000 cash

Afghanistan: $100,000 cash

Armenia: $100,000 cash

Bahamas: $50,000 cash

Maldives: $25,000 cash

Sri Lanka: $25,000 cash

Bosnia: $6,414 cash

SOURCE: US State Department | 09/08/2005 | Martinez: Cuban aid should be welcomed


Robert said...

Sorry Sirimba, I'm going to have to disagree with you here, although I understand your point of view. I posted in my blog how I don't think it would be bad to accept fidel's offer.

What do we have to lose? Nothing whatsoever. castro has a lot to lose, including many of his talented doctors. It would also make him look pretty bad for turning down our aid offer back in July for Hurricane Dennis.

Perhaps this might shine a light on the poor treatment that doctors receive in Cuba, including poor salaries and substandard working conditions.

Sirimba said...

Thank you for your comment Robert... and while you bring an interesting point, I am in line with Rep. Diaz-Balart's statement... “We strongly support the decision by the Bush Administration to reject the so-called “offer” from the Castro regime regarding the tragedy being lived by the people of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. If the situation of the Cuban people were not so tragic, where the people there do not have access to doctors, or medicines, or hospitals, or medical equipment of any kind, the “offer” to send doctors and medicines to the United States would be laughable. But this is no laughing matter. Castro’s “offer” is a despicable demagogic maneuver that the U.S. government has correctly rejected.”

It is not like Cuba is the only country we have rejected thier offer.

Accepting an offer from a nation has political implications. The last thing I want is Fidel Castro during one of his 5 hour speechs promoting that the grand Yankee country needed the help of the "worlds finest doctors from Cuba." I don't ever want him to think we owe him anything! even if those doctors do end up living in the US.

Those Doctors know they are being misused. When they go to Venezula, they go as many as possible as the pay is so much higher.

Good point on your hand but I still stand, thanks but no thanks!