Miami Herald's PABLO BACHELET wrote this article today. Happy to see people in the White House get it!
CASTRO AID OFFER REPORTEDLY REJECTED
The Bush administration has rebuffed an offer by Cuban leader Fidel Castro to send 1,600 doctors to help in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, three Cuban American Congress members said Thursday.
''We strongly support the decision by the Bush administration to reject the so-called offer from the Castro regime regarding the tragedy,'' said the statement signed by Miami Republicans Lincoln and Mario Díaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Neither the White House nor the State Department would confirm that the administration had in fact rejected the offer. But the office of Lincoln Díaz-Balart, which coordinated the lawmakers' statement, said he stood by its contents and there were indications that the offer was in fact rejected.
''When it comes to Cuba, we have one message for Fidel Castro. He needs to offer the people of Cuba their freedom,'' White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Thursday when asked about the aid offer.
Castro last week offered to send the doctors and 36 tons of medical supplies in what critics said was a political ploy to put the Bush administration on the spot.