After hurricanes, Cuba rejects U.S. “aid with strings”

UNICEF expressed concern today over the 2.5 million Cubans who have been evacuated from their homes, and the scores of children who have been left without schools, their communities and hospitals without electricity and hundreds of roads washed away. Two powerful hurricanes - Gustav and Ike - pummeled the island of Cuba in the last nine days with high winds and torrential rains that left a broad path of destruction.

The Cuban government has for a second time rejected the U.S. offer of post hurricane aid with strings attached, saying the country will overcome the situation. The U.S. said they were ready to send aid to Cuba — but only on the condition that it is accompanied by experts to evaluate the damage.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said the country had plenty of experts for evaluation work.

Cuba’s Foreign Ministry reiterated its request to Washington to lift the embargo preventing U.S. companies from offering Cuba private commercial credits to buy food. The U.S. imposed sanctions on Cuba in 1962, seeking to deprive it of foreign exchange and hasten the end of Communism.

[AP, Xinhua]

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