Appeal from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples


To all Cuba solidarity organizations and friendship groups

To all friends of Cuba

 

Once again, the United States government is displaying its double standards and its aggressive and genocidal anti-Cuba policy.

 

This time, it is trying to benefit in the media from the disaster caused by the passage of hurricanes Gustav and Ike through our country and Cuba’s supposed “intolerance” in not accepting supposed humanitarian gestures from the Bush administration.

 

With respect to that, our friends should know that:

 

The damages caused by these destructive hurricanes are extensive. According to preliminary estimates, losses total more than $5 billion, mostly in the areas of housing, electric power generation, communications, economic infrastructure and agriculture.

 

Cuba, with a long record of solidarity with numerous countries that have suffered from different natural disasters, has now begun to receive material help from many governments, international institutions and friends, which we urgently need and for which we are deeply grateful, including that which comes from or may come from honest friends and individuals in the United States.

 

However, as stated in the Verbal Note from the Cuban Interests Section in Washington delivered to the State Department of the United States of America this past September 14th, Cuba cannot accept a donation from a government that for almost 50 years has imposed a ruthless economic, commercial and financial blockade against our country. Even less so if the donation is made on the condition of inspections and internal assessments by that power, as unnecessary as they are unacceptable.

 

Cuba does not need any gifts. As was stated in the abovementioned note, what it wants is to be able buy indispensable materials that U.S. companies normally export to other markets, and it is asking for authorization for a supply of these materials, as well as the credits that are normal in all commercial operations; that would make it possible to acquire materials and food that are not only necessary for facing the recovery from the severe damages caused by these hurricanes, but also contribute to replacing the necessary reserves of these resources, taking into account that the most dangerous months of the hurricane season are still to come.

 

The greatest humanitarian gesture that the U.S. government could make at this time is to definitively lift the blockade of Cuba, in line with the demand to dos so that has been made for decades by the immense majority of the international community and important, increasingly larger groups in U.S. society itself. If not, they should at least ease the blockade for the time period requested by Cuba (6 months); anything else would be pure propaganda and a serious case of double standards.

 

The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples calls on friends of Cuba throughout the world to demand that Washington demonstrate its supposed humanitarian vocation in a clear and concrete way; it calls on them to expose any attempt to benefit in the media from our country’s just and dignified position, and to continue to intensify the struggle against the genocidal, arbitrary and illegal blockade of Cuba.

 

 

Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples

Havana, September 19th