U.S. Government Debate Cuban Embargo after Hurricanes
The U.S. government has offered direct aid to help Cuba after Hurricane Ike and Gustav destroyed lands and property, the Washington Post reported.
For the first time in the 47-year history of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, the Bush administration offered to send an assessment team to the island and $100,000 in emergency funding for humanitarian groups after Hurricane Gustav.
The Cuban government dismissed the offer as too paltry to be serious, the Washington Post reported.
After Hurricane Ike, the administration raised its offer to $5 million, which U.S. officials called an unprecedented proposal of direct aid to the Cuban government.
The U.S. government attempted to supply Cuba with building materials , which included zinc roof sheeting, lumber, tools and wire, but the Cuban government has not responded.
Former President of Cuba, Fidel Castro, who handed official power to his brother Raul but remains highly influential, signaled that Cuba should reject U.S. aid.
"Our country cannot accept a donation from the government that blockades us," Castro wrote in Granma, the Communist Party's daily newspaper.
Russia, Spain, and Brazil have contributed to the aid of Cuba by providing supplies and food.
Source: Washington Post