Canada sends limited funds with restrictions to Cuba
Posted: 20 September 2008 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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AFP

Canada on Friday said it would send 400,000 dollars to storm-ravaged Cuba to help the island nation recover from three successive hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike.

Half the sum is to go toward the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies “to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to 40,000 Cubans whose lives have been devastated by the impact of the hurricanes,” a government statement said.

The other half “has been set aside for the Cuba Community Development Fund to support relief and reconstruction proposals submitted by local Cuban organizations,” it said.

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Posted: 20 September 2008 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Not sure what to make of this one.

So, $200k goes to the Red Cross and $200k will go to some development fund for local Cuban organizations? What the hell does that mean?

Why only $400k? The Canadians love Cuba unless they just love Varadero and Jaridines del Rey and Guardalavaca. Since those hotels are probably in bad shape maybe the Canadians aren’t interested to go to Cuba anymore so they don’t want to send money directly to Castro?

Any Canadians out there that have some insight into this?

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Posted: 28 September 2008 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have been thinking a lot about how ordinary Canadians can get goods that Cubanos need to them. The Canadian Red Cross has posted on their website that cash donations are the only option at this point because if we are to donate hard goods such as food and clothing it will cost far too much to ship. This position I understand and I understand the position that they will instead get the money into the Cuban economy via the Cuban Red Cross.

Now since I am the master of thinking outside the box and I know that ordinary Canadians would want to help, there had to be a grassroots way to compliment current efforts. One of the things that I and others have done on a frequent basis is use the second piece of check-in luggage as shipments of compassion, in my case medical supplies from my local hospital to be delivered to a local and trusted doctor. So I started off with the notion that a campaign could be started by recruiting Canadians traveling to Cuba for the next six months to take an extra checked-in bag. The logistics of organizing an effort like this would be difficult without organization. It then dawned on me that the Canadian Red Cross could pack the bags and then a Cuban Red Cross employee could meet you at the Cuban airport to receive the bags.

So, the next challenge I thought would be how would you get the word out and enable ordinary Canadians to help with this effort. You most certainly wouldn’t want to spend money advertising when that money could be used as a cash donation to help the Cuban Relief effort. It then became apparent that the big allies in such an effort could be the tour companies and the web based travel agencies booking people into the package tours destined for Cuba.

It is now the time in this process to ask you and all your friends to network of friends, ask the Canadian travel industry to adopt this effort. Each agency could post on their home page a link to another page posting the information people would need to know in order to participate.

Please add to this dialogue, I and our friends in Cuba will greatly appreciate your help.

Andrew Watson, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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