The United States said Cuba had declined its offer of humanitarian assistance in the wake of Hurricane Dennis that killed at least 10 people on the communist-ruled island.
Acting State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the US interests section in Havana informed the Cuban government on Sunday that the United States was prepared to provide “immediate humanitarian assistance of emergency supplies to help those Cubans affected by the hurricane.”
The Bush administration had also offered to deploy an assessment team to Cuba to help determine what relief supplies were most needed.
“Unfortunately the Castro government declined these offers,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The hurricane that passed over Cuba late last week killed 10 people and temporarily displaced another 1.5 million, according to Cuban government officials.
However, Casey urged individuals and groups to send humanitarian goods to hurricane victims in Cuba through non-governmental organizations.
“We will continue to work through appropriate non-governmental organizations to deliver relief provisions quickly and directly to the Cuban people,” he said.