Cuba on Sunday slammed the US offer of $50 000 in disaster assistance to help recovery efforts from Hurricane Charley as “totally unacceptable,” calling the amount an insult to the hundreds of thousands of Cubans hit by the storm.
“The offer of $50 000, and above all its obvious political manipulation, is a new insult and a new offense to the hundreds of thousands of Cuban families who suffered damages in this natural disaster,” the foreign ministry said in a statement published in the online edition of the Juventud Rebelde newspaper.
“The island’s people and government find totally unacceptable this cynical and hypocritical offer by the United States government to ease the effects of Hurricane Charley,” it said.
The US on August 13 offered $50 000 dollars in disaster assistance and urged US-based humanitarian groups to send aid to the island after Hurricane Charley tore roofs off houses, uprooted trees and downed power lines.
The State Department called the offer a symbolic gesture.
The aid marked a rare show of amity toward communist Cuba, which has been under a strict US embargo for more than 40 years. Under the restrictions, humanitarian organizations need special licenses from the US Treasury Department to send goods to the island.
In June, Washington tightened restrictions on visits and money remittances to Cuba in a move aimed at undermining the island’s communist government, angering Havana and many of the 1.5m Cubans living in the US.
Edited by Wilmer Muller