“Our duty is to win,” said Cuba’s historical leader Fidel Castro in a letter sent to the Round Table TV and radio broadcast as a message of encouragement to the Cuban people after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
Fidel Castro commented on the images broadcast on the program showing the destruction caused by the recent passing of Hurricane Ike, and praised the actions taken by Cuban men and women to protect the lives of the people and minimize the material loss. He particularly highlighted the work of the Civil Defense Councils of each province.
He also noted the importance of having emergency power generators dispatched to important sites such as hospitals, polyclinics, bakeries and media centers, which allowed them to continue providing their services.
The Cuban leader said the images of destroyed homes and economic facilities, ruined crops, downed trees, overflowed rivers, flooded houses and of people being saved from the strong water currents were alarming.
He highlighted the work of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Firefighters Corps in rescuing victims and in the recovery actions; he noted that those actions should never be forgotten.
In addition, Fidel congratulated the Cuban journalists who continued reporting even under extreme weather conditions from every single site in Cuba.
He also noted the joint work among the top government officials and the local leaders, mentioning First Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura on his tour of all affected areas, accompanied by young officials of the Civil Defense Councils in each province to evaluate the damages caused by the hurricanes.
The Cuban leader appreciated the messages of solidarity sent from different countries. He said that most of those countries are poor nations that are also battered by natural disasters, which are partly the result of the environmental impact of consumer societies and their use of technology.
Finally, Fidel Castro referred to the recovery stage in Cuba when he said all objective factors will be analyzed, including the rational use of material and human resources, and specific measures that need to be taken according to the needs of each area.