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Posted September 17, 2008 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Cuban President Raul Castro on Wednesday made his first public trip to an area stricken by the hurricanes that devastated Cuba and expressed confidence it would be rebuilt better than before the storms.

Castro, who formally replaced older brother Fidel Castro as president in February, visited the Isle of Youth, 40 miles (64 km) off Cuba’s southwestern coast, which suffered severe damage when it was struck by Hurricane Gustav on August 30 and brushed by Hurricane Ike 10 days later.

“There were places so affected (by the storm), like the island,” Castro said in a report on state-run television.

But, he said, “they will be put back as before, and prettier.”

Castro has kept a low profile during and after the storms, in contrast to the days when his brother led the country and quickly visited damaged areas.

He said he was impressed by the good spirits of the people on the island, where up to 90 percent of the buildings were damaged or destroyed.

Gustav struck western Cuba with 150 mph (240 kph) winds, while Ike raked eastern Cuba with 120 mph (195 kph) winds then passed through the Caribbean and hit western Cuba on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. It later slammed into Texas, causing widespread damage in and around Houston.

The Cuban government said the storms caused $5 billion in damage and that 200,000 people had not been able to return to their homes.

Castro said it would take time to restore normal life to the stricken areas, given the breadth of the damage.

“Before, it was a little easier after the first hurricane, but now it’s the country,” he said.

(Reporting by Nelson Acosta, editing by Jeff Franks and Stacey Joyce)

  1. Follow up post #1 added on September 17, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Really Raul? Really?

    That’s your rally to the 11 million Cubans who live off the Cuban government? One visit to Isla de la Juventud and saying that you will make it prettier?

    WOW! Gives me more confidence in my statement that Raul will be out of office by the end of this year.

    I know the Cuban people have put up with a lot of bullshit, bureaucracy, lack of human rights and forced slavery pretty much but I don’t see them rallying behind this putz.

    Right Raul. Putz.

    I admit I don’t have any inside knowledge as to what is going on behind closed doors in the Cuban government but I’ve been reading about Cuba just about every day since 1998 and something really stinks this time around.

    How long before hundreds of thousands of people just leave their rubble and start walking to Havana.

    What are you going to do then Raul, start shooting people for walking to Havana? 

    Step up to the challenge or get out of the way.

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on September 19, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    HAVANA - Cuban agriculture officials said Thursday they expect a six-month food crisis after hurricanes Ike and Gustav ravaged 30 percent of the island’s crops, and they are moving to increase domestic production and control prices to ensure no one goes hungry.


    Very sad when a country is devastated and it’s President makes only one public appearance for a couple hours in a remote part of the country and then goes back into hiding.

    How long can the Cuban people just sit there and take it. This is like a bad experiment of the endurance of the human spirit.

    I say SHAME ON RAUL CASTRO. Forget about Fidel, we all know he is irrelevant expect maybe to Raul and .1% of the Cuban population.

    SHAMEFUL behavior by Raul. Shameful.

    Cuba consulting services

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