The Gulf Coast of the United States can thank Cuba for lessening the force of Hurricane Gustav. According to National Geographic:
The hurricane's passage over western Cuba "roughed it up" just enough so that the storm's eye partly deteriorated, said Jeff Masters, director of the private forecasting service Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.Gustav wound up causing catastrophic destruction in Cuba. This AP video shows some of the damage. The images above are from Cuba's Juventud Rebelde newspaper.
The Cuban government has traditionally declined aid following disasters, dissident journalist Miriam Leyva says. She asks Cuban officials to make an exception in this appeal posted on the private Lexington Institute's web site. Several countries have offered or are planning to send help, Phil Peters says in the Cuban Triangle. Meantime, other storms are brewing - Josephine and Ike, the National Hurricane Center reports.
Down the road, I'm sure U.S. officials will be watching to see whether Gustav has any political fallout for the government of Raul Castro.