Thursday, September 4, 2008

Russia - but not the U.S. - is helping victims of Gustav

Phil Peters, a former State Department official who studies Cuba for the private Lexington Institute, raises an excellent point: Why does it have to be so difficult for Americans to help Cubans in the wake of monstrous Hurricane Gustav? Cuban television is broadcasting images of Russian cargo planes reaching Cuba with relief and reconstruction materials while U.S. officials and politicians do little more than debate the issue, Peters says on his blog, The Cuban Triangle.

Under current U.S. law, there are only limited ways for Americans to help.

The Cuban American Commission for Family Rights and several other organizations are asking that donations for Cuban hurricane victims to be sent to Jewish Solidarity and/or Catholic Charities. The commission said in a letter today:
...the destruction caused by Hurricane Gustav to Pinar del Rio and Isle of Youth in Cuba has been devastating. The world is just beginning to get a glimpse of such tragedy.

We believe the moment calls for action NOW...Different organizations and politicians have called for a moratorium of current travel and remittance restrictions to the island. We wholeheartedly support such an initiative. But knowing the mindset of the current administration...we do not envision any sort of positive change in the current restrictions that could help the Cuban people.

So we urge you to choose the most sensible, most direct and most effective way to help and that is to contribute monetarily using tax exempt donations to any of these humanitarian agencies:

JEWISH SOLIDARITY, a 501.C.3 not for profit organization with a license to secure donations for Cuba relief. You can send your donation check to: JEWISH SOLIDARITY, attention: Maricusa, 100 Beacon Boulevard , Miami , FL 33135 . Check should be marked “humanitarian relief”.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES/Caritas Cubanas, a not for profit agency of the Catholic Church who also holds a license to provide aid to Cuba . Checks should be made out to Catholic Relief Services and sent to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090 , Baltimore , MD 21203-7090 . Checks should be marked: “For Cuba Gustav Relief”.
The photo above was taken from Google; I don't have credit information for it.