October 27, 2005

BLOWN AWAY:

Cuba Accepts U.S. Aid Offer for First Time (ANNE GEARAN, 10/27/05, AP )

Cuba has unexpectedly agreed to a quiet U.S. offer of emergency aid following Hurricane Wilma, and three Americans will travel to Cuba to assess needs there, the State Department said Thursday.

Washington has routinely offered humanitarian relief for hurricanes and other disasters in Cuba, and Cuban leader Fidel Castro himself has routinely turned the offers down. After Hurricane Dennis pummeled the island in July, Castro expressed gratitude for Washington's offer of $50,000 in aid but rejected it.

"This was the first time they have accepted an offer of assistance," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, at least based on the "collective memory" of diplomats at the department.


Posted by Orrin Judd at October 27, 2005 6:21 AM
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