open letter to our President - 1370°C
Sep. 5th, 2005
03:59 pm - open letter to our President
Dear Mr. President,
On August 30th, you received an offer from Cuban President Fidel Castro, offering to send 1500 doctors and countless medical supplies immediately to the US to help the victims of hurricane Katrina. On Friday, you publically acknowledged the countries who had offered their assistance, and left Mr. Castro off the list. Saturday, he not only reiterated his offer, but now more than 1500 of Cuba's medical personnel--renowned for their medical skill particularly in disaster situations--are actively standing by waiting for you to accept Mr. Castro's offer. It has now been 48 hours since he reiterated his offer to you, and you have neither responded to him nor acknowledged his offer of help to the American public.
While researching this issue, I learned two things that I didn't know before today, and for that I am embarassed for myself and my country.
First, that Cuba's humanitarian efforts to aid other countries are world-renowned, and Castro happily sends his medical teams anywhere in the world they are needed, regardless of ideological differences. Currently, there are approximately 25,000 medical personnel providing free assistance in over 60 countries.
Second, Castro made a similar offer after September 11th, and you refused. Now, I suppose I can understand this. At the time, most of our military and emergency personnel were on US soil, we had the FEMA funds to deal with it on our own, and, though the incidents were a tragedy, they were fairly localised and did not leave thousands of people without basic life necessities. The situation now is quite different. We have shown in the last week that we are, for one reason or another, totally incapable of dealing with Katrina's aftermath on our own.
Please sir. Do what you've been asking Congress and the Nation to do for 5 years now; put aside unnecessary politics. You may not agree with Mr. Castro's ideological stances, but in the wake of this disaster, political disagreements have no place. He is not only willing to send help, he has already made the preparations and the medical teams are simply waiting for your ok. The citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama need you to swallow your pride and put aside your politics.