Cuba Reacts to Haiti Earthquake

January 14, 2010 | Print Print |

By Circles Robinson

Havana sounds the bell for Haiti. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 13 — Cuban President Raul Castro sent his condolences to Haiti’s President Rene Preval after a major 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday caused devastation and widespread loss of lives in Port au Prince.  Castro promised the “unselfish” help of the Cuban people in these difficult moments.

Cuban families back home were relieved to learn that all the 152 Cuban medical and education personnel working in the Haitian capital were reported to be in good health.  Two suffered minor injuries during the quake on late Tuesday afternoon.

The island’s media reported that “The Cuban medical brigade providing services in Port-au-Prince has already established a new hospital camp next to the one that was brought down by the earthquake.”

By Wednesday morning, “more than 800 patients had already been provided medical care including some operations.”

The TV news reported that an additional medical brigade from Cuba will arrive soon in Haiti, equipped with the medicines, clothes, food, saline solution and plasma bags needed for such emergency situations.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Wednesday helping Haiti was a priority for Cuba “following a devastating earthquake that caused huge human and material loss in that country.”


What's your opinion?

  • M Walker

    Again the Cuban people react better, faster and more effectively, than food drives sad newscasters and bumper stickers do in the USA.

    In about a week there will be pictures of dashing American soldiers handing out sacks of rice to poor pitiful Haitians and not one mention of Cuba’s almost immediate on the ground response to a gigantic disaster.

    Free press my butt.

    Viva Cuba!

  • D Bradshaw

    What was needed was medics there ASAP after the quake struck. It appears Cuba was there long before the neighbouring “Imperialistas”.
    Well done Havana.

  • http://www.babalublog.com Val Prieto

    M Walker,

    If you believe the Cuban government press release, then seriously, Ive got a bridge In San Francisco to sell you, dirt cheap.

    Moron.

  • Paul Hingley

    Thank You, M. Walker, . . . your accurate assessment may be a voice in the wilderness but is much needed in this wilderness of ignorance & misinformation we call the U.S. & its “free exchange of ideas”. It may be a free exchange of ideas, but those with money & power still get top billing even in the age of the internet & cyberspace.
    I’ve lived with families in Cuba from “Cabo a Punto” (from Pinar del Rio to Santiago) & experienced the govt. response to their own disasters. A nation of 11 million citiizens with few resources to draw from & they lose almost no lives when confronted with hurricanes far worse than those which devastated the New Orleans area in the last decade, . . . & they accomplish this without the “police state” control-freak attitude which I experience in the U.S. even when there is no disaster. I have personally experienced & witnessed police-citizen interactions which leave me wondering why the U.S. police seem so threatened when their authority is…

  • Jamila

    It’s comforting to know that the help is starting to reach Haiti even more fantastic that Cuba’s response was so immediate. But M Walker I agree with you there will not be a mention in the press that the response from Cuba was so fast.

  • http://none old leftie

    Even during a time of crisis Fox News has time for lies. It is implying that Cuba is is not sending aid to Haiti. God help us all when the Murdoch empire gets its hands on British broadcasting.

  • joe

    I see where Obama has asked Bush ( George W.) and Clinton to help out, I wonder if they can find the same truck Bush rode into New Orleans on to bring in the calvery four days after the storm. Bush needs to stay in hiding, he does it so well.

  • marisol

    cuba es el mejor paiz en el mundo preparado para catastrofes ellos tienen unos de los mejores medicos los cuales saben lo q tienen q haser en estos casos y les sobra lo mas importante solidaridad humana
    VIVA CUBA

  • http://autismcoach.com Sue

    I did not know there was an English language Havana times until the Haitian earthquake. I hope that if one good thing comes out of this horrible tragedy for Haiti is the U.S. and Cuba working together to help the Haitian people. As as American citizen, I think the U.S. needs to respect Cuba and stop trying to interfere in the affairs a sovereign nation, especially one that appears to have better medical care for its people than the U.S. I hope there is more positive press about the Cuban health care workers and what they are doing to help out, and I hope that during this rescue mission the U.S. behaves in a way that make me at least a tiny bit proud of my government – which I have not been for a long time. We live in the northern U.S. in Michigan – my kids have a rock band and they are going to be part of a concert to raise money for Haiti. We are citizens of the planet and need to look out for each other and for the future of our planet. Peace.

  • Boston Pat

    Cuba is a land of great doctor and engineers. they have been trying tohelp hati with their healthcare
    problems. I agree with Rush Limbaugh you can get aids just by showing up in that country.
    I also see the point Pat Robertson was trying to say. His timing was bad and we still need to show compassion but he is right on track with that.
    If only some more preachers tell the truth. I am very sorry for the people in hati
    especially the children.

  • Lenroy Thomas

    Cuba has always been in the forefront when it comes to helping people from all over the world and not only when there is a crisis. The strong response of the Cuban government to the crisis in Haiti was expected by everyone who are educated enough to Know the truth about Cuba. I say to the Cuban government continue to the good work.

  • http://www.reedwrites.ca jim reed

    Cuba has responded to emergencies many times. In Africa, Central America and elsewhere. In Haiti, the Cubans were the first on the ground and they’ve been providing medical help almost from the very beginning. I’m not quite as pessimistic as some…I do believe the North American and European media will reports fairly on the Cuban relief efforts. (I would exclude Fox News however and agree…it would be terrible if Rupert Murdoch were able to acquire more influence.)

    Jim.

  • Erin

    I am not there so can not say if it is true or not first hand, but while travelling through Cuba in November I had occasion to seek medical assistance. While they struggled to get certain medicines (due to trade embargoes) the doctor I saw was first rate – she looked at me free of charge, correctly diagnosed my problems, and gave me instructions that saw me get well.

    While a lot of what I saw in Cuba requires change and attention, their focus on the importance of education and health care was not one of them. I am inclined to believe that the cubans are doing what little they can to assist their neighbour – it might not be millions of dollars in aid but given that this is a country where basic items like soap and pens are costly (and begged for by everyone from children to policemen) its apparent they are doing their bit.

  • Rob

    I have had the opportunity to work with Cuban doctors and there are fabulous. What I like particularly about Cuban physicians is that like my fellow Canadian doctors they really care about there patients and are much less concerned about their paychecks. Every Cuban person I have ever met is great. I hope to visit your country once I am done medical school.

  • Michael Everett

    Let’s bear in mind that even as Cubans work to assist the Haitians, Cuba itself was hit by the same earthquake. One report I saw said Cuba suffered a 7.0 quake equal to that of Haiti.

  • http://www.nscuba.org Mark

    Cuba’s medical teams working in disaster areas are often the unsung heroes… their work in Pakistan perhaps the exception. Hopefully someone is able to document their efforts in Haiti. Their years-long presence in Haiti, even during the worst of the political and social violence, enabled the Cubans to react immediately and begin helping those in desperate need. Heroes is indeed the word. It is unfortunate that so many international charities – perhaps those that have not had a significant presence in Haiti prior to this week – are now garnering so many donations, while Cuba was rebuffed by the US and Canada when it proposed an expanded public health effort some years ago.

  • http://www.nscuba.org Mark

    Michael Everett: No, this quake did not adversely affect Cuba. The eastern coastal city of Baracoa was evacuated (30,000 people moved in a matter of hours) in anticipation of a possible tsunami, which did not occur. Cuba felt the quake, but suffered no damage.

  • Joseph Canada

    What Americans should know Cuba offered help when Katrina struck New Orleans but Bush brushed them off . Cuba has been at the fore front usually first and sometimes alone during most disasters and yet lies are spread by the Corporate media in the USA and Yes in Canada. We are getting so damn sick of Corporate Greed and and the Murdock scum of this world. He should go back to Australia but then they probably are glad to be rid of this jerk.

  • J.H. Colson

    Okay, boys and girls. Play nice on this message board. Sarcasm and bad-mouthing detracts from the dialog. I hope more of Haiti’s Caribbean close neighbors are able to get boots on the ground. People are trapped in the rubble. Many desperately need medical care. It is good to see individuals and governments across the entire political spectrum respond to this terrible crisis in Haiti. This is a time for pan-Caribbean assistance. Cuba’s emergency medical teams are renown for their skills. (Yes, I remember they were ready to send in teams to assist post-Katrina). The more medical teams and supplies that can get in there, the better. The Chinese were among the first foreign response teams to arrive. I’d even like to see cruise ships in the area diverted to Haiti. In an emergency like this, you can’t wait for ‘official’ organizations to make the move. Naturally, American media will cover the American effort and contribution. Just as France covers French efforts, etc.

  • Jamila

    JH Colson. That is what is occuring the CARICOM countries of the Carribean (mainly the English speaking islands) are joining together to give assistance.

  • http://www.truth.com Iseekthetruth

    My heart goes out for the people of Haiti. But could this had been an artificial Earthquake designed in form of a natural disaster. Could Cuba have been the actual target?? Research Chemtrails and HAARP project/technology.

  • Maria

    What happens when boatloads of Haitians arrive on Cuba’s shores? Is this happening yet?

  • Aaron

    Cuba is always overlooked for what they do and have done to help people in general. Their work in this world goes far beyond that of the Untited States when you compare the size. The Cubans many times do not have a political reason for helping as the United States must. Although they are poor and things are hard to get in Cuba they have their priorities in line with what is right. People there can go see a doctor and not be afraid of losing everything if they are sick and need more care. People are treated like people and not rich people and poor people like the US. Their response in Haiti and the lack of any coverage on what they have done is not surprising but par for the course. As time goes by I become more and more embaressed to be a US citizen.

  • Jasmin Gadzo

    Hi !
    Thanks to Internet we can inform everybody about Cuba and their humanitarian aid and solidarity.
    I used to live in ex Yugoslavia and I know power of Us media and lies about everything.
    Cuba is perfect example of humanity and solidarity ,great people and I would like to visit Cuba many many times to come
    Viva revolution
    Vanceramos

  • Elizabeth Faraone

    Many Haitians emigrated to Cuba after Castro took power. Cuba was a refuge for them.

  • Horace Kireew

    It goog to hear so much news about the help Haiti got from so many countries, Israel, England and all of Europe, the USA, Canada and even little Jamaica but no one remember that Cuba is also helping in possible the biggest way with what little resources they have(due to the long embargo) but I know GOD will continue to bless that little nation, HE has kept them going against all odds and I know they will rise to be great and be recognized by all
    Let me say Thanks to all the countries that are helping so graeatly and let me (also) say thanks to the PEOPLE OF CUBA for helping our brother and sisters in Haiti your good work has been recognized by all those WITH A HEART…………………Horace Kirlew

  • Haitian Canadian

    Boston Pat you are racist period. I am Haitian and been in Canada for 16 years I am so glad I do not live in America. First of all you cannot catch Aids by just showing to Haiti majority of Haitians do not have Aids. Haiti is a catholic country and a latin one also and many many people also do voodoo what is wrong with that. My father practice it and i hope all your decent will be cursed for saying things about Haiti and its people. You know whats wrong with Haiti mess because of the slave master descents go read the History of the country. The Haitian people are majority black and 30% are mulattoes slaves masters descent that keep stealing money from the rest of the population.Where did they learn that from slave masters teaching and I am sure those slave masters would be happy.