The Facts About Humanitarian Aide to Cuba

Via Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

The Facts About Humanitarian Aide to Cuba

“You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Ana Cecilia ship arrives in Cuba

International news media are reporting that: “Cuba receives first US shipment in 50 years” but that is not true. The State Department reported in 2008 that:

The American people are the largest providers of humanitarian aid to the Cuban people, and Cuba’s top supplier of food. In 2007, the American people provided $240.5 million in private humanitarian assistance in the form of gift parcels filled with food and other basic necessities ($179.4 million), non-agricultural humanitarian donations ($20.6 million), and medical donations ($40.5 million). The United States Government also authorized $3.65 billion in sales of agricultural products ($3.621 billion) and sales of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals ($20.6 million).

Miami Cuban exiles have firsthand experience on how the Castro regime responds to humanitarian aide shipments. Back in October of 1996 Cuban exiles donated 72,000 pounds of rice, beans and powdered milk that was shipped to Cuba aboard a 707 cargo plane from Miami International Airport on October 27, 1996 to provide aide following Hurricane Lily’s destructive path across the island. The aide arrived but regime officials refused to allow its distribution for days and days the relief supplies sat in Havana warehouses while Cubans went without. The aide was finally delivered on November 4, 1996 but 10% of it was not delivered because the regime objected to messages on the aide boxes such as: “exilio (exile) and Por Cuba, el amor todo lo puede (For Cuba, love conquers all).”

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