September 5, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama's call for the
While they may want to help their families back home, many defend the
"Unfortunately, I think it's naive for [Obama] to think that the Cuban government will just open up," said Hollywood resident Peter Hernandez, 46, who still has no news from his cousins living in Pinar del Rio, a province hit hard by the hurricane's Category 4 winds.
The Cuban government is still gauging the extent of the storm's impact, but it says as many as 100,000 home were damaged.
Hernandez says sometimes he feels powerless that he can't do much to help. He left
The Cuban American National Foundation, a longtime advocate of a
Obama said in a news release Wednesday that the temporary easing of the regulations, for at least 90 days, does not mean that the embargo should be dissolved.
"This is a time when the Cuban people — not Castro — need and deserve American compassion and assistance," Obama said.
Wilton Manors resident Reinol Piedra agrees. The
Silvia Wilhelm, of the Cuban American Commission for Family Rights, which advocates unrestricted family travel to the island, says people shouldn't wait until the restrictions are lifted to help displaced Cubans.
"We need to get people motivated to help now," said Wilhelm.