You are quoted in the Miami Herald today:
''It's hard to understand -- hard -- how they put politics ahead of suffering,''
We agree that Cuba should be more flexible about receiving US hurricane assistance. However, I also think that Washington is putting politics ahead of suffering at least as much as Havana.
FRD has circulated on line the following letter to the President which currently has about 950 signers, many of whom are Cuban American. I encourage you to review the list and browse through the comments http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Cubafloodaid/signatures.html.
- Because of the devastation suffered by Cuba from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and the history of conflict and suspicion between our countries, creative means must be found to enable the traditional compassion of Americans to express itself in assistance to the Cuban people in a timely fashion.
- We urge an immediate 180 day suspension by Presidential order, or by legislation, of Treasury and Commerce Department restrictions and licensing requirements for humanitarian travel and remittances by all Americans and assistance from not-for-profit organizations granted tax-exempt status by the IRS.
Without this kind of paradigm changing breakthrough, officials of both countries will continue to posture and score points with their respective audiences, and the Cuban people will pay the price.
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
145 Palisade Street, Suite 401
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522