Foundation appeals decision by government
October 9, 2008
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One man wants to send his niece in
For two days in September, it was easy. Cubans in the
But federal officials last month amended the license they granted to the Cuban American National Foundation.
Now it prohibits direct aid to people on the island.
As the foundation appeals the decision, South Florida Cubans struggle to keep hope alive in their homeland.
"It's completely frustrating," said Pedro Abigantus, a Pembroke Pines resident whose niece was left homeless in eastern Cuba after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike plowed through her house more than a month ago.
Abigantus, 71, can't send money to his niece unless someone travels there.
He wants to help his niece and her husband piece together a room for themselves and their little girl.
"To find one nail — it's impossible," Abigantus said. "They straighten out the same old nails and use the same old wood."
About 1,200 people wired money to
Two days later, the $250,000 limit the license allowed was hit, the foundation said.
Federal officials didn't explain why direct aid was briefly allowed and then taken away, said Sandy Acosta Cox, spokeswoman for the foundation.
The Treasury Department now won't publicly confirm or deny that the license was ever issued.
"There are no words to describe this," said Acosta Cox.Fred Valdes, 60, of
"Enough is enough," said Valdes, who wants to send her medicine and money. "Forget the politics, let the help go in."
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