Dispute delaying U.S. aid to Cuba
A diplomatic confrontation has mired efforts to provide aid for the victims of Hurricane Ike in Cuba, and many say U.S. assistance is falling short.
Posted on Fri, Sep. 12, 2008
BY FRANCES ROBLES
"Diplomatic spat slows U.S. storm aid to Cuba
In contrast to millions of dollars in relief aid sent to Haiti, the U.S. government has funneled just $100,000 to Cuba so far -- even as reports surface that the communist country's hurricane wreckage is far worse than the Castro government is letting on.
Cuba suffered island-wide destruction when Hurricane Ike smashed buildings and homes in 169 municipalities coast to coast. A new report by a Miami-based group made public Thursday indicates that 537,000 homes were damaged across the island, and 3.2 million people remain without power.
Haiti, also hit in the past weeks by a devastating string of storms that left hundreds dead and one million homeless, has received $20 million in U.S. aid.
The funding discrepancy comes as a diplomatic spat between Cuba and the United States mires relief efforts.
Although the U.S. government said Cuba's refusal to accept a disaster assesment team prevents it from doing more, criticism against Washington is beginning to mount."
Cuba says sugar cane damaged across country
HAVANA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - "Hurricane Ike flattened 156,000 hectares of Cuban sugar cane and flooded more when it churned along the island for two days this week, state-run radio reported on Friday.
Cuba harvested 330,000 hectares of cane during the 2008 harvest, producing almost 1.5 million tonnes of raw sugar.
There are 700,000 hectares devoted to sugar cane in the country.
The president of the Cuban sugar technicians said the preliminary figures would no doubt increase as workers gained access to plantations where roads were washed out. (Reporting by Marc Frank; Editing by John Picinich)"