Has Cuba ever had a tsunami

Fidel Castro's repeated offer of medical assistance to the American people, made on the television program Mesa Redonda (panel discussion) on September 2, 2005

This speech had to be improvised, as is the case when things happen too quickly. Here are some explanations.

Yesterday there was one of the usual State Department press conferences; his spokesman, Sean McCormack, was present.

I now have to quote the speaker's explanations verbatim.

State Department Press Room, Washington D.C., Thursday September 1, 2005 at 12:46 p.m.

At that hour we were in a session of our Parliament on important issues. One of the items on the agenda was the tragedy in the United States.

Mr. McCornack said, “Good afternoon. Let me just give you the latest on a subject that I know will interest everyone; These are the efforts to help after Hurricane Katrina and the offers of help from abroad.

Allow me to say that we have received numerous and generous offers of assistance from foreign governments and organizations. After consulting the White House, Secretary of State Rice stated that we would accept all offers of assistance from abroad. Everything that helps to ease the difficult situation, the tragic situation of the people in the area affected by the hurricane, is accepted. "

He later says the following:

“I can give you a whole list. Until then, it is a list that is getting longer and longer and which is actually updated every hour.

We have received offers about general and specific help from various countries and organizations; including Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, the OAS, Jamaica, NATO, Australia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

I will try to keep you informed about additions to this list. As already said, it is getting longer every hour. "

It was only later - it was almost night - after the parliamentary session that we dealt with the reports, and we could not even read them all. We received information this morning on some of the messages, including the one just read.

This now makes it necessary to clarify Cuba's position. Because many friends in the USA and outside, who already know our habit of offering our cooperation in situations like this one, regardless of conflicts, political, ideological and other differences, called us. They wondered why we would not have offered any assistance to the US in the face of the tragedy caused by the hurricane.

There was one call after another; therefore this explanation became inevitable. Its content speaks for itself. Among other things, it becomes clear that this is not just a simple public relations issue, but, in practical terms, a significant fact.

I will now briefly read out the timing of the Cuban government's offer of assistance to the US government on the occasion of the aftermath of the hurricane.

August 25, 2005

Hurricane Katrina struck Florida, causing loss of life and material damage.

“Days later, on August 29, 2005

The hurricane hit Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and struck the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. First reports on the extent of the tragedy are published. "

“On August 30, 2005, the last gusts were recorded in these states, in Louisiana and other southern states with which we have commercial relationships, at least through significant food purchases. Relevant people from these states visited us. The visits were in connection with these purchases of Cuba from the United States, which had been underway for several years. "

Much has happened. I've had conversations with thousands of farmers. Hundreds of people came to the first mass; I met one group, then another. And so, over the four years I've spoken to thousands of U.S. farmers and visitors, state agencies, governors, senators, and MPs.

Just two months ago, the governor of Louisiana, a very sociable person, came to see us. Like other governors, she came out of an interest in the questions and problems of her state; and those hardest hit by the hurricane are the poorer states, where agriculture and the ports through which they export goods play an important role.

“On the morning of August 30, 2005, at 11:32 a.m., I will speak to our Foreign Secretary, Comrade Felipe, and ask him for an immediate letter of condolence - via the US interest group in Havana and our interest group in Washington - to the US government with support is offered in the field of medical care; because we knew from the reports that a catastrophe had broken out there. "

If we have something meaningful to offer - mainly because of our experience in dealing with hurricanes as well as our experience in measures to protect the population, in evacuation, support, etc. etc. - it is precisely our help in the area of ​​medical care. After the 9/11 disaster, Cuba was the first country to offer its assistance because we heard reports that the planes were in flight space because they could not land. We immediately offered our airports and then just what we could offer: medical help in view of the enormous number of possible victims.

We're closer to New York than California. Aid from Cuba is more likely to get to New York than from California. It's a three-hour flight from Cuba to New York. I think it's twice as long from California.

So, our offer was medical help; Absolutely nothing ridiculous, because you sometimes need a rare blood type for a transfusion to save a life, to save one, two, three or ten lives. That is not the question. If even a life can be saved, there is a duty to do it.

“At 12:45 pm, the Deputy Director of the Department of State's North America, Josefina Vidal, will meet with Edward Alexander Lee, second head of the US advocacy group. According to the instructions, she gave him an oral message and also gave him a written copy ”.

We certainly did not let a minute pass uselessly. Comrade Josefina is also here.

Following the instructions received, Josefina Vidal explains to Mr. Lee verbatim: "We want to stop" - referring to the current state of relations between Cuba and the US government - "because of the severe situation caused by Hurricane Katrina." he, not to forget, also caused damage. By the time he reached Florida - we were at the panel discussion - he had already torn down masts here and cut off our electricity.

It happened almost suddenly. When the hurricane moved from east to southeast of the Florida peninsula, its foothills did damage to us too. Many flights have been blocked; others had to be rerouted, flights with patients coming for surgery; some were taken to Camagüey, others to Holguín; still others of our machines could not start in Venezuela.

Nobody knew what course the hurricane, which was even approaching Cuba, would take. The next day it caused problems in Pinar del Río with heavy rainfall; then turns north, leaving heavy rainfall and flooding in some places, warnings of sea invasion, sea invasion in Pinar del Río; you can look at the photos. So the next day we were in fact under the effects of the hurricane and simply heard the reports that it was heading north and gaining strength, had reached category 4 to 5; just like the other one that was felt here a few weeks ago.

After her introductory words, Josefina read out the message with the following text:

"At the direction of the leadership of the Cuban government, I express our condolences to the loss of human life and material damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and inform you of our readiness to send the necessary doctors and health personnel to the affected areas immediately, as well as three field hospitals the necessary staff. "

Following the instructions, Josefina concluded by saying to Mr. Lee: “It is not our intention to advertise it. We await your response. ”Therefore, we did not publish the message. We haven't actually published anything. We didn't want it to appear publicized.

On the same day, August 30, Cuba Advocacy Director Dagoberto Rodríguez was met at the State Department at 4:30 p.m. by senior officer John Reagan at his request. He brought him the same message as it had been given in Havana and also handed over the text of the message in writing.

“On August 31, at 2:15 pm, the head of the Cuban Interest Group in Washington, Dagoberto Rodríguez, attended a meeting that the State Department had called the diplomatic corps to attend. Information about Hurricane Katrina and instructions about the information mechanisms and the civil protection institutions were given here. ”Indeed, it seemed to us a positive gesture that the invitation came the next day; something that doesn't normally happen.

Two days after our offer, yesterday, September 1st, at the time already mentioned, and while we were meeting in the National Assembly, the statement by the State Department spokesman, which I will only read today, September 2nd. We looked at almost all of the reports today. We sat in Parliament until 11 p.m., after which we received a few more visitors.

After yesterday's explanation, there are many calls today. We didn't want any publicity on this whole thing, but what are we going to say to the callers? Or should we perhaps now take a strange position in front of the global public and not have a single word of sympathy for the American people in the face of a tragedy of this magnitude?

There is one more thing: at the beginning of yesterday's meeting, the first thing the Presidium will propose is a message of solidarity to the American people, the full text of which was published today.

It says:

"Message of solidarity to the American people"

“The Cuban people have followed reports of the effects of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama with concern. Incomplete information leads to the conclusion that this is a true tragedy of extraordinary proportions.

The destruction and material damage caused make it the most costly natural disaster in North American history. The US Red Cross estimates its work will be tougher than what it did after the heinous attack on September 11, 2001.

Tens of thousands of people are trapped in flooded areas, have lost their homes, have been displaced or have fled. The governor of Louisiana described the situation in New Orleans, where the water level continued to rise, as desperate. The city's mayor said hundreds, if not thousands, of people may have died there.

This catastrophe, with its immense burden of death and suffering, is a blow to the entire population of the United States, but it hits the hardest of African Americans, Latin American workers and the poor Americans, the vast majority of those who are still waiting, saved and affected safe places to be taken. It is they who suffer the most deaths and the most homeless people.

These messages cause pain and sadness among Cubans. On their behalf, we express our deepest solidarity with the people of the United States, the state authorities, the local authorities and the victims of this disaster. The whole world should take this tragedy as their own.

National Assembly of the Poder Popular of the Republic of Cuba

Havana, September 1, 2005. "

A minute's silence was observed for the victims. It was indeed an emotive and natural gesture in our people's feeling for the people of the USA, it was respectful of the authorities, without any insult, without any attack.

That is the situation; the messages get harder from time to time. There will be thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people who will be amazed that Cuba did not offer support when we are in the immediate vicinity. No other country is closer. Cuba is much closer than Japan. Any help needed, however modest, gets to the southern United States much faster from here than from Japan or Asia. Well, they even spoke with admiration that Sri Lanka, too, I believe, has offered help despite its own difficulties. The United Arab Emirates are much further away.

We are even closer than Honduras, closer than Central America and even closer than any country in South America. We have calculated everything. Within an hour and fifty minutes, one of our aircraft can land at the international airport closest to the site of the accident.

The main reason for this television appearance is to reveal the truth and repeat our willingness to help; not in criticizing, that is not our intention. We are not on this long list, and we may have been the first. If you look at the time of the instructions and the transmission of the message, it seems to me that our offer was made fairly quickly and contained something concrete: doctors on site, i.e. precisely what is currently lacking in many places.

There should be no room for indignation or complaint in our attitude. Since the second advocacy chief, Mr. Lee, was told that we did not intend any publicity with this, he could have interpreted it to mean that we did not wish there was any publicity. It could be a mistake. I am not suggesting that the name Cuba has been left out on purpose. But while it was done on purpose, we are not concerned about it. We have never done anything to be recognized or thanked for it; and so we have acted not just once, but many times.

Somoza was ruling Nicaragua when the severe earthquake that devastated the city struck. Field hospitals and Cuban doctors were among the first relief supplies to arrive there.

We did not have relations with Peru or many other countries, but this has not been an obstacle to immediate support. There has just been a tsunami on the other side of the world, and we sent a brigade of doctors to two of the affected countries. And that's expensive if you use an airplane that doesn't save a lot of fuel like a Boeing for example; so ours have a high consumption. Transporting a medical brigade with one of these machines is expensive. It costs several hundred thousand dollars precisely because of the current cost of fuel for airplanes. Also, the medicines and the tents are not brought back, but remain on site.

When hurricanes hit Santo Domingo, Haiti and Central America horribly and claimed tens of thousands of lives in the latter region, we did something else. From these events emerged the brigades, which today have grown into an enormous movement. They were also the cradle for the Latin American Faculty of Medicine, which, from the point of view of the training of doctors, has almost become a service to the region, indeed to a service to humanity; something very extraordinary, the fruits of which in ten years will be 200,000 doctors trained by Venezuela and Cuba.

All of this is based on the spirit of cooperation, which is recognized in many places today. Even in Honduras, where doctors were being withdrawn from there, there were a number of public statements asking not to withdraw them under any circumstances, as they are caring for 2.5 million people who are otherwise not cared for . Everyone set in motion to get the doctors to go. We said no insult will ever cause us to withdraw medical attention unless the government of the country so requests. Our doctors remain at their place of work even in the event of war. This is what happened in Haiti; no one was withdrawn and they cared for the sick, injured and anyone who needed it.

That is the attitude of our doctors; these are the ethics of our doctors, and so are the principles of our country. We would never send a medical brigade to dispatch them again in the event of a diplomatic conflict, any kind of disagreement, or even if there were facts that were very offensive to our country. We would never do anything like that.

That's the line. So I say it is not the time to complain that the State Department spokesman left out the name Cuba.

“Our country is ready by the morning of this night to dispatch 100 general practitioners, specialists in integral general medicine, to be at Houston, Texas International Airport, the closest airport to the region of the tragedy, tomorrow morning, Saturday would be transported from there by air "—that would be mostly helicopters—," river or land routes "—amphibious vehicles that sometimes enter very flooded areas—" to the isolated refuges, facilities, or neighborhoods of the city of New Orleans where there are populations or families in need of urgent medical care or first aid. Said staff would be equipped with rucksacks containing 24 kilograms of essential medication for these life-saving situations and a minimum set of diagnostic instruments. ”They have to measure blood pressure, pulse and other parameters, all of this basic equipment, in order to be able to make a clinical assessment of what our doctors have great experience, because at the moment tens of thousands of them are abroad, and in many places there is no X-ray machine, no ultrasound machine, there is nothing, not even blood or stool tests, they come and make a clinical diagnosis, with a lot high accuracy. They are almost clinical experts because they are used to working in third world areas where there is a lack of diagnostic equipment. “Depending on the circumstances, they can be used individually or in groups of 2 or more people and for any length of time required.

“In the same way, Cuba is ready to dispatch an additional 500 Integral General Practitioners, also equipped, via Houston or any other airport that has been directed to arrive at the destination tomorrow, Saturday, September 3rd, early and late afternoon would arrive.

“A third group of 500 Integral General Practitioners could be deployed and would arrive on Sunday morning, September 4th. In this way, in less than 36 hours, 1100 such doctors and with the means mentioned "- the rucksacks", which 26.4 tons of medicines and examination instruments "- mainly drugs - would be equivalent to the people who had been damaged after the damage caused by the hurricane Katrina need treatment most urgently, provide service. "

And what damage it has left behind in the conditions of a flat land with many rivers. That means that accidents apparently also happened there, some reservoirs and dykes did not withstand. All of that happened. A hurricane is a category five is worse. This one came in with category four via Cienfuegos.

It came with even greater strength as it approached.

“These medical staff have international experience and elementary language skills for patient care.

"We're just waiting for the response from the US authorities."

Our doctors have been in South Africa, in many English-speaking places, even in areas with dialects; but it is very easy to communicate with a doctor. The eight-month-old children, for example, do not speak, the doctors examine them and are simply able to diagnose, sometimes language is not needed at all; but they have the necessary basic knowledge.

The importance of this proposal can be seen in a message from the EFE agency from New Orleans from today, September 2nd, which reads true to the text as follows, it is worth reading.

“With hospitals without electricity, the pharmacies of New Orleans more than three feet under water, thousands of patients without sanitation and the growing risk of sources of infection, the health of thousands of people affected by Hurricane Katrina is at risk.

“The crisis New Orleans and large areas of southern Louisiana are experiencing is exacerbated by the fact that the majority of the hundreds of thousands of people trapped by the water are the poorest of the poor, individuals who are more mentally and physically Diseases suffer than other social groups.

"A tragic example of the sanitary problems that 'Katrina' and the accompanying floods brought to the residents of New Orleans could be seen on Thursday at the entrances to the city's convention center, where 20,000 to 30,000 people have fled."

“The corpse of an old woman sitting in her wheelchair was resting on one of the outer walls of the center, covered with a blanket. At another end of the convention center, two people gave a man who was lying on the floor unconscious, cardiac massage in an unsuccessful attempt to save his life.

"Old people, children and the sick among the poor of New Orleans" - where, according to official figures, about a third of the 1.4 million inhabitants are poor - "almost half a million", the most vulnerable are those who pay the most in the disaster.

“Some experts have begun to warn of the psychological effects that the chaos and violence of New Orleans will have, especially on children who are going straight through the crisis, in some cases separated from their parents.

"Another concern that the experts are beginning to unravel is the emergence of sources of infection for diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever."

“80% of New Orleans is under water. The authorities fear that hundreds, possibly thousands, have died in the last few days and are trapped by the water on the top floors of their apartments. "

We are talking about people who are trapped in buildings, in a stadium, or anywhere else to provide help. We are talking about medical staff with the necessary medication that can be used where it is needed. These medical personnel can save lives in cases such as the man who received a heart attack massage, and can administer medication for those cases. These and other serious problems can be solved by a doctor and his backpack with basic medicines. Who knows if maybe the person in the wheelchair could have been saved. One would have to examine what she died of.

That means we don't offer doctors for Disneyland, or doctors who settle in a 5-star hotel.

"At temperatures that exceed 30 degrees Celsius" - Cuban doctors are used to this - the decomposing human and animal carcasses quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria.

"Also, the metropolitan New Orleans sewer system has dumped its contents into the stagnant water in the city streets that residents trying to escape must pass through."

“And, as if that were little, from the air you can clearly see stains of dangerous chemical products floating in the water from factories and industries like the refineries or the agricultural companies around New Orleans.

“The experts warn that contact with this water can cause infections in people.

“The Organization for the Supply of Food and Medicines (FDA in the English abbreviation) advised that the population must not consume perishable products such as meat, fish, milk and eggs without adequate refrigeration, as they can cause disease, even if prepared appropriately were. "

For all of these problems it is essential to have skilled workers in those places. Which foods, under certain circumstances, can be canned foods. The problem is that first aid arrives that takes care of or rescues people in 24 or 48 hours before everything is organized. There can be hundreds of such places, and the number of lives that can be saved or lost is unpredictable.

Doctors with their backpacks of medicine well distributed in hundreds of different places can be extremely useful.

It can be assumed that even if they have a means of communication they can inform what is needed, and it is much easier that way. They diagnose, warn when an epidemic develops and see the first symptoms. They cannot be useless.

If there are circumstances that require your presence, it is these. Many doctors who have gone to the jungle, to the plateau, to any area, can be used here; not because they are Cubans. They are not enemies who go there to kill, they are skilled workers, of which we have tens of thousands in other countries today, precisely where others do not want to go.

"FDA added that," Do not eat food that has been in contact with the water of the flood. "

“Given the desperate requests for water and food from the thousands of people trapped in the stadium and convention center” —I don't know if they have already been evacuated— “some of whom have not eaten in the last three days, the probability is high that FDA warnings - if those concerned should hear them - have little effect. "

This message came today, I received it a few hours before this occurrence.

That is why I have come to repeat this offer. We were so faithful to the idea of ​​not making any publicity that three days have passed and nothing is known about our readiness. Everyone has said, "I offered this, I offered $ 50,000, I offered this and that." We offer human lives where 10, 100, 500, 1000 are to be saved; to help ensure that measures are taken that can save tens of thousands, or at least prevent the dire tragedy the world is seeing right now.

Will they reject our cooperation because of what has happened between the two countries? If not, I think it would be useful and a good example to the world because these phenomena can repeat themselves.

Today some North American experts said that in a month or two there could be an even stronger cyclone than this one that could hit the United States.

So that our gesture is an honest and peaceful gesture, it does not seek publicity, it does not impose any conditions, such as that the blockade be removed, nothing like that. We never put conditions on anyone, we send the support we have, and we have it; we do not have much financial capital. We cover the costs, the flight, the fuel; it's not even necessary; you can buy the fuel there, you can find it nearby. You can fly there, or another airport, or a military base if there is a military base there and they will take you there. You will not make any statements or seek publicity, that should be made very clear.

We have hope because today we see a change. The State Secretary herself says that she would accept any help. That means if she came from Mars they would accept the help; but ours does not come from Mars, it is a small island that is here, a few minutes from that place, and that has the moral right to speak of the possibility of sending doctors, it is something that is recognized by the world .

What we want is not to criticize, it is not to pressure the US government, we are aware that the authorities are going through a difficult moment, there is strong criticism. We are not that kind of politician - let's call ourselves politicians if the word revolutionaries scares anyone - who opportunistically take advantage of certain situations to deal a blow to an opponent, I want to make that clear because there is a real spirit of cooperation.

I'll say it again, it's not the first time. We are completely removed from any position of confrontation against the USA or its government, I have already given the floor, I say: "Let's stop". And we're not asking for anything, and yes, we will pay for all of these drugs, transportation, and everything else.

There, I don't know, when you come to a village, I imagine that you will have what the people offer you, I don't know if you will take some water with you, but our doctors are able to endure thirst, To endure heat and to be with the patient without food. When they were in certain places, we would send them food to be concerned about them, and what they did was give it to the patients.

Teachers, whose health we were concerned about, and when we sent something to them, they gave it to the students, and when one of our doctors receives something, he only gives it to a patient. That is the ethics with which doctors have been trained, and it's not one or two, it's already tens of thousands, now, at this moment, and tens of thousands here too.

A few days ago 1,610 from other countries just graduated from college, they finished their studies with good practical experience. Around this time, almost 2,000 more Cuban doctors with practical experience have to graduate, they are the reserve. Many of those deployed on missions abroad are on vacation with experience. We would mainly send experienced doctors to the most affected places. We already know which ones would go. We're just waiting for the answer, and hopefully it'll come right away so as not to waste a minute.

All measures have been taken, everything is provided: rucksacks, medication, clothing, everything, because our offer has been in place for three days and we cannot mobilize people permanently. What we do know, however, is the time in which we mobilize them, and we know that the only form is to get the medication to these people who appear on the screen in hours, because tomorrow morning, 12 hours from From the moment I speak, they can be there at the Houston airport, and from there they can be taken in helicopters to the points where they are needed in a short time.

A helicopter does not need a runway, lands in a place where it can be supplied with fuel and takes the medical personnel anywhere, that is the ideal; but sometimes it can be a place where a boat or a speedboat can get, or sometimes an amphibious vehicle, and with people from the National Guard, North American soldiers on the job. I'm sure everyone will work together, and it would set a fine example to the world if North American doctors, Cuban doctors, citizens, whatever they are, in this kind of hold, in this kind of truce, help others too rescue.

It's a war, not between people, it's a war for lives, it's a war against disease, against the disasters that can repeat themselves, and one of the first things this world does right now, with the changes taking place and Phenomena should learn is to cooperate.

Our doctors went to Indonesia, to Sri Lanka. Our doctors are in East Timor, and this is where hundreds of doctors will soon be trained from there. I think it's on the other side of the world, between Oceania and Australia. Some time ago we sent a delegation, she drove, came, I talked to her for a long time, I know the situation, the doctors that are there. We also have a program to train hundreds of doctors for them in just a few years, all they need. It is a Portuguese-speaking country, very heroic, that has lost tens of thousands of lives in the process of gaining independence.

We didn't say a word about it. I feel compelled to say this a little here and now, so that no one doubts how things are and a little loses the conditioned reflexes in their heads, because they are no longer just drilled lies, but rather conditioned reflexes created in the minds of many people .

Also, as I told you, we have many friends in the United States, and around 200 people, administrators from these southern states, with whom our associates are in contact because they are in constant communication at a large number of events related to the purchase, the Sending and transporting food, paying for it, because it's been four years now that we have been paying for this food in cash, without a minute's delay and not one cent less than we have to pay.Really good relationships have developed based on trust, we have sent our condolences to the authorities, everyone, and everyone has responded very well, and with thanks. We told them we had informed the high offices of the United States about this, and we told everyone that we wanted to act with discretion.

You must know well and there are witnesses, who knows how many, but it doesn't matter. This is not about discussing or polemicising. We do not ask anyone to criticize cars and we do not criticize anyone; we propose something really productive, what seems fair to us, and with practical things, concrete, immediate, within hours, tomorrow at 7.00 a.m. the staff, with their backpacks, can already be there, the first 100 are ready . These are the first 100 so they can arrive early in the morning. The others would begin arriving in the early afternoon, and in the late afternoon, a second group of 500, and the same number on Sunday.

Up to this point the “Milagro” (miracle) mission has operated on 64,367 patients from Venezuela and the Caribbean, with a frequency of 1,560 per day. Work out how many planes fly, fetching and bringing patients to perform eye operations on this number of people. We have a force here that is preparing, we have a large number of intensive care nurses, if they are needed in some emergency hospitals because of the hurricane, we can send them.

The United States has many doctors and resources, but they also have a special situation in a specific area with a specific problem. There is no shame in that. What I am sure of, however, is that it is very difficult to have all the necessary personnel in 12 hours, in 24 hours, where these people of the south are. A doctor for extreme situations cannot be improvised, a doctor trained for these tasks cannot be improvised, not even people who go everywhere. It's not the first time, it's not a new experience for Cuba.

This is what i want to say There are more than 200 people who have known this and everyone has been told that we notified the Washington authorities and that we wanted discretion. The others can judge whether it was correct or not to ask you to give me a few minutes to explain, to turn to the North American people and give an answer so that not many will think we are vengeful and would not want to help because of our differences with the US. And I repeat again, we are not asking for anything. Because we really don't need anything.

Medicines, yes, whatever they want. Your devices there, not for Cuba, but to save lives and treat North Americans, and if you want more doctors, if you want 1,000, add 1,000 if you want 5,000, 5,000 more. We have them and we know where they are and they operate x-ray machines, ultrasound machines, endoscopes and other disease machines. You can have a lot of devices, but you have to see if you have the people to operate them right away. The problem is the speed with which they arrive. That’s the only thing I’m saying.

I am expressing the good will of our people, the friendly feelings they have always had towards the North American people, proven over 46 years, one of the few countries in the world where a USA flag has never been burned, where never one North American being offended, that's evidence; We are grateful to the people who supported the boy's return, the people who, in increasing numbers, support justice to be done to our comrades, the people whom we trust to and not will one day be friends with us only to help one another, but mainly to help others.

The US government and Congress have approved $ 15 billion for the fight against AIDS, but the money won't solve the AIDS problem if there are no doctors in the villages of Africa. And these doctors do not exist, we have them and we will have them more and more, by the tens of thousands.

The Caribbean will have thousands of doctors, we will help them train them and we have trained hundreds of them to speak English and perfect English.

The world needs doctors, doctors who go to such places. Central America will have it, it already has it, and we are a whole family.

And when there is an urgent need for equipment to help those affected, Cuba has it at its disposal in the camps we have purchased for our programs; while we are building there is always a reserve. We're not going to take them out of our health facilities. These are devices intended for other points that can be replaced within weeks.

We also pointed out there in Washington that this appearance would take place and that he had no intention of confrontation, but rather to repeat our offer. At 5:00 p.m. the interest group was informed here, and there in the capital of the USA was also informed that they did not find out about this through television and knew the spirit that dominated the offer. Hopefully we will learn a beneficial lesson and a useful lesson, something useful, from this great and sad tragedy that this country has suffered.

It seems to me, Randy, comrades and fellow citizens, that I have nothing more to add and I should not add anything to what has been expressed.