Hurricane Matthew Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign, October 16, 2016
Hurricane Matthew, with winds of 225kph (140mph), struck eastern Cuba on October 4, causing significant and widespread damage. Because of Cuba’s internationally renowned and acclaimed civil defense system, there was no loss of life. However, Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest city and known internationally as one of the most beautiful parts of the island, has been devastated. With a population of more than 80,000, Baracoa has been reduced to rubble. Baracoa resident Osvaldo Neira poignantly underscored the situation, declaring, “We lost everything.”
Cuba will have to expend considerable resources, both immediate and long term, in order to overcome the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Matthew especially in the province of Guantanamo, where the municipalities of Baracoa, Maisi, Imias and San Antonio del Sur took the brunt of the hurricane. To assist Cuba in its immense efforts of recovery and reconstruction, the Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC) is launching a Hurricane Matthew Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign.
In recent years, the CNC has had a series of successful Hurricane Relief Campaigns. The most recent was in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy struck the island, causing massive damage to Santiago de Cuba. In 2008, the CNC’s most extensive campaign was launched when a series of hurricanes caused damage in excess of $10-billion. The CNC not only raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, but also directly participated in the construction of a new social and cultural centre on La Isla de La Juventud.
In 2016, as Cuba faces this latest challenge, we are confident that Canadians – as they have repeatedly done – will once again demonstrate their friendship and solidarity with Cuba by supporting the island as it recovers from the ravages of Hurricane Matthew.
Our experience with regard to Cuba’s response to natural disasters is that it knows how to multiply the value of any donations it receives. We feel confident, based on the island’s unsurpassed humanitarian work – both within Cuba and in other countries – that it has the skills, the organization and the ethical and moral values to put whatever assistance it receives to the best possible use. As they have shown throughout their history and especially since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959, the Cuban people will successfully overcome this new challenge. Even at this difficult time, Cubans continue to provide relief workers in Haiti.
The CNC urges everyone who so desires to support the Hurricane Matthew Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign by making a donation. Donations can be made out to the Canadian Network on Cuba and mailed to: Attn: Sharon Skup, 56 Riverwood Terrace Bolton, ON L7E 1S4 Please also write “CNC Matthew Relief Fund” on your cheque’s memo line.
On Behalf of the Canadian Network On Cuba
Isaac Saney &Elizabeth Hill, CNC- Co-Chairs