Storm ravaged Cubans were filmed as they stood amidst the rubble of their thrice ravaged homes.
Storm victims posed before television cameras amid the rubble left in what was their homes, flattened by Hurricane Gustave, chanting ?Fidel, Fidel?. It was some minutes before someone realized their mistake and began quickly chanting ?Fidel and Raul?.
Cubans reeled as tropical Storm Fay crashed ashore near the Bay of Pigs on Aug. 17. This was just two weeks before Gustav slammed into western Cuba, damaging at least 100,000 homes and crippling industry, food production and infrastructure. Then Hurricane Ike hit eastern Cuba killing five people, damaging at least 200,000 homes and forcing nearly a fourth of the population to evacuate as it moved nearly the length of the island, before moving into the Gulf of Mexico.
It is six months since the ailing 82 year old, Fidel Castro, handed over the reigns of power to his equally grey haired 77 year old brother, Raul. It is an ancient leadership, as Raul is backed by 77 year old Jose Ramon as Deputy and General Julio Cassas, 72, as Defense Minister.
Raul Castro has not addressed the nation, or appeared in public during the weeks a tropical storm and two monstrous hurricanes have ravaged Cuba. Raul merely sent Vice Presidents and Army Generals instead, to the hardest-hit areas after each storm. Raul has only appeared in a few random shots, speaking only by phone to officials in the devastated areas.
Fidel may have been many things, but he loved to jump into his jeep and follow the storms, personally viewing the damage and greeting the victims. He was frequently prone to giving one of his extended speeches following a national disaster.
Fidel, recovering from emergency intestinal surgery in July, has not been seen in public since. However, he continues to release newspaper columns every few days, talking about the damage the storms have created.
The Cuban government routinely and effectively mobilizes mass storm evacuations on the island, compliance being enforced by police and soldiers.
Yet, it appears many of those left homeless, through the recent storms, have been left without support or food.
About the Author:
Rick and Wendy are CEO?s of YouMe Support Foundation, (http://youmesupport.org)
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by Wendy StenbergTendys (few years ago!)