A welcome sight on the tarmac at Santiago. Guess where it came from…
Around noon today, at the Antonio Maceo Grajales International Airport in Santiago de Cuba, a shipment of humanitarian aid for those affected by Hurricane Sandy arrived from Venezuela.
The South American brothers were welcomed on the Santiago tarmac by María Luisa Bueno Oñate, a delegate from Exterior Commerce and Foreign Investments for Santiago province. She emphasized that this shipment, the fourth such one received since the hurricane tragedy, was a gesture of Venezuela’s continued solidarity with the displaced.
The cargo, which arrived in Santiago in a DC-10, included around 46.5 tonnes of food, specifically sugar and grains.
So far, six humanitarian aid flights have arrived in Cuba. Five of them landed at the Antonio Maceo airport, carrying 250.6 tonnes of food and construction materials, from Venezuela and Russia. The sixth, which arrived in Holguín, came from Bolivia, with 60 tonnes.
Bueno Oñate also commended the efforts of the Maceo airport personnel, who unloaded the cargo in record time despite difficult conditions and without technological assistance.
From this, it’s pretty easy to see who Cuba’s real friends are; they’re the ones who attach no conditions (or “conditionalities”, as the IMF odiously refers to them) to their aid. Russia is an old ally, but the South Americans are relatively new at this. Since Cuba came through for Venezuela and Bolivia in their hour of need with medical aid and literacy teachers, this is really more of a simple matter of returning the favor, ALBA style.
And there’s more to come, too. In the days and weeks to come, I think we can expect to see a lot more petrocasas cropping up in Santiago and elsewhere. They will be a welcome sight, although I can imagine more than a few teeth in Washington and Miami getting gnashed over them.