Miami (CubDest, Sept. 7, 1998)-- The Dutch organization Pax Christi, through its Latin American bureau, has just denounced that Cuba's communist regime sidetracks a substantial portion of the millionaire "humanitarian aid" that arrives from abroad for the Cuban people. In its official communiqué addressed to Caritas International, to the World Health Organization (WHO), to the International Red Cross, to the Pontificial Council for Justice and Peace and to other important entities involved in distributing such help, Pax Christi warns that "donated medicines that arrive in Cuba through official channels, hardly ever reach those for whom they were meant," and that the "international humanitarian aid in many cases simply disappears to governmental circles and medical tourism projects (such as Servimed). "Pax Christi adds that "while the Cuban authorities blame the US embargo" for the present situation of penury of the Cuban health system, "Cuba exports medicines to other countries to get foreign currency which at its turn is not invested in the medical sector accessible to the common people".

At the same time that the current situation of the people concerning healthcare is "desperate", "high party and military cadre do not suffer these shortages," confirms the report. The Dutch entity, in view of these serious antecedents, calls for an urgent and drastic "re-evaluation" of the present "procedures of distribution" of the international "humanitarian aid," to the Cuban people. Pax Christi's alert, possesses a particular importance moments in which the World Feed Program of the United Nations negotiates the sending of $20.5 million dollars in food to the island-prison, some of which it could come from the United States government. At the same time, the person responsible of the International Cooperation of the governing Spanish Popular Party, has just traveled to Havana to keep in touch with Cuban officials, and announced that his government's aid to Cuba "will be increased." In the meantime, Cuban-American legislators, in a letter sent to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, reminded her that "since the year of 1959, Castro has used the food as a weapon against the Cuban people, controlling all the distribution of food, and restricting access to the food of his opponents."



Erik Laan & Liduine Zumpolle,"To the World Health Organization (WHO), Caritas Internationalis, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, ECHO-Office of the European Union, Pontificial Council Justice and Peace, and to other international human rights and humanitarian organizations concerned," Latin America Dpt., Pax Christi Netherlands, Aug 24, 1998

Olance Nogueras, "Critican plan de ayuda alimentario," El Nuevo Herald, Miami, Aug. 30,1998

Reuters, "Naciones Unidas gestiona el envio de alimentos a Cuba," La Otra Cuba, Mexico, Sept. 2,1998

Mauricio Vicent (desde La Habana), "El PP dice ahora que ya es posible aumentar las ayudas a Cuba," El Pais, Madrid, Sept. 2, 1998. Gonzalo Guimaraens
Cubdest Servicio de Difusion

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