Friday, November 2, 2012

Helping Sandy's victims in Cuba

To support post-Sandy assistance delivered by Caritas Cubana, the nationwide Catholic charity that has a long-established disaster relief program, here’s a reliable option.  Yoani Sanchez lists Cuban e-commerce sites as a way to get items to people quickly. 


Anonymous said...

The opposition is making a very appropiate demand that the Cuban government eliminate the recent hike in the custom duties to allow more aid from the Cubans living abroad to enter the country in a moment of great suffering for the population of eastern Cuba due to the damge inflicted by Sandy.

In times of great suffering and anguish because of natural catastrofes such as this the population of a country is very attentive to the governments actions or lack of action in responding to its needs and widespread public dissatisfaction with the government can easily occur.

Suspending the hike in custom duties might be a wise move to avoid public protests and a loss of popular support for the government.

It would also be a way of reactivating the private sector which depended on supplies from abroad to make up for the lack of a wholesale supply network.

However this decision will obviously reduce the governments receipts from the very highly priced and monopolized convertible currency stores.

It will be interesting to see which way the government's decision will lean.

The choice will be highly instructive since there will be a trade off between convertible currency receipts and popular support.

Another key decision would be to allow humanitarian aid to come from any source without political preconditions and without requiring the Cuban government agencies to distribute it.

I frankly expect the Cuban government not to adopt either of these decisions and some unfavorable consequences.

At the very least, I expect a silent loss of popular support and some localized protests that will not turn into regional or national mass demonstrations because of and increased volume of repressive personnel in the worst affected areas of the country.

But I also believe that there is some probability that dissatisfaction is so widespread that the repressive personnel will be spread too thin to efficiently cover all the affected area and that some local protests could have the potential to expand before enough forces can be concentrated to extinguish them.

In short, it is a a dicey situation which the opposition is trying to exploit and which the government must handle with great care to avoid complications.

Mr. Peters would you or any of your readers care to make any sort of observation or prediction on this post Sandy situation?

Is this just a passing matter, a slight bump on the road with no future consequences, the straw that will break the camel's back or something somewhere in between?


Anonymous said...

any items for donations will not have any duties imposed. any money or material aid you'd like to donate will not be subject to duties. if you want to send down goods to your relative that he will re-sell as part of a commercial operation, well guess what, that will continue to have duties imposed -- as any other country would do. your attempt to politicize the tragedy in the storm's aftermath is despicable, but just another example of the anti-revolutionary propaganda the government has had to deal with for more than 50 years.