portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

corporate dominance | government | imperialism & war | katrina aftermath

Canada, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, etc. Make Generous Offers of Aid to Hurricane Victims

In contrast to the apathetic and half-hearted, militaristic response of the rich asshole neocon Bush administration, FEMA shadow government, the National Guard, etc. to the victims of the New Orleans hurricane, (which is remarkably similar to their approach to the victims of US invasions of foreign countries like Panama, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Iraq), the people and govennments of dozens of countries around the world like Canada, Cuba, Venezuela and Iran have responded quickly and generously to the terrible plight of those currently trapped by a ring of brutal US troops, as well as by poverty, hunger, thirst, and sickness in the current madhouse of New Orleans. ("As a kid I used to have nightmares about the "Road Warrior" and being trapped and beaten by brutes. Those nightmares exist right now in New Orleans.")
Canada offers its entire emergency stockpile
$300 million worth of supplies available, Dosanjh says

Saturday, September 03, 2005

OTTAWA -- Canada is prepared to send its entire national emergency stockpile to the flood-ravaged southern U.S. states as emergency workers struggle to contain a public health disaster unfolding in Hurricane Katrina's wake.

Worth about $300 million and housed in half a dozen strategically placed depots across the country, the stockpile includes hospital beds and blankets, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics and 165 field hospitals. Each hospital has 200 beds that can be deployed within 24 hours and set up in schools, community centres, concert halls and other buildings.

Canada has also offered water purification tablets, gloves, masks, bandages and surgical instruments in "mini clinics" that can be carried in backpacks, federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said Friday.

"We've offered assistance (to the U.S. Health and Human Services) and they, I understand, are going to inform us shortly if they require assistance and what items or what type of assistance they will require," he said.

One former Health Canada official expressed "bewilderment" at how difficult it has been to get safe food and water into the affected areas -- and people out.

But Dosanjh said "the kind of chaos and confusion you see is normal."

"One assumes the U.S. is such a huge power and they have many assets, and that they should be able to deal with this right away. But in a situation like this, it is always difficult.

"The first few days and weeks are the most difficult, because you're trying to re-establish contact, you're trying to re-establish hospital clinics, food supplies, water supplies and medicine . . . while you're rescuing individuals."

Also Friday, the first team of 25 Canadian Red Cross volunteers traveled to Houston, Texas, to begin three-week assignments with the American Red Cross. The Canadians will help at 275 shelters and in preparing more than 500,000 hot meals daily at the shelters and mobile feeding units as part of the largest-ever American Red Cross relief operation.

At least 100 Canadian volunteers will be sent to the affected regions in coming weeks.

Canadian public health experts say the immediate challenges are staggering: massive bursts of emergency patients with crush and burn injuries, diabetics who can't get insulin, dehydration and infection, disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents, and decomposing bodies in the streets.

Then there is the psychological fallout: anxiety, depression, isolation, abandonment, grief and loss -- and, for some, post-traumatic stress disorders and phobias from which they may never recover.

"You have people who have lost their families, people who were impoverished or socially isolated to begin with," says Dr. Steven Friedman, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and an emergency physician in downtown Toronto.

"You have lasting imagery of bodies in the streets, or being trapped in buildings for days. When you lose all your financial support, when you lose your social support, absolutely it becomes problematic."

The fundamentals of public health are clean water, safe food, sanitation and waste disposal, all of which have been compromised by the destruction wrought by Katrina, says Wayne Corneil, a University of Ottawa epidemiologist and a former senior official in occupational and emergency health at Health Canada, where he was involved in relief efforts during the 1998 ice storm and Manitoba's Red River and Quebec's Saguenay floods.

Corneil says it may be months before people know whether they can return home. "It's all well and good to say people are going to be in shelters, but what are they going to do all day long?" he says. "You're going to have more anxiety, more depression. That doesn't mean people are psychiatrically ill. It just means you're going to have all these people having difficulty coping."

___________________________________________________

While Bush prevaricates, Venezuela offers help to US poor
By Jorge Martin - www.handsoffvenezuela.org
Friday, 02 September 2005


Venezuela was the first country to offer help to the United States in dealing with the effects of Hurricane Katrina. On Wednesday, August 31st, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuelan state-owned CITGO Petroleum Corporation had already pledged US$1 million for hurricane aid. "It's a terrible tragedy that our North American brothers are living through," Chavez said. "We have a battalion from our Simon Bolivar humanitarian team ready in case they authorize it for us to go there, if they give us the green light." He offered humanitarian workers and fuel to help. "We are willing to donate fuel for hospitals, for public transport, everything we can do," Chavez said.

But at the same time Hugo Chavez sharply criticised US president G W Bush for his handling of the Hurricane crisis. "As more information comes out now, a terrible truth is becoming evident: That government doesn't have evacuation plans," Chavez said. Putting words to what many in the US must be thinking, he added that Bush, "there at his ranch, said nothing more than 'you need to flee'; he didn't even say how - in cowboy style." He also pointed out that the lack of a clear strategy on the part of the government hit the poorest sections of the population hardest. "We all saw the long lines of desperate people leaving that city in vehicles, those who had vehicles," he said, noting that the areas worst affected are amongst "some of the poorest in the United States, most of them black."

In contrast with the lack of action on the part of the US government, the Venezuelan government was able to help hundreds of Lousiana residents. CITGO, a company in the US owned by the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, has a network of refineries and gas stations in the United States. One of these is based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and was opened to give shelter and aid to some 2,000 residents of the area.

Felix Rodriguez, the president of both PDVSA and CITGO who was visiting the Lake Charles refinery, said that the funds from their donation would be directed to aid organizations in affected areas.

According to Venezuelanalaysis.com, sources at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC said that "apart from the million dollars in monetary assistance, Venezuela is offering two mobile hospital units, each capable of assisting 150 people, 120 specialists in rescue operations, 10 water purifying plants, 18 electricity generators of 850 KW each, 20 tons of bottled water, and 50 tons of canned food." ....

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/09/324008.shtml

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Billions in Overseas Aid to US Refused
author: Marleen
The United States Government and its People Respectfully Decline your offer of assistance...

I'm one of the people and I do not decline the offer.

Being kept from these American people by their Military Rulers have been the uncounted offers of assistance from Nations all around the world, including: VENEZUELA has offered their Medical Airlift Command for the evacuation of peoples trapped in these devastated regions; HOLLAND has offered the resources of their Public Works Ministry (and who are the acknowledged World Experts for below sea level water evacuation procedures); RUSSIA has offered over 100,000 temporary living structures, along with Military Personal to assist their American counterparts; IRAN has offered 1 BILLION US Dollars in IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE and guaranteed 5,000,000 barrels of oil at $35.00 US Dollars; CHINA has offered their Military Rescue Forces (Who are acknowledged as one of the best in the world for rescuing peoples in flood ravaged areas.)

All of these offers, and more, the Military Leaders of the United States have declined, and for the their previously stated reason: “The United States Government and its People Respectfully Decline your offer of assistance and refer you to our previous State Department Bulletin (NCO:13788) in which we had stated that this remains an internal action.”

more:  http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index813.htm

________________________________________________________________

Mayor of New Orleans Angry at Lack of Action

Radio interview link below of Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin describing the great failure of aid to New Orleans
Radio interview link below of Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin describing the great failure of aid. Please forward.  http://www.ero.com/downloads/WWL-AM_Interview_Nagin.mp3 "It's politics man, and they're playin games. And they're out there spinning. They're spinning for the cameras." "I keep hearing that its comin...It's b.s.: where's the beef?" "These goddam ships that are comin'. I don't see'em!" "its awful down here, man" "Everyday that we delay, people are dying. And they're dying by the hundreds, I'm willing to bet you..."

 http://www.ero.com/downloads/WWL-AM_Interview_Nagin.mp3


__________________________________________________________________________

New Orleans: CUBA offers medical expertise and supplies

president fidel castro reiterates medical care offer to the american people in his remarks during the tv round table.
Here is the translation of his communication...

PRESIDENT FIDEL CASTRO:
"Our country is ready to send, in the small hours of morning, 100 clinicians and specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine, who at dawn tomorrow, Saturday, could be in Houston International Airport, Texas, the closest to the region struck by the tragedy, in order to be transferred by air, sea or river to the isolated shelters, facilities and neighborhoods in the city of New Orleans, where the population and families are that require emergency medical care or first aid.

These Cuban personnel would be carrying backpacks with 24 kilograms of medications, known to be essential in such situations to save lives, as well as basic diagnosis kits. They would be prepared to work alone or in groups of two or more, depending on the circumstances, for as long as necessary.

Likewise, Cuba is ready to send via Houston, or any other airport of your choosing, 500 additional specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine, with the same equipment, who could be at their destination point at noon or in the afternoon of tomorrow, Saturday, September 3.

A third group of 500 specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine could be arriving in the morning of Sunday, September 4. Thus, the 1100 said medical doctors, with the resources described tantamount to 26.4 tons of medications and diagnosis kits, would be caring for the neediest persons in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

These medical doctors have the necessary international experience and elementary knowledge of the English language that would allow them to communicate with the patients.

We stand ready waiting for the US authorities' response."

September 2, 2005
18:00 hs
Why was aid refused? 10.Sep.2005 11:28

Was aid from certain countries refused?

Frustration was mounting among European countries that have been stymied in their efforts to send aid to the United States in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Mexican Army aid supplies move towards Houston, Texas.
Mexican Army aid supplies move towards Houston, Texas.