Cuba offers Puerto Rico aid after devastating Hurricane Maria

Cuba offers Puerto Rico aid after devastating Hurricane MariaHAVANA, Sept. 25 (Agencies) Cuba on Monday offered humanitarian and medical aid to Puerto Rico which was hit by the devastating Hurricane Maria last week and left in a precarious economic and social situation.

Cuba’s deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra said Havana has offered to send to San Juan an emergency campaign hospital with 39 doctors to help the needed population with health services.

“Cuba also offers to send four brigades of electric workers to help our sister nation rebuild its electrical system,” said the official in his Twitter account.

Cuba has already sent medical and relief brigades to Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, which are also affected by recent hurricanes Maria and Irma.

This offer must be accepted by Washington as Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States and Cuban aid workers and doctors must be granted U.S. visas.

However, in the current state of Cuba-U.S. relations, it seems unlikely the White House will approve such offer as Washington has threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Havana over an alleged “sonic attack” in the island against U.S. diplomats.

U.S. President Donald Trump already rolled back in June the historic opening started by his predecessor Barack Obama, although the new regulations haven’t been published by U.S. federal agencies or departments.

Cuba last offered humanitarian and medical aid to the U.S. in 2005, when former President Fidel Castro said the island could send doctors to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated that city, but then U.S. President George W. Bush rejected the offer.