St Vincent offers assistance to Cuba & Venezuela in wake of devastation

Following the destruction in Venezuela and Cuba, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has expressed St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ solidarity with the people of both countries.

To help restore power in hurricane-ravaged Cuba, St. Vincent Electricity Services, Gonsalves added, would deploy technicians.

“Before I left, I asked Dr Vaughn Lewis, the acting CEO of Vinlec, to get in touch with the Cuban Ambassador and provide the same assistance we gave them in prior disasters”.

Gonsalves announced that the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has approved a grant of $50,000 to provide emergency aid to Cuba.

At least three people were killed and thousands were left without electricity on the northern Caribbean island, according to Reliefweb.

In relation to Venezuela, Gonsalves said that if the government of St. Vincent can help in any way, they will.

As a result of developments in the South American country, the United States should take this opportunity to lift the economic sanctions, Gonsalves said.

“This current devastation and in the wake of the opening of the prisoner exchanges between Venezuela and the United States of America, it offers an excellent opportunity now for the American administration, President Biden’s administration, to remove the sanctions against Venezuela, including those touching and concerning the weaponizing of the dollar and the banking system, to ease the pain and pressure on the ordinary man and woman in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”

Gonsalves has said he is appealing to his American brothers and sisters to show solidarity with his Venezuelan counterparts by joining him in this effort.

Wednesday, the government of Venezuela reported that 800 residences had been damaged and about 400 had been destroyed.

According to Ildemaro Villarroel, the head of Housing and Habitat, 317 homes were completely destroyed, and another 123 were in extremely high-risk locations, out of a total of 775 homes affected.

The government opened two shelters to house around 600 people who were affected by the disaster; so far, 39 families with a total of 147 people (including 46 minors) have been accepted.

Photo: A resident looks at the rubble of destroyed houses washed away by a landslide during heavy rains in Las Tejerias, Aragua state, Venezuela, on Oct. 9. Photographer: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Ernesto Cooke