Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cuba, Venezuela help Haiti,

Ironically, corporate media in the United States, because
they are monolingual and do not read Spanish or Creole, are
cheerleading the arrival of Canadians and U.S. planes late on
Wednesday, the fact is that the first responders came from
Venezuela, which sent its air force with medics, food and
equipment a few hours after the tragedy. Cuba, which already
had 344 medical doctors on the ground, sent more teams with
151 more specialized medical doctors (including the Reed
brigade that was offered to the Bush administration to help
in New Orleans) that arrived (Cubans already had two tent
hospitals serving 800 wounded), the Dominican Republic which
sent a 20 member Urban Rescue team, and through which Puerto
Rico attempted to coordinate and sent a team of three
helicopters, dozens of urban rescuers (who had earlier served
in New York during 9/11 attack) and 20 structural engineers.
However, Puerto Rico was unable to send them as quickly as
they wished; at least until last night (1/16/2010) teams of
technicians with water purifying systems, communications and
military police did not receive permission from the Southern
Command. As a colony of the United States, they had to wait
for approval from the U.S. Southern command. God forbid
Puerto Ricans and Latinos upstaged the U.S. rescue efforts.

[Victor M. Rodriguez Domínguez is a professor of sociology of
race and ethnicity in the Department of Chicano and Latino
Studies, California State University, Long Beach, his most
recent book is Latino Politics in the United States: Race,
Ethnicity, Class and Gender in the Mexican American and
Puerto Rican Experience (Kendall Hunt, 2005)]


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