Monday, November 7, 2005
The United States has canceled plans to send a team of specialists to Cuba to assess damage from Hurricane Wilma. The U.S. State Department said the trip was cancelled after Havana reportedly tried to convert the mission into "political dialogue.
Hurricane Wilma knocked out power and forced the evacuation of some 260,000 Cubans. On October 27, Cuba accepted the US government's offer to send three experts to assess disaster relief needs.
But the State Department accused Cuba of changing the team's mission and limiting their ability to assess the situation.
Washington has agreed instead to give 100,000 dollars in storm relief to independent, non-governmental organizations.
Cuba had offered to send 100 doctors to treat victims of Hurricane Katrina, which lashed the US Gulf Coast on August 29, but Washington declined the offer.