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Press Release



Monday, September 15, 2008


Secretary Gutierrez Statement on Third Offer to Cuba for Humanitarian Assistance

LOS ANGELES—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez released the following statement after a third U.S. offer to send humanitarian aid to Cuba was turned down:

“On September 13, the U.S. government agreed to offer Cuba humanitarian assistance without the visit of an assessment team. Yesterday the Cuban regime rejected our third offer to provide immediate assistance to those Cubans who are suffering from the devastation of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

“We offered Cuba an immediate $5 million package which included a flight of relief supplies consisting of plastic sheeting, blankets and hygiene kits.

“The package also included cash donations to non-government organizations; that aid to non-government organizations will proceed as planned.

“We will continue to provide assistance to the Cuban people as we have been doing since the hurricanes devastated the island.”

Secretary Gutierrez co-chairs the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a U.S. Cabinet-level commission formed to explore ways the United States can help hasten and ease a democratic transition in Cuba.