Friday, September 02, 2005

Bush Administration Rejects International Aid Offers.

Despite Washington’s frequent criticism of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s state run Citgo Petroleum Corporation has pledged a million dollars for hurricane aid.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday that “no offer that can help alleviate the suffering of the people in the afflicted area will be refused.” However Russian officials are saying that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency has rejected a Russian offer to dispatch rescue teams and other aid.

Along with Russia and Venezuela, international aid offers have been made from Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, NATO and the Organization of American States.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has offered the US hundred of doctors, nurses, and trauma experts. Sharon also offered to supply field hospitals and medical kits as well as temporary housing, saying that the help could be deployed within 24 hours.

The German embassy said, “The German Government is prepared to do all that is humanly possible.” German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer told Secretary of State Condi Rice that Germany has solidarity with its American friends in a difficult time.

Despite this, Bush told ABC-TV that “I’m not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn’t asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country’s going to rise up and take care of it.”

Meanwhile, tens of thousands still remain in New Orleans, 5 days after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city. City officials are saying that some survivors have not eaten or had water in three or four days. Corpses are floating in the floodwater and nearly 2 million people are still without power. The banner headline of the New Orleans Time-Picayune newspaper reads “Help Us, Please.”


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