VERY SHORT STORIES: The Fear, the Anguish, the Pain

Waking up one day having lost everything during the night could be a terrible nightmare for anyone. Now it’s the harsh reality of many people.

A horrible, deafening noise, as if a huge monster approached, ready to devour everything: that felt the people who met in its path the tornado from the evening of January 27th in several neighborhoods of Havana.

First it was fear: many people had already gone to bed, others shared talks with their relatives after dinner, some were in the streets, heading home after a Sunday visit… and suddenly, without warning, the disaster.

Roofs and walls that could not withstand the pounding of wind, wire poles and trees lying on the floor, vortex of stones and debris.

Then, the anguish of the darkness. The heavy and moist calm. The never-ending drizzle. Until finally, the relief of keeping one’s integrity (those who could). How many stay awake until dawn?

In the morning, with the first lights, astonishment and pain. There are people who only a few days back were happy, or at least tried to be happy: now they lost almost everything. They stand amid what used to be their house and take a look around: only debris.

Start over. For us, those who escape unscathed have all the spirit, the drive, the optimism, the strength to begin again. But us (many of us) we don't know, we can’t get to understand.

We just need respect the suffering and stretch a helping hand.

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Venezuela Prepares Solidarity Aid for Cuba

The Venezuelan government is coordinating the sending of aid to the Cuban people affected by inclement weather in recent days.

President Nicolas Maduro directed Executive Vice President, Tarek El Aissami, to coordinate aid for the Cuban people affected by heavy rains and floods caused by subtropical storm Alberto.

'I want to support the Cuban people from here, they have faced storms and rains in this season. (Cuba) Always with our solidarity, I ratify the active and living solidarity,' the president said.

These statements took place as part of a meeting with Cuban President, Miguel Diaz-Canel, who carried out a fruitful visit to the homeland of Simon Bolivar yesterday.

During a meeting at the Miraflores Palace, seat of government, the delegations led by both leaders reviewed the existing cooperation agreements and advocated for expanding it to other sectors, including tourism and agriculture.

According to the Cuban president, his visit to Venezuela was to strengthen relations of brotherhood between the Cuban Revolution and the Bolivarian Revolution and deepen bi-national cooperation, for the welfare of the peoples.

On his first visit abroad, after being elected President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba, on April 19, Diaz-Canel visited the National Pantheon and participated in a solemn session at the National Constituent Assembly ( ANC).

He also toured the Bolivar Square in Caracas and shared with members of the Cuban Medical Mission in Venezuela.

Diaz-Canel met with President Nicolas Maduro in the afternoon at the Miraflores Palace, where he received the Liberators class of the Order.

Then, he visited the Mountain Barracks, where he laid a white rose at the tomb of Commander Hugo Chavez, leader of the Bolivarian Revolution and promoter of the solidarity policy among the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Guantanamo Recovering from Hurricane Mathew

Havana, Oct 13 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban province of Guantanamo, especially the municipality of Baracoa, is recovering gradually from the damage caused in recent days by hurricane Mathew, according to reports today in the capital.
The newspaper Venceremos reported that after several days of hard work in Baracoa, one of the most affected areas by Mathew, life is beginning to go back to normalcy with the reestablishment of public transportation to and from the area and the continuation of the school year, starting on October 17th.

On the 17th classes will resume in 30 schools, including 21 elementary schools, four secondary schools, one high school, one special-education school and three day-care centers.

The newspaper added that thanks to the effort of 33 teams, composed of 154 men from nine provinces in the country, progress has been made with the cleaning up and sanitation of the city of Baracoa, as well as restoration of the electric and communication lines.

In the municipality of San Antonio del Sur, the recovery goes at good pace, thanks to the support of workers from other provinces the hard work of the population.

According to Municipal Defense Council President Israel Rodriguez, little by little, the damage caused by the hurricane is being left in the past.

Rodriguez asserted that businesses and agriculture have resumed operations, while the Cuban Telecommunication Company (ETECSA) has recovered the optical fiber and 90 percent of mobile telephone communications, and is also making progress in full restoration of the fixed-telephone service.

The provincial electricity company confirmed that of around 78,600 clients affected by Mathew, more than half have seen their service restored, especially in the municipalities of Yateras, San Antonio del Sur and Imias.

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Nine Countries Send Rescue Teams to Ecuador

Quito, Apr 18 (Prensa Latina) Experts from nine countries are supporting the Ecuadorian authorities in the search for survivors of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the coastal area of the country on Saturday, the Foreign Minister, Guillaume Long, stated today.

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EU Announces over $750 Million in Aid to Support Latin America-Caribbean Region

BRUSSELS – The European Commission announced on Thursday at the summit of leaders from the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, that it would donate a total of 700 million euros (around $786 million) for aid initiatives on sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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