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HAVANA (AP) - President Fidel Castro announced in a live television broadcast Friday that he had just issued a second offer to the United States to send 1,100 Cuban doctors to help care for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"These personnel have international experience and the language skills necessary to attend to patients," Castro said on state television. He said the first 100 doctors have been equipped with backpacks filled with medicine and first aid supplies and are ready to travel as soon as Friday night to Texas, where many of the hurricane victims have been evacuated.
"We are offering life, to save 10, 100, 1,000," said Castro.
The Cuban leader said his government was hoping for a rapid response, "hopefully immediately so as not to lose another minute."
Castro said a diplomatic note containing the offer was sent late Friday afternoon to the U.S. Interests Section, the American mission here, and was the second such offer of its kind made this week.
MEXICO CITY (AP) - A Mexican Army aid convoy set out for the U.S. border Tuesday, carrying water treatment plants, mobile kitchens and supplies to feed the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Large Mexican flags were taped to many of the 35 green-painted Mexican army trucks and tractor trailers as they rumbled northward out of Mexico City.
The trucks, carrying 195 unarmed soldiers, officers and specialists, were expected to arrive in Laredo, Texas, sometime Wednesday. From there they are to proceed to Houston, where they will apparently be used to produce water and hot meals for storm victims.