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"Likewise, Cuba is ready to send via Houston, or any other airport of your choosing, 500 additional specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine, with the same equipment, who could be at their destination point at noon or in the afternoon of tomorrow, Saturday, September 3. Thus, the 1100 said medical doctors, with the resources described, would be caring for the people in most need of attention in the aftermath of the hurricane.
"A third group of 500 specialists in General Comprehensive Medicine could also be sent, and would arrive in the morning of Sunday, September 4. Consequently, in under 36 hours, 1100 of these doctors equipped with said resources' the back-packs--, 'which amount to 26.4 tons of medication and diagnostic kits' mostly medication-- 'will be caring for the neediest people in the aftermath of a hurricane like Katrina."
Although Cuban President Fidel Castro has said through the media he is willing to send more than 1,000 doctors to treat victims of the hurricane, the State Department official said no official offer has come in from the Cuban government. (Full story)
"Fidel grandstanding on a tarmac with his doctors in front of a camera is not considered a legitimate offer of U.S. assistance," the official said.
"There has been zero communication from anyone in the Cuban government offering anything specific. The Cuban government has our number if it really wants to help."
Perhaps the most unusual offer came from Hugo Chavez, the socialist leader of Venezuela who is openly hostile to the US government. On Wednesday, Chavez offered drinking water, food, and oil to the United States.
Later, Chavez told Venezuelan television that Bush was a ''cowboy" and the ''king of vacations" who had failed to evacuate the population of New Orleans before the hurricane hit.