Granma has published a description with photographs of the aftermath of two hurricanes, Gustav and Ike, which have devastated parts of Cuba along with the neighbouring Haiti and other Caribbean islands. Now Ike has arrived in Texas seriously affecting oil production.
Already rebuilding is underway in Cuba: Gustav’s powerful winds were followed by Ike’s floodwaters, halting recovery efforts. According to Marbel Piloto Hernández, a member of the Party Bureau in Pinar del Rio, in the days following the first hurricane, more than 3,000 homes were repaired and 1,500 temporary facilities created. Electricity had been restored to 70% of the province. “Now we are assessing the damage, work is beginning again, but with more efforts than before,” she said.
And it is true that activities have resumed with more impetus. That was confirmed by the tenacity of the 800 electrical line workers and 200 construction workers from other provinces who returned to work after the floods. The housing repair brigades created in neighborhoods are also evidence of that. Jorge Luis Izquierdo and Juan Fernández, two men with skin burned by the sun after repairing so many roofs, are part of one of those brigades. And they proudly demonstrate the new roofs that Ike was not able to rip away.
The occurrence of the two hurricanes on this scale is unprecedented in Cuba where two and a half million people were evacuated. This clearly had the effect of saving lives. It is heartening to see the priorities and achievements of this island approaching the 50th anniversary of the Revolution on 1st January, 2009.