Cuba’s government has made a rare request for emergency assistance to the administration of US President Joe Biden after Hurricane Ian knocked out power to the entire island of 11 million people, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
CUBA IS STRIKED BY HURRICANE IAN, LEAVING 1 MILLION INHABITANTS WITHOUT ELECTRICITY AND FLOODED STREETS
Hurricane Ian slammed into the island nation on Tuesday, triggering blackouts across the country, flattening homes and destroying farm fields. Cubans have staged protests against the government over loss of power, raising concerns about shortages of food, fuel and medicine.
Washington has assessed that Cuban authorities would prioritize hospitals, water pumping facilities, sanitation and other critical infrastructure if the Biden administration provided assistance, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a review of email communications.
HURRICANE IAN: 20 CUBAN MIGRANTS DISAPPEAR ON FLORIDA COAST AFTER BOAT SINK IN STORM
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report, nor did the Cuban embassy in Washington.
Biden has promised to re-engage with Cuba after years of tensions between Havana and Washington. But Cuba’s crackdown following widespread protests on the island last July led instead to sanctions on Cuban officials.
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The Cuban government blamed the protests on US meddling.