The Cuban authorities mentioned it accepted “technical steerage” from the US to assist island authorities put out a raging fireplace that threatens to engulf an oil storage facility within the Matanzas port, in what could possibly be one of many few examples of cooperation between the 2 international locations in recent times.
“We enormously recognize the condolences and expressions of help from individuals and organizations in the US relating to the #Matanzas incident, together with from the US authorities, which supplied technical recommendation, a proposal that’s already within the fingers of pros for acceptable coordination,” mentioned Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, Deputy Minister Cuban Overseas Ministry, on Twitter.
Cuban chief Miguel Diaz-Canel normally takes to Twitter to speak about US sanctions towards Cuba and criticize the Biden administration. However the depth of the hearth and the firefighters’ failed try to include the flames up to now have prompted the authorities to simply accept the supply with a public letter of thanks.
“We categorical our deep gratitude to the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile, who instantly supplied materials help in solidarity within the face of this complicated scenario,” Díaz-Canel mentioned. We additionally recognize the supply of technical recommendation from the US.
The Ministry of Overseas Affairs didn’t present particulars of what was supplied to Cuba.
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An company spokesperson mentioned the Biden administration is “intently monitoring the scenario, together with any humanitarian wants that will come up.”
“The US embargo authorizes American individuals to offer and reply to catastrophe aid in Cuba,” the spokesman mentioned.
And the US embassy in Havana had beforehand mentioned that it was in touch with the Cuban authorities and despatched its condolences to the victims of the hearth, which has injured 77 up to now.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has change into an in depth ally of Cuba, additionally despatched staff from the state oil firm Pemex to assist put out the hearth.
Cuban authorities mentioned the hearth began round 7 p.m. Friday, when a lightning strike struck a crude oil storage tank within the unloading space of the port of Matanzas. Regardless of the efforts of firefighters to manage it, there have been at the least 4 explosions within the early hours of Saturday, and the flames unfold to a second tank.
State media printed footage displaying a Cuban armed forces helicopter attempting to drop water over the flames.
This story was initially printed August 6, 2022 5:27 pm.