Venezuela confirmed shipments of humanitarian aid to the island nation of Haiti on October 5 after category four Hurricane Matthew made its way through Haiti. On October 8, the death toll fro the hurricane, which caused widespread devastation, was put at more than 800.
President Nicolas Maduro made the announcement of aid on his weekly television program In Contact with Maduro on the evening of October 4.
Multinational Latin American television channel TeleSUR reported that Hurricane Matthew reached Haiti that day. The hurricane has left hundreds dead, with thousands evacuated and five cities flooded. Matthew touched down with 230 kilometre an hour winds.
Maduro emphasised that regional integration platforms, such as the anti-imperialist Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and others have promoted cooperation, unity and solidarity especially in times of great need.
Minister of Domestic Affairs, Justice and Peace Nestor Reverol Torres confirmed that the first 20 tons of humanitarian aid left Venezuela on the morning of October 5, carrying non-perishable goods, water, blankets and medicines among other materials.
“This is meant to assist the Haitian people that suffered severe affects to the southern region of their country,” he explained.
“We have united in solidarity to accompany the Haitian people ahead of Hurricane Matthew's threat that passed through the nation on Tuesday.”
Likewise, Maduro highlighted Venezuela's profound commitment to accompany and support the Caribbean as Hurricane Matthew continues to rage across the Caribbean.
“We will pray for the people of Cuba and from prayer we will extend our solidarity actively with Cuba, with Haiti, with our Caribbean brothers and sisters, you are not alone, Venezuela is here,” Maduro stressed from the Historical Mountain Barracks in 23 de Enero community in Caracas. “ALBA is here. Bolivarian solidarity is here.”
The Venezuelan government is set to send two more shipments in the next 48 hours. Venezuelan officials spoke to the more than 200 years of shared history and solidarity between the South American nation and Haiti, which supported independence leader Simon Bolivar’s efforts to liberate Latin America from Spanish colonialism.
In the case of Cuba, nearly one million people were evacuated in Camagey, Granma, Las Tunas, Santiago, Holguin and Guantanamo reports Prensa Latina.
The Haitian government announced that in light of Hurricane Matthew’s devastating impacts, presidential elections have been delayed. Haitians were set to go to the polls on October 9. Over the past year, Haitians have mobilised almost daily to demand democratic, transparent and free elections.
Grassroots groups have denounced Michel Martelly’s government for holding fraudulent elections in the past, facilitating the further economic underdevelopment of Haiti and rampant repression of human rights defenders.
[Reprinted from Venezuela Analysis.]