Thursday morning will never be forgotten by thousands of people in Eastern Cuba. The wind, flying roofs, heavy rains and trees falling on streets and houses, will remain as permanent memories of Hurricane Sandy. Nor will they be able to get out of their heads that first night after the disaster in which, from their battered beds or rickety sofas, they found nothing separating their faces from the starry night sky.
Some people lost everything, which was not much. People from whom the gale took the modest possessions they'd accumulated over their whole lives. A human drama extended over this area already affected beforehand by material shortages, constant migration westward, and the outbreaks of diseases like dengue fever and cholera. For the victims it rains and it pours, literally and metaphorically. Nature intensifies the economic collapse and social problems of this region of the country. So these are the times to redouble our solidarity, to roll up our sleeves and help them rebuild their homes, to divide the piece of bread, and to go all out to contribute to those unlucky Cubans that Sandy left behind.
I think we all know what we can give and do, but I still dare to venture some proposals directed at the Cuban authorities. The decisions they make in the coming days will be crucial to shortening and mitigating the tragedy. I hope they put aside ideological differences and open their ears to the public that wants to contribute to the recovery of our country. Solidarity should not be an institutional monopoly, it never has been, and from this conviction arise proposals to make it more effective, such as the following:
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