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U.S. and Cuba Coordinate Relief Efforts

Cooperation between the United States and Cuba in distributing food, supplies, and medical personal may lead to future cooperation between the two countries in the wake of a 7.0 earthquake which has destroyed Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince and claimed over 100,000 lives.

International relief efforts in Haiti have already led to the two countries coming to a quick diplomatic agreement allowing U.S. planes to fly over Cuban airspace to supply aide and evacuate the injured.

“We have coordinated with the Cuban government for authorization to fly medical evacuation flights from the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay to Miami, through Cuban airspace, cutting 90 minutes off one-way flight time,” the White House announced on Friday.

Cuba currently has 220 doctors in Haiti working in the disaster relief effort in addition to their medical personnel who have been there since 1998. They have also flown over ten tons of medical supplies to their neighboring island nation as well as food, plasma, and other support.

Likewise, the U.S. has been pouring in medical and evacuation personnel since the first reports came out of Haiti, and the Obama administration expects relief aid to far exceed the USD 100 million promised last week.

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