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Cuba clears up US decision to provide technical advice

Havana, Aug 8 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Foreign Ministry (MINREX, in Spanish) US Department Deputy Director-General Johana Tablada on Monday explained the US government made the decision to provide technical advice following current deadly fire in the city of Matanzas.

According to Tablada, Cuba really needed international assistance after deadly fire at Matanzas´ oil storage tanks and Washington only proposed talks by phone with Cuban specialists.

“This is what they´ve offered up to now. It does not help. It does not depend on Cuba”, assured Tablada in several responses to a Facebook post, while adding the existence of a bilateral agreement signed under Democrat Barack Obama´s (2009-2017).

According to Tablada, the bilateral agreement sets down coordination of operations to fight oil spills at sea, but does not apply to disasters on land such as Matanzas´ oil storage tank blast on Friday afternoon-night, August 5.

“That was the US assistance and not what you have read about ships, planes and aid. We immediately accepted it and conversations with US experts have been done,” Tablada said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossio, on the other hand, talked about the assistances sent in the last few hours from various peoples and organizations in the United States, “those of whom we appreciate and are quite welcomed.”

In this regard, the US embassy in Havana assured the United States “carefully monitors the situation in Matanzas and is waiting for Cuba to require both humanitarian and technical assistance from the United States (…) it wants to support people and organizations shipping goods.”


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