FRETILIN expresses solidarity with the people of Cuba following hurricane devastation



Media release
9 September 2008

FRETILIN, the largest party in Timor-Leste, today expressed its
solidarity with the people and government of Cuba following the
devastation caused by hurricanes Gustav and Iker. The party also
wanted to publicly manifest their concern for the approximately 700
East Timorese students currently studying in Cuba.

FRETILIN secretary general Dr Mari Alkatiri said, “We give our full
support to the government and people of Cuba in recovering from the
devastation caused by the two hurricanes Gustav and Iker.

“We also express our solidarity with the 700 East Timorese students
who are studying medicine in Timor-Leste and their families who are
naturally concerned for the well being of the students.”

International media outlets have reported that Hurricane Gustav which
struck Cuba last week left about 100,000 houses, schools and
workplaces damaged by the storm, 19 people injured, but no deaths.

According to media reports, Hurricane Iker entered Cuba on Sunday (7
September) after killing at least 61 people in Haiti and reportedly
damaged 80% of homes on the main Turks and Caicos islands.

Dr Alkatiri added that, “the aid money in the amount of USD$500,000
sent by Timor-Leste reflects the solidarity of the people of
Timor-Leste with the people of Cuba during this difficult period.

“The people of Timor-Leste owe a historic debt to the government and
people of Cuba who during the dark years of the struggle for
independence continued to support the right of the people of
Timor-Leste to self determination.

“It is because of support from countries such as Cuba that Timor-Leste
was able to earn its independence”

“Today Cuba continues to support Timor-Leste’s social development with
critical assistance being provided by the government of Cuba in the
areas of health and education.”

Dr Alkatiri said, “We urge and support all efforts by the
international community to assist not only Cuba but all the peoples of
the Caribbean who have been affected by the hurricanes.”

Timor-Leste joined other countries including Spain and China in
commiting financial assistance to the disaster ravaged nation.

For more information, please contact: Jose Teixeira +61 438 114 960
(Australia), +670 728 7080 (Timor-Leste)


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