Did you know that Cuba is enduring its worst fire in its history? On August 5, a lightning bolt struck a large oil tank base in Matanzas, Cuba, igniting a deadly fire. The explosion has left devastating results. Right now, there are 17 firefighters are missing, 125 people injured, and almost 5,000 people displaced. Cuba’s sunny blue skies are now plagued with toxic clouds of smoke that expand over 60 miles across the island, instilling fear and panic. The U.S. government’s response has been little more than offering some technical advice.
This is unacceptable.
This tragic situation is an opportunity for us to stand up for Cubans in times of crisis. There are only 91 miles separating the United States from Cuba. Now is the time for the U.S. government to positively engage with our close neighbors. These explosions will worsen the energy situation and intensify the suffering of the Cuban people, likely resulting in increased migration. Cuba already experiences unstable electric systems which lead to hours-long blackouts along with a global pandemic and ongoing humanitarian crisis.
What You Can Do?
LAWG and 13 other organizations collaborated on a joint statement to call on the U.S. government to provide immediate disaster relief, technical assistance, and the suspension of sanctions that block delivery of humanitarian relief. It would be important to remove Cuba from its inappropriate inclusion on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, which blocks many avenues for humanitarian aid–you may want to include this in the message below. We need the White House to act NOW.
No more waiting! Ask your member of Congress or senators to contact the White House to urge sensible humanitarian cooperation with Cuba to address the Matanzas oil fire. Find your representative here. Find your senators here.
Call your member of Congress or senator’s office and ask for the foreign policy aide. If they don’t answer, leave a message. Just read the script below!
You can also click here to learn how YOU can call the White House and demand disaster relief for the Cuban people yourself!
“Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE]. I am calling to urge Representative/Senator [YOUR REP’S/SENATOR’S LAST NAME] to contact the White House to urge that the Biden Administration provide immediate technical assistance and humanitarian relief for the families and communities affected by the oil fires in Matanzas, Cuba. The administration must suspend sanctions that block delivery of humanitarian aid by U.S. organizations. This disastrous moment provides an opportunity for the U.S. to help the Cuban people. Representative/Senator [YOUR REP’S/SENATOR’S LAST NAME] can contribute to addressing this emergency humanitarian crisis affecting Cuban people.”
Take action TODAY to urge the Biden Administration to expedite humanitarian aid to our island neighbors!
Your mission is: Get your member of Congress to urge the Biden Administration to provide generous and immediate emergency relief to our Cuban neighbors AHORA.
The people of Matanzas need your activism.
Ana for the LAWG team—Lisa, Daniella, Ana, and Yadira
P.S. Share this action alert with friends and family! Together, we can help our island neighbors in a time of crisis. #MatanzasNoEstaSola