Friday, May 25, 2007

Bill Richardson on Cuban Aid Offer After Katrina

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you something -- in the last few days, because of the big U.N. Summit, the meeting of global leaders in New York, we interviewed the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez and also the number two man in Cuba, Ricardo Alarcon, Cuba's head of the national assembly, and both countries offered aid. Cuba offered over 1,500 doctors with hurricane backpacks. Even Florida senator, Mel Martinez said the U.S. Should have accepted that offer. What are your thoughts on that?

BILL RICHARDSON: Well, we should accept it, that's because of political reasons. Both Cuba and Venezuela, as you know, Amy, have very bad relations with the United States right now. We should not look in the eye of who is ready to help, especially in a disaster like we had, especially with the proximity of the Gulf coast and Cuba and Venezuela, and Venezuela provides a lot of our energy supply. So, we should have taken it.

But at the same time, I'm sure Castro and Chavez were kind of putting their thumb in our eye a little bit, but look, this is a case where we should have been prepared. Should we accept international assistance? Of course, if it helps.

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