Cuba

Operation USA sending emergency assistance to Cuba and preparing response for Hurricane Paloma

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LOS ANGELES (November 8, 2008) - In response to Hurricane Paloma, Los Angeles-based international disaster relief group, Operation USA, announced today that it will send emergency assistance to Cuba. The organization is aiding Cuba's main pediatric hospitals in response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Operation USA has been licensed by the U.S. Government to provide private humanitarian aid to Cuba since 1994.

Paloma is forecast to hit Camaguey and eastern Las Tunas, Granma and Holguin provinces, the same regions that were hammered recently by Gustav and Ike. Almost seventy-six years ago to the day, Cuba suffered the worst natural disaster in its history, a cyclone similar to Paloma that killed 3,000 people. In preparation of Paloma, an evacuation has been ordered for over half a million people from the coast and other vulnerable areas.

'The residents of this already vulnerable region are at great risk from this new Hurricane, the third to hit Cuba in just sixty days,' said Richard Walden, President of Operation USA. 'As a result of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, nearly 440,000 homes were damaged and almost two million people were displaced into temporary shelters. We are rushing aid to Cuba, including water purification materials and medical supplies.'

Operation USA is appealing to individuals, foundations and companies for money and appropriate relief supplies to enable it to respond effectively in Cuba.

A benefit concert, already in the planning stages to raise funds for Cuba, Haiti and the U.S. after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, will be held on Saturday, November 29 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Information is available at http://www.opusa.org.

HOW TO HELP: Donate online at http://www.opusa.org, by phone at 800.678.7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232. Please specify 'Cuba' or 'Hurricane Paloma' in the notes section.

Corporate contributions of essential products in bulk and with at least one year's remaining shelf life can be arranged by calling Neil Frame, Operation USA, 310.838.3455.

Media Contact:
Christine Oppenheim
310.838.3455 or cell 818.749.3960
coppenheim@opusa.org