Hurricane Dorian: Cuba sends brigades to rebuild

Destruction in the Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian

From 1-7 September, the Bahamas were devastated by Hurricane Dorian, the most powerful cyclone ever to hit the country and its worst ever natural disaster. At least 63 people are confirmed dead and 1,300 are missing. The death toll is expected to dramatically rise; the Bahamas Press reported that more than 3,000 may have perished on the Abaco Islands alone. Massive rainfall has led to flooding with water levels in some areas rising to 2 metres (6 feet); some areas are still underwater. The storm has taken 13,000 homes leaving 70,000 people homeless.

The estimated property damage caused by the hurricane is £6.1 billion. The British state has pledged £1.5m in aid, while the US has pledged £8.1m, joining the UN’s emergency operation’s budget of £4.3m in providing insignificant assistance. Meanwhile, untold billions are stashed in the Bahamas by capitalists as a tax haven – money the residents will never see.

Cuba has a history of assisting its neighbours despite far more limited resources. It is sending a brigade of medical and electrical workers along with material aid, the first shipments arriving within a week of the hurricane passing. A brigade of 55 Cuban teachers also headed for the Bahamas in September to support the education system.

Jacob Dexter