The Politics of Disaster

There were unconfirmed reports floating around this week that Cuban doctors providing aid in Haiti had run out of anesthesia and that the U.S. embargo of Cuba prevented the U.S. military from replenishing their supplies. Considering the number of amputations being performed down there on trauma victims, it’s a gruesome scenario to contemplate.

We’ve not been able to confirm that the embargo ever got in the way of resupplying the Cubans. But we did call the State Department, which says the U.S. stands ready to help and has communicated that fact, though to whom is not clear: “The United States has communicated its readiness to make medical relief supplies available to Cuban doctors working on the ground in Haiti as part of the international relief effort.”

Justin Elliott has been tracking this down for us.