Venezuela Extends Solidarity to Haiti in Wake of Matthew’s Devastation

Venezuela sends humanitarian aid to Haiti following the devastating impact of hurricane Matthew this week.

Los Angeles, October 5th 2016 ( – Venezuela confirmed shipments of humanitarian aid to the island nation of Haiti on Wednesday after category four Hurricane Matthew made its way through earlier this week devastating thousands. President Nicolás Maduro made the announcement on his weekly television program “In Contact with Maduro” Tuesday evening. 
Multi-national Latin American television channel teleSUR reports that Hurricane Matthew reached Haiti on Tuesday.  The hurricane has left tens of thousands evacuated, 842 dead and five cities flooded according to Reuters. Matthew touched down with 230 kilometers per hour winds. 
Maduro emphasized that regional integration platforms such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and others have promoted cooperation, unity and solidarity especially in times of great need. Maduro also expressed solidarity with Cuba and the larger Caribbean as the region braces itself for Matthew’s storm. 
Minister of Domestic Affairs, Justice and Peace Néstor Reverol Torres confirmed that the first 20 tons of humanitarian aid left Venezuela Wednesday morning carrying non-perishable goods, water, blankets, medicines among other materials. “This is meant to assist the Haitian people that suffered severe affects to the southern region of their country,” he explained. 
“We have united in solidarity to accompany the Haitian people ahead of Hurricane Matthew’s threat that passed through the nation on Tuesday,” Torres continues. 
Likewise, Maduro highlighted Venezuela’s profound commitment to accompany and support the Caribbean as Hurricane Matthew continues to rage across the Caribbean.
“We will pray for the people of Cuba and from prayer we will extend our solidarity actively with Cuba, with Haiti, with our Caribbean brothers and sisters, you are not alone, Venezuela is here. ALBA is here. Bolivarian solidarity is here,” Maduro stressed from the Historical Mountain Barracks in 23 de Enero community in Caracas. 
The Venezuelan government is set to send two more shipments in the next 48 hours. Venezuelan officials spoke to the over 200 years of shared history and solidarity between the South American nation and Haiti which supported independence leader Simón Bolívar’s efforts to liberate Latin America from Spanish colonialism. 

In the case of Cuba, nearly one million people were evacuated in Camagey, Granma, Las Tunas, Santiago, Holguin and Guantanamo reports Prensa Latina.

The Haitian government likewise announced that in light of Hurricane Matthew’s devastating impacts this week, presidential elections have been delayed. Haitians were set to go to the polls this Sunday, October 9th. Over the last year, Haitians have mobilized almost daily to demand democratic, transparent and free elections.

Grassroots organizations have denounced Michel Martelly’s government for holding fraudulent elections in the past, facilitating the further economic underdevelopment of Haiti and rampant repression of human rights defenders.