Statement of the Ambassador of Juan Antonio Fernández at “Austria Helps Cuba” event

Albertina Passage, Vienna.

Good evening,

Dear all,

I thank all friends who are accompanying us this night here at Albertina Passage. I appreciate so much your friendship, solidarity, and sympathy with Cuba.

This is not a moment to deliver a statement. I just want to share some few words with you.

On 9 September a powerful hurricane named Irma struck Cuba. It was the strongest in the last 100 years. During a little bit more than 72 hours, it struck almost all the Cuban archipelago. Nearly, there was no place in our geography which did not suffer its effects.

The outcomes of intensive work of our people lasting years were devastated by the hurricane in a few hours. It has a deadly impact, especially, over thousands of homes, hundreds of schools, and tens of hospitals. It causes multimillion losses in the economy.

Nonetheless, we have not lost time. The spirit of resistance and victory of our people is reborn in the face of adversity. The whole country is involved in a colossal determination of reconstruction and recovery

I take this opportunity to thank all expressions of solidarity and affection, as well as the help received. This initiative of the Austrian Friends in Cuba is part of this love and altruistic effort with our people, particularly, to support the recovery and mitigate the difficulties of the affected people. I cannot mention one by one all those who have contributed and made generous donations. The Embassy of Cuba shall thank every person in writing.

However, the country recovers.  The good piece of news I can say today is that we are ready for the high tourist season which has already started (first week of November). We have been able to re-establish the damaged infrastructures; hotels and resorts in Cuba have covered all their beauty and vitality.

Thank you for coming today here. Likewise, I encourage you to travel to Cuba, our beautiful island “the Pearl of the Caribbean”.

Many thanks to all of you

(Embacuba Austria)