Urgent appeal to help victims of the massive fire in Cuba

As you may have already read, in Cuba’s Matanzas province a massive fire has engulfed huge oil storage tanks at the Supertanker Base, carrying tens of thousands of cubic meters of fuel each in this province east of Havana. The fire began with a lightning strike Friday, spread to a second major tank on Sunday, and late Sunday night, a third tank exploded. The fire has created massive smoke plumes and as we write this is still not under control.

Tragically, 16 firefighters are missing and one is dead. Dozens of people are burned, many with second and third degree burns.

We deeply lament the loss of the first missing firefighter found, Juan Carlos Santana Garrido, as well as the disappearance of 16 other firefighters, and the injuries sustained by more than 120 people. We extend our heartfelt solidarity with the people of Cuba.

Critical medical aid is needed. We are urgently appealing for your help.

Supplies are urgently needed to save the lives of the burn victims. The Hatuey Project is working to provide some of the most critical supplies for burn patients: special ointments and gauzes, specialized intravenous solution, syringes/needles, antibiotics, surgical gloves and much more.

Please make a monetary donation so we can buy these items in bulk:

Lactated Ringers IV fluid, $225 per 1,000 ml
Continuous flow injection set for IV, 48 per case, $299.50
Tetanus vaccine, $34.15 per dose
Syringes with needle, $21.99 per 50
Piperacillen/Zosyn IV, $394.29 per 1,200 ml
Silvadene cream ointment, $8.40 per 20 grams
Bacitracin cream ointment, $2.16 per ounce
Burn gauze, $9.63 per 4” pad
Nitrile exam gloves, $5.75 per 100 gloves

We will deliver the first shipments as soon as possible by plane and will continue until the need is fully met. We are applying for an export license that is required for some of the items.

Cuba has been through so much during the time of pandemic. Despite a heroic and successful campaign to vaccinate virtually all of Cuba from COVID, this summer has been particularly taxing for all of Cuba. Due to the U.S. Blockade, major parts for the electrical generating plants are lacking and they are in dire need of repair. The U.S. has also blocked oil shipments from Venezuela from reaching Cuba. This has created an extreme shortage of fuel for transport and to run the thermoelectrical plants. We demand that President Biden immediately lift the Blockade which is the source of these and so many other problems.

The people of the United States have extended material solidarity to the people of Cuba many times. This is now that time again.

Please click here to make a donation to The Hatuey Project. 100% of the proceeds go to material aid. Every donation to Hatuey is tax-deductible, through our fiscal sponsor, The Alliance for Global Justice.

On behalf of The Hatuey Project, we thank you.

Nadia Marsh, MD, Assoc. Prof. of Clinical Medicine
Simon Ma, MD, MPH, Family Medicine
Rachel Viqueira, MHS, Epidemiologist
Brian Becker, Executive Director, ANSWER Coalition
Gloria La Riva, coordinator, Hatuey Project