Presbyterian Disaster Relief Assists After Fire

Earlier this month, lightning triggered a massive fire at an oil storage facility in Matanzas, Cuba. Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency are keeping a close watch.

In an interview with the Presbyterian News Service, the Rev. Edwin González-Castillo provided an update on how Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and World Mission have reached out to partners in the wake of the fire. He also explained how people near the disaster are being impacted.

“There are thousands of people living in the area and many had to be evacuated because of the threat posed by the fatal disaster, which was accompanied by dark plumes of smoke and explosions. The evacuees are now in need of shelter and supplies,” said González, Associate for Disaster Response in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We have been in contact with our partners in Cuba from the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Cuba and the Council of Churches in Cuba to understand better the situation and have a good assessment of the ways that we could provide assistance in this event and months after,” González continued.

The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness has issued an Action Alert noting that U.S. sanctions that are in place in Cuba are making it difficult for faith communities to get supplies to the island. The office is advocating for sanctions imposed by the Trump administration to be lifted and for Cuba to be removed from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

Presbyterians are urged to show their support by contacting their members of Congress and the current administration. “Our neighbors in Cuba need relief,” the Action Alert states. “Please use the power of your voice to demand a change in policy and humanitarian relief for Cuba in this time of great need.”

Source: Presbyterian Mission