U.S. unlikely to accept Cuba's aid offer

September 6, 2005

Miami Herald- George Gedda

WASHINGTON - Doctors offered by Cuba to help attend Katrina's victims probably won't be needed because the supply of U.S. physicians is adequate, the State Department suggested Tuesday.

Officially, the U.S. is undecided about the offer by Cuban President Fidel Castro, with whom the United States lacks full diplomatic relations. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack held open the possibility that the offer could be acted on if the need grew.

About 12,000 U.S. medical professionals have volunteered for duty in the affected areas. An appeal for help from the Department of Health and Human Services "has seen a robust response from the American medical community," McCormack said.

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