MANAGUA, Nicaragua, (AP) -- Nicaragua's government has rejected
Cuba's offer of doctors but accepted medicine from the Communist island to
help those injured by Hurricane Mitch.
The Foreign Ministry late Monday confirmed the decision announced by
Health Minister Martha McCoy.
The government of President Arnoldo Aleman has long been a political ally
of Cuban exile groups hostile to Cuban President Fidel Castro. Castro was
close to Aleman's political rivals in Nicaragua, the leftist Sandinista party.
Cuba, with one of the world's highest percentages of doctors per person,
often sends physicians abroad on aid missions. It had a sizable medical team
in Nicaragua during the 1980s when the Sandinistas were in power.
With the government estimating that 2,000 people may have died due to the
storm, former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, head of the Sandinista
party, called the rejection of Cuban aid "unheard of."
McCoy said Nicaragua has enough doctors but needs medicines.
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.