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Psychological Damage of Hurricanes and US Blockade of Cuba Examined
“The economic effects of the criminal US blockade against Cuba for almost 50 years are well known, but we wonder what is the psychological damage that this has caused our people,” said Dr. Jorge González Pérez,

the president of the Superior Institute of Medical Sciences in Havana.

González Pérez opened the fifth International Health Psychology Conference on Wednesday morning at the Havana Convention Center; more than 300 delegates as well as Cuban and foreign guests are attending the


“The magnitude of the psychological damage that the blockade has caused to the Cuban family is something still to be studied,” said the official, who added that mental health practitioners now have concerns about

the damage caused by hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

I am glad to know that they have included a session called Psychology in Emergencies and Disasters,” said Dr. Jorge González. In addition, he noted, a group of professionals and workers under the Ministry of Health

have expressed their willingness to be mobilized into teams to give psychological treatment to hurricane victims and to assist in storm recovery efforts.

Cuban health psychologists —who number around 900, in addition to about 400 mid-level technicians— are sensitive to the recovery work in the regions most affected by the recent hurricanes. We traveled to those

areas to work in solidarity with the people, institutions and the victim communities. We congratulated everyone, civilians and military personnel alike, for having lent their support in this enormous task,” said Dr. Mayra

Lorenzo Morejón, president of the Cuban Society of Health Psychologists and member of the Organizing Committee of this conference.

At the conference, which will conclude Friday afternoon, will also be the first International Meeting of Students of Applied Health Psychology, which will include a contingent representing professionals trained in Cuba.

(Juventud Rebelde)

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