Since mid-January, after touring it for a month, I have not stopped recommending the visit to a country almost completely isolated from the rest of the world. A country that has the friendliest, most welcoming and friendliest inhabitants of the world. A country that, paradoxically, is under the strong communist fist of a single-party dictatorship that refuses to release the reins of power for almost half a century.
I do not speak of Cuba, although it has beaches, nor of Iran, although it has ancient archaeological treasures, nor of North Korea, although it also has China as an ally. The little paradise I am referring to is Burma, the current Myanmar.
I would have liked my first text about that country to focus on its people and its everlasting smile, often resigned. However, because sometimes it rains on wet, I have to talk about the other tragedy that has fallen on them.
Last weekend, tropical cyclone Nargis razed its coast, especially Pegu, Mon, Kare, Irrawady and Yangon, the ancient capital, with waves up to 7 meters high and hurricane winds. The most devastated area produces 65% of the rice crop, an essential element of the Asian diet. Given the secrecy that prevails in Myanmar, the numbers of dead and missing people given by the Government are well below those provided by the UN, Caritas and other NGOs that, precariously, work on the ground.
The dead are estimated at 10 and around 1.00 people have become homeless.
40% of the victims are children.
So far, the leaders have only authorized the arrival of two planes loaded with humanitarian aid, such is their incompetence and their contempt for theirs. While the streets where the generals are staying are cleared of fallen trees, which the soldiers have already taken care of, they will be calm.
After having failed to alert the civilian population (although India warned them in advance of the course and characteristics of the hurricane), they now look with magnifying glass at the processing of the necessary visas for those who only want to go to help.
And, meanwhile, people go hungry, thirsty and lack shelter.
If you want to help them, here are some useful links:
Spanish Red Cross
Doctors without borders
Reuters AlertNET: List of organizations and information for donations