The Gleaner: KINGSTON, Jamaica – In the aftermath of Friday’s explosion at the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, which left some 22 people dead and dozens injured, several countries are expressing solidarity with the government of Cuba.
News agencies are reporting that up to 25 people have now died.
Today, President of Bolivia, Luis Alberto Arce Catacora, expressed his solidarity with President Miguel Díaz-Canel and the Cuban people via Twitter, following the incident, which has been attributed to a gas leak.
“Our solidarity with brother President @DiazCanelB and with the Cuban people for the explosion that occurred in the Saratoga Hotel, which left  dead and dozens injured. We send our condolences to the families of the victims and all our support. Strength #Cuba.”
Rooms are exposed at the five-star Hotel Saratoga after a deadly explosion in Old Havana, Cuba yesterday – AP photo
Felix Plasencia, Minister of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, also expressed deep sorrow on behalf of the people and government of Venezuela.
“[Our hearts] go [out] to the eople and Government of Cuba, and to the families and relatives of the victims, the solidarity of the Bolivarian Venezuela!!!.”
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, regretted the event, and expressed his solidarity with the victims and their families. He said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s visit to Cuba, set for this weekend, will still take place.
The planned tour continues said Ebrard in reference to López Obrador’s current tour of Central America and the Caribbean, which includes a working visit to the Cuban capital tomorrow.
“I regret the explosion at the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba. Our solidarity to the victims and those affected, as well as to the people of that dear brother nation. The planned tour continues as planned.”
Ma Hui, Chinese ambassador to Cuba, extended deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this tragic event.
Our hearts are broken, he said.
Manu Pineda, a member of the European Parliament, also expressed condolence and solidarity with the Cuban people and with the families and friends of the victims.
On Friday, Cuban President Diaz-Canel visited the site of the explosion and the Hermanos Ameijeras hospital.
He said the explosion was “not a bomb nor an attack, it’s a regrettable accident.”
The Saratoga hotel was built at the end of the 19th century and, by the 1930s, it was one of the most important hotels in the city. It has 96 rooms since reopening in 2005 after refurbishment.