GTE donates $100,000 for victims of Venezuela disaster

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IRVING, Texas - In response to the overwhelming destruction caused by nearly a week of floods, mudslides and torrential rains in Venezuela, the GTE Foundation today donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund to aid victims of the country's worst natural disaster this century.

GTE manages Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV), the telephone company in Venezuela.

"This is a terrible tragedy," said Michael T. Masin, GTE vice chairman and president - International. "Our hearts go out to every person affected. We know this contribution will be put to good use by the American Red Cross to enable as quick a recovery as possible."

The funds will be used to help provide health services, food and beverages, blankets, personal hygiene items and other supplies. The estimated death toll this morning ranged from 5,000 to 30,000. More than 150,000 are homeless, and entire towns have been wiped off the map.

"GTE and its employees care very much about the communities in which we operate," Masin said. "We work side by side with the people of Venezuela every day, and we are committed to doing everything possible to ease the effects of this devastating storm."

Ranking among the country's top corporate foundations in annual contributions, the GTE Foundation in 1999 will provide more than $30 million in financial support to educational and charitable organizations in the United

States and its possessions on behalf of GTE and its subsidiaries.

With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services.

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