BEFORE the Herculean task of reconstructing Haiti can begin, the current relief programme must reach every Haitian. It must first ensure that all those who suffered physical and mental trauma during and after the earthquake are properly treated. Last week I made reference to amputations being done with hacksaws and without anaesthetic. Hello! Anaesthesia was introduced in the mid-19th century! The US military has large numbers of field hospitals equipped a wide range of medications to meet such emergencies. Where were they? Continue reading A few good men…and women→
THE FRENCH COOPERATION Minister Alain Joyandet accused the U.S. of “occupying” Haiti rather than helping in the wake of the devastating January 12, 7.0 earthquake. Doctors Without Borders and officials from the Caribbean community expressed similar frustrations, as US military personnel controlling the airport turned away their planes. With just under 20,000 U.S. boots on the ground in Haiti or just off shore, the U.N. military force has augmented its numbers to around 12,000. Still, more than two weeks after the disaster, Haitians lack water, food, medicine, shelter and equipment to dig out those that may still be alive under the rubble. Continue reading Q & A with the State Department on Haiti→
The theft of Haiti has been swift and crude. On 22 January, the United States secured “formal approval” from the United Nations to take over all air and sea ports in Haiti, and to “secure” roads. No Haitian signed the agreement, which has no basis in law. Power rules in an American naval blockade and the arrival of 13,000 marines, special forces, spooks and mercenaries, none with humanitarian relief training. Continue reading The Kidnapping of Haiti→
WHAT surprised me about my column last week was the number of people, mostly local, who knew little or nothing about Haiti’s history. But what should I have expected in a country and an education system in which history has been deemed irrelevant? Or when students study the subject, the focus is on lands and civilisations afar? Let’s face it: we know more about America and Europe than we do of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. Continue reading Haiti: Another American Annexation?→
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES is in the process of conceiving how best to deliver a major conference on the theme “Rethinking And Rebuilding Haiti”.
I am very keen to provide an input into this exercise because for too long there has been a popular perception that somehow the Haitian nation-building project, launched on January 1, 1804, has failed on account of mismanagement, ineptitude and corruption. Continue reading The hate and the quake in Haiti→
President Obama’s response to the tragedy in Haiti has been robust in military deployment and puny in what the Haitians need most: food; first responders and their specialized equipment; doctors and medical facilities and equipment; and engineers, heavy equipment, and heavy movers. Sadly, President Obama is dispatching Presidents Bush and Clinton, and thousands of Marines and U.S. soldiers. By contrast, Cuba has over 400 doctors on the ground and is sending in more; Cubans, Argentinians, Icelanders, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and many others are already on the ground working – saving lives and treating the injured. Senegal has offered land to Haitians willing to relocate to Africa. Continue reading Haiti: An Unwelcome Katrina Redux→
The immense death and suffering inflicted upon the people of Haiti by the January 12 earthquake has laid bare a massive international crime by US imperialism, which prepared this catastrophe with a century of oppression and is now attempting to exploit the disaster for its own ends.
The estimated 200,000 who have died, the quarter million or more injured and the three million whose homes have been destroyed are victims not merely of a natural catastrophe. The lack of infrastructure, the poor quality of construction in Port-au-Prince and the impotence of the Haitian government to organize any response are determining factors in this tragedy. Continue reading Haiti’s tragedy: A crime of US imperialism→