Haiti destroyed, Airport closed to rescue flights, seaport unusable – How many new Haitian Immigrants is Barbados willing to take?

Anarchy as machete-wielding gangs fight to establish turf, loot.

Obama pledges US$100 million “to start”

US Special Forces Teams seize and secure airport

Two days after the earthquake, current aerial photographs of Haiti show a country a place so utterly destroyed that one wonders if any buildings will be found worth preserving when some assessment is done years from now.

There is no Haitian government emergency response worth talking about. The government and infrastructure were never worth talking about anyway, and I’d bet that the government no longer exists as a real entity. That is the situation being reported from the rubble. Haiti right now is not a country in the organised sense of the word.

Haiti is a place where eight or nine million people are sitting out in the open as aftershocks make it dangerous to seek shelter in any of the damaged buildings still left standing. Most of those who are still alive and trapped deep in the rubble will never see the sun again because it will be weeks before “rescue” teams with heavy equipment and hydraulic jacks make it to them. That’s not me talking, that’s rapidly becoming the message from those in charge of the relief efforts.

Remember how Barbados struggled when one house collapsed into a cave?

We couldn’t rescue five people with everything we had on the island and a special team in from the United States. Now think about Haiti.

(See BFP’s March 17, 2009 article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials)

Reports state that clean water and food are simply not available. Soon even relatively healthy and uninjured people will begin to succumb. If you think that is not what is going to happen, I hope you’re correct. But when I consider what it would take to give every man, woman and child just one bottle of water and a disaster cookie starting tomorrow and every day thereafter… Well, that isn’t going to happen for a few weeks anyway.

The world couldn’t (or wouldn’t) supply every Haitian man, woman and child with a drink of clean water and one meal a day before the earthquake. What makes you think it will happen within a few days now?

Don’t forget: it’s not as if there are warehouses and stores that have adequate supplies if the people could only get to them and dig out what they need. Haiti is was a country were dirt cookies were sold as food right up to the day of the earthquake. Haiti was a country where tons of food aid sat rotting in the sun every day because the charity organisations didn’t have enough money to bribe the government officials to release the containers so the poor could eat. (See BFP’s March 7, 2008 article Tons of food aid rotting in Haiti)

Haiti’s Airport now Closed to Rescue & Aid Flights

(As of Thursday, January 14, 2010 – 22:00 hours local time)

Airport Closed – Port-au-Prince cargo docks “unusable”

“Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — Rescuers from around the world poured into Haiti, overwhelming its only international airport as the Haitian Red Cross estimated as many as 50,000 people died in the country’s Jan. 12 earthquake.

With little time left to find those still buried in the rubble, rescue teams were stuck at the Port-au-Prince airport and civilian relief flights couldn’t land after its ramps filled with craft, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said in a notice. The airport also lacked fuel for planes to fly home.”

“…the U.S. Coast Guard said cargo docks in Port-au-Prince were unusable.”

… from Business Week article: Global aid pours in as Haiti searches for survivors

How many new Haitian immigrants is Barbados willing to take?

Alright folks, it’s time for Barbados to put up or shut up.

After the world (read “Primarily the United States of America”) saves as many Haitians as can be saved in the next few weeks, then what?

Haiti wasn’t a country that worked to begin with. At this point, it doesn’t really matter why it didn’t work, but merely shipping in food and shelter isn’t going to solve much in the long run. It may take decades to physically rebuild something from the rubble, but unless Haiti and Haitians develop new cultural and social values and skills along the way – unless they learn to be a workable society – the country will continue to be as close to hell on earth as we have in the Western Hemisphere. (And that was before the earthquake)

So here’s a suggestion: The Caribbean community should agree to take 10% of Haiti’s population from the island and to sponsor the immigrants for five years. The number of Haitian immigrants arriving in each country would be based upon that country’s abilities and space, but in total the Caribbean community would see about a million Haitians immigrating to the various member countries for five years.

During those five years, the Caribbean countries would try to teach the Haitians skills and the cultural values that work. This would relieve significant pressure upon the rebuilding of Haiti, and in five years the 10% of the population would return and hopefully be in a better position to move Haiti forward.

If someone has a better suggestion for rebuilding Haiti, I’d like to hear it.

Meanwhile, let’s ask the question of our fellow Bajans…

How many new Haitian immigrants are you willing to bring to Barbados if that’s what it takes to save people and rebuild Haiti as a working society?

Further Reading

You must read this New York Times op/ed: The Underlying Tragedy

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47 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Disaster

47 responses to “Haiti destroyed, Airport closed to rescue flights, seaport unusable – How many new Haitian Immigrants is Barbados willing to take?

  1. Krisp

    (comment moved from another post)

    Krisp
    January 15, 2010 at 1:00 am
    Not a single word on this blog about the earthquake in Haiti.

    Of course, this so-called “Barbados Free Press” has never been interested in BLACK Barbadians, or BLACK Caribbean people, or BLACK people or BLACK anything.

    On the other hand, this so-called “Barbados Free Press” is always ready to promote anything done by white foreigners in Bim.

  2. Hants

    (comment moved from another post)

    Hants
    January 15, 2010 at 1:20 am
    @ Krisp

    You have just FREEly expressed your concern about Haiti.

    I hope you will send the Haitians some money.

    They need your help.

  3. Is this really a race issue

    (comment moved from another post)

    Is this really a race issue

    January 15, 2010 at 2:23 am

    What has just happened to Haiti is almost unimaginable. Just try and conceive of every building in your country including hospitals, parliament buildings, police stations being completely flattened or rendered too dangerous to use. Our prayers must go out to each and every Haitian but more importantly our actions must follow our prayers.

    Canadas Governor General is Haitian and 100,000 or more Haitians probably now live in Quebec http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-621-x/89-621-x2007011-eng.htm. Canada sent one of the first planes into Port au Prince yesterday morning. What is Barbados doing?

    Many Haitians are spending sleepless nights worrying about their loved ones.

    The poverty that has faced Haiti over the past 200 years has many factors including corruption, little or no Rule of Law, siphoning off of monies to special elite interest groups and very little foriegn investment.

    While BFP will undoubtedly need to cover this huge story sooner rather than later lets not make this a white versus black issue as that is exactly the attidude that helped keep Haiti in the horrible state of existence that it found itself before the earthquake.

  4. Hants

    (comment moved from another post)

    Hants
    January 15, 2010 at 3:09 am
    @ Is this really a race issue

    you asked “What is Barbados doing?”

    Mobilising it resources to help Haiti.

    The whole Caribbean is helping.

    AfterHaiti is “stabilised” we can argue over who did what to and for whom.

  5. Surely you can do better BFP

    (comment moved from another post)

    Surely you can do better BFP
    January 15, 2010 at 3:13 am
    Much as some may want to try, it is impossible to properly discuss the Haitian society and its development without dealing with matters of race.

  6. No way

    How many Haitians should Barbados take in?

    None. Not a one.

    Give money. Send food. Not a single one should come to Barbados. We have enough trouble on our own.

  7. Curse the USA then beg for help

    President Obama announced a hundred million US dollars to start and a big call-up of the military reserve to help Haiti. The US Marines arrived and secured the airport within hours.

    Contrast that with CARICOM whose leaders including our own PM are going on a “fact finding” mission to Haiti while they “organise” what they’re going to do.

    How many millions has CARICOM announced? How many ships and planes are on the way to Haiti from Barbados right now?

    Curse the USA all you want. As a percentage of GNP the Americans invest far more in helping others than does Barbados.

  8. Economies of scale

    How much would Barbados have to give in terms of population to give the same (per person) as the US.

    By my calculation that would be US$90,443. I have no doubt that on a per person basis, Barbados and the other Caribbean Island will give far more than the ‘developed’ countries

  9. 168

    Some interesting historical background that I was totally unaware of regarding Haiti’s role in facilitating the Westward expansion of the US on the North American continent.

    Announcing emergency help for Haiti after a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake, President Barack Obama noted America’s historic ties to the impoverished Caribbean nation, but few Americans understand how important Haiti’s contribution to U.S. history was.

    In modern times, when Haiti does intrude on U.S. consciousness, it’s usually because of some natural disaster or a violent political upheaval, and the U.S. response is often paternalistic, if not tinged with a racist disdain for the country’s predominantly black population and its seemingly endless failure to escape cycles of crushing poverty.

    However, more than two centuries ago, Haiti represented one of the most important neighbors of the new American Republic and played a central role in enabling the United States to expand westward. If not for Haiti, the course of U.S. history could have been very different, with the United States possibly never expanding much beyond the Appalachian Mountains.

    http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/011310.html

  10. HELP – Haiti’s Earthquake Liberation Plan

    Hundreds maybe thousands are feared to be dead
    And though we rush to survivors rescue the road is bleak up ahead
    It’s an aftershock rippling from the violent shake
    The jolting of the region’s most violent Earthquake
    I heard the news and a shock struck me
    Such a lost of life, its indiscriminate enormity

    Earthquakes don’t decide who will die
    And so never choose if it will be you or I
    Rumblings can bring down mountains and turn them into plains
    Tremors may flatten buildings worst than floods and rains
    Horrific property lost and utilities taken out
    Quakes can destroy all in your sight and more about
    Unrelenting seismic shakes in just a moments time
    Assault a country worst than many years of crime
    Keep people wary and always on their toes
    Earthquakes can be more violent than hurricanes and tornados

    Let us then reach out with the greatest strength of all
    In times of devastation love cushions any fall
    Be kind to each other and now to our neighbors in Haiti
    Earthquake destroyed life and buildings but not our charity
    Rescue your neighbors with aid and today
    Allow your spirit to embrace them as you kneel to pray
    There is a something I propose each nation can give
    In this aftermath of recovery we can allow Haitians to live
    On our islands and in our countries while their nation restores
    Nations can open their heart by opening their doors

    People can monitor them while others on the island work
    Let the teams do their magic in the rubble and murk
    And when it’s done the Haitians can then return
    Nations from Haiti’s Earthquake Liberation Plan can this charity learn

    Dieu de mai soit avec mes frères et soeur au Haïti

  11. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados, Haiti: Helping our Neighbours

  12. I do remember help to Grenada by Bajans delivering food, water and supplies directly to the people.
    Millions of dollars of aid money from different nations has gone to Haiti. Where did the money go?

    Now after hurricanes, floods and the devestating earthquake, people of Haiti need help, more than ever before.

    Found on Storm Carib:

    A friend from here who captained his boat to Grenada after the hurricane full of supplies we gathered from Culebra and Vieques has offered to head to Haiti. He no longer has that boat though and his sailboat isn’t suitable to make a working trip. Anyone in the islands who has a proper work boat (like an open fishing boat type, etc) who would either want to make the trip with Jack or loan him the boat for the trip can get in touch with me at caribemj at gmail dot com. The point of going personally is to make sure that donated items get where they need to go rather than not, which is obviously an issue in Haiti.

    Thanks, for any help or suggestions.

  13. Love

    My Haitian brothers and sisters our prayers and best wishes are with you at this time.

    As expected, our esteemed PM David Thompson has wasted no time in flying off to Haiti to get a first hand view of the situation there.

    That is leadership par excellence !

    Keep up the good work.

  14. Sue Thompson

    This is my first visit to your blog – I was searching the Net to find out what the other Caribbean islands are doing to help their fellow neighbor, and saw your posting on Global Voices.

    First of all, I think the issue of race is an important factor when talking about Haiti.
    Haiti was the first slave colony to fight and win their freedom.

    At that time, the world powers (England, France, Spain and the U.S) were making their fortunes off the slave trade – and from historical records it is clear they were determined not to let the same thing happen in their slave colonies – and they were determined to make Haiti pay dearly.

    France threatened to invade Haiti again – and the rest of the world powers were behind this idea. At this time Haiti had coffee, sugar and cotton to sell – but the world markets refused to buy from the world’s first black republic.

    The other Caribbean islands were under slavery, and of course these same world powers owned and controlled them -so Haiti had no one to sell their products to.

    An agreement was made for Haiti to pay what is the current equivalent of US $20 billion dollars to France. This debt was to repay France for losing their huge slave profits. I don’t believe any other island in the Caribbean – or any other country in the world who paid previous slave owners for their freedom. What this did was put future generations of Haitians in an enormous tax debt until after World War II.

    When Napoleon lost the battle against Haiti, the French had no reason to hold on to lands West of the Mississippi – particularly Louisiana. So the reason the U.S. was able to buy these lands on the cheap (known as the Louisiana Purchase) was because France realized that without control of Haiti, Louisiana was of no use to them.

    Haiti made France rich during the slave trade – and for hundreds of years after with the re-payment of their slave debt. The U.S. benefited greatly, and was able to gain valuable land – all this on the backs of Haitians.

    And many seem to forget that the U.S. government took over Haiti for 20 years. What other independent island in the Caribbean has been under the forced control of a foreign government that long?

    Haiti was shunned by the world from the beginning of their republic. It’s nearly impossible to advance economically when you have enemies from without – and internal government corruption from within.

    Every charity organization in the world has been on Haiti for decades. Many good people have spent their lives helping Haiti, but in my opinion some of the international organizations have contributed to the corruption also.

    I say this because most of the victims of Katrina here in the U.S. never received a dime after billions were contributed. Africa is the prime example of continued aid, poverty and corruption. What this says to me is that so often the worst of human nature takes advantage of the poor for profit and political advantage.

    In the U.S. Katrina was our wake up call. New Orleans was predominantly black, poor, and was known for decades of government corruption. The world saw much needed aid was help up because of the so called threat of violence. And the people of New Orleans were also blamed for their economic condition.

    Let me end by saying God Bless the people of Haiti

  15. Mobutu

    Just about everything BFP has said in this post is untrue. Note:
    (1) It is NOT true that “machete-weilding gangs [are] fight[ing] to establish turf”. Fox News, which has focused its coverage on trying to find evidence of looting and violence, has only been able to document scattered cases of people taking food from supermarkets destroyed by the quake.
    (2) It is NOT true that “Haiti is a place where eight or nine million people are sitting out in the open.” There is little damage outside Port-au-Prince, which has a TOTAL population of 2.5 million, and only several thousand people in the city are sleeping in public parks at night.
    (3) It is NOT true that “the government no longer exists”. President Obama himself has stated on American TV that he has been in regular telephone contact with the president of Haiti during the last two days. Both the president and the prime minister of Haiti have been interviewed by journalists as they travel around the capital city. The Haitian ambassador to the US is on American TV every day. Police vehicles have been shown on camera in Port-au-Prince outside hospitals and the prison collecting and transporting bodies. Haitian officials are at the airport, etc. Of course, many foreigners do not respect the Haitian government, and want to take over the country so they can find their friends and compatriots who need to be rescued and taken out of the country.

    Obviously, Haiti is a country that has failed to plan, save and invest wisely. It is overpopulated, full of disease, and crippled by a selfish and wasteful landowning and merchant elite. But we have many of the same problems. Barbadians should never get involved in re-settling Haitian immigrants–there are too many of them, they are too poor, and they have not learned the necessity for strict birth control. But it is disgraceful for BFP to speak of them with so much contempt.

  16. Pingback: Barbados, Haiti: Helping our Neighbours | HAITI.ORG.BR

  17. Johnson

    ‘Canadas Governor General is Haitian and 100,000 or more Haitians probably now live in Quebec ‘

    So will Canada allow Haitian immigration to Canada as refugees, much as it does /did for other countries, such as Guyana?

  18. Duppy Lizard

    @ Sue Thompson – Sometimes my dear, we only want to see and hear only what makes us feel good about ourselves. I am not about to dispute what you have written, but as always there is much more than meets the eye.

    When the slaves revolted in what was then Saint-Domingue, they were not content to win their freedom but continued to slaughter wholesale, most, if not all of the europeans, at times driving them into the sea where they were butchered to death.

    Divine retribution? perhaps, but what goes around comes around.

    Since their independence in 1804, Haiti has been ruled by despots who fattened their purses at the expense of the population. And who can forget stories of the dreaded Tonton Macoutes?

    Desperate for fuel, the population cut down their forest to provide charcoal. The result? When it rains the topsoil is washed away into the sea.

    After 2 or 3 recent devastating hurricanes and now the earthquake, Haiti is in a very desperate situation. The infrastructure to govern and provide housing, water, food and clothing has been destroyed. With a population of some 9 million how do you provide the basics to sustain life?

  19. Sing-a-Song

    Duppy Lizard

    So when will the Europeans get their comeuppance for the tens of millions of Africans they slaughtered in the Atlantic Slave trade? Oh I forgot, God is a White man.

  20. isabelle

    organize a food drive. food security is a tight issue. if the little money it costs to get a food cans of food can be gathered together, we can make a difference.

  21. isabelle

    the fact that all posts on free press have to regard race is so foolish. if that is all you can think about it now, you are definitely a selfish individual.

  22. Duppy Lizard

    @ sing a song – Once again we ONLY see what we WANT to see or hear. In this case, the ONLY thing YOU saw (or considered important) was the reference to the slaughter of europeans. Nothing was said of the suffering the Haitians have endured whether it be at the hands of their own people (the government) or acts of nature.

  23. History is history. Colour is only an issue with those who want to make colour an issue.
    All I am seeing right now is people who are suffering from a natural disaster and need help……now!

  24. Sing-a-Song

    Duppy Lizard

    Here is an extract from your post:

    “When the slaves revolted in what was then Saint-Domingue, they were not content to win their freedom but continued to slaughter wholesale, most, if not all of the europeans, at times driving them into the sea where they were butchered to death.

    Divine retribution? perhaps, but what goes around comes around.”

    Yes you did go on to write about Haitian despots and poor land use practices etc BUT your suggestion of divine retribution came after your comment on the slaughter of Europeans. You appeared to suggest that the retribution for the slaughter of Europeans came in the form of despotic rule and environmental decay. It would be useful to assess the impact on Haitian governance such things as the indemnity Haiti had to pay France which in some years accounted for 80% of Haiti’s income and was only paid off in 1947, the 19 year occupation of Haiti by the US marines in early 1900’s for failure to repay debts to the US, the blockade of Haitian exports by the US at various times, the insistence of the US Gov’t under Clinton that Haiti allow subsidized US rice to be imported thereby driving Haitian rice producers out of business, the overthrow of Aristide just at the time that he started calling for reparations from France for the money Haiti paid them.

    Now is probably not the time to engage in such discussions so let’s focus on what help each of us can give to alleviate the suffering of earthquake victims. I will donate to the local Red Cross and to the radiothon put on by VOB as a start.

  25. Duppy Lizard

    @ sing a song – Thanks for your response. You are correct – however, I had also implied that the europeans had also suffered “divine retribution”. And yes, I too will donate to the Red Cross but for hundreds of thousands it will be too late.

  26. Dessalines

    BFP Although I do not doubt your good intentions your paternalistic attitudes towards the Haitians is condescending I quote ” The Caribbean countries would try to teach the Haitians skills and the cultural values that work”.
    Try becoming the first black republic in the western hemisphere, paying back England over 75% of your GDP for the loss of ‘property’ of the white plantation owners in Barbados for 150 years, enduring a trade blockage/embargo by France, the USA and Germany at separate intervals over 150 years while you are still a nascent nation, natural and man made disasters in the form of despots (supported by France/US)…once youve completed all this and emerge a well developed and wealthy nation ..THEN and only THEN you can lecture the Haitians about ‘skills and cultural values that work’ (whatever that means).

  27. Haiti, the BFP, and BBS.

    Such complaining and finger pointing towards the BFP for lack of coverage on an item that is all over all the commercial press, seems like sour grapes to me. If my understanding is correct BFP doesn’t have the resources to be reporting anything outside of BBS first hand. Therefore anything that is posted is simply courtesy information.

    Haitians are living the most horrible of moments in their lives right now. I watch BBC World news (because they are the least slanted of all the big players) and they have interviewed a number of persons who work for disaster relief organizations and the fact is that Haiti is such a mess to begin with it is not going to be possible to respond in ways that normally would work. Haiti is one of the shantytowns of planet earth and getting in and helping is not like doing so anywhere else. How and why it ended up here is not the point at the moment. Getting basic needs attended to are. Food water shelter and medical care is all that can be done in the moment.

    So don’t beat up the BFP for something it can do nothing about.

    BFP is about BBS. It’s essentially a big-time community paper. The persons who elect to post and play the race card sound like blamers who for one reason or another are not able to get want they would like from life so they play the race card. NEWS FLASH! It’s not about race although it’s easy to see why it might look like that. It’s about wealth. It’s the people with the big bucks that are the ones that have the play. That may mean mostly white because up until 30 years ago almost all the big money on the earth was with Europeans and Americans. That is changing and the landscape is showing that Blacks, Asians, Occidentals, and Caucasians, all behave the same when they get power and money. So although this may look like race it’s not, it’s about power, and power sleeps with the money. The golden rule of life (he who has the gold rules) is for everyone regardless of race, creed, religion, or lack of religion.

    Having said that there are some really NICE WEALTHY PEOPLE on our planet. People like the Peter Allard of Canada, and many very generous bajuns. Most these good wealthy people fly under the radar, they seek not acknowledgement for their generosity, they prefer to remain anonymous. Unfortunately the whole world is in its pre-pubescent years in the big picture of economic growth. We are still embracing the culture of MORE. We adore those who flaunt their wealth and then despise them for having it. I am a watcher of people and I have noticed people of great wealth who are kind, respectful, and generous. And I have watched “new money” people who are audacious and rude and selfish. Now which one’s do you suppose are the ones who are looked at as role models? Unfortunately, the latter. That’s the immaturity of the whole planet at the moment. Hopefully we will grow up soon and realise that life is more than “bling” and sexiness and we can become a superior species we have the potential to be.

    That’s a typical long way round speak from me to say that things are never as simple as they seem. There is so much underneath contributing to what we experience that in the end the solution can only be from within.

    In the end the solution lies with each person to act in a way that they would like the world to be. As Mahatma Gandhi said, (and I paraphrase slightly because I prefer the word like versus want which I feel has negative undertones) “be the change you would like to see.” http://www.positivepath.net/ideasMA11.asp

    Complaining is easy. Taking action works.

  28. BFP

    Dessalines, sorry, I don’t buy into that.

    I don’t buy into the fact that we cannot change our destiny, that we are victims of history: forever to be victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Victims that my skin is too light to be considered part of the majority race in Barbados, but too dark to be considered white.

    Haitians have accomplished nothing as a society aside from their first violent outburst that freed themselves and provided an example for others – and instilled fear in the plantation class throughout the western hemisphere. Since that time the society has done less than nothing.

    You cant’ save everybody. You just cant. Saw that in my time in India and South Africa.

    We can, however, shelter 10% of the Haitian population and try to instruct them that we as individuals, not some deity, create our own fate. We have free will. Haitians that I have met generally do not believe they have free will as individuals.

    That is a tremendous cultural failure or weakness that has held back the Haitian people for two hundred years.

    NOW, Dessalines: How many Haitians are you willing to take into your home for the next 5 years?

    I will take one couple with one or two children.

    Robert.

  29. Dessalines

    Robert. It is easy for you to sit in Barbados and judge the people of Haiti as having done nothing for 200 years and being culturally weak and not having free will. I for one do not know any people who have gone through what they have over 200 years and still survive as a people although not as a nation. I am posting a link which deals with the cause (not effect) of Haiti’s poor state below and trust that you can share it with your readers.

    http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/misctopic/leftover/whypoor.htm

  30. BFP

    Hi Dessalines

    For what it’s worth, I disagree with Robert on this as I often do about the influence of history upon contemporary society and individuals. We start with the fact that Robert comes from a stable loving family and I never knew either of my parents. Robert says it doesn’t matter, I say it does. Take that to the level of countries and societies and you’ll see my point.

    Peace.
    Cliverton

  31. Dessalines

    Cliverton,

    Exactly. On a personal level Haiti never had the nourishing or mentoring thus a stable foundation one needs as a child (or nascent nation) to grow into a well rounded adult (or developed nation). We can never separate cause from effect regardless of the time span involved. There is a stark difference between 200 years and 1 year self repeating 200 times, and this is the case of Haiti’s development or lack of it.

  32. Sing-a-song

    Read Sir Hilary Beckles on Haiti in today’s press.

    An extract from that piece:

    “The collapse of the Haitian nation resides at the feet of France and America, especially. These two nations betrayed, failed, and destroyed the dream that was Haiti; crushed to dust in an effort to destroy the flower of freedom and the seed of justice.

    Haiti did not fail. It was destroyed by two of the most powerful nations on earth, both of which continue to have a primary interest in its current condition.”

  33. Saying Nuttin

    Can You imagine if Barbados had to make payments equalling 70% of GDP to foreign countries say from 1966 to 86? Do you think we would have been able to afford free education? infrastructural development? subsidized transport?

    Without those things there would be little or no tourist product and a serious urban rural dichotomy leading to slums and instability?

    Couple that with some political corruption and we would be a shadow of what we are now?

    I am not a fan of blaming everything on slavery but you cannot separate events which occurred scarcely half a century ago from what you are today? especially fiscal events. 50 or 60 years ago is not that long when you consider that most debt repayment periods are 25 to 30 years for a country. Add in a couple of renegotiations and an event that you had to borrow to satisfy 50 years ago could easily still be burden to your economic development.

  34. Hants

    What matters now is that Haitians need to be rescued as we speak.

    Hopefully the next round of help for Haiti will be to rebuild the country and take it out of chaos and ruin.

    Forget de lotta long talk and historical facts.

    Haiti needs a plan and action for a future that will give them the basic rights of all humans.

  35. Sue Thompson

    “Haitians have accomplished nothing as a society aside from their first violent outburst that freed themselves and provided an example for others – and instilled fear in the plantation class throughout the western hemisphere. Since that time the society has done less than nothing”

    Wow! That is a very hateful statement. What “that society” has done is SURVIVE in the face of all odds for centuries.

    Haitians here in the US don’t seem to have a need to be taught “cultural values” – they find jobs, and do quite well. If you give any people in the world a fair chance at opportunities, they can live productive lives.

    Let’s be real – what would happen if tourism completely disappeared from all the Caribbean for decades? The world itself is a very fragile place today. In the next decade the mighty nations can become third world countries. We are all at peril for natural and economic disasters.

    The one thing that will always prevail for human survival is our love and kindness in helping others in need.

  36. ac

    @Hants
    The american Government is doing all the planing in
    order to rebuild Haiti I know you must know that.
    However you seem so quick to dismiss the historical events that has affected the Haitians.What is your problem?

  37. Hants

    @ ac

    The historical facts will not help Haiti in the next 7 to 14 days during which time hundreds could suffer a slow painful death.
    Thankfully the world is rushing to their immediate assistance.

    You are FREE to discuss the History and the politics of Haiti with whomever you wish other than me.

  38. ac

    @hants
    Ignoring or dismissing their history likeyou have done is notgoing to change the facts.
    I was only pointing out your arrogance and pompous attitude in the wayyou dismissed the persons comments.
    It would have been better if you ignore them. And
    as for telling me that you wouldn’t want to discuss the politics or History of Haiti with me ,the same goes here buddy for i doubt you would know where to start. Your arrogance stinks up the whole blog

  39. And More Aftershocks

    And the tremors continue
    Not seismic but from people who argue
    Dangerous words like ripples in the air

    Making unrest to those who attentively hear
    One man’s shout in Creole meaning the food has expired
    Rippled through the city and children hungry and tired
    Eating the energy biscuits dropped them immediately

    And precious food was soon refused in Haiti
    First aid was paramount still the doctors say
    There was insufficient equipment to save Anaika Thursday
    Earth shattering ripples again spread throughout the worl’
    Ripples that the mighty US couldn’t save this 11 years old girl
    Shocks of all kinds like machete wielding men
    Have rippled through the media with no apparent end
    One shock of embezzlement and fraud detract from ground zero
    Casualties are estimated at 200,000, or more than we know
    Keep a steady foot my friend though the aftershocks are plenty
    Shun the rippling rumors, the racial slurs and lets HELP HAITI

    Le Haïti a besoin de notre aide

  40. Mobutu was wrong

    Here we are a few days later and it is a certainty that Mobutu was wrong in his criticism of BFP’s reporting. He said that only “several thousand” people were sleeping outdoors. Where did he get that shit information?

    I found this news today Jan 21:

    “The death toll is estimated at 200,000, according to Haitian government figures relayed by the European Commission, with 80,000 buried in mass graves. The commission now estimates 2 million homeless, up from 1.5 million, and says 250,000 are in need of urgent aid.”

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100121/D9DC3IC80.html

  41. Hants

    @ ac
    “arrogance and pompous attitude”
    You can add cold, callous, vindictive,spiteful
    and a real bastard.

  42. BFP Is Still Wrong

    Even today, more than one week after the quake, and after several aftershocks, it is (still) not true that “Haiti is a place where eight or nine million people are sitting out in the open.”

  43. ac

    @Hants

    There you Go!. Never thought of those .Well said,and while your at it don”t forget to clean the mess up .

  44. J

    Robert wrote on January 17th “Haitians that I have met generally do not believe they have free will as individuals.”

    Dear Robert: My experience has been the exact opposite of yours. All the Haitians that I have met considered themselves to be fully human. All believed and acted as though they had free will.

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