UPDATED: January 12, 2011
One year after the earthquake that killed 300,000 and made a million or more homeless we take our readers back to this article, first published on February 8, 2010. Also worth reading is a new Barbados Today editorial Haiti I’m sorry! that says this…
It seems like ages since the appeals for aid disappeared from our landscape. The pictures of aircraft and soldiers from the Regional Security System flying into Haiti with aid have also disappeared. Even more telling, we have heard little to nothing from our CARICOM leaders about Haiti of late. Haiti, never known for being high on the agenda of our leaders, has no doubt slipped further down the list, given that regional integration and Caribbean unity have taken a back seat to the “home-drums-beat-first” mentality of our current leaders.
As far as we are aware, there has not even been a regional attempt to commemorate what must arguably be the greatest human tragedy in this part of the world for centuries.
What’s sad about this is that we must all be aware that what visited Haiti one year ago had not been invited by Haitians; and that every island of this region is as vulnerable to such a catastrophe. In the blink of an eye, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St. Lucia, any of our islands, can be thrown into absolute misery by an act of nature.
Have a read of the Barbados Today editorial and our original article below and you’ll see that we called it correctly back then. For all the words of our leaders and the hours of non-stop coverage on CBC, Barbados as a country did so little. We and our Caribbean neighbours basically said…
“No stinkin’ Haitians aboard the good ship Barbados. Not a one. Let ‘em die.”
And that, my friends, is exactly how it turned out.
Original BFP article published February 8, 2010…
It didn’t take long to cut through the Bajan veneer of sincerity about Haiti, did it?
Barbados will not take in a single injured patient from Haiti. Not twenty. Not ten. Not five. Not two. Not even one.
Our sovereign nation was formally asked by the USA to take some patients from the hospital ship, the USS Comfort, because the ship is full and people are being turned away to die. We were asked to take critical care patients, but if we couldn’t manage that we were also asked to take amputees in stable condition to free up space and medical resources in Haiti.
Barbados said “No” Continue reading