Brief History of Haitian Misery

Haiti, 2010.  Early on after an inner-earth adjustment under Haiti, the armchair prophet, Pat Robertson, was spouting divine obscenity saying that nature’s violence was all the Haitians fault for having had the audacity to rebel against slavery in 1791.  Fantasy of “divine retribution” is such a tired, worn-out, empty-headed response to natural fluctuations of planet energy.  Such nonsense is but a stubborn clutching at superstition in the name of religious posturing.  Equally disgusting has been the number of “reporters” and “commentators” that have mangled history to disguise their inner prejudice or to blow more hot air into their assumed superior grasp of timely events.

The columnist Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post comes to mind, whose reporting commonly begins with her blowing kisses to herself.  In her assessment, the tragedy was all a man-made disaster.  Forget the massive earthquake; it was the weakness within the public institutions that was at fault for the physical collapse of buildings on a monumental scale.  One of those buildings was the Presidential Palace—which just happened to have been built by US Marines that occupied Haiti, 1925-1934.  The majority of other public buildings were built under the supervision of well-schooled architects using the most advanced techniques of the period. 

So what.  Applebaum goes on to judge the basic assistance available after the Haitian disaster and finds it all below the cooperative relief efforts made available after the tsunami roared out of the Indian Ocean, or, say, the (not so perfect) federal response after Hurricane Katrina.  Applebaum apparently chose to ignore that the Haitian government was weak to begin with, having never really been able to shake free from a history of oppression, slavery and colonialism, and a massive debt imposed upon them by France as punitive reparation payment before they were allowed unhindered international trade.  In addition, Haiti has had to endure such things as economic sanctions, US meddling and intrusion, the cost of initiating the government, powerful drug traffickers, a weak and corrupt government, a paralyzed legislature, and a billion $ debt to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the International Bank.  So comparing Haitian relief efforts to those carried out in New Orléans, USA (August 2005) and tsunami victims in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Maldives (December 2004) where a slightly kinder history and better conditions existed is absurd.

Other commentators have also thrown guilt-implying judgment upon Haiti’s plight.  One in the New York Times, David Brooks, went so far as to blame the culture of Haiti as the cause for the severity of the earthquake.  To accent his point, he compared Haiti with Barbados, stating that Barbados had suffered slavery and colonialism too, but was doing “pretty well.”  Ignored by him were some pertinent facts.  Haitians slaves refused to wear chains in 1791, and established their nation in 1804.  Barbadians, however, endured the less brutal British slave practices, and the Brits abandoned slavery around the 1850s, so Barbados history is far less bloody.  Indeed, Barbados did not even attain independence until 1966.   

US meddling mentioned here earlier was in reference to Washington instigating the placement of dictators (Papa Doc and Baby Doc) who used the nation’s treasury as their personal bank account.  Although they were finally removed (through the very ones who had sponsored them), the US-directed International Monetary Fund will now undoubtedly demand that the nation continue to repay all the international loans that had been taken out in Haiti’s name by those aforementioned US-sponsored leaders.  An open secret is that the IMF targets Third-World nations, and the western banking industry is apparently backed by the American weapons industry.  Then there is the smell of OIL that waifs up from the fractured Haitian territory, and it promises a potentiality equal to that of its nearby neighbor, Venezuela.  Kind of makes one wonder if all the American military personnel now swarming over Haiti have only humanitarian reasons for being deployed there.

4 Responses to “Brief History of Haitian Misery”

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  4. Numerous thanks to Sybil Johnson for assisting with this reason, that
    remains to sustain the work done in Haiti, as well as to each one of you who donated funds in a time of dilemma.
    Presently, with the land waiting for, we are
    trying to borrow to build a structure that will certainly be
    tidy, energy reliable, as well as sustainable to make sure that they can really have
    an area to call house. I viewed a dead young puppy in a Haitian family members’s hut.

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