Now is a time to act in the devastation which has been met with in Haiti. However Fidel Castro in Cuba, a near neighbour, is in a good position to comment and in his reflections points out what Haiti has meant in history, particularly from the point of view of people of African descent. Why is Haiti now so impoverished, like so many other countries in Southern America, Africa and so on?
Castro reminds us that Haiti was the first black state to take on the might of both British and French colonial forces and to defeat them under Toussaint L’Ouverture.The BBC site reminds us that Toussaint is one of the unsung abolitionists overlooked in so much history. The classic account is in The Black Jacobins by another outstanding figure rarely mentioned, although he lived and died in the UK, CLR james.
Venezuela is among those who reacted swiftly to the emergency.
Logistical problems in getting aid to where it is needed.
Analysis from the Independent which also identifies the effects of colonial rule as underpinning the magnitude of this disaster. Yes, they say, earthquakes happen all too frequently. What is different is here the infrastructure collapsed and poverty has left the population without effective communication and resource. The US promises aid, but, following the French, they exploited Haiti, punishing them for daring to revolt.
Meanwhile just along the coast cruise ships are able to find a berth to off load holiday makers. Presumably this continues to provide the country with a revenue, but who can benefit?
Meanwhile back in Part-au-Prince.
What is Haiti owed?