Author: Jacob

The Haitian Crisis Is Not a Disaster

The Haitian Crisis Is Not a Disaster

Cholera returns to Haiti as nation lurches from one crisis to the next

By Stephanie Pappas

22 September 2010

Last year, the United Nations estimated that as many as 4.4 million people were forced from their homes. The country’s health ministry was then unable to accurately calculate the number, and the Haitian government does not have the funds to provide a comprehensive response to the humanitarian crisis. With no food available and no safe drinking water, approximately 700,000 Haitians have become ill. More than 1.2 million people are suffering from cholera.

The United Nations is not expected to send relief workers to Haiti until October at the earliest. Since the earthquake and initial relief efforts in November, the situation has become worse. The epidemic is now claiming more lives than it has ever faced.

There is no question that the current humanitarian crisis is a direct result of the massive devastation wrought by the earthquake. Millions of victims are unable to rebuild their communities, and tens of thousands are homeless. While the United States and the international community try to do what they can to help Haiti, the Haitian government asks for foreign assistance to build infrastructure, and the international community is ready to provide it.

But the real question the international community should be asking is about their own culpability in perpetuating the situation: Should we have left the Haitians to cope alone so that the United States and the international community could turn a profit off of Haiti?

We know that the United States is not likely to bring troops or aid workers to Haiti, as would be the case after a natural disaster. Instead, the United States is preparing to impose a crippling tax on Haiti’s exports to offset its debt in order to force the people of Haiti into greater destitution.

The United States also stands to make billions from its ongoing occupation of Haiti as it seeks to exploit its remaining natural resources. Under the terms of the multinational mining agreements, the American government will have free rein to expand its illegal gold and copper operations in Haiti. The mining companies also stand to earn billions from the sale of Haitian natural resources.

There is nothing left of the nation’s infrastructure that the United States and multinational corporations have not destroyed as they have moved from one crisis to the next. As the United States and Haitian officials seek to extract billions from the country, the Haitians, as well as most of the world, are left to endure the consequences.

The US and Haitian governments claim

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