Wednesday, December 29, 2010

From Bad to Wrose in Haiti

It seems as though the country of Haiti is one of those places that just cannot seem to catch a break.
 I hope that most of you remember that in January of this year, soon to be last year, that the Country was hit with a massive earthquake that centered around the capital of Port au Prince where the majority of people lived. The size of the quake combined with shoddy construction in the city led to the deaths of nearly 100,000 people.  On top of that, what little government existed in that country was effectively destroyed as key buildings were toppled. Nearly one year later, the country still has not fully rebuilt itself. This is especially troubling considering that years of poverty corruption and misrule have meant that Haiti was already pretty damn messed up to begin with.
As though things could not get any worse for this county, the first free black nation in modern times, Haiti has struggled for that past few months with a Cholera epidemic. Until recently Cholera has been one of the few misfortunes that Haiti has managed to avoid. They have had numerous coups, rebellions, floods, famine, dictators, (including the notorious “Pappy Doc” Duvalier), but until now, no Cholera. What happened? It seems that some UN peacekeepers using a stream as a bathroom brought it there. So the people that were sent in to help these people end up making things worse. But to show just how messed up the situation there truly is, they decided to go ahead with a planned presidential election. I know that there is a desire to continue as normally as possible, but really people. You are in the middle of a massive and deadly epidemic. Couldn’t you postpone the election until you at least got the problem under control? Would you even be surprised if I told you that turnout was low, and there were massive reports of fraud?
It seems to get even worse. There are reports that due to the whole people dying of Cholera thing, combined with many farmers being afraid to tend their fields for fear of getting sick, that Haiti’s rice harvest is not expected to be all that good. Yes a country that is still recovering from a earthquake and laboring with an epidemic now looks like it is going to have a famine pretty soon.  Like I said, it seems as though someone must not like this country at all. If it is not one thing in Haiti it is another. I sometime feel overwhelmed by the whole thing.

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