Thursday, January 13, 2011

Haiti: One Year Later

As I mentioned in my previous post, it has been nearly a year since Haiti had been devastated by a 7.0 earthquake that killed over 100,000 people. Do people even understand that number? There are countries whose entire populations are equal to the death tool of Haiti earthquake. The worst part about it is that this was only the latest chapter in the misery that has plagued this country. In additional to the Earthquake, Haiti has suffered from a cholera epidemic and has had a presidential election that is still in dispute.
The history of Haiti has been one of misery. It is a country that has gone from one seeming calamity to another. From dictatorships, to famines, to hurricanes to earth quakes to epidemics and instability, if it has not been one thing this country, it has been another.  The worst part about all of it is that it does not look as though anything will get better anytime soon.
Haiti is the poorest country the Western Hemisphere and has been for quite some time.  Its government is insanely corrupt and weak. Nearly two thirds of the population is unemployed (and we think that 10% is bad).  The only real economic activity for many years was an illegal drug trade. The already weak government was decimated by earthquake, with nearly all of its most important buildings destroyed. Just reading about Haiti is enough to get the feeling that they are the Charlie Brown of countries. It looks as thought they might make it and kick the football this time, but it gets yanked away again.
Things are so bad in Haiti that the hardest part about trying to fix this country’s problems, is figuring out where to begin. There are just so much of them and they are all so big. One wonders if the first Black Republic will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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