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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Haiti: Six months later

CSMS Magazine Staff Writers

Six months after the apocalyptic earthquake, Haiti remains a huge toxic pile with millions of its inhabitants roaming about with no permanent place to go, living nonchalantly in a no-man’s land. It’s hard to imagine that a country could be run so negligently by its own government. After so many efforts that were done and more relief aids that continue to be poured into the country, Haiti has yet to show signs of recovery. Many neighborhoods still remain just as they were the day after the earthquake. Thousands of earthquake victims are still buried beneath the crumbled buildings, and the public parks around greater Port-au-Prince have been transformed into sprawling tent cities.

One wanders how long will the suffering last? Life in the tent cities is humiliating at best and hellish at worse. When it rains, it washes away dwellers’ belongings, creating an undesirable mess that makes one’s heart quiver with emotion. When it is dry and sunny and hazy, the piercing ray of the sun never seizes to shoot its harsh glow on the wretched people. What have the resilient people of Haiti done to deserve such harsh treatment from mankind and Mother Nature?         

The main problem with Haiti’s seemingly endless misery does not lie with its deprived people desire for change. Nor does it lie with the many competing interests within the international community. It lies with the country’s leadership and its impotent upper class. Before the earthquake, Haiti was a country ruled by sleazy politicians hungry for wealth and shameless fame, quick to join the club of the nouveaux riches, even as the country was crumbling around them. Their vulgar parvenu conceived out of the masses’ hellish conditions serve as prime example of what happens when petty bourgeois born in poverty rise to power.

René Préval, the rubber stamp president par excellence, is governing so nonchalantly, going from blunder to blunder, that many observers concede that only Bill Clinton, the country’s new proconsul appointed by the UN, can force them into action. Shame on them.

The future looks bleak, and we can only be pessimistically optimistic that someday Haiti will land on its feet. But we have faith. The land of Dessalines will not perish, even as each of its compatriots now looks as unsteady stars moving toward a dark horizon. There is no metaphor in our expression, and the revolution will come tomorrow. But Haiti will someday regain its glory.  

They have been plotting for 200 years against this valiant people, whose only sin was to break the chain of bondage against insurmountable odds to take its seat among all civilized nations. Its masses have been kept on a tight leash since then, and any attempt to break free has always been met with brutal repression. Above and beyond the many things the country now needs to fight its way out of this entrenched poverty, a sense of social and political independence is urgently needed. Hunger and poverty breed resignation, and that’s precisely what has been used to keep the masses of Haiti in total ignorance. In CSMS Magazine, we still believe that the Haitian people will get the last laugh.

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