Friday, January 15, 2010
How U.S. politics under Clinton and Bush destabilized Haiti, making it one of the world's most impoverished countries, characterized by a rather poor infrastructure that is now an obstacle to the country's reconstruction after the devastating earthquake. Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Jan. 14, 2010.
Obama might have thought: "As both of you know Haiti sufficiently well, you can give a helping hand in raising funds for the poor of that country !"
"And perhaps the world's fate depends not just on the events of its battlefields; perhaps it depends just as much on the work we do in those quiet places that require a helping hand. I remember seeing the news reports of the tsunami that hit East Asia in 2004 - the towns of Indonesia's western coast flattened , the thousands of people washed out to sea. And then, in the weeks that followed, I watched with pride as Americans sent more than a billion dollars in private relief aid and as U.S. warships delivered thousands of troops to assist in relief and reconstruction. According to newspaper reports, 65 percent of Indonesians surveyed said that this assistance had given them a more favorable view of the United States. I am not naive enough to believe that one episode in the wake of catastrophe can erase decades of mistrust. But it's a start." [Source: Barack Obama - The Audacity of Hope]
It should be added that Obama had been raised in Indonesia. Further more, the year of the tsunami, 2004, happened to be that very year when President Bush jr. helped to overthrow the democratically elected president of Haiti, Aristide, because of Aristide's leftist attitude.
By the way, it's not the U.S. alone who are getting help to Haiti. According to different sources, it was medical and rescue personnel from Haiti's poor neighbour Cuba that arrived almost the first. Cuba and its ally Venezuela are acting in the frame of a Latin-American partnership which has been strongly opposed by all U.S. administrations during the last years.
Below: Presidential adviser of Haiti's president Preval wearing a Che Guevara cap with the Cuban flag on it while talking to Al-Jazeera. On the right photo, U.S. troops are landing on the lawn in front of the damaged presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.
The above video contains a special report from Puerto Príncipe, Haiti, where a new field hospital has been opened by medical personnel from Cuba. It makes part of a Cuban aid program to Haiti, already providing medical treatment in various similar institutions, situated in rural areas where help is most badly needed as well as in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. The biggest group of medical and rescue workers from Cuba is said to comprise about 800 volunteers. [Source: Cubavision TV, January 31, 2010]
Above: Cuban helper (left) talking with his Western colleague at a Port-au-Prince location.
Below: Logo of the Chinese International Search and Rescue Team, now on duty in Haiti.