Saturday, February 6, 2010

Letter from Venezuela - The Fourth Earthquake in Haiti

As everyone already knows, Haiti has been shaken by three earthquakes.  But there was  a fourth one, which no one really saw.  The fourth one highlighted the difference between the political systems of the U.S. and Latin America.

When the earthquake occured, Venezuela was quick to send food, water, clothing and technical help to rescue survivors.  As with many countries all over the globe, they sent aid immediately.  Citizens all over the world collected food, water, toothpaste, soap, clothing and whatever else they thought the Haitians needed to help them.  The Cubans, of course sent a medical team, Bolivia sent their blood, they open blood banks where people could give their life source to the people of Haiti.  Nicaragua sent food, medicines and technical aid.

The U.S. took some time to make a commitment, finally they decided to send troops,  and to tell all the governments that were sending aid to Haiti, they had to be under U.S. military domination.  The U.S. military was going to lead and direct all the efforts as well as determine, what aid came into the country and how it was distributed.  Fourteen thousand troops were dispatched to Haiti.  This caused a clog in the distribution system, and to this day, many of the Haitians have not received the materials that were sent to them. 

Furthermore, the troops caused a lot of problems in the rescue effort, and everyone needed to go to the U.S. military before they decided to actually excavate buildings to save the lives of the Haitian people.  The Italians, Mexicans, the French as well as the countries of the south protested this U.S. military depolyment, which fell on deaf ears.

Recently, there were a group of U.S. citizens who were found with 33 Haitian children.  They were planning to take the children out of the country.  Already, two plane loads of Haitian children were taken, one to Florida, the other to Amsterdam.  No one knows who and how these children were taken.  They were taken for supposingly "adoption" in these countries days  after the earthquake shook the Nation and everyone was desperate.  Im asking myself, with all the Haitians the U.S. doesn't want in the country, why would they allow a plane load of Haitian children for adoption to come days after a natural disaster?

Recently, the countries of the ALBA announced they were going to lead the reconstruction of Haiti.  This is important because Haiti is a poor and indebted country without many resources.  President Chavez announced a billion dollar effort to help to reconstruct the country which includes not only housing for the Haitians but food and a plan to rebuilt their forrest.  The forest are important beecause its the environmental damage caused by the extreme poverty which leads to the many of the natural disasters in Haiti. 

The fourth earthquake shows you what happens when you have a political and economic system that is focused on the needs of the people but instead on their exploitation.  When you are interested in helping people you send the aid they need, when you are interested in domination and exploitation, you send troops. 


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