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Could the 2010 quake be the beginning of the end for Haiti?

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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:03 PM
Original message
Could the 2010 quake be the beginning of the end for Haiti?
Haiti has long been a political football as far as America is concerned. The Marines occupied Haiti for some 20 years around the time of World War I. The nation has endured the brutal dictatorship of the Duvaliers and the racist repression of Trujillo in the neighboring Dominican Republic. Government since the Devaliers were exiled has been rather shaky, with American presidents playing both sides of the field.

But could the earthquake be the last straw for a nation that has prided itself on its independence and its status as a slave colony that overthrew its own masters? Deforestation has contributed to massive mudslides, the quality of life in Haiti has been bleak before the earthquake, and government infrastructure to administer the interior is practically nonexistent.

Will Haiti have no choice but to go the route of Puerto Rico? Discuss.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. I was kind of hoping the opposite might happen. Haiti was a disaster before the
Edited on Thu Jan-14-10 09:08 PM by hedgehog
earthquake. For example. when I hear the reporters talking about the number of people without food, water, sewers and electricity after the quake, I have to ask how many had those items before the quake. There was an interview this morning with a manager from World Vision in which he explained that they were set up already for emergency food distribution because they've been distributing food on an emergency basis to starving people for months(years?) Maybe if the attention span isn't too short, some real infrastructure might get built.
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LakeSamish706 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think that the only thing that Haiti might have to offer the world is...
Tourism! Although I realize that this earth quake and the following after shocks play a detrimental part in that, they still have beautiful weather down there. Haiti really has nothing else to offer the world as far as productivity goes.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. My friends are all going to the DR
Haiti was just not stable. :(
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. It could be the beginning of the beginning
This catastrophe may be an opportunity to rework Haiti into a functional entity. It may be an opportunity to put people to work and get infrastructure built under the hand of a motivated government.

Hell, even if Haiti was a colonial power a la Puerto Rico, at least then someone would have responsibility for the country. :(
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I sure hope so
It would be great to see Haiti rebound from this stronger than ever. But it's going to require a small miracle.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. With the help pouring in and the fact we now have a long-attention-span prez, I was hoping for a new
With the help pouring in and the fact we now have a long-attention-span presidential administration, I was hoping for a new beginning to come out of the rubble.

One can hope.

Aside from that, I've learned a ton from Rachel these past few days.

Hekate

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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. Tourism is the obvious answer, but then it requires being nice to foreigners.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Not to mention money for travel
I don't have the cash for two tickets to Port-au-Prince. But if I did happen to make it to Haiti, you bet I'd show the Haitians some dignity and respect.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
8. Did you check the murder rate in Puerto Rico for 2009?
Over 30% of the Puerto Rican population is unemployed. The US has ignored them right through the Bushco years.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. It will truly depend on HOW the recovery is handled
a UN Staffer yesterday said Marshall Plan for Haiti, which means multi-governments and not private sector.

If this is done by private sector, then the anger you are now seeing in the streets will blossom into something else...

Regardless the way the people see their government is now fully and completely changed.
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tabbycat31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
11. what could help their economy?
What about agriculture? They're a tropical climate, and I'd love to see some fair trade crops be planted there (coffee, cocoa beans, sugar cane, etc) that could boost the economy and bring some much needed $$$ to that country (not in times of disaster).

Someone please correct me if their climate is not good for these crops.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. Why use the country as a testing ground for restoring destroyed habitats?
Employ the people to replant trees, restore watersheds, re-introduce wildlife and other things needed to bring back the ecosystem that has been destroyed by decades of abuse. International visitors, in the form of volunteers and observers could bring in additional expertise and funds. If it is successful, it could turn the place into an eco-tourism hot spot.

We need to learn how to restore ecosystems and to transplant them into new locations if the climate keeps shifting - Haiti could be a place to test methods for doing it.
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
12. Or the beginning of the beginning.
One can hope.

I'd love to see a new GREEN infrastructure that uses all that free sunlight they have down there. And trees. Replant the trees.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. I second the trees
They'll have to be administered by the government as preserves for a while until they gain some staying power, but Haitian soil needs trees badly.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. They need an alternate source of heating energy; apparently the forests were cut down for charcoal
That's certainly something that needs to be addressed: cheap fuel for home use: cooking, heating water, and the like.

Hekate

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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. As I understand it, Haiti's lush hardwood forests were first cut to pay the French
'reparations' for plantation owner's losses. Makes me sick just writing that.

And then later for fuel.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'd prefer to think it will give a major infusion of hope for transformation
what with all the infrastructure to be rebuilt. We could help them leapfrog right past fossil fuel dependence and right into renewable if we tried.

The world needs to make a major, concerted effort to lift them up out of the deep hole they are in. Picture what a solar oven for every home could do. Picture a Haitian Maathari Wangai. Picture rainwater cisterns for evey household. Picture schools for ALL the children, and hospitals for all the sick.

We are perfectly capable of doing it, you know. We humans.

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #13
23. I wish I could rec this post!
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. I understand the island is in need of charcoal for cooking..
and small one-burner propane cylinder stoves for cooking.

The island has long been stripped of any wood or burnable vegetation.
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smalll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
16. Or the beginning of the beginning. But I don't see "the route of Puerto Rico" here exactly --
Edited on Thu Jan-14-10 09:52 PM by smalll
Because I can't see the U.S. being willing to accept such a flawed state into itself. Don't forget, Puerto Ricans are American citizens. They all have the right to hop a plane and move here. They don't all do that.

But I can see that perhaps inevitably, the U.S. now has no choice but to do some nation-building. First step is feeding the people and providing order and security -- but it's easier to secure the streets against run-of-the-mill criminals than against Talibans -- our Armed Forces are force enough to get street criminals to "stand down."

There will be many, many steps ahead. Building codes, re-building, schools, etc. etc. Who knows, we may end up with tax breaks for American businesses to hire Haitians in Haiti. But perhaps starting at "square one" is the only hope, and "square one" is where we are afer this earthquake.
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
17. If it is totally destroyed I think Miami is going to have to brace for the refugees.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. That should certainly be one selling point for giving them help--pay now there or pay later here.
But just try telling that to *hole Rush.

Hekate

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
22. EPIC FAIL
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-15-10 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. Interesting...
No justification as to why you feel this way?

Alrighty then. Moving on...
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