Homes destroyed and damaged by Hurricane Matthew are seen in Jeremie, in western Haiti, on Oct 7 (image credit: AFP)
Haiti hit hard by Hurricane Matthew.
Long-suffering Haitians aren’t strangers to horrific adversity, anguish, and conditions creating intolerable hardships few people living normal lives elsewhere can understand.
Except briefly after their successful 1804 revolution and later governance under Jean-Bertrand Aristide – twice democratically elected, ousted by a US-supported 1991 military coup, a second time by George Bush’s 2004 coup d’etat – they’ve been victimized by imperial harshness, their nation exploited and plundered by US-led Western monied interests.
An earlier article explained they’ve experienced over 500 years of oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, crushing debt, devastating cholera, and natural calamities from destructive hurricanes to a dozen regional magnitude 7.0 or greater earthquakes.
They’ve yet to recover from calamitous 2010 earthquake conditions, killing hundreds of thousands, injuring many more, disrupting millions of lives already overwhelmed by daily hardships – followed by deadly cholera introduced by repressive UN MINUSTAH occupying forces, affecting hundreds of thousands more, responsible for around 30,000 deaths.
And now Hurricane Matthew. A Saturday AM Reuters report put the death toll so far at around 900, countless others injured, tens of thousands displaced by deadly winds and devastating flooding, their homes and possessions destroyed.
It’ll be days, maybe weeks, before the full toll of deaths, injuries and destruction is known – humanitarian aid desperately needed quickly.
An Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti/Bureau des Advocats Internationaux (IJDH/BAI) statement on Hurricane Matthew said their teams are safe.
Information isn’t so far known on the storm’s toll in “hard hit southwest” areas. Increased cholera illnesses and deaths are certain. “Donating funds to local Haitian grassroots groups and Haitian-led initiatives” is the best way to help.
Storm damage and destruction affected virtually all southwestern areas, everything not concrete now rubble, lifeless fishing villages submerged under water.
Tens of thousands of Haitians desperately need help, the hemisphere’s poorest, least developed country again facing adversity like so many previous times.
Devastated farmland alone affects Haiti’s food security, Heifer International NGO director Hervil Cherubin, explaining most crops are gone. “Many…farm fields are like landfills…full of trash, seawater, gravel and other debris.”
Will disaster capitalism exploit Haiti more than already, profiting from human misery, diverting donor funds for private gain, desperate people abandoned like so many times before – forgotten once Hurricane Matthew no longer is news?