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Haiti needs aid not an occupation

21st Jan 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

As the extent of the immense devastation and human catastrophe in Haiti continues to unfold, what is clear is that the correct response must be one which both, firstly, deals with the immediate crisis, i.e. to ensure medical assistance, food, shelter and other basic human necessities; and that, secondly, this happens in the context of Haitian self-determination.

What is becoming increasingly alarming in the current situation is that the US response appears to be primarily geared at securing the state, rather than delivering aid. As one aid worker stated among a myriad of news reports depicting this same picture: ‘there are 200 flights going in and out everyday. But most of those are for the US military. The priorities are to secure the country. Ours are to feed.’

The governments of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia have all expressed concern over a US military take-over.

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Fidel Castro reflects on Haiti

21st Jan 2010 Socialist Action 0

Reproduced below is Fidel Castro’s ‘reflections’ piece, which can also be found here

The Lessons of Haiti

By Fidel Castro Ruz

January 15, 2010 – Two days ago, at almost six o’clock in the evening Cuban time and when, given its geographical location, night had already fallen in Haiti, television stations began to broadcast the news that a violent earthquake – measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale – had severely struck Port-au-Prince. The seismic phenomenon originated from a tectonic fault located in the sea just 15 kilometres from the Haitian capital, a city where 80% of the population inhabit fragile homes built of adobe and mud.

The news continued almost without interruption for hours. There was no footage, but it was confirmed that many public buildings, hospitals, schools and more solidly constructed facilities were reported collapsed. I have read that an earthquake of the magnitude of 7.3 is equivalent to the energy released by an explosion of 400,000 tons of TNT.