On January 12, 2010, a number of people began to pay closer attention to the island of Haiti after a massive earthquake displaced and killed hundreds of thousands of people in the capital city of Port-au-Prince
Hurricane Matthew made landfall in southwestern Haiti as a category-4 storm on October 4, 2016, the strongest storm to hit the Caribbean nation in more than 50 years.
Once again, this situation served as a reminder of how easy it is to simply view the worst aspects of a country. “Not again,” is the only thought that comes to mind for many of us as we watch. “Can this country take any more?”
According to reports, numerous individuals refused to be transported. Some residents stated that they face shelter restrictions or even the risk of losing personal possessions to individuals seeking to profit from these tragedies.
As a result, many people stayed at home in the hope of surviving the storms, which, according to local sources, were catastrophic, resulting in the loss of more lives than could have been saved had they sought shelter.
On our television screens, images depicted the vulnerability of families, mainly young women and children, who lived in appalling conditions in tents, shacks, and rusting sheet metal dwellings without access to safe drinking water or electricity.
Constantly present, but for how long?
Matthews destroyed many homes and divided towns, killing nearly 1,000 people and displacing thousands more.
Following Matthew’s arrival, the US military dispatched a navy ship to assist at the request of USAID and the State Department.
Additionally, the Washington Post, reported that Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington DC Redskins, flew his private plane with two of his team’s Haitian-born players, Pierre Garcon and Jean Francois.
A history of redoing
Once again, the capital has been transformed into a 1-800 contribution hotline, and in the never-ending struggle of this magnificent nation, one step forward is followed by two steps back.
Despite being the region’s first colonized nation to gain independence in the region, Haiti appears to be perpetually searching for its own economic identity.
I am not an expert on Haitian politics, civil defense, disaster preparedness, leadership, socioeconomic difficulties, or religious philosophy, but I feel that what poverty does to a nation is more important than religious philosophy, Cathotalism, voodoo, or Christianity
I am an observer, and this is an opinion, not a scholarly paper on Haiti’s history.
Additionally, I do not want to argue for “reparation” or how prior invasions may have contributed to the country’s current troubles, despite the fact that continued loans owed to these colonizer nations have helped build most of the industrialized nation’s wealth.
This is why I will defer to others, like Haitian opinion columnist Jean H Charles and my college buddies from Haiti, to discuss the country’s history and culture in greater depth.
With a long and illustrious history, many people question how much longer this island will be able to remain. Despite the fact that Haiti’s government was democratically elected, the country’s future is always in doubt.
The intertwining of human and natural calamities is becoming more apparent as protests continue and people lose their patience.
Haiti has a history of tyranny, and political infighting rages on like a hurricane attempting to find the right wave to hit it on the head.
Historians contend that the Haitian Revolution took place between 1791 and 1804 in opposition to slavery and in order to gain control over their own future, but as history has shown, it has always been a rough tide, and even for those who attempted to cross the ocean to other lands, they were frequently met with opposition.
Haiti fought Napoleon’s attempt to reclaim France’s Saint Dominque, as it was known at the time, as well as the US occupation in 1915.
According to historians, despite being built on the backs of slave labor, Haiti was the wealthiest French colony due to the production of sugar, coffee, and other commodities.
As I said before, this is not a history of Haiti’s past, but rather a short history that explains what we’ve been seeing later, some of which were caused by Haiti itself.
Haiti has had the blueprint to be one of the wealthiest countries in this region, but what went wrong is not only natural disasters but also man-made both inside and outside Haiti.
Perception of accounting balance
Donations and solicitations have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars since then. The United States and other organizations from throughout the world provided assistance.
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) and other groups have devised strategies to focus on investments in infrastructure and energy, as well as other economic growth that will benefit everyone, especially the poor, according to many experts.
In the end, investigations found, according to RT and other news sources, that several deals failed because of poor management, corruption, and broken promises.
These reports serve as a reminder that little has changed since the last disaster.
That said, if Haiti wants to become a key participant in the area as the First Independent Nation, it must establish policies that benefit everyone, not just the few who seem to always get ahead.
Both Haiti’s island and elsewhere in the region are affected by this. In the long run, this creates a divide between the rich and poor, which leads to political unrest and isolation.
In the end, for many on the outside, unrestrained violence confirms a narrative in which good intentions are frequently overshadowed.
Who has been making the decisions?
Everyone appears to have had a hand in Haiti’s affairs, from the colonial conquest of France to some on its banks. Officials claim that decades of suffocating policies have contributed to the country’s decades of stagnation and inability to meet some of its people’s basic needs.
Hundreds of Haitians are still shown living in tents, cut off from the rest of the country by mudslides and without safe drinking water, as well as malnourished children and other vulnerabilities to diseases like cholera.
Haiti’s history appears to be a hindrance rather than a guide to the country’s future.
Even more, unfortunately, it appears that leadership has come about by accident or by the selection of provisional presidents depending on the popularity of certain countries.
The Haitians don’t need Wyclef Jean to be their leader now that they’ve been through something so bad. All the people who live there should decide what to do. A well-known Haitian singer has fans all over the world.
No one is questioning his academic credentials, but this is a complicated issue that will take more than a few beats to figure out. Even though he is one of my favorite sons from the island of Haiti, this is a lot more complicated than that.
Again, however, despite his foundation’s tremendous work in Haiti, there are still issues about whether it has met some of the key criteria of accountability regarding donations in order to establish openness and acquire public trust.
Even if his desire to run for government offers some stability once more, the question of whether or not he is eligible to run for office remains open in Hati’s complex nation.
But, before I go any further, I’d like to return to the current state of affairs in the country, which appears to be a difficult road to navigate.
What comes next for Haiti?
Haiti’s tragedies are far too frequent, whether they are political, economic, or social in nature, or whether they are man-made or systemic.
Despite the country’s Declaration of Independence, discrimination is still associated with the colonial past.
As experts have pointed out, despite the fact that Haitian independence was officially declared on January 1, 1804, in the port city of Gonaves by Jean-Jacques Dessalines following the conclusion of a 13-year long Haitian Revolution, the country does not stand alone in its struggle against poverty.
It is unfortunate that Haiti has been striving for an economic identity, an anchor, and an extra sheet of zinc in order to protect itself from both natural and man-made calamities,
Perhaps Haiti’s adamant desire to remain isolated has barred critical financial investments. I’m sure many others with tight relationships have helped in some capacity as well.
According to the New York Times, the US has delayed the deportation of Haitians who entered the country illegally during this time.
In the neighboring Dominica republic, many of those who arrived and those born there are similar to humans without a state.
Despite the fact that supporters applaud the temporary policy, it will have no impact on the Haitian economy. In the absence of a clear path, a nation that continues to hope will always seek an escape route to realize a dream.
What happens after the zinc homes are reinstalled in the same spot, the river has dried up again, the planes and media have left, and it rains again?
I wondered if some of its neighboring islands had been spared, but were still looking for a place to anchor with similarly poor governance. What would have happened if Mathew had taken a different path?
It is more than just the location.
Regrettably, Haiti is engulfed by more than a meteorological storm. They may benefit from a more accurate forecast, as well as historical forecasts, to be more prepared, but, like many other locations, Haiti could use some reconstruction following these storms.
Some argued that Haiti’s geographical location puts it at the mercy of nature, but leaders and preparedness must be more effective, not only to reduce the death toll after these events but also to provide an opportunity to rebuild and lift people out of poverty.
A vast number of people continue to move from one part of the country to another, from one end of the continent or state of the world to another in order to flee conditions such as extreme poverty and political unrest, inequality, barbaric ideology, violence, and intolerance.
People of all ages, genders, races, creeds, colors, and socioeconomic backgrounds must set their differences aside because hurricanes do not discriminate based on these factors.
Many of us today are the offspring of the same hope that our parents and grandparents had when they left these impoverished areas to pursue their dreams elsewhere.
Our society must not abandon those who are still on the seas, or who have returned to land, because they are human, just like any other nation that has been struck by the unexpected.
Yes, I’ve met some of the best doctors and nurses who are either Haitian or descended from Haitian ancestors. That is why when calamities hit and some in the media rushed to expose the worst of these communities.
Sure, it makes for a wonderful headline, I frequently wondered whether there was someone out there who would become a doctor or actor or nurse or whatever else if they got the chance.
Haiti will come back into the world, and there will be a lot more people around the world asking for help. This includes money, but also crime control and better opportunities for the next generation.
Besides Haiti, other poor and developing countries in the region have also had man-made and natural disasters, especially where colonization’s footsteps have stepped.
As long as humanity doesn’t see these places as separate from us and works together, even when the storm comes, you can be sure that someone will come to help.