Hurricane Isaac & Haiti

From the September-October 2012 issue of News & Letters:

World in View

Hurricane Isaac & Haiti

by Gerry Emmet

Hurricane Isaac only skirted Haiti, but was a huge blow to 390,000 people still living in tent cities since the devastating 2010 earthquake. Only a small portion of the housing destroyed then has been rebuilt or repaired. Witnesses report homeless camps being turned to fields of mud and sewage. The figure of 24 people killed will likely increase through disease and hunger.

The nation is already fighting a cholera epidemic that has seen hundreds of thousands fall ill, and over 7,000 die. The current government has been more interested in rebuilding the army, and enriching the usual Haitian and U.S. elites, than in reconstruction, much less in connecting with the revolutionary solidarity that sustains Haiti’s poor.

Hurricane Isaac also threatened Louisiana, eerily, on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s 2005 devastation of New Orleans, an event that exposed U.S. government racism. And it heralded the more active hurricane season associated with global warming, which threatens the poorest populations. These are not simply natural disasters, but a measure of the disaster human relations have become under capitalism.

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