Magazine Culture

Haiti: cursed be the curse

Publié le 21 janvier 2010 par Hibiscusjaune

The hypothesis of a curse being dismissed, everybody seems to be wandering up hill and down dale to support the earthquake survivors.

Testimonial of a survivor

Haiti: cursed be the curse

Source: Cyberpresse

January 17th, the French daily le Monde had the honor to chat with Dany Laferrière, a Montrealer originally from Haiti. The holder of the 2009 Médicis price tells us how he perceived the events related to the eartquake that stroke Haiti. He had arrived in the country a day before and during the tragedy, he has lived the 60 longest seconds of his life. But the writer remains straight-sighted and he rejects the pity of the ones who think that Haiti is cursed because the country passed a pact with the devil.

They’ve got to stop using this term « curse ». It’s an insulting word that implies that Haiti has done something bad and is paying for it.

It’s a word that doesn’t mean anything scientifically. We’ve suffered hurricanes, for precise reasons. There hasn’t been an earthquake of this magnitude for two hundred years. If it was a curse, you’d also have to say that California and Japan were cursed.

But the writer also remains optimistic. He takes delight in the international aid while insisting that the energy of Haitian people saved the city.

The President of the Dominican Republic estimates that a budget of $ 10 milliards US should be allocated to rebuild Haiti. In the face of the disaster, even the countries that are despised for their poverty have revealed the riches that lie in their compassion.

Toward a second Liberia?

Haiti: cursed be the curseTo help his “brothers and sisters” in this trial, Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade offers some lands to the disaster survivors. He wishes to welcome them by offering them a shelter.

A similar thought has been advanced by a Cameroonian journalist on a TV5 show called Kiosque. Marie-Roger Biloa believe Africa should give lands to Haitians. She states that with only 1% of timber area, the country can’t develop sustainable farming; this could lead the country to be forever dependent of the international support. Even if Africa is different geographically, the same chorus is on repeat; Africa is always represented hands reaching out for help, corrupted and incompetent.

Mother Africa

Meanwhile, African countries are thinking of providing a financial backing to Haiti. The Government of Rwanda has offered US $ 100,000 while Liberia is thinking of giving US $50,000. South Africa opted to provide assistance directly in Haiti by sending doctors and search and rescue teams. Morocco will also send medication whose value will reach the million bar. Congo (Brazzaville), Senegal and Gabon will each donate US $ 1 million. This adds to the US $1.9 millions offered by Equatorial Guinea.

Speaking of assistance, Ottawa announced that they will facilitate the entry of Haitians in Canada. Child adoptions are also encouraged by the country.

A popular cause

Celebrities have also mobilized themselves to collect funds that will be used to help the Haitian people. Actress Scarlett Johansson is partenering with Oxfam to supply survivors with water.

Angelina Jolie and her mate, Brad Pitt have also manifested ther desire to participate in this life-saving activity with singer Wyclef Jean, originally from Haiti. The singer has even held a conference to defend the activities performed in Haiti by his foundation Yele.

In the U.S. again, the Hope For Haïti concert will bring together Jay-Z, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Bono and Taylor Swift only to name a few.

In France, funds will be collected thanks to the song « Un geste pour Haïti Chérie ». The song will performed by Charles Aznavour, Grand Corps Malade, Stomy Bugsy, Youssou N’Dour and many more.

Who is in charge of the country?

Haiti: cursed be the curseIn the U.S., democrats and republicans are burying the hatchet to help a country in need. The Americans have donated $ 198,9 millions to Haiti; this amount competes with the one that was donated to the Katrina survivors. The U.S. is the host country of 1 million of Haitians. Even if there are only 80 000 Haitians in France, the country has tried to support Haiti.

The French president recently declared that he wants « to salute the exceptional mobilization shown by President Obama and the US administration. »
Sarkozy didn’t linger over the fact that the American denied access to a French plane that was trying to board in Haiti. Right after the incident, Minister Joyandet declared that the U.S. should help Haiti, not occupy it.

It seems that U.S. have things under control, geographic proximity taking precedence over the historical past between Haiti and France. Many people thought however that Brazil is now in charge of Haiti. Actually, Brazilian UN peacemakers are patrolling the Haitian streets. The UN peacemakers are not supposed to open fire, whatever the case may be. Their presence serves the unique purpose of promoting peace.

A group of 18 police officers from Montreal went to Port-au-Prince last Wednesday. Because their help hasn’t been requested by the UN, they will not wear their uniforms. However, security remains a priority.

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