Hurricane Devastation in Haiti and Cuba

By Dom Apollon Sep 19, 2008

If you can still recite your ABCs and you are aware that the names of Atlantic Ocean tropical storms and hurricanes come from alphabetized lists created by the National Hurricane Center, you don’t have to read any articles, hear any stories, or see any images to know that our island neighbor Haiti is in a world of hurt after being struck by Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike. We can use the mess in Wall Street this week as an excuse for why we haven’t done more to help, but if you want to start catching up, take a read, listen, or look at the following: The BBC today quotes a UN special envoy as saying, "This is a humanitarian catastrophe of a scale that is beyond the capacity of the government, [or] of the UN stabilisation mission here. In the major town of Gonaives, "There is not a single house that has not been destroyed or damaged, that is not full of two or three feet of mud." NPR’s Michelle Martin talks with Wyclef Jean who took Matt Damon along earlier in the week to see the devastation firsthand, and spread awareness. And if you missed her blog earlier in the week, tkronzak posted a horrifying CNN video of desperate, starving people pushed against razor wire in a rush to get food. In nearby Cuba, more than a million eggs were destroyed, half a million chickens died, and thousands of acres of agricultural land were laid to waste. The U.S. trade embargo, which has been denounced by the UN General Assembly for the past 16 years (it was a 184-4 vote last year with Israel, the Marshall Islands, and Palau, joining the USA against), won’t be helping any, as you can imagine.