". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Haiti -- Drowned, Bleeding, Starving, Thirsty, Homeless

At least fully one eighth of Haiti's population is now homeless.

The conditions are more than dire, after being beaten by hurricanes four times, one, two, three, FOUR.

[ In Haiti, rescue groups have no access to many interior villages across the southern region and to hard-hit Gonaives, north of the capital, which was cut off when a bridge collapsed. A Red Cross truck trying to reach Les Cayes on the southern coast had to turn back because of impassable roads.

''The flooding is more extensive than people realize, and it's awful how little relief has been able to get into Gonaives and other areas,'' said Dr. Arthur Fournier, a University of Miami physician who co-founded Project Medishare, a charity that transports medical aid to Haiti.

Thousands of Haitians have been living in hospitals as temporary shelters, Fournier said. ''They are going to be stuck there for a long time,'' he said. ``They don't have homes to go back to.''

Local, national and international groups worry that a secondary disaster could arise from water-borne diseases. Fournier's group is trying to send LifeStraws to Haiti -- hand-held devices that purify water. Humanitarian workers said the most crucial supplies they need is water, sanitation items and food. ]

In other news from Cuba, the progress at restoring the power grid and other infrastructural systems in Pinar del Rio has proceeded at a speed and effectiveness that has even surprised the government.

Of course, Ike has been beating up Cuba via rain and wind for the last two days. But apparantly Havana was spared the worst. Camaguey took a good pasting, and Baracoa was devasted. But Havana is at least not getting pounded by a Cat 3.

At this time it looks as though New Orleans shall again be spared, as Ike seems headed for Corpus, Port Arthur region.


K. said...

It's the Haitians fault for living there.

Luckily, my father is not in South Texas. There's no way he'd leave if her were.

Foxessa said...

As would not so many.

But then, when you're not trapped in a bowl that's also an island, and the only ways in and out are by these insane bridges, waiting it out doesn't seem so risky either. Meaning, that if things become their most dire, one may well likely NOT be trapped on the roof of a house for 4 - 5 days without food and water.

Everytime I'm on the Twin Span it feels insane. How does one live that way?

Well, I tried for a while, and my nerves steadily deteriorated, I got more and more and more jumpy.

I was so glad to be back living in our teeny apt. in safe Manhattan!

Love, C.

Frank Partisan said...

The US still doesn't allow relatives to visit Cuba, even in a period like this.

Haiti has the Brazilian and Canadian troops, who cost more than the GNP of the country. Maybe put them to use.

Foxessa said...

I'm working with a group of Haitians here on a benefit.

Vaquero left for Colombia this a.m., so they're left with just me from this casa, but I do my best, even though I don't speak kreyol.

Love, C.