Reflections by Comrade Fidel
Two days ago, close to 6 in the evening Cuba time, already dark in Haiti due to its geographical location, the TV channels started carrying news that a violent earthquake, --of 7.3 intensity in the Richter scaleóhad severely shaken Port au Prince. The seismic phenomenon had originated at a tectonic fault in the sea only 9.4 miles from the Haitian capital, a city where 80% of the population lives in fragile houses built with clay and adobe.
The news continued almost uninterrupted for hours. There were no images but it was said that many stouter constructions like public buildings, hospitals, schools and other facilities had also collapsed. I have read that a 7.3 earthquake equals the energy released by the explosion of 400,000 tons of TNT.
The descriptions were dramatic. In the streets, the wounded cried for medical help surrounded by ruins and their families buried under the debris. But, for many hours no one could broadcast any image.
The news took us all by surprise. Rather often we had
heard news of hurricanes and large floods in
At there was still no estimate of the number of victims. Senior UN officials and various Heads of Government spoke of the impressive event and announced that they would be sending rescue brigades. Since MINUSTAH --UN international forces-- are deployed there some Defense ministers spoke of the possibility of casualties among their personnel.
Actually, it was yesterday morning that sad news started flowing in on the high number of human casualties in the population and even such institutions as the United Nations reported that some of their buildings in that country had collapsed; a word that usually does not say much but that could mean a lot under the circumstances.
For hours increasingly dramatic news of the situation in that country continued to flow uninterrupted with reports of different numbers of deadly victims that depending on which version fluctuated between 30 thousand and 100 thousand. The images are appalling.† Obviously, the catastrophic event has been widely reported all over the world and many governments, sincerely moved, are making efforts to cooperate to the extent of their capabilities.
A lot of people are sincerely touched by the tragedy,
especially natural unassuming people but perhaps few stop to think on why
It is amazing that no one says a word on the fact
Such a historic oblivion would not be so grave if it
were not because
Billions of people in
No place on earth should be affected by such situations, even though there are tens of thousands of towns and villages in similar and sometimes worse conditions resulting from an unfair economic and political international order imposed worldwide. The world population is not only threatened by natural catastrophes like that of Haiti that is but a pale example of what can happen to the planet with climate change; an issue that was the target of mockery, scorn and deception in Copenhagen.
It is fair to say to every country and institution
that have sustained the loss of citizens or members to the natural catastrophe
in Haiti that we do not doubt that at this point they will make the greatest
effort to save human lives and to alleviate the pain of that long-suffering
people. They cannot be blamed for the natural phenomenon that has taken place
there even though we disagree with the policy pursued towards
But, I must say that I feel itís high time to seek true and real solutions for that fraternal people.
In the area of healthcare and others the Haitian
people has received the cooperation of
Another high number of Haitian youths are studying
We also cooperate with the Haitian people in other
areas within our capabilities. However, there is no other form of cooperation
worthy of the definition but that of struggling in the field of ideas and
political action to put an end to the endless tragedy endured by a great number
of nations like
The head of our medical brigade has informed that ďthe situation is difficult but we are already saving lives.Ē She said this in a brief message sent a few hours after arriving in Port au Prince yesterday with an additional group of doctors.
Late at night she said that the Cuban doctors and the
Haitians graduated at the
We take wholesome pride in the cooperation that at
this tragic hour the Cuban doctors and the young Haitian doctors trained in
Fidel Castro Ruz