I was shaken when I heard the earthquake in Haiti took place and I mourn for the America’s poorest people and there most recent crisis. Haitians do not need more heart ache and hardship for they have suffered for so long.
One of the world’s oldest democracies, nearly as old as the United States has had periods of tyranny but is still a symbol of self determination. A people that took the opportunity to emancipate themselves from colonial enslavement. They have been punished for their escape from imperialism with embargo, indifference and interference.
It is time to educate Haitians and provide resources for Haiti to restore the environment and economy to real independence. Haiti is located in a beautiful sea, on a gorgeous island with a climate well suited for sun worshippers and tropical foods. The world should provide the capital and initial infrastructure to build Haiti’s education system, adequate building codes and transportation systems.
Canada has a long history with the Francophone peoples of the Caribbean dating back to our mutual French rule. Farms of New France and Acadia fed the plantation workers and soldiers of France’s Caribbean colonies. We Canadians need to assist Haiti and other impoverished people of the region to maintain this relationship. Not by hand outs but by providing our markets and skills. Canada perhaps should base pre-positioned supplies for relief operations in Haiti as our commitment to the region.
Haiti can not be allowed to fall back to the status quo after the initial aid is delivered. After the dust settles and the recovery transitions to the long term redevelopment a conference should be held in Haiti on cruise ships to increase the regions economic resources and perhaps the creation of a European Union style organization that allows the protectorates to have self determination. Elements of this are underway and it is up to all the stake holders to push for this amongst the regions democracies.
The Caribbean Union’s negotiations should include opposition parties amongst the delegations to be more democratic. When all parties and views are part of the creation process of the Union it will be more effective in the long term. The continental nations bordering the Caribbean Sea should be allowed to sit as partners as should Canada, the European Union and the African Union as they have a long association with the region.
Haitians have found a way to survive a lot in their history and they will come through this as they always have. It is up to us to make the recovery and redevelopment permanent. We must listen to what Haiti needs from us and deliver it quickly without strings or agenda. This tragedy may be the catalyst required to move the entire region forward to a greater future.


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