Tuesday Jul 6th, 2010 7:20 AM
The earthquake that wrecked the capital of Haiti and surrounding areas on January 12 produced human tragedy of almost unfathomable proportions. It has been termed “the most destructive natural disaster in modern times.” Five months later, Haiti is no longer in the headlines or on the nightly TV news, but for the hard-hit Haitian population the scene has hardly changed. Now a new disaster is in the making as the hurricane season begins. This was a calamity made by capitalism: the earthquake was predictable and was predicted; the inferior construction methods are the result of Haiti’s poverty, and the swollen slums were the result of U.S. policies that have destroyed Haitian agriculture, forcing peasants off the land. On top of everything, Haiti is under imperialist occupation: Washington makes sure it has ultimate control of the strategically placed island, as it has throughout the Cold War and since. Haiti's devastation is not the result of “natural” causes or even “neo-liberal” policies – it is the product of the oppression of this semi-colonial country by the imperial masters ever since black slaves rose up to abolish slavery and throw out the colonialists two centuries ago. No new “economic model” can resolve this: what’s required is a new Haitian Revolution, a workers revolution overthrowing capitalism throughout the Caribbean and extending into the heart of imperialism.