Haitian communists in the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) let us know how they are affected and helping at the earthquake’s epicenter. Translated from French original.
8:30 in the morning, the sun is struggling to rise as the country’s problems pile up: Corona virus, five million starving, no functional institutions, no government. Haiti is in a coma.
8:31 am the earth began to shake like it did a little more than a decade ago. The departments of the South, Nippes and Grand-Anse are the most affected. The numbers are mounting of dead, wounded and especially displaced.
The communist comrades of the Progressive Labor Party rely on solidarity and mutual aid. Barely three hours after the earthquake, the comrades were distributing snacks and clean water to more than 300 children and young people. It’s not a lot, but it’s the first help given to them. They appreciated the gesture and expressed their confidence in their infallible solidarity. In the afternoon, those who still had the means pooled their food resources and cooked for those who didn’t and they all ate together.
How different are humanitarian crises and catastrophes for capitalist bosses and bourgeois politicians—they see them as opportunities to consolidate their power. They don’t give a fuck about workers’ lives. Profit is their only goal.
Since the 2010 earthquake, when over 300,000 were killed and so many more hurt, their homes reduced to rubble, nothing at all has been done to deal with disasters of this kind. However, it goes without saying that Haiti is a seismic country in so many senses of the word. Capitalism delights in horror.
It has been more than 11 years since that devastation, yet hospitals still have no structure, materials or staff to take care of the needs of the population. A decade and there is still no plan to take care of the disaster victims. Poverty is growing at a steady rate for the masses of workers and students. And we know from experience that the fake leaders will take advantage of the situation to line their pockets, hiding behind the just-declared month-long state of emergency.
The working masses are desperate and are left with nothing but their solidarity. (The latter is not a capitalist value.) In each street of our town, where more than 50 houses were completely destroyed and many more damaged, there are people without anything to eat or drink, without resources to protect themselves against the rain (Hurricane Grace is expected to make landfall in a few days), planning to sleep outside because of the aftershocks for the foreseeable future, yet everyone is coming together: pregnant women, the elderly, youth, children, workers.
For now, the death and injury and damage toll is growing, along with fear and uncertainty. The gangs, unleashed over the last couple of years by the bourgeoisie to create an atmosphere of terror among workers, are blocking the roads that are still passable, demanding ransoms to allow aid and aid workers to travel. Covid is running rampant; vaccines are rare and the insufficient test material means that only those with severe cases are even tested. Earthquake, hurricane, disease and gangs—all brought and exacerbated by the racist capitalist system. In every situation, communists fight to prove their humanity and love for the working class. We know that capitalism must and will be defeated, and that a communist world, where workers struggle together in their common class interests, will prevail. We will grow in numbers and fight to our last breath to put an end to the horrors that racism and imperialism have brought to the workers
If you would like to donate, the authors recommend a local Haitian organization, fedadse.org.