segunda-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2010

Haiti - History and Current Situation

Absent for quite some time, here I am. The beach and the afternoon naps are taking most of my time and I'm not a bit sad to confess it. I know it misses just a week to the CACD test but i'm quite relaxed. This year is not for real.

Well, as I've been receiving visits from all over the world, from Mountain Views to Sintra, I decided to post in english from now on. It's good for me to practice and it's easier for anyone to read. Hope i'ts ok for everyone.

Today I wanted to talk about something that really touched me: The earthquake in Haiti. It was a great catastrophe that destroyes an entire city and collapsed and entire country. It happened six says ago and, till today, there were found more than 50.000 bodies.
The MINUSTAH was almost entirely damaged. Most of the mission that was acting in Port-au-Prince was killed in the accident and now the situation is even worst than it was before.

 Haiti was the first country in latin-america to conquer its independence. It was a french colony for exploitation and culture of sugar cane. It used to have so many slaves, that the population in 1754 was of 465 thousand slaves and only 5 thousand white men. There were lots of revolutions and civil wars from the negros against the french, and with the ideals of liberty that came with the French Revolution, it only encouraged more the people. In 1794 France declared the freedom of the slaves, conquering the support and confidence of the great revolutionary Toussaint.
Toussaint started to prepare Haiti's independence, making the island an associated country to the Revolutionary France, but unfortunately not everything did well. Even though he gained a lot of support from the black and the white, when Napoleon took over the command of France, he disagreed with this purpose and sent General Leclerc to end up with the ideals of freedom fomented by Toussaint.
Well, Toussaint was sent to France where he died in prision, but, however, one of Toussaint followers, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, an illiterate ex-slave, conduced the insurrection in the island, expelling the french and proclaiming its independence from France. He was also self-nominated the first Emperor of Haiti in 1804. However, there was a division in the island between the revolutionary, and it was only reunited in 1820 under the power of Jean-Pierre Boyer.

As you can see, the history oh Haiti is marked with the determination of its people. It was the first and unique country that reached its freedom and independence by the slaves and not by any kind of elite.
Many say that's the point why the country became so caothic and poor, because the ex-slaves denied all kind of influence from their olds colonizers. Others admire their will and strenght. The fact is that Haiti became a poor and complicated country.

From its very begining, Haiti had a lot of instability in it's governments. It even went through american interventions as a result of its non-payment of debts and economic instability in the 1900's. Lots of governors tried to take the power, being hardly and violently repelled by the people. In 1957, after the first free elections, the President Duvalier takes the command of the island, although not in ensured elections.
Duvalier - or Papa Doc, as he was known - was a doctor and started a process of dictatorship in the country. After his government, his son, Baby Doc, of only 19 years old, assumed the country and continued his father's terror policy. But, fortunely, he was deposed and the military took the government of the country till the 1990's when the people elected the priest Aristide for president. However, only 10% of the population voted and then, the oppositors did not accept this result, starting a dilemma.

The elected president decided, then, to dissolve it's government, but the population was not satisfied and started to invade the most important cities of the country without any kind of restraint. France and the US did not agree with that lack of manegement started to pressure the president by positioning themselves against any kind of coup d'état that could go against democracy. After all, Aristide resigned.
After his exile in Centro-African Republic, the United Nations Secutiry Council (UNSC) voted the Resolution 1592/2004, that decided to sent a Peacekeeping Mission to stabilize the situation and stablish peace. In 2004, under the command of the brazilian general Augusto Heleno Pereira, MINUSTAH was deployed to Port-au-Prince.
( For more information about the MINUSTAH see

Now that we all know how Haiti got here, we must talk about what's happening now. The country, that has always been marked with instability and poorness, now faces distruction, death, lack of food, water and medicins. After the earthquake that hit the country, more than 50 thousand people died and more than 80% of the country's buildings were destroyed. People that already had little, now have nothing.
Families were destroyed, lifes were taken, prisioners were freed and now help to reorganize crime. The despair is such that the survivors are robbing UN's deposits of food and water. The country is under chaos.

I got really emotional with the situation in Haiti. Not emotional because it made me sad to see people that already had such a difficult life go through worse sitations, but because I could't do a thing. I wanted so much to help, to do something, but, unfortunately, from here, I cannot help the way I wanted to. That's when I saw that lots of organizations are receiving donations from all over the world to sent help to Haiti. NGOs like Oxfam in the US and Viva Rio in Brazil, The Red Cross, The Haitian Embassies and even the UN are receiving preferly money to sent to their effectives that are acting in Haiti.
I didn't think. The fast as I could I sent some money to the NGO Viva Rio and I'm just waiting some days 'till send some to the Red Cross now. I sent an email to all my friends asking them to help too - and I even receive some rude answers from some of them, but's ok.

I would like to make a plea now. People all over the world that read this, please, let's help people in Haiti. They're people like us and they're facing conditions that most of us will never go through, fortunely. Many people are heading to the country to give help, but the grat majority is not. So, people like you and me, people that can't do much, we really should help. It's easy and any help is welcomed.

If you want to help from Brazil, there are some bank data of the NGOs and the Red Cross:

Haitian Embassy in Brazil
Bank: Banco do Brasil
Agency: 1606-3
Account: 91000-7
CNPJ: 04170237/0001-71

International Comittee of the Red Cross
Bank: HSBC
Agency: 1276
Account: 14526-84
CNPJ: 04359688/0001-51

NGO Viva Rio
Bank: Banco do Brasil
Agency: 1769-8
Account: 5113-6
CNPJ: 00343941/0001-28 
If you wanna help from other countries, the NGO Oxfam is receiving donations through it's website:
I guess that's it. Let's help those who are needed.
Pray for Haiti.

Um comentário:

  1. Olá Luiza,

    Desde ontem leio seus posts e quero parabenizá-la pelo seu blog. Muito interessante! Comecei a estudar este ano para o CACD, e não é fácil não, ufa!
    Aprendí muitas palavras que não conhecia com este seu texto em inglês e minha palavra predileta foi "plea".
    Como você tem ajudado a diversar pessoas, me sinto na liberdade de pontuar algumas palavras que, repetidamente, não foram escritas e colocadas corretamente: fortunely ao invés de fortunetaly, unfortunely no lugar de unfortunately, deployed quando era deportee or deported e o emprego do its como possessivo sem ' (apóstrofo) - it's. De coração minha intenção é ajudá-la, uma vez que admiro sua maneira de escrever.

    Com carinho,

    Lívia Iannella Alves