A street in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
PHOTO /United Methodist News Service
By Steve Miller
Many of the people reporting on the radio from Haiti talk about how hard the post-earthquake situation is on the poor. For the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, this is the vast majority of the people.
There is water, the reports go, but it is only for sale on the streets as bottled water. The public delivery of water, already quite decimated by years of government cutbacks, is non-existent – unless you can pay. Food is available, too, but only at a price. If you can afford it, you’ve got it. If you can’t, you go without.
Haiti may be Hell on Earth, but it shows that Hell, too, has been privatized. The government of Haiti, full of criminals, since the 2006 coup, and re-empowering fascist death squads, totally bought into something that might sound familiar: “Government is the problem, not the solution; it needs to be shrunk down; big government simply can’t do the job; the private sector is best equipped to provide services and solve social problems.”
New Orleans, too, experienced Privatization-Hell. Hurricanes and earthquakes are natural occurrences; but the withdrawal of social support for suffering people is planned and implemented. It was all privatized, to operate at a profit for private corporations. Haiti’s government abdicates all responsibility toward passing out the necessities of life to devastated people for free. Why that’s the role of the market!
This monstrous crime has been organized internationally for years by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In country after country, in exchange for loans, they have demanded the end to social services, like price supports for cooking oil, government support of health clinics, and public government infrastructure projects. This destroyed any semblance of a safety net. Everything is for sale. Clear out if you can’t afford it.
This article originated in the People's Tribune
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