Sometimes getting the job done to save lives after a a natural disaster means doing whatever it takes. Yet somehow I can’t imagine George Bush doing this to help Haiti:
… Thursday night, the United States reached an agreement with Cuba to allow American planes on medical-evacuation missions to pass through restricted Cuban airspace, an official said, reducing the flight time to Miami by 90 minutes.
You see, reaching any accommodation with Cuba over anything would have been a political hot potato for President Bush’s brother, then Governor Jeb Bush. Considering how lackadaisical was Bush’s reaction to Katrina, which was an American city after all, can anyone imagine Commander-in-Chief Bush risking a dust up with the powerful Cuban emigre community merely to save time to save lives in a poor nation of black people?
Well, maybe if there was something in it for Halliburton …
You can find a brief essay regarding the Bush administration’s record on slashing assistance for Haiti at Huffington Post.
How? In the last decade alone, the U.S. slashed humanitarian assistance to Haiti, blocked international loans, forced the government of Haiti to downsize, ruined tens of thousands of small farmers, and replaced the government with private non-governmental organizations. […]
In 2004, the U.S. assisted in a coup against the democratically elected President of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide. This continues a long tradition of the U.S. deciding who will rule the poorest country in the hemisphere. No government lasts in Haiti without U.S. approval.
In 2001, when the U.S. was mad at the President of Haiti, the U.S. successfully led an effort to freeze $148 million in already-approved loans and many hundreds of millions more of potential loans from the Inter-American Development Bank to Haiti. Funds which were dedicated to improve education, public health and roads.
For much of 2001-2004, the U.S. insisted that any international funds sent to Haiti had to go through non-governmental organizations. Funds that would have provided government services were re-routed thus shrinking the ability of the government to provide aid.
Heckuva job, Bushie!