The earthquake in Haiti has been presented by some preachers in countries like Nigeria as the vengeance of God against the sins of the Haitian people. This reveals the true nature of these people, who use religion to distract the attention of the masses away from the real causes of poverty and devastation. The earthquake is a natural phenomenon; the deaths that it caused are not.

The nation of Haiti was hit with a devastating earthquake. The governments of Cuba and Venezuela responded within hours with medical brigades, firefighters, fuel and supplies, and there has been massive sympathy, generosity and volunteerism from workers around the world. What a difference compared to the response from the the United States. The U.S. government has pledged assistance in the way of one hundred million dollars – less than is spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in just two days.

There is a manmade element to the catastrophe confronting Haitians. The country doesn’t just happen to be poor; it has been made poor and kept poor. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, with the worst infrastructure and a people most vulnerable to disaster and disease, because of the machinations of imperialism. Although the earthquake could not be avoided, the scale of death and destruction clearly could have been avoided.

In the face of mass demonstrations against the fraud in Haiti’s elections the Provisional Electoral Council of Haiti has been forced to declare René Préval the winner and the next president of Haiti. The masses have come out onto the streets in celebration, justifiably jubilant and euphoric at their victory. However, these elections have solved none of the problems the Haitian masses face, and the reactionary opposition has not been completely defeated. What is needed now is determination and vigilance against the forces of counter-revolution.

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