Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2010

Haitians abandoned, bankers rewarded: Fight for a socialist world

While desperate survivors in Haiti's destroyed capital of Port-au-Prince tried to find food, water and shelter, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton breezed into the main airport for a photo opportunity, diverting aid relief flights which included a field hospital from the charity Médecins Sans Frontières.

Dave Carr

The US government has brushed aside the Haitian government of René Préval, taken over the main airport and sent in 10,000 troops. Aid has barely trickled out from the US/UN guarded stockpiles to the millions of Haitian refugees.

The United Nations - which has been occupying the island state for the last six years - seems instead to be concentrating its efforts on policing the wealthier and commercial areas of the capital.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon visited the devastated capital and in the face of hungry and thirsty people blithely told them to be "patient". But patience has run out and people have desperately been sifting the ruins to find food and water. Yet much of the western media condemned their efforts as 'criminal looting'.

Ordinary people worldwide have dug deep into their pockets to donate to the emergency. But despite pouring trillions of dollars into rescuing the capitalist world's banks and financial institutions, western governments have only donated a few millions.

And why is it that this earthquake can claim 200,000 lives but a similar sized earthquake claimed only 63 people when it struck northern California in 1989? The answer is obvious. California is in a rich country but Haiti is the poorest country in the western world with three quarters of its population scraping by on only $2 a day.

And whereas in California sound construction materials, building methods and regulations have been brought about over decades through public pressure on the authorities, Haiti has been subject to the exploitative rule of a corrupt local elite, favoured by US and French imperialism, which has made massive profits and siphoned off investment and aid money.

Haiti's richest 1% owns nearly half the country's wealth. Western companies have also used Haiti as a sweatshop to produce cheap agricultural goods and manufactures.

And when poor Haitians voted in the radical president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to change the situation he was removed (for a second time) in a 2004 coup by the rich elite, supported by the Bush administration.

Under the domination of imperialism, few Haitian people will benefit from any reconstruction. But the alternative is not to despair. Haiti has a revolutionary heritage going back two centuries, when a slave revolt led by Toussaint L'Ouverture defeated the country's French colonial rulers. Today it is that tradition that Haitians need to draw on to liberate themselves from poverty, destitution and exploitation.

Bankers award themselves obscene 'bonuses'

As the top bankers worldwide award themselves obscene 'bonuses' to feed their greed-fuelled, decadent lifestyles, the workers and poor people of Haiti suffer conditions of unimaginable horror. The billions of pounds, euros and dollars the banking fat cats are taking for themselves should be confiscated and used to meet the desperate needs of the injured, orphaned and homeless in Haiti!

And in the richer countries of the world in which the major banks are based, how about some of the excessive banking profits going to the victims of the recession, an economic crisis that these banks have worsened through their profiteering and speculation? For instance, to the rapidly growing number of unemployed and to all those who can't make ends meet, through no fault of their own?

Yet the British government even refuses to ban outrageous top salary levels and bonus payments in the failed banks it was forced to take effective ownership of, like RBS. The chief of RBS, Stephen Hester, has an astounding potential pay packet of £9.7 million.

In 2010, many trade unionists will take industrial action to defend their living standards. Also, working class people in a number of areas will have an opportunity to express their anger through the ballot box, in the areas where the newly formed Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition stands a candidate in the general election. The coalition argues for taxing the rich and for the banks to be brought into "true public ownership and democratic control, instead of huge handouts to the very capitalists who caused the crisis".

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 19 January 2010:

Haitians abandoned, bankers rewarded

Socialist Party editorial

Haiti - disaster compounded by capitalism

Socialist Party news and analysis

Defend jobs, nationalise Bosch

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gets started

Support grows for new Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Donate to help build a socialist alternative

Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs - demonstrate on 13 March

Socialist Party workplace news

Civil service compensation scheme: A fight for jobs and services

Victory for hospital workers

South Yorkshire firefighters forced to strike again

Virgin Trains ticket office workers walk out

International socialist news and analysis

Obama and the Democrats in power

Sri Lankan government condemned

Socialist Party news and analysis

'Stop and search' unlawful

Non jury trials undermine democratic rights

Spinning the war

LibDems show their true colours

Marching off the dole?

Socialist Party national committee


Education trusts are "academies lite"

Stop the cuts in higher education

No business in our education

Unison witchhunt

Angry reaction to Unison witch-hunt

Socialist Party review

Dear Granny Smith


Home   |   The Socialist 19 January 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleCholera epidemic sparks clashes between Haitians and UN troops

triangleHaiti Earthquake - Natural Disaster, Unnatural consequences?

triangleFast News

triangleHaiti: Survivors shackled by huge debt and poverty


triangleSalford Socialist Party: The history of the Labour movement in Ireland

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can socialists take the fight against the Tories to the people of Bristol?

triangleYork Socialist Party: Building and financing a revolutionary party

triangleHackney Socialist Party: The Left Opposition's fight against the rise of Stalinism in Russia


triangleTurn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleDefuse the consumer debt time bomb: nationalise the banks!


triangleCapita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

triangleThem & Us


triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said


triangleDerby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter


triangleWhat's behind the surge in eating disorders?


triangleJapan - toxic legacy of the Fukushima disaster





Spain: millions on streets against sexism and capitalist oppression



Italian elections create huge political shake-up



Japan - toxic legacy of the Fukushima disaster



Syria: No ceasefire for 'hell on earth' eastern Goutha



United States: young people demand change after latest mass shooting



Russia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail


South Africa

South Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism



France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people



Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed



Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed


South Africa

Cape Town drought



May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression


Tamil Solidarity

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime



Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!



Stop the war on the Kurds

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018