agasfer (agasfer) wrote,
agasfer
agasfer

Про Гаити (из сентябрьского '09 номера журнала Outside)

PER-CAPITA INCOME in Haiti is less than $400 a year, life expectancy is about 53, and just about everyone who can get out of the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere tries to do so. The richest nation in the Western Hemisphere is 560 miles north as the crow flies, and thousands flee toward America in ramshackle boats even in calm years. Although some reach the U.S., blending into the roughly one million Haitians thriving, legally or illegally, in Miami and Queens, the majority are intercepted at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard. That number fluctuates with Haiti's frequent politico-economic meltdowns: In 1992, after a coup deposed the country's first democratically elected president, the erratic preacher-populist Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Coast Guard stopped 31,438 Haitian migrants, and another 25,069 in 1994. Ten years later, in 2004, there was a smaller surge, with 3,229 Haitians picked up after Aristide, who'd returned to power, was ousted a second time (likely with help from the Bush administration). Then things settled down. The year 2008 showed a slight decline from the year before—1,582 migrants sent back home. But then Haiti was hit by four tropical storms, killing some 800 people and wiping out crops and roads. When the hurricane season ended, in November, a tide of desperate migrants surged out. By July of 2009, the Coast Guard had already plucked 1,491 Haitians from the Caribbean...The Coast Guard stops scores every year, sometimes hundreds. All are desperately overloaded—200 people on a big charcoal carrier or 80 in a 35-foot sloop. One Coast Guard commander referred to the boats as "the world's most pathetic oceangoing vessels." The dehydrated, weakened passengers are removed to a cutter in an operation always described as a "rescue." It is a rescue—this July, for example, the Coast Guard plucked 113 Haitians off a reef in Turks and Caicos—but this is also the blunt application of our anti-immigration muscle.

Many Haitians naively welcome the appearance of the Coast Guard, believing they will be taken to America. Instead they receive food, water, flip-flops, toothbrushes, and an express trip back to Haiti. Since they've typically sold everything they own—fishing canoes, houses, farmland—to finance the failed voyage, a Haitian boat person may end up a month later as a beggar in his own village. It is the measure of Haiti's despair that people keep trying anyway.

And then their boats are sunk. The Coast Guard usually machine-guns them. Again, there is a safety aspect: Abandoned boats are a hazard. But a boat full of holes will also never again carry desperate people to America.


Вообще интересно, что такая жопа под боком у США, от которой просто отгородились забором. Если чешется заниматься "строительством наций," с Гаити и начали бы, а не с Ирака с Афганистаном. Там хоть население способно себя прокормить.
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  • 18 comments

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    А верно ли, что наступающая сторона несет бОльшие потери, чем обороняющаяся? Обычно да, при прочих, так сказать, равных. Исключения, однако, бывают,…

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