Socialist Worker

Money for Haiti - not war and bankers

Cancel all debt – US troops are no solution

Issue No. 2185

Over 100,000 Haitians are dead after a devastating earthquake hit the country last week.

Many more will die because of lack of clean water, food, medical supplies and the spread of disease as bodies pile up in the streets.

The earthquake was natural, but the scale of the damage and suffering that has followed is not. Haitians are dying because, in the system we live in, poor people are not a priority.

The US has pledged to give £68 million in aid and Britain £20 million.

Britain has given £1.5 trillion to the banks since 2008 and together the world’s ruling classes have handed over £9 trillion.

When the US and Britain decide to go to war they can move and supply tens of thousands of troops and drop bombs in an instant.

When they want to bail out parasitic banks they can hand over billions at the touch of a button.

Yet it has taken days for even a trickle of aid to reach those left homeless and starving among the rubble in Haiti – and it’s still nowhere near enough.

Haiti’s debt of £546 million cripples the country and comes with harsh conditions that impoverish ordinary people and will hold

back reconstruction. Such an amount is nothing to Western rulers, who could cancel the debt overnight. But they refuse to do it – and have even increased it.

Rather than focusing on helping ordinary Haitians, the US has sent in troops. Instead of making sure that people get food and water, UN troops and Haiti’s police are “restoring order”.

They would prefer to see people starving in the streets than “looting” food.

Just like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, the earthquake in Haiti has exposed the rottenness of this system.

For ordinary people in Britain, the obvious thing to do is to send food, water, medical equipment and doctors to save lives in Haiti.

There are the resources to do all of these things. But our rulers care more about money than poor people.

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