Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Happy Hurricane Season: From Katrina to Wilma to... Alpha?

Its official! This year there were so many hurricanes and tropical storms that, for the first time, we ran out of names and had to resort to the Greek Alphabet. Tropical Storm Alpha comes with 5 weeks still left in the hurricane season. Can we please not only admit that this epidemic of flooding might be related to global warming, but also actually work to remedy this present and gathering danger?

Note: The link leads to a Netscape News story that describes rural Haitians as "dirt-poor farmers." For some reason that doesn't quite seem profesional to me.

Also, Havana saw serious flooding because of Hurricane Wilma. 250 people had to be emergency rescued out of flooded neighborhoods along the coast as the storm surge sent water for blocks inward. By the way, don't bother trying to watch the news for information on this. Despite the fact that Havana is one of the most cultured, interesting and historically rich cities in this hemisphere, all of the major networks only have correspondents in the resort city of Cancun. While some file footage is being shown of Havana, these correspondents go on and on about "looting" and damaged windows of hotels. Not even a word is mentioned about the deaths in Haiti due to Alpha. Furthermore, the preparedness of the Cuban response system should be a lesson to Chertoff at the Department of Homeland Security and the disgraced former head of FEMA Michael Brown.

This capitalist myopia reminds me the American media and government's preocupation with shooting looters in the late days of this past August, while the elderly were still drowning in their homes in East New Orleans and the Ninth Ward and those who could swim to safety suffered hunger and dehydration in the Convention Center and the Superdome.

Where is our international network of justice based journalism? I'm starting to feel ill because of the twin sicknesses of capitalism and militarism. We are obligated now to articulate an alternative vision of interpersonal and international relations. More importantly, we must fight with those marginalized communities, from Gonaives to Havana to the New Orleans diaspora for respect and dignity. AND WE MUST DO IT NOW!

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