Monday, February 01, 2010

Rebuilding Haiti: The Odds

Today's Times editorializes at a rather abstract level about a "ten-year recovery" plan for Haiti. ["Thinking About a New Haiti"] Stuff like "promote self-sufficiency".... "open up the countryside".... "rebuild... infrastructure" ... "tap the diaspora."

All admirable generalities. When it comes to specifics, we think there's a better than even chance the "self-sufficiency" will be provided by shady off-shore corporations, international drug cartels, and Wall Street banks who can always claim later they didn't realize who their partners in crime were. The "countryside" will be emptied, not opened up, to fill temporary construction jobs. New "infrastructure" will be built mostly to support the gambling industry. And the "diaspora" will consist of emigrant Haitians returning home to be schooled as dealers, croupiers, and slot machine mechanics.

Unless the international community gets its act together fast, Port-au-Prince is our bet to become the new 'Caribbean Las Vegas' -- taking the place of the mob-ruled Havana of the '40s and '50s. We give you odds of 3 to 1.

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