Today’s show is intended to give a little bit of context to the physical destruction in Haiti. The widespread tragedy following the recent earthquake has as much to do with severe poverty and a dysfunctional government as it does with the natural disaster itself. The country has a volatile history, especially when compared to its neighbors like the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, yet is stable financially and politically. Mark L. Schneider is a Senior Vice President and Special Adviser on Latin America at the International Crisis Group. He describes the people, government and history of Haiti and why the quake affected so many people so drastically.
Then, in 2008 Georges Anglade founded the Haitian chapter of PEN, the international organization that seeks freedom for writers. In a country where more than half the population is illiterate and corruption a historical norm, Anglade had taken on a challenging but important role. Unfortunately, he and his wife were killed in the earthquake last week. John Ralston Saul is the president of International PEN. He talks about his friend and colleague – and what Anglade’s death means to Haiti.
Here are a few of the many organizations you can contact to help the earthquake victims:
International Committee of the Red Cross
American Red Cross
Doctor’s Without Borders