Saturday, September 03, 2005

The New Orleans post

What else can one add to all what has been said about the Katrina disaster, a natural and human disaster if any? Nothing really besides one's own impressions, of little interest to the world. But a blog is also a personal diary and I will indulge.

Watching the news I could not help but be awed at how precarious civilization is. How one of the most significant cities in the United States, ranking up there in historical and cultural importance only after NY, Philadelphia and Boston, has been basically wiped out by a storm whose disastrous predictions were already well known half a dozen years ago and for which nothing was done. According to an article sent to me, reinforcing the levees 4 years ago would have cost 14 billions. How much will it cost to rebuild New Orleans? Because it must be rebuilt, even at a smaller scale, as a harbor is needed at the end of the Mississippi.

But how come the city of the easy going, where drinks can be had in the streets, which introduced the world to America's greatest cultural offering, Jazz, has returned so fast to the stone age, where survivors are reduced to the status of gatherers while a few hunted for expensive electronics that they had no electricity to plug to. I am not buying the racial excuse. From Venezuela I know quite well that black and white loot with equal efficiency. The poor were left behind when evacuation order were irresponsibly given without previewing that 100 000 people had neither cars nor means to afford transportation. What, not even a few cattle cars? No, the responsibilities lay everywhere. It lays with the Mayor and Governor for not thinking about how to evacuate the more vulnerable Gulf city, from not pushing harder for better levees. It lays with Bush and Clinton and Congress who did not take seriously hurricane danger in spite of Andrew a few years ago. It rests with the people of New Orleans for not electing the folks that would force the issues. It ultimately ends on the black caucus in Congress whose crocodile tears should dry while they wonder how come they had "forgotten" about these Southern relatives now that they haunt the hallways of power in DC. Was there anything wrong with New Orleans African American folks? Where they not Baptist? Did they like to drink a little bit too much? Truly, time to question the American way of life on some issues.

But this is a blog about Venezuela and unfortunately I get even more saddened about the attitude of our public officials. Oh yes, help was offered! But Chavez, conveniently forgetting his Vargas shortcomings and death toll, almost gloated offering that help to the US. His mentor Castro also offered Cuban doctors from an apparently inextinguishable supplies of Cuban doctors, making one wonder if Cuba only produces doctors since there is nothing else to do in that island. And Chavez line to ridicule the US was followed ignobly by a few underlings such as Jaua, the minister of popular economy, a cheap academic that never achieved anything on its own and would be relegated to some dusty classroom if it were not for his devotion to Chavez. His comments mocking US lack of prevision were shown on Globovision a few days ago. Not only they were ignoble and revealing of his lack of humanity, but they also showed a total ignorance on physical and geographical realities that do explain why a hurricane will always be a disaster unless the coasts are empty, at least 20 miles inland. I can forgive that ignorance in Chavez, but not on someone who pretends to a certain intellectual status when in fact he is an empty shell, just good enough to parrot, uncreatively, his master's voice.

But I guess I should not be surprised, hurricane Chavez is passing over Venezuela and our civilization is breaking down.

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