SO SOME PEOPLE ARE UNHAPPY THAT CRUISE SHIPS ARE STILL DOCKING AT HAITI, outside the earthquake zone. But Haiti is also suffering from economic devastation, and this is a significant source of desperately needed income and foreign exchange. Stopping these visits might help rich people in developed countries feel better about themselves, but it won’t do anything for Haiti, which still needs money. We saw something like this after the Indian Ocean tsunami, too. The locals made clear that they really, really wanted tourists to come back, while Western pundits sneered at the idea of vacationing in a place where people were desperate for the business.

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Comment by Jim Werbaneth on January 25, 2010 at 1:01pm
I've been reading the Canadian media regarding Haiti, and I do see a high degree of concern. Plus, having a woman of Haitian origin as Governor General (I'll forgo politics here) should give Haitian relief an extra "bully pulpit."
Comment by Carl Paradis on January 25, 2010 at 11:41am
I agree. We have a significan Haitian community here in Quebec, Canada. Some of my co-workers have family down there. The worst we could do would be to shut off the country from the rest of the world. So of course cruise ships should still get there. And more! The people in Haiti are fantastic.

On a sadder note, it is shameful to see what the Dominican Republic is doing, in not helping his needy neibour, even impeding the relief efforts!
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on January 18, 2010 at 4:39pm
My late Uncle Lou used to volunteer at the Hospital Albert Schweitzer, taking care of their accounting back in the dark days of Papa Doc. One bright spot is that the hospital is still standing, and supplying vital services in the aftermath of the quake.
Comment by Lisa Scheer on January 18, 2010 at 2:24pm
As a social worker and a human being, my heart bleeds for the people of Haiti. I wish I could go down there to help. I'll donate to the ARC.
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on January 18, 2010 at 11:17am
I agree, why punish a place for having a natural disaster, through boycotting it?
Comment by Eric Walters on January 18, 2010 at 11:12am
As one of the staff principles on the combined/joint staff for the Indian Ocean tsunami relief operation, I can second Smitty's comments here, based on my experience in that tragedy. Same thing in the Philippines in the summer of 1991 after Mount Pinatubo exploded (yeah, I was there digging myself out of that one, too!)

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