FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Earthquake in the Red Zone

Several days before Haiti’s Catastrophic EarthQuake I received a visit from a man who told me that if i stopped blogging for six months then perhaps my hotel would be removed from the Red Zone. The man was in charge of security for another man who has at times worked with InterPol, the US Government and is currently in the police business.

I was at a loss for what to do. No more blogging? I knew “they” they would come. I had been antagonizing them. I just didn’t know “who” would come. Being put in the Red Zone is a way of putting you out of business. It’s an attempt to keep people away from your place of business. People were being directed to the Montana Hotel. The United Nations and the OAS had done so much business with the Montana Hotel in the last 15 years that it grew from a 40 room hotel to a 110 room hotel with large conference centers, apartments, stores and restaurants. My Red Zone status during this last decade meant that I could barely afford to paint my hotel.

I started lashing out. I started talking about “regime change” meetings in Washington and I started mentioning names of people complicit in the corruption known as Haiti’s day to day existence. I wasn’t going to push my luck once I received the “do not blog” visit, so I asked my daughter to help me set up a TWITTER account (@RAMhaiti) so i could tell people where my band was playing. The RAMhaiti site would be strictly musical and non political. I started the site around the 6th or 7th of January and by Tuesday the 12th of January I had about 40 followers.

Tuesday afternoon I was sitting in Room 20 of my Oloffson Hotel watching television. Oddly, the television began to sway back and forth. I didn’t want to lose the television so I summoned my strength, stood up and assumed the surfing position. As I leaned forward to grab the television, the television seemed to lean back out of my reach. As the television moved towards me, I was forced to lean back. Why was I surfing in the middle of Room 20?

Fifteen seconds into this surf dance i began to suspect that I was perhaps in the midst of an earthquake. Once again I summoned all my strength and lunged toward the television. I grabbed it and I felt I could save it but the Earthquake seemed to shift into a higher gear. The television then dove for the glass top table beneath and the table top shattered, exploded, cutting my right forefinger. With the glass explosion, the world came to a halt. I still couldn’t quite grasp what was going on. I looked at my finger, thick red blood. I headed out the door. I couldn’t see the 8 story building that stood behind the Oloffson, known as the Castel Haiti. It was hiding (so I thought) behind a cloud of white dust.

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” was being shouted out in Creole. I looked to my left and three of my staff were waving their hands in the air and calling Jesus to come save them. Some people pray when things are going bad. I try and pray before things go bad. This didn’t seem like the time to call Jesus. I headed to the house to find my wife, daughter and son. Everyone was okay though there were big holes in the wall of our home. As though suddenly realizing what had just happened, both my wife and daughter began to scream and cry. I rushed to my wife and hugged her tight trying to absorb the fear and grief away from her body.

I didn’t know it then but the Castel Haiti was gone. The National Palace was gone, The United Nations Headquarters was gone, the Taxation building, gone, most of the government for that matter, was destroyed. The Montana Hotel,gone. Thousands of homes belonging to Haitians throughout the cities of Port au Prince, Leogane and Jacmel among others, gone. The Notre Dame Cathedral, gone, St Gerard Church, gone. Sacred Heart Church, St Anne Church, gone.

That night, I went to my RAMhaiti Twitter site and I began to tell my forty followers what I saw, what I witnessed and what i thought. I’m not a journalist. I’m a musician/innkeeper. I hope to give you a slice of Haiti and perhaps we can either watch as Haiti rises from the dust cloud or we can watch as Aid to Haiti does what it always seems to do, which is to enter into a big metaphorical stomach to be digested by the juices of corruption.

RICHARD MORSE runs the Oloffson Hotel Port-au-Prince Haiti and the leads the Haitian band RAM.

 

 

More articles by:

RICHARD MORSE runs the Oloffson Hotel Port-au-Prince Haiti and the leads the Haitian band RAM.

December 19, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russophobia and the Specter of War
Jonathan Cook
American Public’s Backing for One-State Solution Falls on Deaf Ears
Daniel Warner
1968: The Year That Will Not Go Away
Arshad Khan
Developing Country Issues at COP24 … and a Bit of Good News for Solar Power and Carbon Capture
Kenneth Surin
Trump’s African Pivot: Another Swipe at China
Patrick Bond
South Africa Searches for a Financial Parachute, Now That a $170 Billion Foreign Debt Cliff Looms
Tom Clifford
Trade for Hostages? Trump’s New Approach to China
Binoy Kampmark
May Days in Britain
John Feffer
Globalists Really Are Ruining Your Life
John O'Kane
Drops and the Dropped: Diversity and the Midterm Elections
December 18, 2018
Charles Pierson
Where No Corn Has Grown Before: Better Living Through Climate Change?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Waters of American Democracy
Patrick Cockburn
Will Anger in Washington Over the Murder of Khashoggi End the War in Yemen?
George Ochenski
Trump is on the Ropes, But the Pillage of Natural Resources Continues
Farzana Versey
Tribals, Missionaries and Hindutva
Robert Hunziker
Is COP24 One More Big Bust?
David Macaray
The Truth About Nursing Homes
Nino Pagliccia
Have the Russian Military Aircrafts in Venezuela Breached the Door to “America’s Backyard”?
Paul Edwards
Make America Grate Again
David Rosnick
The Impact of OPEC on Climate Change
Binoy Kampmark
The Kosovo Blunder: Moving Towards a Standing Army
Andrew Stewart
Shine a Light for Immigration Rights in Providence
December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
ANIS SHIVANI
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Vacy Vlanza
The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail