Of course, the sentiment will seem outlandish to those who take it for granted that we are entirely justified in grinding people under our jackboot, using violence to impose conditions in which the resources of a country are freely open to exploitation by the rich and powerful and their population suffers in endless and unbearable misery, with a huge human cost, far beyond even wars….
The country was conquered by a US invasion a century ago under the pretext of liberating it from Spain, in fact to turn it into a US colony. It was a bloody massacre complete with torture and every imaginable barbaric crime, one of the most vicious wars of the colonial era, leaving 100s of thousands of corpses. They’ve been under direct or indirect US control since, and are still the basket case of Asia; and now in the press again because of the huge toll of the latest storm, just like Haiti a few months ago, or Nicaragua a few years before. Haiti holds the prize for US intervention through the 20th century and also the prize for poorest country in the hemisphere. In Haiti a few months ago, a tropical storm killed thousands of people, while the eye of the terrible hurricane of which the fringe hit Haiti passed right over Havana, with very few casualties and quick reconstruction. Nicaragua holds second prize for US intervention in the 20th century, and is the second poorest country in the hemisphere. Hurricane Mitch killed huge numbers of people trying to survive on a nearly barren volcano, while the wealthy agribusiness plantation a few miles away benefited from the rainfall and had a bumper crop. And the country was practically devastated, by what the outstanding economic team of the Jesuit journal correctly called “a neoliberal disaster.” These storms slaughter enormous numbers of very poor people because they live so close to the edge of survival at best, and are driven to cut down forests and to move to marginal land to try to survive, hence subject to terrible catastrophes that would be a mere nuisance where there is some minimal development and a functioning society. And all of this is, of course, a mere footnote to the general misery we have played a major role in imposing and maintaining. Something for us to be very proud of.
So can we lament piously when they resort to criminal acts to try to free themselves from the horrendous conditions we impose on them? Some doubtless think so, like Nazi and Stalinist apologists wringing their hands over the terror of the Partisans and the Hungarian resistance.