The Caribbean Bad to Worse

As the political standoff drags on, Haiti's people descend deeper into misery and the U.S. gropes for a way to handle the refugee flow

For Haiti's poorest citizens, the term "quality of life" is a cruel mockery. Since the Sept. 30 military coup that deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and precipitated a hemisphere-wide economic embargo, malnutrition and disease have spread at a rate well beyond the usual disquieting norm. In rural areas, hungry peasant farmers eat the seeds they should be planting. Twenty miles from the capital, immunization programs have been curtailed, a casualty of government efforts to conserve fuel that make refrigeration of vaccines impossible. As a result, children are dying of measles. Yet in the slums, people do not complain of physical hardship; they...

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