Hurricane Mitch's Legacy Aid Provides 'Revolution of Opportunity' - for the Needy and the Corrupt

By Jarquin, Edmundo | The Christian Science Monitor, November 24, 1998 | Go to article overview

Hurricane Mitch's Legacy Aid Provides 'Revolution of Opportunity' - for the Needy and the Corrupt


Jarquin, Edmundo, The Christian Science Monitor


An exact calculation will never be made of the human and material damage caused by hurricane Mitch in Central America. But the worst hit countries - Honduras and Nicaragua - may have lost a generation or more of economic progress. An enormous amount of humanitarian and reconstruction aid is needed, and there is no reason to delay its prompt arrival.

It is important to ask, however, whether this aid will be used only to rebuild bridges to the past. Before the hurricane, the countries of Central America were extremely poor and suffered from a grievous disparity of income between a small number of the very rich and millions of the very poor. Although all governments of the region now have elected civilian governments, Central America's history of civil wars, revolutions, foreign interventions and dictatorships has left these new democratic regimes extremely feeble. Governmental institutions remain ineffective and riddled with cronyism and corruption. Civil society is weak.

The modest private sector, as in a hall of mirrors, reflects the public sector's incompetence and corrupt practices. The backwardness of Honduras and Nicaragua are the result of natural and historical catastrophes. The different catastrophes are related. Even though the first kind can't be averted, the second magnifies their consequences. In 1972 an earthquake destroyed Nicaragua's capital. In 1975 Hurricane Fifi devastated Honduras. Humanitarian and reconstruction aid was also available then, but it didn't improve the condition of either country. The current tragedy may represent an opportunity to prevent another return to the way things were. Or it could sow the seeds for greater tragedies in the future. The former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza said that the earthquake that laid waste his country's capital represented a "revolution of opportunity." Aid for that crisis ended up in the pockets of Somoza and his cronies, and another kind of revolution erupted seven years later, leading to civil war, American and Soviet involvement, and two decades later, a GNP per capita that had dipped to the levels of 40 years ago. This time, international aid must be used to break the cycle of historical and natural catastrophes. Courage and new ideas are needed to guide reconstruction efforts. For example, given that massive deforestation is to blame for a major part of the damage, the international community should consider a supervised prohibition of timber exports until plans are devised for the future sustainable exploitation of the forests. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hurricane Mitch's Legacy Aid Provides 'Revolution of Opportunity' - for the Needy and the Corrupt
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.