Eighty per cent of New Orleans was inundated when levies broke during Hurricane Katrina.
Venezuela and Cuba immediately offered aid to the American people in response to Hurricane Katrina, which struck Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama just over 13 years ago at 6 a.m., August 29, 2005. Through the prism of time we can better understand the humanitarian principles, ethics and morality – or absence thereof – guiding the response of the three countries to such a natural disaster, which became one of the most infamous social disasters in the modern history of the United States. It is of particular relevance to an understanding of how an imperial power today morbidly vilifies the two smaller countries as monsters for the crime of refusing its militarized “humanitarian aid” and affirming their dignity and sovereignty.
The Category 5 storm wreaked mass destruction. The effects of such storms, however disastrous, are usually localized. Within the first day, more than half a million people were uprooted, making it the largest displacement of human beings in US history since the 1930s dust bowl migration. The port city of New Orleans, where one in four people lived under the official poverty line, inundated by flooding when the levies on the Mississippi River breached, was devastated and virtually deserted; eventually, at least 80 per cent of the city was under water. Some 1,200 innocent people lost their lives – mainly in the ensuing days and weeks – from a man-made social disaster. Continue reading