The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Destruction of Hurricane Maria

Oct 2, 2017

Report from Guadeloupe: Hurricane Maria was a Category 5 storm when it struck the islands of the Caribbean, as powerful as Hurricane Irma which preceded it. But unlike Irma which hammered Saint Martin and Saint Barts, Maria’s center just missed Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Many people lost power and water, large areas were flooded, and roofs were torn off. But while it was very dangerous, this hurricane inflicted less damage and fewer deaths on Guadeloupe and Martinique than Irma had on Saint Martin and Saint Barts. Its center passed 15 miles from Guadeloupe, between the island of Dominica and the Saintes, close to the island Marie-Galante. These small islands are part of Guadeloupe. The damage was worse on these small islands and on the south coast of Basse-Terre than elsewhere, with the waters of the Caribbean coming 600 feet up from the coast and causing some damage. But the damage still wasn’t comparable to what happened on the islands north of Guadeloupe, which Hurricane Irma completely destroyed.

That cannot be said for the island of Dominica. During the night of 18th and 19th of September, the center of Maria passed right over this island. The damage was comparable to that inflicted on Saint Martin fifteen days earlier. Hundreds of roofs were torn off. The rain caused landslides which killed many people.

The Caribbean remains divided into French, British, Dutch, and Spanish colonies with some small independent countries. Whether independent or colonies, these islands have been beset by poverty resulting from the impact of slavery and direct colonization for almost three centuries.

In most of these countries, poverty wreaks permanent destruction. Hurricanes aggravate the situation in direct proportion to this poverty.