Stephanie Tran, Broadside Correspondent

In the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, many countries, including the United States, have responded with military troops, doctors and other personnel to aid the small country.

However, there have also been inappropriate responses to the tragedy. According to the BBC News website, Pat Robertson, an evangelist broadcaster, said that Haiti is “cursed” due to the country’s deal with the devil to free themselves from French rule in 1803.

While there is little to no truth that the country made this supernatural pact, there is, however, some truth in the idea that the country of Haiti is suffering from more than just an earthquake.

A quick search on Encyclopedia Britannica reveals that even after achieving independence from France, Haiti was plagued by several misfortunes, including civil war, poverty, class issues, numerous military regimes and a widespread AIDS epidemic that still remains.

Little has improved for Haiti in the 21st century: high costs of living, a weak government, rising tensions between Haitian civilians and the United Nations Stabilization Mission troops and a slow rebuilding period after the hurricanes in 2008 have all taken their toll on the small country even before the earthquake struck on Jan. 12,2010.

Throughout Haiti’s history, international aid and international troops have attempted to bolster the country’s government and its people. After the rebuilding in Port-au-Prince, will international aid continue to help this small country?

Or will the aid increase the country’s problems, as violence from the UN Stabilization Mission troops’ reports seem to indicate? It’s hard to say, but it seems that Haiti will still be “cursed” with social unrest and poverty long after international workers return home and the spotlight moves on.