What I gleaned from the news last night is that there are two fault lines in Haiti. The last major quake was 200 years ago, near Port au Prince along the fault which slipped yesterday. Wyclef Jean is putting together an effort to help the folks in his homeland, which I will post up as soon as I get the details.
The Haiti part of the Island is mostly mountainous volcanic rock. Other than possibly Coffee, I’m not sure what would grow there on a scale large enough to be an export crop. The government and infrastructure is too shaky for even the Colombian Drug Lords to use it as a banking/money laundering center. For the same reason, plus crime – tourism is a non-starter. And as I recall – by standards in the region, the beaches are pretty poor. Only about 1/2 of the population is literate, meaning there is no “human capital” to sell in terms of putting manufacturing centers there. The language is French creole – which means you can’t even put a call center there to service the predominant language markets of the Western Hemisphere.