Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

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Archive for the ‘Foreign Military In Haiti’ Category

Haïti Liberté and The Aristide Files

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Haïti Liberté editor Kim Ives was interviewed on Democracy Now! today regarding the 2,000 U.S. diplomatic cables on Haiti.

For those who have researched Haiti’s political history and are aware of the unrest surrounding decades and centuries of political instability, this is an interesting report that touches on the meddling of foreign governments in regards to Haiti’s government over the past decade and offers just a glimpse into findings that are unfortunately far from surprising – an important part of the  historical record.

Ives research found that high-level U.S. and U.N. officials coordinated a politically motivated prosecution of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to prevent him from gaining more traction with the Haitian population and returning to Haiti.

Kim Ives full report for The Nations can also be found at the following link:

http://www.thenation.com/article/162598/wikileaks-haiti-aristide-files

January 12th – 1 Year Later

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So, it’s been almost one full year since the cataclysmic earthquake that devastated Port Au Prince and it’s outlying areas. Haiti’s already unstable infrastructure and volatile political structure took a violent  hit; one that may potentially take another century to fully recover from.

In the quake’s aftermath we saw the international community stand up in a show of solidarity; vowing to help this unfortunate island state to rebuild. Countries all over the world pledged billions of dollars and endless amounts of manpower to assist in recovery.

Out of the spotlight celebrities and politicos worldwide dusted off their camouflage and khakis, without a doubt tweaking their press conference speeches on chartered Gulf stream jet rides to the Dominican Republic, as they prepped for the cameras documenting their forays across the St. Domingue/Ayiti border.

Hell, we even had Haitian politicians finally fessing up and promising to put aside their petty banana republic ideological differences and do what’s best for the country.

In the US, Haitian Americans and ex-pats united in a way that hadn’t been seen since the days of the 4 H’s in the 1980’s. Haitian groups were organizing, planning, plotting, and pontificating at an insane rate; guided by the simple premise of rebuilding this once proud nation into the land that L’Ouverture and Dessalines would have envisioned. There were fund raisers, records, and conversations with the UN. We even united Bubba and Dubya!

Haiti was finally on the map, and for those of us that lost family and possessions on January 12, 2011, there was hope. Then a funny thing happened over the next year.

Absolutely nothing.

Gede Greg Cee

Footprints of a colonial past: Primitive sugar mills in old Haiti

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At one time, sugar production was the be-all and end-all of France’s colonial aspirations in St. Domingue and helped fund the ascent of port cities like Marseilles.

Forget political will. How can Haiti stand up to multi-national corporations?

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Last Friday Reuters published an interview with Edmond Mulet, who is Special Representative in Haiti for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, about the sputtering rebuilding efforts in Haiti. (http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N30131620.htm) Citing the now-slightly-annoying-and-growing-meaningless mantra of “build back better,” Mulet pointed out that “the international community, wary of chronic corruption, mismanagement and instability in Haiti, had actually contributed to weakening the government by often sidelining it from essential tasks.” At the heart of the international community’s misguided efforts was the fact that for decades, Haiti has been a “Republic of NGOs.” No argument there. He then went on to say that the earthquake and subsequent pledges (not so many people have paid up apparently) must be used to break the cycle of dependency on NGOs and to also break the cycle of corruption and inept governing. Still no argument there. Central to breaking the cycle is implementing “the rule of law.” He concludes: “You can bring money to rebuild the city, reconstruct, you can have infrastructure, build roads, airports, you can build all that, but that will not be sustainable in the mid-and long-term, if you don’t have rule of law here,” he said.

That is all well and good and very true. However, what he fails to mention is how difficult it is to implement all of the suggested reforms when very few parties – countries, NGOs, politicians – deal in good faith when it comes to Haiti. Where is the mention of the multi-national corporations jockeying for position in what is essentially a virgin market? You can see partial proof of them in the industrial tax-free zone factories, the newest of which is right by the airport and funded by George Soros. Where is the mention of governments needing to essentially “clear the field” and make Haiti safe for cheap slave labor? Where is the mention of the fact that Venezuela and the United States have the biggest international presence in Haiti (as can be seen by their embassies) and that for all of Hugo Chavez’s big socialist bluster and Washington’s bankrupt capitalist babble, all they want is for Haiti to fall under their sphere of influence so she can be a mini-factory for them.

Mulet says building back Haiti is a question of political will. Bah! How can Haiti stand up to self-interested countries and corporations?

Show Us The Money, Don’t Show Us The Way

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Washington Post reporter Mary Beth Sheridan wrote an interesting piece on how a fraction of aid pledged to Haiti for disaster relief and the rebuild of Port Au Prince has actually been distributed. To blame are the usual suspects, Rene Preval and the rest of the Haitian leadership, for hampering progress. Either they are not making decisions fast enough, or in Preval’s case, not warming up to the US backed Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) which would monitor fraud and be co-chaired by Jean Max Bellerive and Bill Clinton, as primary reasons why things are currently a mess in PAP.

The seeds are being sown for  a full scale takeover of Haiti at this point. We all know that the only time a disaster is really a disaster is when you miss a chance to implement policies that you couldn’t have previously. What the UN, US, and EU are calling procrastination on Haitian leaders’ parts is probably a nation’s realization that it’s hard fought sovereignty is slipping away. You be the judge.

Show Us The Money, Don’t Show Us The Way

Gede Greg C.

Displaced and Desperate Makes For Good Copy

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According to this piece in the NY Times, only 28,000 of the 1.5 million displaced Haitians in Port Au Prince have moved into new homes. Port Au Prince is still a wretched tapestry of filthy tent camps, strewn rubble, and congestion. The Haitian government isn’t acting fast or firm enough for citizens or the international community pledging donations to have much faith in the future of the rebuild. There have been some success stories, mostly by NGO’s and citizens joining forces, but they have been far and few in between.

Any country attempting to rebuild from such a catastrophe would find it a monumental task, but it feels like there’s an underlying tone in this story that is somewhat discomforting. The onus of the rebuild failure has been disproportionately placed on the Haitian government. There hasn’t really been unbiased reporting on how past US and European foreign policy and Haiti’s historically troubled relations with the superpowers of the world helped to lead the country into such an unstable state pre-Januuary 12th.

Usually, propaganda disguised as investigative reporting like this, is used to convince the world that the nation in question (Haiti) may need the assistance (read takeover) of the aforementioned superpowers. We’ve seen the US and European nations do this many times in the past, and there’s no reason to think that this disaster coverage isn’t a prelude to a full out US and EU occupation of the island. After all, they must protect the citizens from themselves and do the job that their own government seems incapable of doing. Wink, wink.

Mark my words, this has the potential to happen quicker than anyone would like to believe, or at least quicker than your local news outlet would have you.  The clock is ticking towards the November 28th elections. If the Haitian government doesn’t get it “right” once and for all, expect a press conference at the UN announcing an occupation to bring stability to the region.

All for the greater good of the citizens of Haiti of course.

Displaced and Desperate Makes For Good Copy

Gede Greg C.

Canadian Commander in Haiti Canned

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Col. Bernard Ouellette, UN Chief of Staff in Haiti and Canada’s  most senior military officer on the island has been dismissed amid allegations that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship. Officials are not elaborating any further. For more on the story, please click the link below.

Canadian Commander in Haiti Canned

Gede Greg C.