Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

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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

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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.

Let’s Not Forget Haiti’s Anguish

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A nice op-ed piece in USA Today reminding us not to forget about Haiti after January 12th. It’s amazing how quickly people forget.

Let’s Not Forget Haiti’s Anguish

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.

Aid Still Very Slow In Arriving

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The Wall Street Journal is finally figuring out that the majority of aid pledged to Haiti to assist in the rebuild after the January 12th earthquake is still not arriving. The piece also examines land rights conflicts for displaced citizens. The usual suspects are blamed; weak and ineffective leadership on the Haitian government’s part. It’s been six months since the disaster and virtually nothing has changed on the ground in PAP. It can’t be much longer before the powder keg simmering in the Haitian capital erupts once and for all.

Aid Still Very Slow In Arriving

Gede Greg C.

Haiti Six Months Later

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Canada has recently re-affirmed its commitment to providing aid and assisting in the rebuild of Haiti and its capital Port Au Prince. For many years, Canada has been a favorite landing spot for Haitians venturing out in the new world. Whether its the language familiarity, the favorable immigration status afforded to incoming Haitians, or the Health Care system and other amenities that Canada offers; Haitians have been migrating to our neighbor up north steadily for the past 40 years.

Click on the link below to read the official release from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Haiti Six Months Later

Gede Greg C.

Seeds of Hope or Dependence?

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I saw this today on the Huffington Post. Our ally and Haiti expert Mark Schuller analyzes Haiti’s current status in the rebuilding process resulting from the January 12th earthquake. Mr. Schuller is no less than an expert on all affairs Haitian and raises some interesting points in this piece. This is definitely a must read. Enjoy.

Seeds of Hope or Dependence?

Gede Greg C.