[News] Haiti and its Blood Suckers
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Feb 2 17:55:11 EST 2012
Haiti and its Blood Suckers
Where are her true friends?
A View from the Battlefield
By Jamala Rogers
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board
The second anniversary of the earthquake that
shook the island of Haiti has come and gone.
While the images of destruction dim, the
unanswered questions about recovery and
reconstruction must remain loud and constant. The
7.0-magnitude quake created yet another set back
for a people who seem to be perpetual victims of
natural and man-made disasters.
Some Haitians believe the island is cursed
because of its history of slavery and repression.
Others remember the battle for independence from
French domination led by Toussaint LOuverture
and believe they can be free again. The model of
corruption perfected by the brutal regimes of
Jean Claude Duvaliers (Papa Doc and Baby Doc).
who were propped up by the U.S. government,
continues to be fine-tuned by government and business officials.
Current photos of Haiti dont seem to show much
progress since the earthquake that rocked
Port-au-Prince, the nations capital. Piles of
rubble, teetering buildings and sprawling tent
cities are the visual images that remind us of
the challenges the small island continues to
face. The quake affected an estimated 3 million
people and displaced about 1.5 million Haitians.
The death toll, like the billions in aid, is
impossible to track or confirm. The death
estimates range from 50,000 to a half million.
Financial aid swings from $3 billion to $12
billion. Haiti has no system f accounting for
births or deaths. And theres definitely been no
accounting of the millions that poured in so
quickly in the days after the earthquake for recovery and rebuilding.
Still, only a fraction of the pledged monies by
governments has been received. The international
shell game in the face of such a disaster is
outrageous. According to Robert Fatton, professor
of government and foreign affairs at the
University of Virginia, Haitians received a puny
1 percent of the U.S. dollars that were pledged.
If you read the UN Report, Fatton says, 99
percent of the U.S. dollars went to the U.S.
military, the State Department, NGOs and
it ended up returning to the same place it came from.
Everyone is not exploiting the situation. OXFAM
is questioning why rice is being imported from
the U.S. by the shiploads instead of helping
Haitian farmers to grow their own. At one time,
Haiti was producing its own rice. Now, it imports 60% of it from this country.
Who was mostly responsible for this particular
underminement of Haitian agriculture? None other
than President Bill Clinton whose home state is
our countrys largest rice-producing state. The
irony of this is Clinton was assigned to Haiti as
the UN Special Envoy to oversee the countrys
reconstruction efforts. Not surprising, he has
been unresponsive to repeated requests for
accountability by watchdog groups. MINUSTAH (UN
Stabilization Mission) also needs to be held accountable.
When people of the world look at Haitis dismal
situation, the tendency is to blame the victim.
But a closer look reveals many blood-suckers that
keep the country from standing on its own two
feet and taking care of its people.
Haiti is bowed but not broken. The people
continue to find dignity in their lives, and hope
in their futures. Let those outside its border
and particularly those of us who are in the belly
of the beast continue to raise the hard questions
about aid to Haiti. We must actively oppose the
economic and foreign policies of those who claim
to be nation-partners but who are collaborators in Haitis destabilization.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member,
Jamala Rogers, is the leader of the
Black Struggle in St. Louis and the
Radical Congress National Organizer.
Additionally, she is an Alston-Bannerman Fellow.
She is the author of
<http://thebestofthewayiseeit.com/>The Best of
the Way I See It A Chronicle of Struggle.
here to contact Ms. Rogers.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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