[News] Haiti and its Blood Suckers

Anti-Imperialist News 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 L’Ouverture 
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 don’t seem to show much 
progress since the earthquake that rocked 
Port-au-Prince, the nation’s 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 there’s 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 country’s largest rice-producing state. The 
irony of this is Clinton was assigned to Haiti as 
the UN Special Envoy to oversee the country’s 
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 Haiti’s 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 Haiti’s destabilization.

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, 
Jamala Rogers, is the leader of the 
<http://www.obs-onthemove.org>Organization for 
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.

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