“And right now one of our biggest concerns as human rights lawyers is that this travesty that the United States is a facsimile of democracy, that the UN, the United Nations, and the OAS, and this core group of internationals, is putting on Haitians’ throat, is not worth one life. Not one Haitian life. Because it’s not about us, it’s about the international interests in Haiti. It’s about Bill Clinton’s luxury hotels, sweatshops for South Koreans. It’s not about Haitians. It’s about mining, Canadian mining. We have issues, real issues, like cholera. Like the deportations that’s happening to 80,000 Haitians at the Dominican border. We have real issues like hunger. Like food sovereignty. But the United States only cares about these elections because it needs to have a, a face for what it’s doing in Haiti.”
(and quite noteworthy):
“DANTO: Well, well, we have actually made the one–when President Aristide, right after [Duvalie], Haiti did throw elections. They did throw elections in 2001. The international community has an economic interest in Haiti, and that economic interest and that strategic interest is hidden by the media, who refuses to look at the fact that Haiti has the largest cache of gold, $20 billion they say, but the geologists in Haiti says it’s like, about $100 billion. So we’re talking about real economic interest. Deepwater ports.
The United States after they took out President Aristide built its largest embassy in the Western hemisphere in Haiti. They have over 1,000 people in that embassy, in tiny Haiti. So there’s no way they’re going away. You’ve got to understand that Hillary Clinton left the Benghazi, that’s the Benghazi crisis, to go to Haiti and basically strongarm the Haitians at the [CAP] and basically said, you know, I’m going to take away–we’re going to take away your visas if you don’t step back and let us do what we want, and put Martelly in office.”
This is part II, in which Phillipps and Danto discuss the many ways that Martelly has ridden rough-shod over the Rule of Law, aided by an international coalition of NGOs, representatives from the OAS, the EU, neo-colonialists all, but Danto issues a scathing indictment of the US. The transcript is up now, below the one on Pt.I.
Oh, yes, the Big Dawg has helped Haiti in so many other ways, too. You’ll likely remember his abject ‘apology to the Hatians’, although he’d actually made it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was tragic about the fact that he’d essentially ruined the nation’s agricultural by er…suggesting that their long-standing high tariffs on rice be removed, thus flooding Haiti with US rice. The cost differential was high enough to put loads of farmers out of business, and injure Haiti’s agricultural self-sufficiency.
Goodness gracious, the man had to live every day knowing that ‘We’d made a devil’s bargain’, and it just hadn’t worked like it had with ‘his farmers in Arkansas’. No, he said, the buck stopped with him, but he did mumble something about it being Robert Zoelick’s (head of the World Bank) bright idea, which was to ‘allow’ the re-colonized Natives to skip over agriculturalism and head straight to the wealth of an industrialized country.
“JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Kim, that repudiation by Clinton of his previous policies is really a stunning statement, because, in effect, he is in large part renouncing even NAFTA, even though he hasn’t said it, because obviously NAFTA had a major impact on agriculture in Mexico, where millions of people were thrown off their farms because they couldn’t compete with American corn flooding the country. Your sense of whether the possibility of policies like this actually being implemented?
KIM IVES: Well, that’s just it, Juan. I think it’s a lot of bluff. We have to remember, we’re not in the age of Bush anymore, with all the chest pounding and, you know, America first and capitalism first. This is Slick Willie, and they come with the message. They know the sensitivity of the Haitian community—I can say of the progressive American community, too—to all these maneuvers. And so they know the language. We hear the word “solidarity.” We hear the word “sovereignty.” We hear the word—we hear all the right words. But once again, to me, it’s total smoke.”
One great story though, was that Monanto decided to ‘help’ re-establish the agricultural sector in Haiti by sending them tons and tons of genetically-modified veggie and grain seed. A local group of farmers set fire to all of it, knowing exactly what sort of ‘gift’ it was.
Sure, Bill and Hill love sweatshop industrial complexes (from nacla.org) more than houses for Haiti, and love HELP™ (comically ironic acronym):
“On September 20, Haitian prime minister Jean-Marc Bellerive, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation announced their partnership with the South Korean garment firm Sae-A Trading Company to establish an industrial park that will create 10,000 garment assembly jobs in Haiti. Without a doubt, earthquake-ravaged Haiti needs jobs, mainly to provide the country’s 1.3 million homeless with the means necessary to rebuild their destroyed homes.
While little progress has been made on Haiti’s immense housing needs since the January 12 earthquake, Clinton assured the investing public that factory development was moving full steam ahead. These 10,000 jobs, she assured critics “are not just any jobs. These are good jobs with fair pay that adhere to international labor standards, . . . Haiti is open for business again.”
Well, sure; at a $3.09 daily minimum wage (upped later to $5, but almost no one actually gets paid at that rate), what’s not to love?
“When pressed about the lack of progress made in the (housing) rebuilding efforts, including inabilities to provide shelter, Secretary of State Clinton said “Those who expect progress immediately are unrealistic and doing a disservice to the many people who are working so hard.”
Bill Clinton, UN Special Envoy to Haiti, has been equally optimistic about Haiti’s cheap labor prospects, especially since the passing of the Haitian Economic Lift Program (HELP) in May. The bill would increase the amount of Haitian assembled goods that could be imported into the United States duty free. “This important step,” Clinton said, “responds to the needs of the Haitian people for more tools to lift themselves from poverty, while standing to benefit U.S. consumers.”
But my, oh, my; the Big Dog loves high-end resort tourism, too. The Marriott opening was well-attended by toffs, including Senn Penn, as I remember it.
Beverly Bell of Other Worlds, via HuffPo, 4 year ago:
“Similar recent foreign investment schemes in Haiti, like new free trade zones, have not brought the much- touted government line of better incomes. Residents of Île-à-Vache are concerned that they will have no power to enforce even the daily minimum wage of $5.11, as has happened with new sweatshops. Further, Haiti’s tourism industry – when it was flourishing in the 80’s – created a collision of wealth and extreme poverty which promoted other informal economies, such as the sex industry which was illuminated in the film Heading South.
Under the platform “Haiti is Open for Business”, the Martelly/Lamothe Administration continues to entice foreign investments with images of stability and security, building of infrastructure financed by PetroCaribe, and incentive policies such as a 15-year exemption from local taxes and duties exonerations on the import of equipment, goods and materials.
Tourism is one of the development pillars of the government in reconstruction/rebuilding following the 2010 earthquake. Tourism is supported by the Bill Clinton, UN Special Envoy to Haiti, who speaks of “Building Back Better.” The other economic pillars include mining, free-trade zones, and monocropping for export, all of which are direct affronts to the livelihoods of the rural peasantry and to food and land sovereignty.”
Emily Troutman gets it: ‘5 Years After the Quake: Haiti’s Rich Get Richer’, although she doesn’t seen quite as aware as she might be concerning multinational Shock Doctrine Economic Hit Persons bottom-line increases as I’d wished. But the photos are stunning tells.
Perhaps post-earthquake you’d followed TheHaitianBlogger off and on, and found a perverse pleasure in how much she loathed Bill Clinton, the UN’s ‘Special Envoy to Haiti’; I know I did. Here she is in April of 2015:
“The way that U.S. oligarchs like Billary Clinton and their kin (like Hillary’s brother Anthony Rodham) conduct their personal business in Haiti, you would think this was the 18th century and they are the rich creoles1 and autocrats of Napoleonic France.
On Sunday, Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the presidency of the United States. What a rush for white feminist who have been salivating about this since the Monica Lewinsky intern scandal. Admittedly, if one took a time machine back to that period, when Republican right-wingers were in attack mode over the “Arkansa bubba” ascending to the world’s highest office, it would be accurate to say that most so-called liberal women and blacks were on Hillary’s team. However, this is 2015 and there has been a lot of water under the proverbial bridge since then.
At her new campaign office in Brooklyn Haitians threw her a house-warming party of sorts: they protested her actions and failures, along with that of her husband Bill Clinton in Haiti, carrying signs that read “Where is the money?”
The protestors claimed that a portion of money meant for the recovery was directed to favored investors. They also say that organizations and individuals associated with the Clinton Foundation were given an unfair advantage in auctions of Haitian commodities, including gold mining rights.
The poverty pimpin’ disaster profiteering crime syndicate operating in Haiti after the devastating earthquake want us to trust them with the disbursement of donor funds, however we have observed that when the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) headed by Bill Clinton voted to grant money to the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton recused himself, Susan Rice voted his proxy on behalf of USAID. So excuse us if we don’t see it as a game-changer that on Sunday Hillary Clinton resigned from the board of the Clinton Foundation “to focus on her just-launched presidential campaign.” and much more…
CEPR (Center for Economic and Policy Research) has a boatload of exposés on Haiti, including reconstruction fraud, USAID funding unsavory candidates, and more.
‘Haiti 5 Years After Devastating Earthquake’; TRNN’s Jessica Desvarieux reviews Haiti’s most significant moments in 2014 and looks at how the country is recovering from the 2010 earthquake – January 12, 2015
“JAKE JOHNSTON, ASSOCIATE, CEPR: So the original U.S. plan was to build around 15,000 houses, the majority of which would be near Port-au-Prince on the outskirts. And that plan originally was set to cost around $50 million.
What we see now, a few years later, is that the cost has ballooned to over $90 million, but the goal has actually been reduced from 15,000 houses to around 2,500 houses, and currently only about 900 have actually been built.
What I found more recently in some of my research was that the homes that had been built actually were quite faulty. So, originally, and when they explained this to Congress, USAID said that the cost overruns were basically because we held our contractors to higher standards. So they were building to international standards, and so the costs ballooned.”
Where did all those billions go? And yes; it’s a rhetorical question….