Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Dangers of Colonial Cancer and the Politics of NOT HELPING: (ex-)President Bill Clinton Is Trying to Slip "the business" to Haitian poor people

 [image of Bill Clinton is from here]
BILL CLINTON: To the private-sector members here, we need your input about what we can do to support more economic growth. We know that 70 percent of the GDP losses of Haiti were from small and medium enterprises. Just in the last few weeks, two of my colleagues announced—Carlos Slim and Frank Giustra—a $20 million revolving nonprofit loan fund to get small and medium enterprises going again. We are working hard on all this economic investment, but let’s not forget, when we come out of this, we want Haiti to have a strong middle class, and we want poor people to own more property and believe they can work themselves into the middle class.

Translation from Bill-speak to pro-democracy English:

KIM IVES: Well, Amy, as we saw, in fact, the wolves have been put in charge of the chicken coop. The bourgeoisie has been put in charge of resettling the squatters’ camps, and they have the best land in suburban Port-au-Prince, the large tracts of land very suited to building cities of new cities, where people could have good houses. And there’s dozens of proposals of how to build those houses. But the good land is not being given. What they’ve done is give a place like Corail, which they own, too, and they pay themselves handsomely for its use. And so, what they’re doing is keeping their best land; selling, at a high profit, their worst land. And the people are paying the price.

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And Kim, when you say "they," you’re talking about the CIRH, the Interim Commission to Reconstruct Haiti. Can you describe who makes up this commission? And also, it’s really an underreported fact that the parliament in Haiti in mid-March voted to cede power to this commission. Explain.

KIM IVES: Exactly. They essentially committed suicide to give this commission, which is composed of foreign bankers and foreign governments, like the US, France and Canada, which were behind the 2004 coup d’état against Aristide—they essentially control this commission, along with thirteen members. The other thirteen members are members of Haiti’s elite, represented by people like Reginald Boulos, who heads the principal bourgeois family who was behind the '94 coup—the ’91 coup and the 2004 coup. So these families are now in charge, along with the US and along with the banks, IMF, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, of Haiti's reconstruction. And to me, it’s going to be the Haitian equivalent of the US bank bailout, where essentially they’re going to take these billions of dollars and funnel it into their own pockets.

*          *          *
I’ve come to the conclusion here, when everybody comes and has a solution for Haiti, it only creates a problem. And Americans love solutions, so we come with lots of solutions, and we only create problems. I mean, solution was to get people involved. A lot of people are coming from the United States, but they’re doing the work the Haitian people should be doing. And I would say, you know, send the money that you paid for your ticket to supplement a family so that the members could go to do the same work you were going to do when you were here.
-- Sister Mary Finnick, in Port-au-Prince

The U.S. government's pro-rape military militia and its corrupt ecocidal corporate associates, such as Halliburton and Blackwater, are placing Bill Clinton in Haiti for the next few weeks because, historically, he has had some clout with the Haitian people for, once upon a time, supporting their leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Bill has an agenda, and it is to promote classist atrocious patriarchal atrocities in Haiti, which is a fancy way of a saying a coup d'etat where poor Black women, who know the most about what's going on, have no voice whatsoever. His government--the U.S., along with Canadian and French colonial powers and their "interests"--which are not and never have been the disenfranchised non-elite people of Haiti. He's there to make sure Halliburton and Blackwater get a hefty percentage of the money U.S.ers donated to help poor Haitian people reconstruct their lives and support their own means of survival.

Their own means of survival need not be in any way beholden to the White West or its humanitarian aid agencies and NGOs. They may choose to take possession of their land, away from the corrupt elites who have and continue to make destructive deals with the U.S., Canada, and France. The West is operating entirely against the interests of the majority of Haiti's people in support of corporate control, not independence, democracy, freedom, or any of the other values the U.S. government fallaciously states it believes in.

As noted elsewhere on this blog, "belief in values" is an entirely different political-ethical animal than practicing them and promoting those values by empowering those with the least international clout and status to take power into their own hands, not Clinton's seemingly open one.

Clinton, his country's government, its agencies and organisations, won't stand for humane local transformation away from corporate-controlled economies. Watch carefully: the U.S. elites WILL NOT support community-based barter economies that don't require U.S. investment in "a strong middle class". It won't stand for self-sufficiency, sustainability, or self-detemination by the people [of Haiti] for the people [of Haiti].

I'd appreciate hearing Bill Clinton say so, in no uncertain terms, rather than stating what he did state, that he wants Haiti to have an economically indebted middle class that cannot and will not help the poor.

Bill, in case you haven't noticed, corporate capitalism, and Western globalisation, REQUIRES and DEMANDS exploitive and violating access to women, the impoverishment of people of color, anti-Indigenous genocidal policies, inside and outside the U.S.

I trust you to be in Haiti "for the betterment of poor Haitian people" about as much as I trust you to keep your penis out of the mouth of a young woman who works for you.

Just saying--your track record is not good when it comes to behaving in ways that are not self-serving. You have shown yourself to be a selfish self-promoter. So get the fuck out of Haiti now, and stop attempting to mislead the people, who are smart enough not to believe you and who, without U.S. interventions, may just be able to create a society that is sustainable and not beholden and indebted to any white nation. Those terms can mean "owing gratitude and recognition", but Haitian people have nothing at all to thank the U.S. for, or Canada, or France. And they owe you nothing at all, sir. So leave, please, with your tail discretely between your legs.

You can support local activists and community organisers working to assist women to defend against rape, and the poor to defend against globalisation by getting out of town.

You can call Dick Cheney and his cronies at Halliburton when you get back home and tell them "no deal".

*          *          *

For more, see the links below from Democracy Now:

  • Haiti-rape

    Rape in the Camps: Lacking Security, Women Organize to Protect Themselves

    Something that gets lost in all the coverage of the Haiti earthquake is how people on the ground organize in the face of adversity. Rape and violence against women has become increasingly widespread in the tent camps across Haiti. While Haitian police and UN forces have done little, women on the ground are organizing to protect themselves. We spoke with Malia Villard Appolon, coordinator of KOFAVIV, the committee of women for survival. [includes rush transcript]

  • Haiti-sismary

    "When Everybody Comes and Has a Solution for Haiti, It Only Creates a Problem"–Sister Mary Finnick on Recovery Efforts

    Sister Mary Finnick, the director of Matthew 25 House in Port-au-Prince, is critical of the stalled recovery efforts in Haiti. "When everybody comes and has a solution for Haiti, it only creates a problem," Sister Mary says. "A lot of people are coming from the United States, but they’re doing the work the Haitian people should be doing. I would say, send the money you paid for your ticket to supplement a family so that the members could go to do the work you were going to do when you were here." [includes rush transcript]

    Land Ownership at the Crux of Haiti’s Stalled Reconstruction

    Six months after the earthquake, many Haitians told us they have seen little in terms of recovery efforts despite the billions of dollars in aid pledged from around the world. At the heart of the matter is the issue of land ownership. We speak with journalist Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté. In his latest article, he writes the way the Interim Commission to Reconstruct Haiti is dealing with the issue of land "is the Haitian equivalent of the US bank bailout." [includes rush transcript]

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