imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Stolen Haitian Relief Money

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Haiti

Stolen Haitian Relief Money

by Stephen Lendman

Following Haiti's catastrophic January 12, 2010 earthquake, billions of dollars in relief aid were raised. Suffering Haitians got virtually none of it.

Hundreds of thousands remain homeless. A cholera emergency still exists. On June 19, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent said:

"There is a significant probability of a major cholera emergency in Haiti in the coming months but resources have been severely diminished."

Increased numbers of cases were reported in the Artibonite, Nord-Ouest, Nord-Est, Ouest, Gonave island, and homeless camps in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) estimates another 170,000 new cases by end of 2012.

Haiti's problems are severe. Deep poverty, deprivation, and unemployment torment millions. Earthquake devastation compounded them. Little relief came. It was stolen for commercial development.

It's common practice to divert relief aid to private developers. In 2004, a second tsunami struck Sri Lanka. The first one took 250,000 lives and left 2.5 million homeless throughout the region.

Coastal areas were scrubbed clean. Everything was gone. Sri Lankans living there lost everything. New rules prohibited rebuilding homes where they once stood. Buffer zone restrictions insured it.

Beaches were off-limits to people who once lived there. Displaced Sri Lankans were shoved into temporary grim inland camps. Soldiers prevented them from coming home.

At issue was developing coastal areas for profit. Luxury destinations were planned. Formerly occupied land was sold to commercial buyers. Privatization was the new game.

Displaced residents were entirely left out. What they lost, they never got back. Land grab money making became policy.

Tsunami victims in other ravaged countries suffered the same fate. The pattern repeated everywhere. People were prohibited from rebuilding where they once lived.

What nature wrought, corporate developers and corrupt politicians compounded by stealing their land for profit.

New Orleans Katrina victims suffered the same way. Blank became beautiful. Erased communities were replaced with upscale condos and other high-profit projects on choice city real estate.

Residents who once lived there were forced out. Politicians conspired with developers to assure they didn't come back.

History not only rhymes, as Mark Twain once said, a lot of times it repeats. Haitians now suffer like Sri Lankans, other East Asian tsunami victims, and Katrina displaced New Orleans residents.

Haitians are no strangers to adversity and anguish. For over 500 years, they suffered severe oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, unrepayable debt, and natural calamities.

They included destructive hurricanes and numerous magnitude 7.0 or greater regional earthquakes.

The last major one came in 1946. A magnitude 8.1 quake struck adjacent Dominican Republic. Haiti was also affected. Earlier catastrophic ones were in 1751 and 1770. Both devastated Port-au-Prince. In 1842 Cap-Haitien was destroyed.

In 2004, Washington militarized Haiti after ousting Jean-Bertrand Aristide. After January 2010, in came the marines.

After its worst catastrophe in nearly 170 years, Haitians need food, housing, medical care, clean water, and other vital services, not military forces confronting them repressively. They still do.

US marines are gone. MINUSTAH shock troops remain. For years, they've committed murders, kidnappings, extrajudicial detentions, rapes, non-sexual assaults, physical threats, and other type abuses. They're enforcers for political and corporate crime bosses.

Haiti always was open for profit and exploitation. Earthquake devastation created new opportunities. The country was declared open for business. Washington and other Western predators took full advantage.

So did hundreds of for-profit NGOs. They skim most relief aid donations for themselves. So do corporate developers and other profiteers. They steal private donations and pledged amounts freely. Haiti's pseudo-government then and now acquiesces.

No one helped Haitians like Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Two coups ousted him. Exile followed each time. He's back but out of politics. Electoral manipulation installed Washington's man.

Stealth Duvalierist Michel (Sweet Micky) Martelly became president. Most Haitians despise him. It hardly mattered. They had no say in preventing his illegitimate elevation to the nation's highest office. Haitian suffering continues.

In January, Bill Quigley and Amber Ramanauskas headlined "Where the Relief Money Did and Did Not Go - Haiti after the Quake," saying:

Despite billions in pledged and donated aid, "Haiti looks like the earthquake happened two months ago, not two years."

Rarely does this news get covered. Over half a million people then remained homeless. They still do. Most debris lay where it fell. Cholera was killing thousands. It's still out of control because too little is done to stop, control, and treat it.

Instead of relief going to help Haitians, it's given to profiteering companies and NGOs. Haitians then and now ask where did the money go? It hasn't helped them.

Washington diverted the largest amount. Instead of helping, it sent in the marines, let contracts for corporate predators, and funded well-connected profiteering NGOs. Haitians got hardly anything. They're still waiting for desperately needed aid.

Their government got 1% of the money. Little went to Haitian companies or local NGOs. Private companies specializing in disasters got funding. Much of what was pledged never came. It happens every time.

Other funds received weren't spent. Quigley and Ramanauskas are human rights lawyers. They said:

"Respect, transparency and accountability are the building blocks for human rights."

"Haitians deserve to know where the money has gone, what the plans are for the money still left, and to be partners in the decision-making for what is to come."

Once relief aid stops, they'll be responsible entirely for solving problems so far not even addressed.

On July 5, The New York Times headlined "Earthquake Relief Where Haiti Wasn't Broken."

It provided a rare mainstream glimpse at how Haitians have been harmed and cheated.

"On the first anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, in a sleepy corner of northeast Haiti far from the disaster zone, the Haitian government began the process of evicting 366 farmers from a large, fertile tract of land to clear the way for a new industrial park."

They didn't "understand why authorities wanted to replace productive agricultural land with factories in a rural country that had trouble feeding itself."

Many other troubling incidents followed. Haitians are virtually helpless to stop it.

Bill Clinton co-chairs the so-called Haiti recovery commission. He celebrated the Caracol Industrial Park project by "cementing an agreement with the anchor tenant - Sae-A-Trading." Wife Hillary helped seal the deal.

Sae-A is a South Korean clothing manufacturer. It's a major supplier for Walmart and other large retailers.

They, like other local manufacturers, want to exploit Haitians lucky to have work no matter how poorly they're paid and treated. They get below poverty wages. They're treated little better than slaves.

Two and a half years after the quake, "Haiti remains mired in a humanitarian crisis." Hundreds of thousands are homeless. They're largely on their own to survive.

This and other commercial developments benefit profiteers, not Haitians. "Caracol Industrial Park is hardly reconstruction in the strictest sense."

Its developers downplay labor and environmental concerns. They came to make money, not help Haitians. Sae-A has an odious reputation. It closed its Guatemala factory over troubled labor relations.

The AFL/CIO urged Haiti's government not to accept them. A detailed memo described "egregious antiunion repression." It includes "acts of violence and intimidation." Guatemalan monitor Homero Fuentes called Sae-A "one of the major labor violators."

Worker Rights Consortium executive director Scott Nova calls the company "a big player in a dirty industry with a track record that suggests a degree of ruthlessness even worse than the norm."

Other critics expressed concerns about its Guatemalan labor and criminal law violations. Company executives used every dirty tactic imaginable to squeeze out profits. Manufacturing is conducted amidst intimidation, death and other threats on workers.

Nonetheless, Bill and Hillary Clinton welcomed Sae-A with open arms.

Caracol Bay contains Haiti's most extensive mangrove reserve and valued coral reef. Better suited sites were bypassed. Haiti's Audubon Society head Arnoud Dupuy called doing so "heresy."

Environmental considerations were ignored. Despite objections, development went ahead as planned. It includes a heavy fuel oil power plant, a dense housing project, and port on a soon to be lost pristine bay.

Instead of promised "building back better," profits superseded environmental and people concerns. Local backers and US officials downplayed the enormous damage done.

Haitians won't be helped. They'll be ruthlessly exploited for profit. Caracol's mayor, Landry Colas, wasn't consulted. He'd have picked a different site, he said.

This one is vast. It comprises nearly a square mile. It's in Haiti's north, south of Cap-Haitien. It's bisected by the Hole of the North River and fed by the Massacre Aquifer.

Land was cleared last year. Small farmers were evicted. The tract resembles "a gravelly lunar landscape. Its perimeter is fenced, and outside the gate, a banner drapes a church, proclaiming ‘Sae-A Loves You.’ "

It reminds some of Orwell's "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."

Sae-A executives see Caracol Bay as a blank slate to develop and exploit as they wish. Haitians have a much different view. Land chosen has a history of foreign exploitation and agrarian struggle. Peasants alternated between occupation and eviction.

In 1986, residents reclaimed the land after Baby Doc Duvalier fell from power and fled to France. They divided it into hundreds of small farms. Many paid yearly rent to squat. The land's replete with "collective memory."

Bill and Hillary Clinton added more. Aggrieved Haitians won't forget or forgive. The William J. Clinton Foundation and Inter-American Development Bank lured hundreds of potential investors to Haiti.

Big profits were promised. The industrial park was bait. Away from Haiti's devastated south, it was ideal.

Ravaged areas remain troubled by slow rubble removal, problems securing land, and institutional ones.

Export processing zones aren't new in Haiti. Choosing the best sites are prioritized. Professor Laurent Dubois calls developing industrial parks a "tired" idea, saying:

"The way I see it, in a deep, long, historical way, Haiti was founded by ex-slaves who overthrew a plantation system and people keep trying to get them to return to some form of plantation."

"There have been cycles of (these) type project(s), where the idea is that foreign investment will modernize the country. But things have gotten progressively worse for Haitians."

A local bank manager called developing a garment maquiladora zone a last resort idea. Free land, slave wages, extensive infrastructure development, and other investment incentives lured Sai-A. In return, it's spending a modest amount.

Environmentalists were shocked that the company would anchor a giant industrial park. Before Haiti's quake, they designated Caracol Bay to become the country's first marine protected site.

Development imperils conservation. Haiti's government chose the site. Washington's heavy hand made the difference. It has valued soil and water resources. It's ideal for farming.

Environmental impact studies weren't done. After the fact, concerns were raised. It was too late. Caracol's mayor Colas worries that his city will become another Cite Soleil slum.

He added that he feels like he's being used. Signing ceremony attendees stop by City Hall, he said. They greet him, but there's no relationship or involvement in planning or deals signed. Foreigners know more about what's going on than he does, he complained.

Millions of Haitians have known nothing but brutal exploitation and numbing poverty for hundreds of years.

Caracol Bay and other commercial development projects change nothing. Haitian suffering continues.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy