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Ezili's Response to Lionel's Questions on the Food Crisis and Firing of PM Alexi: Creating New Paradigms - Why it's critical to re-create and adapt the Ancestors' Vodun Psychology by Ezili Danto, April 14, 2008
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Ezili Dantò translates and analyzes the Vodun song -Going Back to Root - Lasous O M Pwale - I'm Returning to the Beginning/Source/Root
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Media manipulations and the Haitian Hills switching the conversation :On distractions - How the social scientists' manipulate information to keep a right wing agenda in Haiti going and to continue imposing starvation on Haiti : The life of those in the Haitian hills are not more sacred than that of the masses

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"Hellhole Haiti" not as Violent as Peoria, Illinois
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FOOD CRISIS: 'The greatest demonstration of the
historical failure of the capitalist model'
by Ian Angus, Global Research, April 28, 2008
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HLLN Links to US "free trade" fra
ud promoting famine in Haiti

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Media Lies: The two most common neocolonial storylines about Haiti - May 14, 2008 & August 27, 2007
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Ericq Pierre et le plan néolibéral ! by Haiti Progres, May 7, 2008
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Le Plan Politique Américain pour Haiti by Haiti Progres, May 7, 2008

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30 Years Ago Haiti Grew All the Rice It Needed. What Happened?
The U.S. Role in Haiti's Food Riots
, By Bill Quigley , April 21, 2008
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Harry Comeau: Re-invigorated by Vodun Truths and Psychology, July 14, 2008
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Non-Pepe Education, not Politics is the Answer: Some thoughts by Margaret Mitchell Armand
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Lionel's Questions

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Independence

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Is Starvation Contagious? by John Maxwell
, Jamaican Observer
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Review of Peter Hallward's "Damming the Flood" (Part I) - by Stephen Lendman
, OpEdNews.com
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Dumping food- USAID to send $25 million more
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1804 Independence Proclamation of Haiti's Founding Father, General Jean Jacques Dessalines "....if they find asylum amongst us, they will be once more the schemers of our troubles and our divisions."
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Kanga Mundele: Our mission to live free or die trying, Another Haitian Independence Day under occupation
by Marguerite Laurent, Haitian Perspectives, January 1, 2006



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October 17, 2007 - Ezili Dantò's Note on the current situation in Haiti
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Eyewitness account of the abduction of President and First Lady Aristide of Haiti by the United States Special Forces

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Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!


 



Ezili Danto's Note: Economic proposals that make sense for the reality of Haiti - The Western economic model doesn't fit an independent Black nation

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Comparing crime, poverty and violence in the rest of the Hemisphere to Haiti
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Thousands march to protest kidnapping in Haiti, Reuters, June 4, 2008
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Hope in Humiliation: HLLN’s analysis of May 18, 2006 and the Inaugural of President Rene Preval by Marguerite Laurent

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When Haiti Was Free - Video Evidence of Media Lies (A Proposed HLLN Documentary) by Ezili Danto for Haitian Perspectives and the FreeHaitiMovement, May 14, 2008

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Veil of Blood: Ignorance is no Defense by Ezili Dantò, May 9, 2008

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US Poverty Pimps masturbating on Black pain, the Christian NGO's Veil of Blood and the mainstream media’s role in this ongoing travesty and untold crime against Haiti and humanity: Ezili Danto responds to the two common storylines about Haiti - Kerr's 'Bringing the Love to Haiti' and Reteurs' 'Graveyard quiet of huge Haiti slum signals progress' by Ezili Danto| Haitian Perspectives | May 11, 2008

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Many Haitians want exiled Aristide back, April 16, 2008

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Haiti, Reaping the Whirlwind

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Price of Rice prompts renewed anger in Haiti, April 15, 2008
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HAITI: Food Crisis Sparks Anger and Despair, April 16, 2008
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Our nasty little racist war in Haiti
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Disney's Hell in Haiti

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The US in Haiti: How to Get Rich on 11 Cents an Hour by Eric Verhoogen A Report Prepared for The National Labor Committee, January 1996

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Haiti no longer grows much of its own rice and families now go hungry


To subscribe, write to erzilidanto@yahoo.com
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zilibuttonCarnegie Hall
Video Clip
No other national
group in the world
sends more money
than Haitians living
in the Diaspora
Red Sea- audio

The Red Sea


Ezili Dantò's master Haitian dance class (Video clip)

zilibuttonEzili's Dantò's
Haitian & West African Dance Troop
Clip one - Clip two


So Much Like Here- Jazzoetry CD audio clip

Ezili Danto's

Witnessing
to Self

zilibutton
Update on
Site Soley

RBM Video Reel

Haitian
immigrants
Angry with
Boat sinking
A group of Haitian migrants arrive in a bus after being repatriated from the nearby Turks and Caicos Islands, in Cap-Haitien, northern Haiti, Thursday, May 10, 2007. They were part of the survivors of a sailing vessel crowded with Haitian migrants that overturned Friday, May 4 in moonlit waters a half-mile from shore in shark-infested waters. Haitian migrants claim a Turks and Caicos naval vessel rammed their crowded sailboat twice before it capsized. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Dessalines' Law
and Ideals

Breaking Sea Chains


Little Girl
in the Yellow
Sunday Dress

Anba Dlo, Nan Ginen
Ezili Danto's Art-With-The-Ancestors Workshops - See, Red, Black & Moonlight series or Haitian-West African

Clip one -Clip two
ance performance
zilibutton In a series of articles written for the October 17, 2006 bicentennial commemoration of the life and works of Dessalines, I wrote for HLLN that: "Haiti's liberator and founding father, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, said, "I Want the Assets of the Country to be Equitably Divided" and for that he was assassinated by the Mullato sons of France. That was the first coup d'etat, the Haitian holocaust - organized exclusion of the masses, misery, poverty and the impunity of the economic elite - continues (with Feb. 29, 2004 marking the 33rd coup d'etat). Haiti's peoples continue to resist the return of despots, tyrants and enslavers who wage war on the poor majority and Black, contain-them-in poverty through neocolonialism' debts, "free trade" and foreign "investments." These neocolonial tyrants refuse to allow an equitable division of wealth, excluding the majority in Haiti from sharing in the country's wealth and assets." (See also, Kanga Mundele: Our mission to live free or die trying, Another Haitian Independence Day under occupation; The Legacy of Impunity of One Sector-Who killed Dessalines?; The Legacy of Impunity:The Neoconlonialist inciting political instability is the problem. Haiti is underdeveloped in crime, corruption, violence, compared to other nations, all, by Marguerite 'Ezili Dantò' Laurent
     
No other national group in the world sends more money than Haitians living in the Diaspora
 
 
 
 
 







 

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"...International comparisons are telling. In Brazil, there are 52.2 homicides per 100,000 youths, ... whereas in the USA the rate is 13.2 per 100,000 and in Italy it is 2.1 per 100,000. ... Firearm-related deaths in Rio de Janeiro during the 1990s were higher than those in conflict zones such as in Angola and Sierra Leone...."

According to figures published by state authorities, most (Brazilian) police are killed while off-duty, usually as a result of their work in private security industry, some due to involvement in criminal activity.

‘They should bring security, but only bring fear’


"Povo da rua não chama a policia, tem medo."
Poor people don’t call the police, they’re afraid.

"Bate, bate, bate, depois diz desculpa, não foi você."
They beat you, beat you, beat you then apologise and say it wasn’t you.

"A pessoa é feito sentir-se um marginal, mesmo se não é." ...
You’re made to feel like a criminal, even if you’re not.

(See. Amnesty International on Brazil: "They come in Shooting" - Policing Socially Excluded Communities)

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Brazil, heads the UN military contingent in Haiti, but it owns a worst record in violence than Haiti.

In 2007 the homicide rate in Haiti was 5.6 per 100,000 people. In Brazil it was 52.2 homicides per 100,000.

(See, Comparing crime, poverty and violence in the rest of the Hemisphere to Haiti
)
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Comments from Harry Comeau on Ezili's Danto responses/on Margaret Mitchell Armand's insights and Lionel's questions...

To: erzilidanto@ yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Some thoughts from Margaret Mitchell Armand on/Lionel's Questions_Ezili Danto's Responses/some thoughts
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 17:08:24 -0400
From: Harry Comeau

Hello Zili,

I concur wholeheartedly with your take that when well rooted in our own Vodun psychology the Haitian people will be uplifted and set in the right track. In my quest for our roots I attended a conference on Vodou yesterday in Queens, NY. It was a real pleasure to witness young Haitian Americans also looking for the truth about their culture. I left the event truly re invigorated about Haiti's future.

Canada, France and the U.S. got it all wrong. Vodun is indestructible. All attempts from 1510 to 1804 to keep the Africans in slavery failed. It may seem that they are succeeding now with the current state of affairs which is of course their doing since 1915. As Margaret puts it, the school system in Haiti has also been a hindrance more than a helpful tool to enlighten past and current generations.

How do you explain that during the 25 years of Jean Pierre Boyer there was no real efforts to build a schools in Haiti?

How do you explain after attending a Vodun ceremony at the Souvenance in Gonaives Fabre Geffard reneged his roots and signed the Concordat with the Roman Catholic Church?

Vodun, probably, the oldest religion on earth, has been and is still being distorted as a byproduct of the Devil while the so-called axis of GOOD pepetuates most of the wars. Name one war initiated by Vodou subjects?
What should we think of most of our political leaders in helping the former and current colonizers to demonize the rallying point that unite us in 1791 to give us Haiti in 1804?

I may be inaccurate, I do not think that it exists anywhere else in the world, another place where the oral tradition is so strong that in spite of repeated attacks on our values, our determination remains unshakable as it was when Dessalines, Capois La Mort and the others fought the oppressors. Indeed, we are looking at new paradigms to fine tune a creative approach that will allow us to see clearly where the problem is and confront it head on.

Harry Comeau,
Researcher

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Margaret Mitchell Armand
Non-Pepe Education, not Politics is the Answer: Some thoughts by Margaret Mitchell Armand

-----Original Message-----
From: zili danto <erzilidanto@ yahoo.com>
To: Zili <erzilidanto@ yahoo.com>
Sent: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 3:56 pm
Subject: Some thoughts from Margaret Mitchell Armand on/Lionel's Questions_Ezili Danto's Responses/some thoughts

Thank you for this contribution Margaret. When well rooted in our own Vodun psychology and cosmology, in our own history and legacy to the world, then that power shall shine and issue forth from restored and re-educated psyches and form new paradigms. ED


Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 15:09:40 -0400
From: Margaret Mitchell Armand
To: erzilidanto@ yahoo.com
Subject: some thoughts from me/[ezilidanto] Lionel's Questions | Ezili Danto's Responses/some thoughts

It is very interesting what you are both writing. I believe that the fate of the people of Haiti was already stamped in the colonized greed.

In spite of the efforts of Dessalines and many others, once the mulattos affranchis and their descent took over the land and replaced their masters, they gave no chance to any conscious leaders to make any changes. (whether, cultural, religious, schooling or economy).

Either it was politics of doublure, mulatto vs. Blacks only to cover up their own back while stealing. The school system in Haiti (not education) is a center for brainwashing for any Africans views but promote the agenda, of greed, power and division, lasting for the past 200 plus years. It is also the same in America when you look at the education system as it relates to African Americans. In addition, if you can recall ... history in Tibet, the Dalai Lama asked for only one thing if he is accepted to return to Tibet. He wants to be in charge of the schooling, education. The government said no because this is where the power lay, in changing the colonial oppressive mentality.

I do not believe that changes come through politics, history has proven that much. "Politics makes strange bedfellows." Politics needs to be administrative. We need to change the paradigm and it is imperative that it is started with grassroots. An African platform system of education with a global vision. Then we can help the new generations and changes will come.

It does already exists in the platform of cultural events that deal with real issues, the work of people like you and others. We just need to make it more formal.

What the powers of greed want us to do is to look somewhere else for the problem while they continue to breed new colonizers in the schools, in their churches, in the NGO's.

Lets us change paradigm. Let's stop grinding the same wheel, because you cannot even see that we are stuck in it.
We, We can do it!

Margaret
attached is a poem I wrote that was published in the book "Revolution"

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Independence
Slavery colonization oppression
This is no Haiti's Independence
Two hundred years of locked doors
Surviving only to fight or to kill each other
Our ancestors tears rush down the ocean like brown waters reaping through our
mountains like the back of enslaved Africans
Our forefathers
Drums beating all nights
Constant reminder of that place called Africa.
How did we get here from there?
Have we forgotten?
Let us stand again and claim our Independence
To open wide those doors slammed in our faces!!!!

@ Margaret Mitchell Armand 2004 New Search for Freedom

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On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 1:18 PM, <erzilidanto@ yahoo.com> wrote:

************************* in this post***************
- Lionel's Questions, April 14, 2008
- Ezili Danto's Response, April 14, 2008
************ ********* ***************************

 
Marguerite 'Ezili Dantò' Laurent, Lawyer, Performance Poet, Founder and Chair of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (Carnegie Hall/ Breaking Sea Chains )

Ezili Danto’s Response to Lionel's Questions on the Food Crisis and Firing of PM Alexi: Creating New Paradigms - Why it's critical to re-create and adapt the Ancestors' Vodun Psychology
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Hello Lionel,

Your questions are so appropriate. So in tune with what I was working on writing. I've answered them in more detail and may share them with the Network. Your e-mail information will not show.

Thank you. ED
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Lionel wrote, inter alia, to Ezili Dantò on April 14, 2008:

"..It just seems to me that the people stand to gain nothing from politics, but that politics, uses the people as a way to move forward.
The gap widens...."


Ezili Danto's Note:
Yes Lionel, the people in Haiti gain nothing from politics or from the guy sitting in the National Palace right now presiding over massive free-trade policies and globalization policies serving the global elites. The Haitian people just exist, it seems, as an excuse to keep these folks in a job. It's tragic and you're so right. For, "politics uses the people as a way to move forward." But this phenomenon is not exclusive to Haiti.

Moreover, you're right again, there is ABSOLUTELY no connection between the removal of Prime Minister Alexis of Haiti and the people eating. None whatsoever. In fact, the firing of Alexis and his government in turn, leaves a vacuum and no one, in the short term, to point to for implementing subsidy programs that will put food on Haitian tables and social programs for more jobs for the population. It seems, Preval (willingly or unwillingly) got together with his US-bosses and the International community and, along with the 16 Senators (who were put in a hotel to wait for the time to cast their vote), they sacrificed Alexis in order to buy time to calm down the Haitian people's cry for life, justice, food and change; to slow down the momentum against the Preval government (which had not met the needs of the masses since taking office in 2006) and institute the silence of the cemetery back.

Alexis was sacrificed not because he didn't implement viable social programs to help alleviate the suffering of the Haitian people. For, the truth of the matter is both President Rene Preval and Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis, since they came into office in 2006 have been IMPLEMENTING the neo-liberal and privatization programs dictated by the international community. A trade and economic program, known to Haitians as "the death plan" that Washington militarily ousted democratically elected President Aristide for not implementing to their satisfaction. Yes. The IMF structural adjustment, free-trade policies that destroys Haiti's domestic economy and supports foreign companies bleeding Haiti dry, undermining Haitian production, consumption, investment and wealth. Those programs mirror failed globalization programs all over the world. (Food riots have erupted in Niger, Senegal, Cameroon and Burkina Faso, and protests have flared in Morocco, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Mexico and Yemen.) No, the international community has thrown us a bone, I suppose because our politicians are so stupid and pathetic any ways, they are always getting played like this.

For the Internationals may invariably depend on the spineless Haitian imperialist collaborators to sell their soul for the mere promise and pledge of a U.S. dollar and approval, dollars and approvals that are enticingly held out but never fully given to Haiti by said Internationals. (Before the riots, the U.N. World Food Program had collected only 13% of its $96-million required food budget goals for Haiti.) So, expect a long dragged out search for a new Prime Minister, one that will please these foreigners, not the people of Haiti, and then hearings and procedure to confirm the replacement and his/her new cabinet.

The people will continue to starve, eat dirt cookies for palliative relief, double over in burning hunger as if they've swallowed Clorox, while the UN pays itself over $600 million per year to secure the safety of our corpses and zombified population. A population that knows the UN occupation forces came to Haiti to help ouster their popularly elected leaders, not to safeguard Haiti's democracy and security. A population these UN soldiers and their bosses shall continue to psychologically hammer, ravage and frustrate as they strut and parade - on our streets, at our beaches - the health and wealth that they've garnered in our Haitian names, eating heartily from their private UN food commissariats and fully equipped barracks in impoverished Haiti, all the while and not very far below radar, entertaining themselves sexually abusing powerless and shelterless Haitian minors, men and women.

Unfortunately, Haiti’s politicians - and notably these particular post-2004 coup d'etat collaborators and puppets in power - depend on these foreign aid folks and their UN gun power to stay in their political jobs and get paid at least their wages.

Do these Haitian politicians flinch at begging and receiving part of their wages and food handouts for Haiti from the same people putting guns to our heads and abusing our children? No. Haitian governance these days and more particularly since Bush Regime change in 2004 and its UN occupation, is not, by any stretch, about the dignity and domestic interests of the people of Haiti. It's about containment-in-poverty through UN occupation that enforces the Washington neo-liberal economic squads' endless (IMF/Word Bank/IDB) debts, privatization, cutting of tariffs for imports, exporting all capital out of Haiti; strumming continuous dependency and foreign domination through UN troops and restructuring a new Haitian police force loyal to foreign, not domestic interests and protection.
(See, Feeding Dependency, Starving Democracy: USAID Policies in Haiti; Free Market Left Haiti's Rice Growers Behind; See also: October 17, 2007 - Ezili Dantò's Note on the current situation in Haiti ; January 1, 2008 - Another Haitian independence day under occupation ; Eyewitness account of the abduction of President and First Lady Aristide of Haiti by the United States Special Forces; Is Starvation Contagious; Globalization and terror - Murder Inc. and Haiti by Toni Solo; Haiti no longer grows much of its own rice and families now go hungry .)

This firing of Prime Minister Alexis is simply to buy time for the repugnant internationals to resume their globalization strip-mining of Haiti, for the media to go away, and for the repression and massive privatization and international pillaging unfolding in Haiti since 2004 to continue with no media scrutiny. It's not news that the people resort to eating cookies made of dirt, salt and butter. Or, that their hunger pains are so severe they say their stomachs burn like they've swallowed Clorox. But this firing of Alexis is not about assuaging the burning hunger in their guts.

The realities may have pushed President Preval to cut $8 off the price of imported Miami rice, when just two days before he had announced he would start subsidizing domestic production and consumption, not imported US rice. Though this announcement didn't sit well with most Haitians who felt President Preval had just indicted his own government for malfeasance against the Haitian people as the NATURAL CHOICE would have been for the president of Haiti to have been promoting Haitian production and Haitian consumption from his very FIRST day in office, not two years later. And only after the people had to take to the streets in riots to pressure his government to listen to their hungry and desperate voices. This firing and the sleuth of "pledges" of food aid that shall follow from the Internationals, along with the Preval $8 price cut on imported Miami rice that knocks the price of a 110-pound (50kg) bag of rice from $51 to $43, more than a 15% reduction (with a start date no one seems to know), are not long term solutions.

The catch 22 is this new Preval subsidy on imported US rice, further harms locally produced Haitian rice. This is the same poison that caused the death of Haiti's domestic food supply in the first place and caused this famine. It's no solution, but a quick band-aid so that the US, France, UN, Canada and their wretched NGO's may continue their "benevolence" - masturbating on Black pains in Haiti, this drinking the blood of Haitians in the name of "humanitarian aid," and "free trade," while committing crimes against humanity - "to secure (this status quo in) Haiti" - so atrocious, so harrowing, six year old Haitian children find no safety in their own beds from the abuses of UN soldiers or evangelizing missionaries and while the young men in the poor areas are preyed on by the white liberals and over-sexed Lèlès, male and female, from France, US, Canada, et al.

Long term solution is for Haiti to get its sovereignty back and consolidate some economic power. We know well that voting for a president or parliament, that is, taking political power means nothing without also garnering economic power to implement the peoples mandate. The UN occupation must end and Haitians allowed to invest in and protect Haitianist domestic development, self-reliance, non-Pepe education and our own indigenous culture and sources. (Free Market Left Haiti's Rice Growers Behind ; Haitian pigs meet globalization ). Handout subsidies may be necessary in the short term for justice to be done because of decades upon decades of these Western "free trade" impositions and the 2004 annihilation of Haiti's democracy and its meager social welfare achievements. But in the long term, this charity just breeds further dependency. (Haiti: world reacts to protests). Haiti needs justice not charity or fake US /Euro benevolence.

Somehow Haiti came into World news again because the economic recession caused by the world powers' unsound economic policies, the Iraq war, high fuel prices and the uses of food crops for biofuels is being felt worldwide. But nowhere more acutely than in Haiti and the developing countries where structural adjustment policies of the IMF/World Bank are imposed by US/Euro-supported dictators/puppets or their proxies, UN occupation and tutelage. But the Economic Hit Men and international system they uphold, must stop this coverage, this media airing the unity of problems heralding from the same source. Thus, quickly Alexis is fired so that the Haitian mafia families may continue their profit-over-people tendencies and continue flying off to Washington, Paris, Ottowa to meetings upon meetings on the dime of the State along with their foreign Euro-American bosses on how best to keep this "IMPROVED-since-2004" status quo in tact.

No Lionel, the resident of the (Haitian) palace in Port au Prince cannot make any difference as long as he depends on foreign aid to pay his cabinet members and IMF and World Bank credit to run the state offices and keep in jobs the Haitian men making up these posts all over the world.

Yes, their "politics today divide and distract us more than they unite and harness our efforts." Yes, we are "better off focusing directly on those who need us most." By their acts, these Haitian politicians show they know nothing about Haiti's empowering Vodun psychology and consciousness. Nor, the allegory of the Zombie. For they are the zombie puppets of our former enslavers.

Please brother, do what you can for the people DIRECTLY.

Besides, the concept of nation-state for Haitians, in light of the fact we have no great military, economic and diplomatic allies that could face the intransigent Euro-US superpowers head-on, is fairly non-existent anyways. Always has been. Revolutionary Cuba once had the Soviet Union as an economic lifeline. But, when, for instance, Thabo MBeki of South Africa, in February of 2004, tried to help keep Haiti's democratic government in power by sending it arms to quell the US-supported paramilitaries coming in from the Dominican Republic, as a sort of high-level rendition strike, the US Special Forces secretly and by-force, took President Aristide out of Haiti in the middle of the night, hours before the needed military arsenals got to Haiti.
fivebuttonHLLN Campaign Five: Denounce U.S. big-business neo-liberalism, "free trade", and globalization initiatives and privatization schemes for Haiti as financial colonialism. Also, boycott or otherwise expose and financially hamper U.S. companies in Haiti violating Haitian minimum wage, workers rights, union organizing or otherwise jeopardizing Haitian health, life, safety and human rights.

Economic proposals that make sense for the reality of Haiti - The Western economic model doesn't fit an independent Black nation
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The US must stop dumping food in Haiti. It eviscerates Haiti's food sovereignty. (See, HLLN Links to US "free trade" fraud promoting famine in Haiti, Dumping food- USAID to send $25 million more).

The only sustainable solution is to assist in supporting Haiti's national food production, consumption and local distribution. And, in the short term, friends of Haiti, who want to help in this US-orchestrated food crisis in Haiti, must not take the easiest route and send tons of food donations. Further dumping food into Haiti merely deepens the cycle of dependency and the need for constant emergency food donations and hand-outs. Haitians want to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. Generation after generations of Haitians have paid a terrible price for self-reliance and their sovereignty. So, if you want to be truly helpful, instead consider, if you’re making a food donation, consider sending the equivalent of food donations in monies, in dollars to be used in Haiti to purchase food directly from Haiti's smallest local producers, distributors and retailers.

When the "schooled" Haitian begins to understand that World Bank, IMF and the International Financial Institutions’ (‘IFI”) so-called “development” MEANS white folks (foreigners) OWNING tourist complexes in Haiti, as they do throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, while the population becomes maids, butlers, gardeners and entertainment. That, that’s the US/EU's idea of “development" for Haiti. When that is understood. And that the Washington Consensus and neoliberal economist define GDP by it. So, since Haiti is the country with the LEAST foreign ownership in the Western Hemisphere, it will ALWAYS be, by their definition, the "poorest" - because the former colonizers, US/EU, own less there than in the rest of the HEMISPHERE!!


Does the Western economic model and calculation of economic wealth fit Haiti, fit Dessalines' idea of wealth distribution? NO! " ...Haiti is a country filled with "non-workers." With an "informal sector" that is the economic backbone of Ti Pèp La - the masses in Haiti..." It's a place with iridium, oil, gold mines, copper mines, uranium mines, gas reserves, precious minerals, underwater sea treasures and where the poorest own property. Yet none of these are calculated in Haiti's wealth index by the World Bank, IMF or IFIs, et al. (See, Haitian Riches; and There is a multinational conspiracy to illegally take the mineral resources of the Haitian people; and Oil in Haiti - Economic Reasons for the UN/US occupation and, Expose The Lies, Microbe discovered in Haitian soil may develop super-antibiotic drug, No other national group anywhere in the world sends more money home than Haitians living abroad; and, Globalization and terror - Murder Inc. and Haiti).


When it is understood that the Western economic model and calculation of economic wealth does not fit Haiti's unique reality or, fit the idea of equitable wealth distribution as envisioned by Haiti’s founding father - Jean Jacques Dessalines, only then may a reasonable and compatible discussion take place. Otherwise we continue to compare apples and oranges. We ignore history and reality. We use inappropriate barometers - Western definitions and theories suiting the Western economic interests - to compare, a society forged together by the former Enslaved with pioneering societal and economic goals, with US/Euro societies developed partly by those imposed-upon human beings' 300-years of free labor, colonialism and then their 200-year containment in poverty and forced neo-colonialism.

A countries average GDP is what is used to define how large (successful/ unsuccessful) a country's economy is. Westerners define GDP and then Haiti's GDP is what is used by the World Bank and other IFI's to place it last in the Western Hemisphere as the "poorest."

However, the economic and social model that works for the former enslavers are diametrically opposed to the interests of the former enslaved who broke their own chains. For, if only the property of the foreigner is given a market value in Haiti, and the property of the Haitian peasant is not; if the informal working sector is never evaluated; Haiti will always be, by their definitions “failed” and “worst than.”

"From the beginning to now, the Haitian way was other than that of the "discoverers." There is important work to be done by good Haiti economists on what a Haitianist economy would look like."
(See, Does the Western economic model and calculation of economic wealth fit Haiti, fit Dessalines' idea of wealth distribution? NO!).

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The economic policies of the IMF and the World Bank continue to impoverish, not develop, Haiti. Drastically reduced tariffs on imported subsidized food from the U.S., has, since 1994-1995 been a CONDITION for IMF, IDB, and other "aid" and credit to Haiti. This destroys food sovereignty in Haiti. Privatization puts the nation's assets and riches in foreign hands, brings more joblessness, flies capital and profits out of Haiti. US economic policy in Haiti simply feeds DEPENDENCY. Moreover, the transnational corporations refuse to abide by Haitian labor, human rights laws and minimum wage laws. (Disney's Hell in Haiti ; How to Get Rich on 11 cents a day; Food, trade and US power politics in Latin America and, Our nasty little racist war in Haiti
).

Foreign investment doesn't offer riches and meaningful job opportunities to local Haitian professionals, local accountants, local managers, local businesses, architects, engineers, agriculturist, etc., etc..only the equivalents of US antebellum servile jobs for Blacks such as maids, butlers, gardeners and entertainment, or as sexual/exotic objects, artifacts.

Many times foreign investors IMPORT their labor, sometimes also from the diaspora for the express purpose of undermining local labor and maintaining the exclusion of the masses, and EXPORT all profits and capital, as well as hiring their own local thugs to intimidate employees who ask for the minimum wage, non-toxic work environments and/or who refuse sexual and other "favors."

This neocolonialism keeps Haiti underdeveloped, dependent and always in need of crisis handouts. It feeds a particular psyche. And not Dessalines' dream or law.

Haitian farmers do not receive subsidies or other types of domestic support. US farmers get export and other subsidies. And the wealthy Haitian families (the middlemen/subcontracted Haitians) generally strum chaos, political impasse, coup d'etat and instability in order to ignore Haiti's tariffs and taxes anyway, and certainly don't report their actual incomes for tax purposes. Countless businesses are operating in Haiti unregistered and therefore not on the rolls to pay taxes and fees. Here are the ones paying SOME taxes - (La DGI presente les 150 plus grandes entreprises d'Haiti; Le Plan Politique Américain Pour Haiti ).

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Free trade is not free but an ideological tool in the service of financial colonialism. Coup d'etats are orchestrated to ensure the former US/EU enslaving powers keep their incomes coming in from their de facto colonies and inhibit the Haitian government from ensuring the availability of infrastructure, standards of inclusion and policies and laws that promote Haitian self-development. Free trade, US "aid", dumping of food and crisis handouts and foreign ownership - meaning privatization - are not the answer for Haiti's ills. The subcontracted Haitian oligarchs, who have the trickled down two-cents of the foreign investors to protect and US-coup-d'etat-firepower to back them up, won't let decent, law-abiding Haitian masses, at home and abroad, secure democracy and political stability in order to grow enterprises that would develop Haiti for the masses.

"Privatization" US-style, cuts jobs instead of creating jobs, strips the masses of national assets, makes the global economic elite richer and the local people poorer. For instance, privatizing Teleco lost Haiti over 2,800 jobs. (HAITI: Workers Protest Privatization Layoffs; Haiti: Privatisation plan starts with mass firings.)

Haiti should invest in its own domestic development, its national production and its own DIASPORA as its primary investors, because IT IS. No other national group anywhere in the world sends more money home than Haitians living abroad. The Haitian Diaspora sends over $2billion dollars a year to Haiti. They, not American Rice and such others, should be given sweetheart deals in Haiti. Besides the competition being unfair, Haitian rice is also MORE nutritionally sound then US imported, subsidized rice. ( Mysterious Prison Ailment Traced to U.S. Rice.)

Proposals - What To do?

1. One: Instead of flooding Haiti with tons of US or any other "crisis" foods and handouts, the benevolent "friends" of Haiti could help more if they flooded Haiti with monies/dollars the equivalent of the food handouts - that is don't dump food in Haiti to help with the current grangou Klorox (famine). Send the equivalent in food aid in dollars, earmarked to go to the poorest districts, to the L'artibonite, Site Soley, St. Marc, Cap Haitian areas, et al.. and used to BUY from the local market women, Madan Sarahs and, small local Haitian producers.

"...Haiti has over 3 million folks abroad. Haiti could be self-sufficient in a New York minute if the US and their subcontracted Haitians were forced out of the way. It's not US "aid" or NGO handouts that keep the Haitian people together, but the over 2billion sent to Haiti by Haitians in the diaspora.."
******************

2. Two: Haitians who wish to make a contribution - understand that you have been MISEDUCATED about Haiti and commit your life to undo that miseducation. (Begin by reading HLLN's on-line journal essays at: Haitian Perspectives)

Long term solutions demands creating new paradigms. See, Ezili Danto, April 14, 2008 essay - advocating the Vodun liberation theology where Haitians NATURALLY put their own peoples' interests first before that of the former enslavers and their new trans-national East Indian Companies, subsidize Haitian production, consumption, education, health care, infrastructure building, end the UN occupation and the rule of NGO's and charitable organizations and their sycophants in Haiti, promoting debt, dependency and foreign domination (See, HLLN's FreeHaitiMovement Demands, May 18, 2008, Media Lies: The two common storylines about Haiti - May 14, 2008 & August 27, 2007, Western vs. Real Narrative on Haiti , Haitian Riches, When Haiti Was Free - Video Evidence of Media Lies, Veil of Blood: Ignorance is no Defense);

3. Three: Temporarily stop the exportation of cash crops and feed them to the starving people, subsidize in-country food and feed the people immediately; invest in Haitians and in Haiti, not in the salaries and well-beings of the foreigner and his/her economic, religious, psychic and cultural interests.

4 . Four, if you're interested in providing emergency handout assistance for the short term, we suggest that:

People interested in donating to feed children in Haiti should go to
What If Foundation.

5 . Five: To help with US policy change and stop the US Neoliberal economic policies that guts Haiti's domestic economy, national production, privatizes all of Haiti's income-producing entities and causes the famine we are now witnessing, write to your local and national representatives, with copies to the media. Tell them to STOP supporting policies in Haiti that causes starvation and famine.

To help change U.S. policy on agriculture and combat world-wide hunger go to:

Oxfam America, or http://www.bread.org/
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******************
Comparing crime, poverty and violence in the rest of the Hemisphere to Haiti:

US free-trade agents and the compliant mainstream media are always telling Haitians how developed the other Caribbean and Latin American countries are, compared to Haiti.

To have foreign ownership while your masses languish in extreme poverty is not an "accomplishment" whether, for instance, in the Dominican Republic ("DR"), or as being proposed for Haiti. If the DR is so "developed" why are their people passing off as Puerto Ricans in order to immigrate to the US and its Islands, so they may make a better living to help support themselves and family?
(See, Haitian Riches, The Western vs. Real Narrative on Haiti; When Haiti Was Free - Video Evidence of Media Lies; Veil of Blood: Ignorance is no Defense; Media Lies: The two common storylines about Haiti - May 14, 2008 & August 27, 2007 ).


******************

Down the annals of Haitian history and for generations upon generations, Haitians who have survived the shock and awe of living in a hostile American mediterranean and remained authentic, self-reliant Haitians, by-passed Port-au-Prince a long time ago. Port-au-Prince is where the Kolon-missionaries' tentacles are the deepest. That's always been a failure. The majority of our people live life outside that hornets' nets. Our grandparents, Lionel, survived so you and I may be here today, because they by-passed that seat of the State that has been rendered simply PREDATORY. It's a failure and will always be a failure as long as Haitian politicians depend and invest themselves and their rule of Haiti in the US ways of thinking about Haiti, on US-Euro false benevolence - "foreign aid and investments" - instead of the ingenuity, beauty, resources and wisdom of their own masses.

People-to-people that's our motto here at Ezili's HLLN.

Yes we get tired, disheartened. I too have asked all your questions, Lionel. We've trudged through much Haitian blood and agony these last four years of occupation in Haiti. But I think at the end, you've answered your own questions.

Lionel, you write:
"Globalization has left us behind.
We toil and play politics.
A failed state does not mean failed people,
not failed hopes,
not failed culture,
just failed politics. "

Yes, Haiti's politicians continue to fail because they continue to trust more in the white men and his false promises of
"development" than in their own peoples' creativity.

The hard question they ask but fail to find the right answer to is: How does a country take back its sovereignty, freedom, without money, credit, self sufficiency??? Credit, the issuance of which is dependent on an International Community that's vowed to enslave or decimate your people and what it stands for.

You ask me Lionel: "...don't you sometimes feel like (your passion, your words) they are wasted? Getting and keeping people motivated enough to act ... And do what? What keeps you going? Do you see results? "

Yes, most of the time I feel that my life-force has been squandered and spilled meaninglessly landing on deaf ears and hard ground. We feel our invisibility, invalidation, Haiti's bottomless despair, our flesh hitting sharp, jagged steel, whenever we lift our head from our work to note that in the current national and international discourses everyone seems to know the lies told for Bush, Jr. to make regime change in Iraq, but not in Haiti. The embedded corporate media still lie or push Haiti's story behind the headlines. (It's Neither Hope nor Progress When the International Community is Running Haiti) But, "What keeps me going" you ask Lionel. Do I see result?"

First, I am the result. My consciousness exists because African folks who came before me spilled their life-force so I would know of Dessalines' legacy, strength and vision. What keeps me going? Knowing mistè yo live in me and that time is finite. That because of our culture, our faith, our Vodun way of being, we cannot lose. That yes, we want material wealth, clean drinking water, food and tangible freedoms. But that will come only if I struggle. Will Haitians ever stop suffering? That question was answered already after 300 years of US-Euro barbarity, at Bwa Kayiman on August 14, 1791. Rooted in our psychology and cosmology, freedom will come again, from our bodies, psyches, soul and sweat.

The alternative cannot be to leave the field to the inbreeded parasites sucking dry Dessalines' legacy. No. I am Ayiti and that means what?....with this Western bought education, or my own limitations, sometimes I simply can't articulate what the whole fabric of that is.... but I do know others have choices. But I, my brother and the masses we give voice to, I am what I stand for. I, cannot be outside and separated, divided or torn asunder from the fear we drown in, the hopelessness we swallow, the humiliation we bear, OR, from the power, beauty, psychology and wisdom of Dantò e Zanset yo e Timoun yo. I even resent the cost for giving life to this consciousness. Still, I am that without end and since Lè Marasa yo. ( Ezili Dantò translates and analyzes the Vodun song -Going Back to Root - Lasous O M Pwale - I'm Returning to the Beginning/Source/Root).

You're right Lionel, we don't own a failed culture. And when Haiti's leaders are well rooted in our own Vodun psychology and cosmology, in our own history and legacy to the world, then that power shall shine and issue forth from restored and re-educated psyches and form new paradigms. How exciting will it then be when all Haitians are taught and encouraged to use a Vodun lexicon adapted and re-created to be understood in these modern times, but founded and based on the Ancestors' Vodun archetypal psychology so that when untenable choices are forced down our throats by the powers-that-be, the NATURAL FIRST CHOICE is to follow policies that assure Haiti's independence in all realms, that says "sorry no, the maroons within won't allow me to do that;" and that respects our revolutionary history and national motto of Haitians united to live free or die.

Lionel, there's no family gathered into a nation-state here as fought for by Toya, Defile, Mari Jann, Sanit Belair, Marie Heureux, Desalin, Kapwa Lamò, no. There's just millions upon millions of you and me, simply Ayisyen, resilient and proud who answer to the appellation "Black" and who loyally lift up these Haitian warriors and what they bravely achieved. Following in their footsteps. Everyday extending, as best we can, their legacy in order to bring into manifestation, as the norm, the ACCEPTED Haitian paradigm, that natural first choice to validate self - instead of the interests of the foreigner. Never forgetting we have a legacy to reach for, never forgetting the resounding cry at Bwa Kayiman was "Kanga Mundele!" (Go to: The Revolutionary Potential of Haiti, its creeds, values and struggle).

Our freedom comes from what we are. From what we stand for, reach out for and speak out against. Dessalin's legacy, keeps me going my brother. It's what makes my people invincible in the face of all the agony of being Ayisyen in their "New World."

Marguerite 'Ezili Dantò' Laurent
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network ("HLLN")
April 14, 2008
(Black is the Color of Liberty
http://www.margueritelaurent.com /pres
sclips/sabir.html#BlackLiberty )
******************

Recommended Links:
-
HLLN Links to US free trade fraud promoting famine in Haiti
***************


- Is Starvation Contagious by John Maxwell

- Review (Part 1) of Peter Hallward's "Damming the Flood"
By Stephen Lendman

- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions, Democracy Now, Nov. 9, 2004

- Haiti, Reaping the Whirlwind

- Feeding Dependency, Starving Democracy: USAID Policies in Haiti
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/la w/
haitianNGOs.html#dependency

- IMF warns rising food prices may spark more riots like Haiti
By Andrew Gumbel | Monday, 14 April 2008, Independent.co.uk

- Free Market Left Haiti's Rice Growers Behind by Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, April 13, 2000

- Haitian rice farmers work against the Yankee dollar
http://www.speakeasy.org/~
peterc/haiti/rice.htm

- Haitian pigs meet globalization

- Trade and disappearance of Haitian Rice
by Josiane Georges, June 2004

-The history of land and agriculture of the Republic of Haiti

-
Many Haitians want exiled Aristide back

- H
AITI: Food Crisis Sparks Anger and Despair ( "...Thirty years ago, Haiti produced nearly all the rice it consumed. But in the late 1980s, cheap imported U.S. rice inundated the country after a military junta began liberalising the economy with support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The first batches of imported rice were escorted by armed convoys in the Artibonite valley -- Haiti's main rice-producing region. Rice farmers regarded the imported U.S. rice as a threat to their production and livelihoods.

As it turned out, their concerns were justified. In 1994, an IMF-sponsored plan cut tariffs on imported rice from 35 percent to 3 percent, the lowest in the region. In one year, the number of rice imports doubled.

While the U.S. government subsidises its own rice farmers, its Haitian counterpart was prohibited from doing so under the terms of their agreement with the IMF. Over the last 20 years, rice production in Haiti has been cut in half, while imports now dominate the market.

In La Saline, the stench of fish and chicken permeates the air as Hernite Joseph continues to tear at the heap of frozen chicken before her.

For her and her three children, the future is up in the air and if the cost of living continues to rise, Henrite only sees one outcome: "I will die." (
HAITI: Food Crisis Sparks Anger and Despair By Nick Whalen, IPS, April 16, 2008))
*********************
Eyewitness account of the abduction of President and First Lady Aristide of Haiti by the United States Special Forces

Jean Jacques Dessalines, said, "I Want the Assets of the
Country to be Equitably Divided
" and for that he was assassinated.
That was the first coup d'etat, the Haitian holocaust - organized exclusion of the masses, misery, poverty and the impunity of the economic elite - continues (with Feb. 29, 2004 marking the 33rd coup d'etat). Haiti's peoples continue to resist the return of despots, tyrants and enslavers who wage war on the poor majority and Black, contain-them-in poverty through neocolonialism' debts, "free trade" and foreign "investments." These neocolonial tyrants refuse to allow an equitable division of wealth, excluding the majority in Haiti from sharing in the country's wealth and assets.

******************** 
Lionel's Questions

lionel wrote to Ezili Dantò:

Sista,

Don't you ever get tired of looking at it from outside?
I understand you are doing what you can for our nation,
I read your passion in your words.

But don't you sometimes feel like they are wasted?
Getting and keeping people motivated enough to act ... And do what?
What keeps you going?
Do you see results?

There are so many games being played in the name of the people?
So many interests riding on their backs without ever benefiting them.
Politics ... Politics have been the rules of the games played at our
people's expense.

Do you really see a connection between the removal of a Prime Minister and the people eating? Does the resident of the palace in PAP really make a difference at this point? Do politics today divide and distract us more than they unite and harness our efforts? Would we not be better off focusing directly on those who need us most?

It just seems to me that the people stand to gain nothing from politics, but that politics, uses the people as a way to move forward.
The gap widens.

Globalization has left us behind.
We toil and play politics.
A failed state does not mean failed people,
not failed hopes,
not failed culture,
just failed politics.
-------
Lionel

**********************

Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
**********************

***************
Eyewitness account of the abduction of President and First Lady Aristide of Haiti by the United States Special Forces

Jean Jacques Dessalines, said, "I Want the Assets of the
Country to be Equitably Divided
" and for that he was assassinated.
That was the first coup d'etat, the Haitian holocaust - organized exclusion of the masses, misery, poverty and the impunity of the economic elite - continues (with Feb. 29, 2004 marking the 33rd coup d'etat). Haiti's peoples continue to resist the return of despots, tyrants and enslavers who wage war on the poor majority and Black, contain-them-in poverty through neocolonialism' debts, "free trade" and foreign "investments." These neocolonial tyrants refuse to allow an equitable division of wealth, excluding the majority in Haiti from sharing in the country's wealth and assets.
***************


Posted on Saturday, May. 24, 2008
USAID to send $25 million more
By JACQUELINE CHARLES
The U.S. Agency for International Development, which last week announced that it was sending $20 million in emergency food aid to Haiti, will be sending $25 million more, the agency's top administrator said Friday.

''We know that we are not the full solution, we are a part. We are trying to be supportive and we are trying to help,'' USAID Administrator Henrietta Fore said.

Fore flew from Washington to Miami to personally deliver the news, inviting Haitian-American leaders to the USAID warehouse in West Miami-Dade County.

The funds, she said, will help provide 36,000 tons of food staples to 2.5 million Haitians through three types of programs targeting the disabled, orphans, mothers, children and the elderly.


Comparing crime, poverty and violence in the rest of the Hemisphere to Haiti:

US free-trade agents and the compliant mainstream media are always telling Haitians how developed the other Caribbean and Latin American countries are, compared to Haiti.

To have foreign ownership while your masses languish in extreme poverty is not an "accomplishment" whether, for instance, in the Dominican Republic ("DR"), or as being proposed for Haiti. If the DR is so "developed" why are their people passing off as Puerto Ricans in order to immigrate to the US and its Islands, so they may make a better living to help support themselves and family? (See, Haitian Riches, The Western vs. Real Narrative on Haiti; When Haiti Was Free - Video Evidence of Media Lies; Veil of Blood: Ignorance is no Defense; Media Lies: The two common storylines about Haiti - May 14, 2008 & August 27, 2007).


There are four times more homicides per capital, more violent crimes, murders and human rights abuses in the Dominican Republic than in Haiti. But, it is the Dominican half of the Island of Haiti that tourists flock to because the US does not keep a perpetual travel warning against going to the Dominican Republic. There's no doubt that US/Euro investors have lots more property to protect and get a return on in the Dominican Republic than in Haiti. So, even though there are more murders in the Dominican Republic and the human rights violations, especially for the Haitians in the Batayes, are systemically worst than in Haiti, the complaint media isn’t reporting on it with the single-minded focus that they report on and amplify the violence in Haiti. (See also Paradise Lost: the Caribbean's shocking secret, -
According to the United Nations, the Caribbean region has a murder rate of 30 per 100,000 inhabitants - ;Violence, murder and social breakdown are threatening many small states in the Caribbean ).

In fact, as I’ve written elsewhere, when there’s no violence to report about in Haiti, the mainstream media actually feel they’ve wasted their time, and fly out pronto so as not to belabor the good points, like they did when the 2006 Preval elections were peaceful.

Here's a testimony from an American doctor who's worked in Haiti for 25-years: "...Haitians are not near as anger prone or violent as Peorians. The homicide rate in Peoria (Illinois, USA) is about 15/100,000 per year.The homicide rate in Port-au-Prince is about 5/100,000 per year..." Posted by John A. Carroll, M.D., May 24, 2008.

The image of Haiti as a violent and brutal place has been nurtured by the West since Haiti won in combat against their enslavement forces. That myth continues to this day. Haitian progressives see it as a scare tactic meticulously maintained to keep the negative status quo narrative about Haiti intact, and keep Haiti mired in hunger and underdevelopment, with little hope of attracting foreign visitors and good investments. That way, under this cover, the Western powers pursue their exploitation , empire and racist program to change Haiti into the drug infested, Aid’s infested, kidnapping and violent place their racist psyches demand it be. It’s been a 200-year struggle and the surprise is that the Westerners still have not made their myth a reality. But, with the last two US/Bush coup d’etats (1991/2004), combined with the current UN occupation, they are making some unprecedented strides. (See, Turning Haiti into a (Penal) Colony: The systematic criminalization of young Black males in Haiti, parallels their criminalization in the U.S. ; Globalization and terror - Murder Inc. and Haiti by Toni Solo Global Research, March 25, 2008.).


According to UN, Haiti homicide rate is 5.6 per 100,000. According to Amnesty International - Brazil's violence rate is 52.2 per 100,000. According to the United Nations, the Caribbean region has a murder rate of 30 per 100,000 inhabitants.


Kidnapping in Columbia was such a scourge, Columbia was, for years, called the kidnapping capital of the world. But, Columbia is a US-client state. It's government follows extreme right-wing social and economic policies and is closely linked to paramilitary death squads. Columbia conducts incursions into Ecuador and borders Venezuela on behalf of Empire's oil interests and the world's corporate oligarchs. Thus, Columbia's state-sponsored torture, paramilitary death squads, gross human rights abuses are of no consequence as they protect U.S. perceived interests and its big business conglomerates there. The U.S. trains and funds armed forces in Colombia. The U.S. media focuses on Chavez in a demonization campaign, supporting the elites in Ecuador and Bolivia looking to secede with their oil/gas-rich sections, and emboldening Columbia, the country that broke international law with incursions into Ecuador and has a human rights record of violence second to none in the region. "Neither FARC nor the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador COMBINED (and throw in Cuba if you wish) have a total number and kinds of human rights violations" on the magnitude of Columbia.

So, of course, it is in Haiti, in 2005, that US officials found that "Eight to 10 people are abducted every day in Haiti, more than any other country in the Americas, said Judy Orihuela, an FBI spokeswoman in Miami. That surpasses even Colombia, which for years has had the world's highest kidnapping rate." (Kingdom Kidnapping, Jamaica Gleaner, December 27, 2005). Yet, in that same year (2005), CNN reported that Mexico, which shares a border with the US , that "Mexico has overtaken Colombia and Brazil to become the world leader in reported kidnappings."(See, Mexico is Becoming the Next Columbia by Ted Galen Carpenter, November 5, 2005; Report: Mexico world’s kidnapping king (CNN), Colombia Attacks Ecuador Again By Prensa Latina, May 30, 2008). To the contrary, says Mr. Blaise, the U.N. police spokesman in 2008: "Kidnappings have become common in many Latin American countries, but were rare in Haiti before Mr. Aristide's ouster... The kidnappings shocked everyone because they hadn't happened in the past...Still, when you compare the number of kidnappings here, I don't think it's more than anywhere else." (BRIEFING: Haiti's image of fear 'a big myth' to some, Haiti's violent image is an outdated myth, insist UN peacekeepers; Comparing crime, poverty and violence in the rest of the Hemisphere to Haiti now go hungry, and Thousands march to protest kidnapping in Haiti, Reuters, June 4, 2008).

Nonetheless, in 2005, the Associated Press, then ignoring that there was a war/protest going on in Haiti and dissent against the UN/US occupation, freely labeled Haiti "kidnapping capital of the Americas." And it is in Haiti, - not in Columbia, Brazil or Mexico, where more kidnappings are recorded in "peaceful" times than in Haiti during foreign-imposed-civil-war times, - that the UN has unleashed 9,000 UN troops, paying themselves over $500 million per year in the process, in order to "secure" Haiti and get rid of the kidnapping "gangs" of Site Soley.

"...International comparisons are telling. In Brazil, there are 52.2 homicides per 100,000 youths, ...whereas in the USA the rate is 13.2 per 100,000 and in Italy it is 2.1 per 100,000. (26) Firearm-related deaths in Rio de Janeiro during the 1990s were higher than those in conflict zones such as in Angola and Sierra Leone...."

Brazil, heads the UN military contingent in Haiti, but it owns a worst record in violence than Haiti.
In 2007 the homicide rate in Haiti was 5.6 per 100,000 people. In Brazil it was 52.2 homicides per 100,000 in 2005.
Why aren't those figures getting reported when accusing Haiti of violence? (See,
Amnesty International on Brazil: "They come in Shooting" - Policing Socially Excluded Communities).

Let history record, kidnapping, as a significant crime in Haiti, started when the US Special Forces, with the help of French and Canadian soldiers, took President Aristide and his wife, out of Haiti in the dead of night on February 29, 2004. It’s growth started with the anarchy brought on by Western instability imposed on Haiti from that date, until the people had duly elected President Preval on February 7, 2007. From 2004 to 2006 the Haitian poor, especially from Site Soley and other poor districts, fought off empire and elected another Lavalas president in order to return President Aristide to Haiti. This was done despite the Westerners' objections. From 2004, US terror and slaughterers, with UN as their military proxies, aimed to dominate Haiti through rigged election results. The Haitian poor fought valiantly and stopped them in their tracks. And since Feb. 7, 2006, these International have stopped at nothing. The economic war of attrition combined with the military firepower of the UN, unleashed by the US and its economic allies, - IMF, World Bank, IDB and USAID - to punish small Haiti for daring to assume it could live independently from their dictates has wrought untold miseries upon Haitians living at home and abroad. Dumping subsidized foods has sabotaged Haitian production and consumption leaving behind dependency, famine, death, devastation and a political class more amenable to selling off the country than ever before. The US's attempts at altering and co-opting President Preval and the February 7th mandate, continues on to this day through various means - pacifying the "bandits" of Site Soley, issuing selective visas, wielding IMF/WB loan conditions and debts, providing jobs to their Haitian sub-contractors, pushing globalization, "free trade" monopolies, massive privatization of Haitian assets and by generally creating impasse in the Haitian parliament and maintaining the 2004-coup d'etat-Foreign-Ministry intact, on behalf of their tiny Haitian ruling oligarch.
(Humanitarian aid workers and UN peacekeepers raping and abusing children, May 27, 2008 ; Media manipulations and the Haitian Hills switching the conversation :On distractions - How the social scientists' manipulate information to keep a right wing agenda in Haiti going and to continue imposing starvation on Haiti : The life of those in the Haitian hills are not more sacred than that of the masses).

But the news media won’t say this. Won't report that Haiti is four times less violent than the Dominican Republic, nine times less violent than Jamaica, and has less homicides, per 100,000, than even the United States. ("Hellhole Haiti" not as Violent as Peoria, Illinois). Haiti's homicide rate is five and a half times less than the average homicide rate in the entire Caribbean. (The average for Haiti is 5.6 per 100,000 and the average for the Caribbean is 30 homicide per 100,000). No, they won't report this. The cumulative reportings of the mainstream media will leave you with the opposite impression. They will claim the opposite - that Haiti is plagued by endemic violence that's a zillion times greater than anywhere else in the world. They won't report that Haiti's image of fear and violence is a self-serving neocolonial myth. That, this image of Haiti as a violent place, stems from the beginning when Haiti broke its chains and won its independence, in combat with the tyrannical Europeans. No. Journalists won’t explain this. They will ignore history and reality and place the blame as to why Haiti has an image of violence only on the “fighting, incapable-of-self-rule-Haitians” and, tell their readers that “The image stems largely from two violent years after the 2004 U.S. ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide when the slums of Port-au-Prince erupted in gun battles between gangs, Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers, plus a wave of kidnappings.” (BRIEFING: Haiti's image of fear 'a big myth' to some)

For, even when the media actually reports these figures, it will claim directly and indirectly that "security improved markedly" in Haiti because...the U.N. peacekeeping mission wrested control of Port-au-Prince's battle-torn slums from armed groups." This fits the lie that Haiti was violent until the UN peacekeepers came to stop the violence, not that they brought on, intensified and exacerbated Haiti's violence from 2004 to today.

So, instead of showing that the UN brought on the anarchy, violence and chaos to Haiti when, in contravention of the UN mission and OAS mission, the UN retroactively sanctioned the US Marines' 2004 intervention in Haiti and then turned that force into the multinational UN force come to uphold, not the Constitutional government of Haiti, but the US-imposed, unconstitutional Boca Raton government. Thus, rather than helping the democratically elected government in Haiti fight off the US-supported coup d’etat usurpers to power in Haiti, the UN established a protectorate in Haiti on behalf of the transnational corporations and global elites' interest.

But articles on Haiti such as "BRIEFING: Haiti's image of fear 'a big myth' to some, written by Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Washington Time reporter, Reed Lindsay, will spin the facts and confuse the readers rather than tell the facts as they are. Thus only the well-read observer will see how it perpetuates the fear image while glorifying the UN and US narrative on Haiti, ignoring their historically repugnant roles, murders and mayhems. How it does NOT explain how the gun-battles which erupted in the “slums of Port-au-Prince…between gangs, Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers, plus a wave of kidnappings” came about from the people of Haiti defending themselves against coup d’etat police and UN raids to squash dissent against the occupation, the Boca Raton regime and their summary executions. (See, Globalization and terror - Murder Inc. and Haiti by Toni Solo Global Research, March 25, 2008; See, Video Coronation of Rev. Moon by Washington stakeholders as "King of Peace").

In cumulative ways, such articles by Rush Limbaugh/Bill O'Reilley/New-Reagan conservative papers like Washington Times, along with almost identical reports by Reuters, Associated Press, New York Times and others, will mercilessly spin and stretch the truth to reach the US/Euro-narrative that the "peacekeepers" went to Haiti to reestablish order and then pacified the gangs and that now, presumably because of the peacekeepers "successful and good works" in "pacifying the gangs" and stopping "the gun-battles, …(t)oday, Haiti’s reputation is undeserved,... Haiti is no more violent than any other Latin American country.”

Reality is thus turned on its head by these reportings on Haiti. For, even now, four years later, in 2008 the statistic still indicate that it’s safer to be in Haiti than in the US, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, or Brazil not because of the "success" of the UN, but in spite of it.

The news media won’t even tell you that Haiti is safer than other places in the region straight out. Here is what Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times reporter, Reed Lindsay, reluctantly states: “Reliable statistics….indicate that…(Haiti) COULD BE among the safest in the region.” (Emphasis added).

Then, belying its own words and equivocation, the article goes on to show how Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Brazil actually have HIGHER crime and murder rates than Haiti. In fact, it shows the murder rate in the US is GREA
TER than it is in Haiti ! “The United States had a murder rate of 5.7 per 100,000 in 2006, according to the US Department of Justice… The U.N. peacekeeping mission recorded 487 homicides in Haiti last year, or about 5.6 per 100,000 people.”). But journalist are not emphasizing these facts at all.

This one merely states “reliable statistics…indicate that…(Haiti) COULD BE among the safest in the region.” But, saddest part is that this is more truth than the others ever say about the reality versus the Western screwed narrative on Haiti. Much more.

For buried in its confusion is the truth -"...There is not a large amount of violence [in Haiti],' said General José Elito Carvalho Siqueira, the former commander of the UN military force. 'If you compare the levels of POVERTY with those of São Paulo or other cities, there is more violence there than here.'... in the countryside violent crime has always been rare....Port-au-Prince's armed groups (are) more receptive than those in Rio de Janeiro's slums.... warring gangs in Bel Air and neighboring downtown slums ..sign(ed) a peace treaty,...swore to abstain from violence in exchange for youth scholarships. Since then, the area has been peaceful... This would be unthinkable in Rio... (most).. patients at ...trauma hospital (are not)... victim(s) of a bullet wound...( most) had been injured in car crashes and domestic accidents. ..'It's not the insecurity, not the bullets, not the conflict between gangs and police...What's killing people in Haiti is not being able to give birth to a baby in a hospital or not having access to medical care because they don't have enough money to pay.'"(Haiti's image of fear 'a big myth' to some By Reed Lindsay, March 4, 2008).

In view of Haiti's unfair image of fear, as promulgated by folks with job and political interests to protect such as the UN, US-Euros and their corporate medias, it must be noted that the figures evidencing Haiti's violence COULD BE more favorable than being reported even in this rare, if ambivalent report of good statistics for Haiti. But if we were to accept the credibility of the statements and figures offered in "Haiti's image of fear 'a big myth' to some" at face value, than the truth to be emphasized is that the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Columbia, Honduras, Mexico and Brazil have higher crime and murder rates, and sometimes, in various places in their countries, even more poverty than Haiti has ever had, especially than Haiti had under its democratically elected Aristide and Preval governments before 2004. Yet, the UN is in Haiti to pacify “gangs,” and bring “stability” but not in Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil or Columbia. Why? Why just Haiti? Haiti's murder rate is less, relatively speaking than that of the US. But, even the title to the Washington Times' article puts these facts in doubt, it claims only "to some" is Haiti's image of fear 'a big myth'!!! (Haiti's image of fear 'a big myth' to some By Reed Lindsay, March 4, 2008).

Why don’t we see the US asking the UN to intervene and go into New York, California, New Mexico, Chicago, Texas and help with the US crime rate and the gang problems there? (See also, Columbia may also send troops to Haiti). Unarguably necolonialism, racism and the fear tactic has been used to consume Haiti’s non-violent reality since Haiti’s birth, beginning with a 100-year trade embargo and isolation, used to keep Haiti out of the circle of self-ruling nations. And it’s done in Haiti without anyone questioning it. Back then, Haitian ships were excluded from US ports, while US ships unofficial did business at a mafia premium to Haiti. And, just as that first US trade embargo and isolation cruelly decimated and impoverished Haiti, so does today's "free trade." Back then, after Haiti's independence, and for practically Haiti's first hundred years, the US and at various intervals the other European tribes, - France, England, Spain, Britain - used their gunboats to block Haitian ships from doing any business on the Atlantic or trying to get to other more receptive ports in the world. Then, with self-serving bias, these US/Euros, their scholars and newspapermen, used the economic decline of Haiti, caused by their embargo and neocolonial economic policies, to show how much richer Haiti was when it was a French colony ("Pearl of the Antilles") and how independent Haiti is an example of what happens when Africans try to govern themselves.

The formula hasn't changed. Today, under neoliberal "free trade" and IMF/World Bank's endless debt and invasive loan conditions, US corporations dump subsidized big agribusiness food into Haiti, destroy Haiti's national production and consumption, then dump more food aid as emergency handout when famine hits. Racistly blaming Haiti for its dire poverty, lack of food sovereignty, while like in olden days, patting themselves on the back for being so rich, white, generous and benevolent.

Here are some of the relevant facts: Haiti, compared to other countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and even as compared to the United States may have always been a safer place (except for the times the US/Euros intervened to support dictators or, to manufacture civil wars through their death squads and paid mercenaries to unseat governments that were pursuing the Haitian peoples’ interests more so than foreign, US/Euro interests).

“Haiti's violent image is (a)...myth…”

“...(Haiti) was recently named among the world's 10 most dangerous destinations, alongside Iraq and Somalia, by Forbes magazine, and the US government keeps a permanent warning against traveling there. Diplomats, journalists and aid workers who do land on Haitian soil spend much of their time holed up in fortified hotels… But now, according to new statistics from security experts and United Nations officials, Haiti is far less violent than many other Latin American countries. 'It's a big myth,' said Fred Blaise, of Haiti's UN peacekeeping force. 'Port-au-Prince is no more dangerous than any big city. You can go to New York and get pickpocketed or held at gunpoint.'” The U.N. peacekeeping mission recorded 487 homicides in Haiti last year, or about 5.6 per 100,000 people.

"A U.N.-World Bank study last year estimated the Caribbean's average homicide rate at 30 per 100,000, with Jamaica registering nearly nine times as many — 49 homicides per 100,000 people — as those recorded by the United Nations in Haiti.

"In 2006, the neighboring Dominican Republic notched more than four times more homicides per capita than those registered in Haiti: 23.6 per 100,000, according to the Central American Observatory on Violence. Even the United States would appear to have a higher homicide rate: 5.7 per 100,000 in 2006, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

"There is not a large amount of violence [in Haiti]," said Gen. Jose Elito Carvalho Siquiera, the former Brazilian commander of the U.N. military force in Haiti. "If you compare the levels of poverty here with those of Sao Paolo [Brazil] or other cities, there is more violence there than here." (Haiti's image of fear 'a big myth' to some By Reed Lindsay, March 4, 2008).

When the double standards are examined, when we understand, for instance, how poor Honduras is, behind only Nicaragua and Haiti and how because, in the 1980s, it was the premier US-client state from which the U.S-backed atrocities, terror, training camps, military bases, launched itself into other Latin American countries; and that the World Bank keeps Honduras' figures up, and the compliant media downplays the kidnappings, rapes and torture there and everywhere else in the Caribbean and Latin America so that Haiti stays RANKED as the poorest, and most violent. But the press isn't examining the massive poverty of US client-states, how the indexes for Haiti are lower when the internationals are in control of Haiti than when Haiti was free before 2004 and outside of the first Bush coup d'etat years. The World Bank has no interest in qualifying Haiti's GDP figures for 2004 through 2008, since its occupation and showing how the peoples' living standards has worsened with their presence, not gotten better. (See also, List of North American countries by GDP per capita, and Economy of South America; Haiti World Bank Data Profile, GDP- $430 in 2006, GDP- $420 in 2005, GDP $470 in 2000; Nicaragua World Bank Profile, GDP - $930 in 2006, GDP- $890 in 2005, GDP $730 in 2000; Honduras World Bank Profile - GDP $1,270 in 2006, GDP- $1,170 in 2005, GDP- $890 in 2000).

When you examine Columbia’s kidnapping and drug cartels, Haiti is a novice in the crime and violence department. (See, Ambassador to Death Squads-Who is John Negroponte? By GHALI HASSAN, June 4, 2004 http://www.counterpunch.org/hassan06042004.html; and, Legacy of Impunity: The Neoconlonialist inciting political instability is the problem. Haiti is underdeveloped in crime, corruption, violence, compared to other nations; Thousands march to protest kidnapping in Haiti, Reuters, June 4, 2008).

When the extent of crimes in Latin America and the rest of the Caribbean are factually compared and ones sees clearly how these other countries are more caught up in kidnapping, home invasions, exploitation, drug cartels, human rights violations and armed violence than Haiti has ever, ever been and that the UN Security council has not deemed it critical to sent UN troops to those countries to “kill the bandits,” then one begins to understand the double standards. How "good" is defined as "bad" and bad is twisted as "good" to better exploit Haiti and manufacture the world's consent to the international crimes being perpetrated against the defenseless people of Haiti from the beginning of Haiti's history until today.

Brazil a country with abominable human rights records towards its poor and homeless, and with more kidnappings and violent gangs than there are in Haiti, yet Brazilian soldiers are sent to lead a UN military operations to stop violence in Haiti! (See, Mexico is Becoming the Next Columbia by Ted Galen Carpenter, November 5, 2005; Report: Mexico world’s kidnapping king ; Globalization and terror - Murder Inc. and Haiti ; and, Tyrants and Despots in Haiti dressed-up by the Internationals (Neocolonialists) as peacemakers and police cleansing Haiti of thugs and "bandits" by Ezili Dantò, HLLN Haitian Perspectives, Jan. 2007 )

When the fact are clearly exposed to show that Haiti’s resources are being fleeced under this UN occupation as proxy for the US and that Haiti sends more of value to the US then the US has ever provided Haiti in "aid" and support, then it will become clear why the West uses this myth of Haiti’s violent image and extreme poverty as a cover to gain more foothold there and take out, almost for gratis, Haiti’s resources, labor, cash crops, iridium, oil, gold mines, copper mines, gas reserves, soil treasures, under water treasures, waterfront properties, without the world batting an eye in protest. Behind the UN guns, the big multinational corporations are re-carving the Haitian pie and they do not want the Haitian people at the table to bother them. (See, Haitian Riches; There is a multinational conspiracy to illegally take the mineral resources of the Haitian people; and Oil in Haiti - Economic Reasons for the UN/US occupation and Expose The Lies).

Ezili Dantò
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network ("HLLN")
May 23, 2008

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Humanitarian aid workers and UN peacekeepers raping and abusing children, May 27, 2008

Media manipulations and the Haitian Hills switching the conversation :On distractions - How the social scientists' manipulate information to keep a right wing agenda in Haiti going and to continue imposing starvation on Haiti : The life of those in the Haitian hills are not more sacred than that of the masses
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"Hellhole Haiti" not as Violent as Peoria

by Dr. John A. Carroll, M.D., From the blog of John A. Carroll, M.D. on the negative image of Haiti, Saturday, May 24, 2008 (Re: Persistent image of 'hellhole Haiti' an outdated myth, UN peacekeepers insist)

I have watched Haitians for 25 years.

I have seen them walk incredible distances up rocky mountain roads, carry their sick neighbors to the doctor on their shoulders, sit in immobile traffic crammed inside of large stagnant trucks, and find their baby's bed empty when they visited at the hospital.

Haitians are not near as anger prone or violent as Peorians.

The homicide rate in Peoria is about 15/100,000 per year.

The homicide rate in Port-au-Prince is about 5/100,000 per year.

Figure that out.


See the New Zeland Herald.
Posted by John A. Carroll, M.D.
http://www.dyinginhaiti.blogspot.com/

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Thousands march to protest kidnapping in Haiti
Wed Jun 4, 2008| By Joseph Guyler Delva

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Thousands of demonstrators took to the chaotic streets of Haiti's capital on Wednesday to protest an increase in kidnappings
in the impoverished Caribbean nation this year and demand a crackdown on those responsible.

The protest was peaceful for the most part. But many of the estimated 6,000
demonstrators called for the death penalty for kidnappers and chanted slogans against judges and police authorities they accused of being soft on crime.

"Kill the kidnappers and arrest corrupt judges who release them in exchange for money," shouted one group, as they milled outside the Justice Palace where judges regularly hold sessions.

"There should be no prison for kidnappers. They should be sent directly to the grave and to hell," said Muthurin Beauvoir, a 35-year-old protester.

At least 160 people have been kidnapped for ransom since the start of the year, according to Haitian and U.N. police. That compares to 237 for all of 2007 and puts the country on track for a significant increase in abductions, which can often end in killings even when ransoms are paid.

U.N. police spokesman Fred Blaise said on Wednesday at least 36 people were kidnapped in May but many cases go unreported.

Haiti has suffered endemic political upheaval and prolonged periods of brutal dictatorship since French rule ended with a slave revolt more than 200 years ago.

There was an overall improvement in the security situation last year under President Rene Preval, who is seeking to build a stable democracy in the poorest country in the Americas.

But the situation could deteriorate quickly again this year, as Preval seeks to pull together a new government to replace one toppled by food riots in April that took at least six lives.

(Editing by Tom Brown and Eric Walsh)
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Haiti, Reaping the Whirlwind
The Bahama Journal, April 14th, 2008

There is a time-worn expression that says once you sow the wind, be not surprised when you reap a whirlwind. So it is in today’s Republic of Haiti.

This neighbor of ours is hurting in a most desperate kind of way.

With its people mired in a miasma of crime, fear, disgust, poverty and hunger, Haiti this past week witnessed no end of troubles as people took to the streets in a number of Haitian cities.

One report reaching us notes that, "At least five people have been killed during a week of violent demonstrations over the cost of living in the poorest country in the Americas, where 80 percent of the population make do on less than $2 a day and few have full-time jobs."

Demonstrators on Tuesday paralyzed the city and tried to storm the presidential palace.

The word in some circles has it that the problems Haiti faces derive from the confluence of a number of forces. It is being suggested that, "Stoked by a drought in top grains producer Australia, climbing demand from emerging markets like China and competition with plant-based bio-fuels, global food prices have leaped, prompting restlessness in many poor countries."

Haitians say prices of rice, corn, beans, cooking oil and other staples are skyrocketing. The cost of rice and some other commodities has virtually doubled in six months, while energy costs have also soared because of record oil prices.

Reports from people near the epicenter of action, say that "UN peacekeepers, deployed to Haiti after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in 2004 in an armed revolt, fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators on Tuesday to prevent them from overrunning the presidential palace."

And somewhat pathetically so, we are told that, "President Rene Preval huddled overnight with government ministers and international officials, trying to figure out what to do."

Barring some miracle, there is little that he can do.

Rene Preval has but few options remaining.

The reality is that he must – once again – go begging in a cruel world. We are certain that he will get a myriad of promises.

This is so very sad.

Sadder still is that millions of Haitians are obliged to live in a state that borders on the intersection where despair, hunger, misery and death cavort.

Today’s realities are rooted and grounded in some of yesterday’s more ignominious decisions. One of these is that there was a time in recent memory when the greatest military power in the history of the world thought it expedient to facilitate the removal of Haiti’s democratically president, Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Today this Haitian hero lives – albeit in a kind of exile – in South Africa.

Sometime ago, he was visited by celebrated journalist, Naomi Klein who asked him to tell her the inside behind his falling out with the powers that be in the United States of America.

As she puts it, "I asked him what was really behind his dramatic falling-out with Washington. He offered an explanation rarely heard in discussions of Haitian politics — actually, he offered three: "privatization, privatization and privatization."

The bottom line as Klein reports, with his back against the wall, "Aristide agreed to pay the debts accumulated under the kleptocratic Duvalier dictatorships, slash the civil service, and open up Haiti to "free trade" and cut import tariffs on rice and corn in half."

Now fast forward to the time when George W. Bush – himself and his party no friend to Aristide’s brand of liberation theology-helped depose the elected government of Haiti.

And so it was that, "The populist ex-priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti's president, became the first elected leader to be overthrown twice by armed thugs supported by the United States."

As explained by economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Colombia University, "Our government's role in the coup was more overt. This is a case where the United States turned off the tap. I believe they did that deliberately to bring down Aristide."

Sachs was referring to the cut off of funding from the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank from 2001-2003.

Even more to the point, "It was an unusually cruel thing to do. Haiti is desperately poor, with the worst incidence of malnutrition and disease in the hemisphere."

Today Haiti weeps and bleeds. As it does, many fondly remember the fact that Aristide was once there with them, providing them a measure of food, freedom, dignity and democracy.

Today’s reality has to do with debt, dependency, hunger, food riots and impotent leaders.

Today, too, the Haitian people – caught as it were in a whirlwind of hunger- are reaping what they sowed.

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Price of rice prompts renewed anger in Haiti

By Joseph Guyler Delva, Reuters, April 15, 2008


PORT-AU-PRINCE, April 15 (Reuters) - Sellers and angry customers clashed over the price of rice in Haiti on Tuesday, three days after the government announced a deal to reduce the price by 15 percent after food riots that killed at least five people.

Vendors said customers had expected rice prices to drop immediately after the government announced on Saturday an agreement with importers to cut the cost of a 110-pound (50-kg) sack of rice from $51 to $43.

But vendors were still selling older, higher-priced stocks, angering hungry Haitians and keeping alive simmering tensions over skyrocketing living costs in a nation where most people get by on less than $2 a day.

There were no reports of injuries as a result of the heated confrontations, which in some places involved minor scuffles, but lawmakers called on the government to announce immediately when the price cuts would reach the market to prevent further violence.

"The government and importers have to say without any further delay when exactly the cut in rice prices will be effective," legislator Jean Beauvoir Dorson said on Tuesday as he prepared to attend a session in the Chamber of Deputies, Haiti's lower house of Parliament.

"Should the government fail to do so, we should expect more violent incidents between buyers and vendors," said Dorson, who called the government "irresponsible."

The Senate fired Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis on Saturday after days of unrest over the high cost of living in the impoverished Caribbean nation of nearly 9 million people, where malnutrition is rampant.

International agencies have appealed for emergency funds to help Haiti and other countries hit by food riots. Record oil prices, rising demand in Asia, the use of crops for biofuels and other factors have pushed up food prices across the globe.

Haitians says prices of some staples, such as rice, beans and cooking oil, have doubled in the past few months.

On the same day Alexis was ousted, President Rene Preval unveiled the rice deal. Private importers said they would contribute $3 to the price reduction and the government pledged another $5 to be paid from international donor money.

"Since the president announced that rice prices would be reduced, we have been constantly attacked and cursed by buyers," said Moline Numa, a rice vendor at the Iron Market in downtown Port-au-Prince. "We have been through a real ordeal."

Vendors reported clashes at the Iron Market, the Canape Vert market and other locations where rice is sold.

"A vendor and buyer were about to fight this morning as a result of disputes over rice prices," said Mercilia Molin, a rice and beans vendor, who said she had been repeatedly cursed by buyers over the past 48 hours.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment.

Five people were killed in the early days of the unrest when stone-throwing crowds battled U.N. peacekeepers and Haitian police. Local radio reports on Tuesday said two others were killed in the remote town of Jeremie in the past few days, but officials had not confirmed those deaths.

(Editing by Jim Loney and Cynthia Osterman)

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

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HAITI: Food Crisis Sparks Anger and Despair
By Nick Whalen, IPS, April 16, 2008

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Apr 16 (IPS) - A green, red and yellow-striped umbrella is all that keeps Hernite Joseph from the searing sun as she takes apart a frozen chicken with a screwdriver and places the small pieces into neat piles stacked three high.

"A long time ago, when things were good, I'd go to work and had enough food to feed my two youngest kids," said Joseph, who sells chicken parts imported from the United States.

But recently, rising food prices have made it nearly impossible for Joseph to feed her children.

"My kids are like toothpicks," said Joseph, sitting at a cardboard-covered wooden table in La Saline market, one of the capital's largest. "They're not getting enough nourishment."

"Before, if you had a dollar twenty-five [cents], you could buy vegetables, some rice, 10 cents of charcoal and a little cooking oil," she said. "Right now, a little can of rice alone costs 65 cents, and it's not good rice at all. Oil is 25 cents. Charcoal is 25 cents. With a dollar twenty-five, you can't even make a plate of rice for one child."

Food prices are rising around the world, but Haiti has been especially hard hit. The hemisphere's poorest country imports most of the food it consumes, the result of free market policies that have undermined national production.

On Saturday, President Rene Preval promised to reduce the price of rice and the Haitian Senate voted to fire Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis for his failure to curb soaring food costs.

All this comes after 10 days of protests over the high cost of living which left at least three Haitians dead. The unrest began in Okay, the third largest city in Haiti, and spread rapidly throughout the country.

Under Preval's plan, imported rice will be subsidised by the Haitian government with money given by the international community and the private sector. Currently, importers sell a 110-pound bag of rice for 51 dollars.

The government will cut 5.0 dollars off every bag and the three major rice importers will take 3.0 dollars off their profits for each bag. With the new subsidy, the price of a 110-pound bag of rice should cost 43 dollars -- a drop in price of nearly 16 percent.

However, the agreement between the government and importers will last only one month and there is no guarantee that the price of the subsidised rice will actually be 16 percent lower once it hits the marketplace.

The plan marks a reversal for Preval, who had previously refused to subsidise imported rice to avoid undercutting local producers.

"Cheap imported rice destroyed [nationally grown] rice," he said. "Today, imported rice has become expensive and our national production is in ruins and there is even more misery."

An advisor to the president said Haitian-grown rice could not be easily subsidised because of the large number of producers and distributors.
Preval promised, however, to cut the price of fertiliser in half with the help of the Venezuelan government. A 100-pound bag of fertiliser costs nearly 43 dollars, forcing poor farmers to choose between fertiliser or sending their children to school.

The government is hoping to stock up on fertiliser now, ahead of the planting season in June and July.

Thirty years ago, Haiti produced nearly all the rice it consumed. But in the late 1980s, cheap imported U.S. rice inundated the country after a military junta began liberalising the economy with support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The first batches of imported rice were escorted by armed convoys in the Artibonite valley -- Haiti's main rice-producing region. Rice farmers regarded the imported U.S. rice as a threat to their production and livelihoods.

As it turned out, their concerns were justified. In 1994, an IMF-sponsored plan cut tariffs on imported rice from 35 percent to 3 percent, the lowest in the region. In one year, the number of rice imports doubled.

While the U.S. government subsidises its own rice farmers, its Haitian counterpart was prohibited from doing so under the terms of their agreement with the IMF. Over the last 20 years, rice production in Haiti has been cut in half, while imports now dominate the market.

In La Saline, the stench of fish and chicken permeates the air as Hernite Joseph continues to tear at the heap of frozen chicken before her.

For her and her three children, the future is up in the air and if the cost of living continues to rise, Henrite only sees one outcome: "I will die."
(END/2008)

 

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Media manipulations and the Haitian Hills switching the conversation :On distractions - How the social scientists' manipulate information to keep a right wing agenda in Haiti going and to continue imposing starvation on Haiti : The life of those in the Haitian hills are not more sacred than that of the masses

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Many Haitians want exiled Aristide back
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Many Haitians want exiled Aristide back
By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press, Tue Apr 15, 4:53 PM ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haiti's president has lowered rice prices and the Senate has sacked the prime minister. But hungry Haitians who rioted over food prices still want more.

"Aristide or death! Aristide or death!" young men in sunglasses and low-slung ballcaps chant outside parliament.

That's right, Jean-Bertrand Aristide — the slum priest-turned-president who needed a U.S. intervention to restore him to power in 1994, and who accuses Washington of kidnapping him into exile a decade later as the country descended into political chaos.

The clamor for Aristide's return was deafening during last week's unrest over skyrocketing food prices that left at least seven people dead, hundreds injured and Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis out of a job. Some protesters vowed to press on until they unseat President Rene Preval, a former Aristide ally.

Experts say it is unlikely that Aristide engineered the protests from exile in South Africa. But people living in Port-au-Prince slums say workers for a prominent Aristide loyalist went door-to-door drumming up support for the peaceful protests, some of which spiraled into violence as criminal gangs seized the opportunity to loot stores.

Either way, Aristide's return has become a key demand on the streets after entire slums rallied for the former president and protesters carried tree branches they said signified their support for his Famni Lavalas party.

"If there were an election in Haiti, Aristide would win," said Mario Jeanty, a Haitian who lives in New York. "There's no one who can beat him."

Aristide's smiling, bespectacled face is everywhere in the poor areas of Port-au-Prince, from paintings sold on roadsides to photographs pasted onto cell phones. Blocks from the presidential palace, graffiti declares: "King Aristide will return" and "Down with Preval, long live Aristide."

"Whether or not one likes Aristide, he remains a force in this country because the masses remain very attached to him," said Patrick Elie, who has served as an adviser to both Aristide and now Preval.

In speeches from South Africa, Aristide has hinted at returning, but said he merely wants to be a teacher. He has said his possibilities depend on Preval, who served as his prime minister.

Preval won the 2006 elections with the support of voters who believed he would bring Aristide home. But he has not called publicly for Aristide's return, and the men's current relationship is unclear.

Jean-Robert Lafortune, chairman of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition in Miami, said the fact that Aristide hasn't made a statement on the food crisis could be a tacit indication of support for Preval.

"Once, Aristide called Preval his twin brother," Lafortune said. "We don't know if that sentiment has changed."

Aristide generally keeps a low profile, living with his wife Mildred and their two daughters in a government villa in Pretoria, a garden city of government headquarters and embassy residences.

South African officials say he spends his time researching Caribbean history and studying Zulu, a local language. He penned a comparative linguistic study of Zulu and Haitian Creole, as well as a paper on the theology of love.

A miraculous Aristide comeback would not be unprecedented. Aristide became popular as a priest in the slum of La Saline, and was elected president in 1990. Ousted in a military coup the following year, U.S. troops restored him to the presidential palace in 1994.

After stepping down, he was re-elected in 2000 but was ousted again in a bloody 2004 rebellion amid charges that he broke promises to help the poor, allowed drug-fueled corruption and masterminded assaults on opponents.

Some of Aristide's current support can be attributed to nostalgia for a past in which life, while difficult in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, was easier than today.

"When Aristide was around we found food, we had jobs," said Manouchak Louis, who is 21 and unemployed. "If he comes back the country will change."
___
Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik in New York, Jennifer Kay in Miami and Michelle Faul in Johannesburg, South Africa, contributed to this report.
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Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!


"When you make a choice, you mobilize vast human energies and resources which otherwise go untapped...........If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is a compromise." Robert Fritz

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