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Preparing Haiti for Exploitation and Plunder
Saturday, 1 May 2010
Except for the Aristide years, early in Preval's first term, and its brief 1804 liberation, Haiti has lacked sovereignty throughout its history. Post-quake, it has even less, its people more than ever in jeopardy with imperial plans to gravely harm them through neglect or other means.
Over 15 weeks post-quake, Haiti's imperial takeover is proceeding. It began straightaway after the calamity, Haitians victimized by denied aid, appalling repression, and now dispossession of their land, homes, and communities. More on that below.
On April 16, The New York Times carried Reuters and AP reports stating Haiti's parliament approved the participation of foreign investors to rebuild the country, meaning, of course, seize, occupy, own, control, and colonize it for profit, using Haitians as exploited serfs.
The vote also extended Haiti's state of emergency for 18 months, leaving the Rene Preval-Jean-Max Bellerive government in charge, effectively a dictatorship like Preval instituted in 1999 by not renewing parliament and ruling by decree pending new elections.
Reuters explained that a March 31 "donors" conference established the IHRC to oversee their investment, Preval to have nominal veto power over commission decisions. In fact, he'll rubber stamp what Washington and corporate interests dictate, supervised by the World Bank, a longstanding imperial tool.
Preval asked, "Do we lose our sovereignty because of the creation of this commission? I think the answer is no."
Except for the Aristide years (1991, 1994 - 96, and 2001 -2004), early in Preval's first term (1996 - 2001), and its brief 1804 liberation, Haiti lacked sovereignty throughout its history. Post-quake, it has even less, its people more than ever in jeopardy with imperial plans to gravely harm them, perhaps exterminate hundreds of thousands through neglect or other means.
Laying Imperial Plans
On March 10, prior to the March 31 "donors" conference, Preval was received at the White House, held a joint press conference, ignored the plight of his people, yet Obama thanked him for "showing great courage and determination," when, in fact, he's been largely invisible, and to date has done nothing to engage Haitians directly, including in their makeshift camps the way Jean-Bertrand Aristide would have done straightaway, with a hands-on approach for long hours daily.
Preval prefers White House photo-ops in deference to power and privilege, increasing, not alleviating his peoples' suffering.
The Predators Ball - Nations Gather in New York for Their Share
The web site www.haiticonference.org announced the:
A recovery and development roadmap outlined short and longer-term priorities, with participating countries lining up for their take, the lion's share, of course for America, then France and Canada, and what they have in mind is more sweatshops, gentrified elite areas, expanded tourism, free trade zones, and the grand prize - exploiting Haiti's resources, including what's believed to be abundant untapped oil reserves, what US oil giants made plans for decades ago. They intend deep water ports, refineries, and other facilities to fully exploit the treasure, not mentioned in major media reports, now largely silent on Haiti and its long-suffering people.
Ahead of the conference on March 27, a New York Times editorial headlined, "Making Haiti Whole," endorsed it, saying:
On April 28, Reuters headlined, "Lawmakers agree on trade bill to help Haiti," saying:
Yet according to Congressman Charles Rangel (representing his black Harlem constituents):
Mindless also of haitian-truth.org's April 27 report headlined, "Preval Instigated Fire rips through major Haitian market," saying:
One seller, Pierre Elian, said:
Merchants blamed Preval-controlled instigators, saying "recognized gang members were seen pouring gasoline over material to" ignite the blaze - as "political pressure against the poor" who need the food and merchandise to survive.
Patrick Servius, who lost his clothing business, said:
They'll soon know what else Preval has in mind. More on that below.
The Next Shoe to Drop - Forced Relocations
On April 7, the Haiti Response Coalition (HRC, a network of urban and rural civil society groups) issued an alert saying:
On April 12, AFP headlined, "Haiti evacuates quake victims camp, faces critics," saying:
One camp member said he was given a week to leave for Tabarre Issa, a UN camp where there are "No toilets, no showers....there's nothing there."
On April 11, Reuters reported that "Haiti starts moving quake victims to safer refuge," saying:
On April 29, Los Angeles Times writer Ken Ellingwood headlined, "Tensions rise over Haiti tent camps," saying:
TransArica Forum Alert
On April 12, Transafricaforum.org issued a memorandum headlined "Forced IDP Relocations," saying:
Batons were used, firearms discharged in the air, and their homes were destroyed, by officers, then bulldozers. The process continued for three days and nights. Where those displaced were sent isn't known. The only answer given was they're "now living on the streets."
Around 1.2 million Haitians remain in makeshift tent cities throughout Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas with little aid or concern for their welfare or safety. Now in preparation for redevelopment, hundreds of thousands, perhaps all, will be ordered to move or be forcibly displaced to even grimmer locations, on their own, with little beyond their own ingenuity to survive.
This is Washington's imperial plan, being implemented for exploitation and plunder. This writer's previous article explained Haiti is no stranger to adversity and anguish, having endured over 500 years of oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, extreme poverty, starvation, unrepayable debt, and calamities like the January 12 quake killing around 300,000, destroying their homes and belongings, and leaving them vulnerable to imperial plunder of their land, resources and lives - again, on their own, out of luck, and out of major media focus that ignores the greater disaster awaiting them, and the trashing of their human rights and freedoms.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on May 1, 2010.