Haiti : Haiti does not deserve a handout / it deserves to be paid what is owed!

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Ankhur, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Published on Friday, February 12, 2010 by The Nation
    Haiti: A Creditor, Not a Debtor
    by The Nation
    by Naomi Klein

    If we are to believe the G-7 finance ministers, Haiti is on its way to getting something it has deserved for a very long time: full [1]"forgiveness" of its foreign debt [1]. In Port-au-Prince, Haitian economist Camille Chalmers has been watching these developments with cautious optimism. Debt cancellation is a good start, he told Al Jazeera English, but "It's time to go much further. We have to talk about reparations and restitution for the devastating consequences of debt." In this telling, the whole idea that Haiti is a debtor needs to be abandoned. Haiti, he argues, is a creditor-and it is we, in the West, who are deeply in arrears.

    Our debt to Haiti stems from four main sources: slavery, the US occupation, dictatorship and climate change. These claims are not fantastical, nor are they merely rhetorical. They rest on multiple violations of legal norms and agreements. Here, far too briefly, are highlights of the Haiti case.

    The Slavery Debt. When Haitians won their independence from France in 1804, they would have had every right to claim reparations from the powers that had profited from three centuries of stolen labor. France, however, was convinced that it was Haitians who had stolen the property of slave owners by refusing to work for free. So in 1825, with a flotilla of war ships stationed off the Haitian coast threatening to re-enslave the former colony, King Charles X came to collect [2]: 90 million gold francs-ten times Haiti's annual revenue at the time. With no way to refuse, and no way to pay, the young nation was shackled to a debt that would take 122 years to pay off.

    In 2003, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, facing a crippling economic embargo, announced that Haiti would sue the French government over that long-ago heist. "Our argument," Aristide's former lawyer Ira Kurzban told me, "was that the contract was an invalid agreement because it was based on the threat of re-enslavement at a time when the international community regarded slavery as an evil." The French government was sufficiently concerned that it sent a mediator to Port-au-Prince to keep the case out of court. In the end, however, its problem was eliminated: while trial preparations were under way, Aristide was toppled from power. The lawsuit disappeared, but for many Haitians the reparations claim lives on.

    The Dictatorship Debt. From 1957 to 1986, Haiti was ruled by the defiantly kleptocratic Duvalier regime. Unlike the French debt, the case against the Duvaliers made it into several courts, which traced Haitian funds to an elaborate network of Swiss bank [3] and lavish properties. In 1988 Kurzban won a landmark suit against Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier when a US District Court in Miami found that the deposed ruler had "misappropriated more than $504,000,000 from public monies."

    Haitians, of course, are still waiting for their payback-but that was only the beginning of their losses. For more than two decades, the country's creditors insisted that Haitians honor the huge debts incurred by the Duvaliers [4], estimated at $844 million, much of it owed to institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. In debt service alone, Haitians have paid out tens of millions every year.

    Was it legal for foreign lenders to collect on the Duvalier debts when so much of it was never spent in Haiti? Very likely not. As Cephas Lumina, the United Nations Independent Expert on foreign debt, put it to me, "the case of Haiti is one of the best examples of odious debt in the world. On that basis alone the debt should be unconditionally canceled."

    But even if Haiti does see full debt cancellation (a big if), that does not extinguish its right to be compensated for illegal debts already collected.

    The Climate Debt. Championed by several developing countries at the climate summit in Copenhagen, the case for climate debt is straightforward [5]. Wealthy countries that have so spectacularly failed to address the climate crisis they caused owe a debt to the developing countries that have done little to cause the crisis but are disproportionately facing its effects. In short: the polluter pays. Haiti has a particularly compelling claim. Its contribution to climate change has been negligible; Haiti's per capita CO2 emissions are just 1 percent of US emissions. Yet Haiti is among the hardest hit countries-according to one index [6], only Somalia is more vulnerable to climate change.

    Haiti's vulnerability to climate change is not only-or even mostly-because of geography. Yes, it faces increasingly heavy storms. But it is Haiti's weak infrastructure that turns challenges into disasters and disasters into full-fledged catastrophes. The earthquake, though not linked to climate change, is a prime example. And this is where all those illegal debt payments may yet extract their most devastating cost. Each payment to a foreign creditor was money not spent on a road, a school, an electrical line. And that same illegitimate debt empowered the IMF and World Bank to attach onerous conditions to each new loan, requiring Haiti to deregulate its economy and slash its public sector still further. Failure to comply was met with a punishing aid embargo from 2001 to '04, the death knell to Haiti's public sphere.

    This history needs to be confronted now, because it threatens to repeat itself. Haiti's creditors are already using the desperate need for earthquake aid to push for a fivefold increase in garment-sector production, some of the most exploitative jobs in the country. Haitians have no status in these talks, because they are regarded as passive recipients of aid, not full and dignified participants in a process of redress and restitution.

    A reckoning with the debts the world owes to Haiti would radically change this poisonous dynamic. This is where the real road to repair begins: by recognizing the right of Haitians to reparations.

    The interview with economist Camille Chalmers was conducted by my partner Avi Lewis for an in-depth report that aired today on Al Jazeera English. The piece, Haiti: The Politics of Rebuilding, offers a deeply compelling portrait of a people who are brimming with

    full article;
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/02/12-1
     
  2. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Published on Friday, October 8, 2010 by Al Jazeera
    Report: Haiti Recovery 'Paralyzed'
    Refugees International says agencies co-ordinating Haitian relief efforts are "dysfunctional" and "inexperienced".
    More than a million Haitians remain in squalid "emergency phase" camps, nearly nine months after January's earthquake, and security is still a major problem, a new report says.

    The report says little effort has been made to relocate displaced Haitians from 1,300 temporary camps.The findings from US-based advocacy group Refugees International said that more than 70 per cent of refugee camps in Haiti face daily threats of violence and intimidation.

    "The people of Haiti are still living in a state of emergency, with a humanitarian response that appears paralyzed," the report said. "Gang leaders or land owners are intimidating the displaced. Sexual, domestic, and gang violence in and around the camps is rising."

    It charged that the non-governmental organizations co-ordinating the recovery efforts in the country were often dysfunctional and lacking in experience.

    "Action is urgently needed to protect the basic human rights of people displaced by the earthquake," Refugees International said.

    'Huge job'

    The UN has rejected some of the report's criticisms. Imogen Wall, a spokesperson for the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told Al Jazeera that the word paralyzed, in relation to its operations in Haiti "is completely the wrong word".

    "We have one of the largest-scale humanitarian operations in the world running now ... and just keeping that show on the road is a huge job," Wall said

    She said security remained a real concern for t, and that efforts were being made to improve the situation, but that "at the moment, we are struggling to find the capacity to deal with it".

    The massive earthquake, which struck Haiti on January 12 killed some 300,000 people and left millions more homeless.

    Findings unsurprising

    www.commondreams.org
     
  3. bientempo

    bientempo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    sounds somewhat like Port O Prince before the earthquake. Whats this report got to do with Handout Vs Whats owed?
    In a lot of cases the temporary quarters are better than what they had prior.

    And before you get started, we had 2 million Haitians living here before the earthquake, and we have about 4 million now. I hope they start rebuilding so they can go home, as my country cannot support them. Although we are trying to help them. Our Hospitals are still full, and our budget for this has ran out. Very few organizations are doing more than the Dominican Red Cross.
     
  4. blackeyes

    blackeyes Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    :puke2:
     
  5. bientempo

    bientempo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What are you puking on? the fact that the rich countries are not putting up the money they pledged.

    Or the fact that the Dominician Republic opened its airports, shipping, hospitals to the haitians. We have about half of our population in illegal immigrants. Would be like moving Mexico the to USA.

    If they start rebuilding then maybe the Haitians here that are living in the street will go home to help rebuild. That is if the countries like the USA allocate the money they pledged and the NGO's get the rebuilding started.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/07/16/1734536/six-months-after-the-earthquake.html
    http://oneresponse.info/Disasters/Haiti/publicdocuments/ID_6872_GG_Redhum.pdf

    Here was the US response, It did not work for us as we have land border. It was kind of like telling Mexicans, and South Americans not to come to the US.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/us/19refugee.html

    Great PR but total S**t.
    Sandra Severino, a spokeswoman for President Leonel Fernández, said there had not been a huge spike in illegal immigration on the border, and indeed many Haitians already in the Dominican Republic are returning to help their families. This lasted about 3 weeks. Then they came back all you need to do to prove this is go to little Haiti in Santo Domingo.

    And again before you start we are not the only country in the world that being born here does not make you a citizen. The USA is one of the few that does. Most other countries one of the Parents has to be a legal citizen.

    After all the USA is the country that destroyed the Haitian rice farmers and the Haitian pig production, not the Dominican Republic,
    http://www1.american.edu/TED/haitirice.htm
    http://www.southernstudies.org/2010/03/southern-rice-and-haitian-hunger.html

    They repopulated with a hot house pig that could not stand the temperates, and living outside. Therefore most of them either died or were eaten.
    http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/misctopic/pigs/gaertner.htm
     
  6. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Published on Monday, October 11, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
    Nine Months After the Quake – A Million Haitians Slowly Dying
    by Bill Quigley


    "If it gets any worse," said Wilda, a homeless Haitian mother, "we're not going to survive." Mothers and grandmothers surrounding her nodded solemnly.

    We are in a broiling "tent" with a group of women trying to raise their families in a public park. Around the back of the Haitian National Palace, the park hosts a regal statute of Alexandre Petion in its middle. It is now home to five thousand people displaced by the January 2010 earthquake.

    Nine months after the quake, over a million people are still homeless in Haiti.

    Haiti looks like the quake could have been last month. I visited Port au Prince shortly after the quake and much of the destruction then looks the same nine months later.

    The Associated Press reports only 2 percent of the rubble has been removed and only 13,000 temporary shelters have been constructed. Not a single cent of the US aid pledged for rebuilding has arrived in Haiti. In the last few days the US pledged it would put up 10% of the billion dollars in reconstruction aid promised. Only 15 percent of the aid pledged by countries and organizations around the world has reached the country so far.

    With other human rights advocates from CCR, MADRE, CUNY Law School, BAI and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, I am huddled under faded gray tarps stamped US Aid. Blue tarps staked into the ground as walls. This is not even the hot season but the weather reports the heat index is 115.

    The floor is bare dirt, soft from a recent rain. Our guide works with a vibrant grassroots women's organization, KOFAVIV, which is working with women in many camps, and she encourages residents to tell us their stories.

    Anne has seven children. She would really love to have a tent. She and her family live on a small plot of dirt eight feet by eight feet. Sheets are tied to pieces of wood to keep out the sun. Plastic sheeting covers the ground. When it rains everything they have is soaked. She begs every day for food.

    Therese has three children, 12, 11, and 9. She has lived in the camps since the quake. A few weeks ago when she went to get a bucket of water, some men grabbed her and raped her. Before the quake she worked as a street vendor but has no money to buy supplies to sell. She prays all day every day for help.

    Caroline lived with her husband and three children in an apartment in downtown Port au Prince. The quake took her husband and left the rest of the family homeless. She was raped in the first camp she settled in. When she moved she was raped again and fought back with KOFAVIV. She and other women set up their own security with whistles and flashlights to protect each other. They push the police to arrest. Her life is now in danger because the rapists know who she is and she is vulnerable.

    We hear from dozens of other mothers and grandmothers - Alana, Beatrice, Celine, Marcie, Rene, Wilda and others. This is what they tell us.

    There is no electricity at all in the camps. Some have lights on poles that work some of the time. Many have no lights at all.

    There is no food. The children are terribly hungry. The food aid program was terminated in April and nothing took its place. The authorities cut off the food so people would leave the camps, but where is there to go?

    Water is hard to find. For the people in Petion park, water is delivered by truck to a central site a block or two away in the middle of several camps. Thousands of people line up twice a day to get water before it runs out. In another camp we visited Sunday, Camp Kasim, there was no water at all for hundreds of families and none scheduled to be delivered until Monday at the earliest. Boys and girls surged around a pipe several blocks away trying to capture some water in Oxfam marked buckets.

    www.commondreams.org
     
  7. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Haiti tsunami waves show higher risk for coastal cities
    Similar costal geology means cities like Los Angeles at higher risk after earthquake




    By Brett Israel
    OurAmazingPlanet OurAmazingPlanet
    updated 10/11/2010 2:22:26 PM ET 2010-10-11T18:22:26
    Share Print Font: +-An unusual discovery about how earthquakes triggered tsunami waves in Haiti could mean that similar coastal cities, including Los Angeles, are at a higher risk from these deadly waves.

    Geologists studying the magnitude-7 earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 say the risk of destructive tsunamis could be up to 10 percent higher than had been thought in places with similar coastal geology such as Kingston, Jamaica, Istanbul, Turkey, and Los Angeles.

    Scientists have long known of the tsunami risk to Southern California. An underwater landslide just offshore, triggered by an earthquake, could create a tsunami that would slam into low-lying areas round Los Angeles within just one minute, researchers have said, adding that a worst-case scenario could cause $42 billion in damage.

    ..."The geology of Kingston, Jamaica, is nearly identical to Port Au Prince, Haiti," Hornbach said. "It's primed and ready to go and they need to prepare for it. The good news is, they have a leg up because they're aware of the problem.".....

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39618320
     
  8. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The sad fact is

    we have spent enough in snack chips, cheese curls, and energy drinks from state to state and across the Carribbean,

    since this post ws raised,
    to send aid for shelters and solar energy panels, as well as emergency food

    The imperative for Pan African collective economics is more relevant then ever.

    An injury to one is an injury to all
     
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