Once Again, the Vultures Circle Haiti

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      First, it was all these foreign “aid” organizations and their workers. They don’t call Haiti the “Republic of NGOs” for nothing. The American Red Cross raised $500 million and built six houses in Haiti. NGOs and official aid agencies, like USAID, act like a parallel government in Haiti. Indeed, between 2000 and 2003, USAID and the dubious “international community” completely bypassed the Haitian state and doled out millions of “aid” money to their own NGOs. It is no wonder that after the 2010 earthquake most foreign NGOs did not even bother registering with the Haitian government. They were only accountable to Haiti’s white rulers. Moreover, “foreign aid” is often nothing but a make-work program for westerners with a degree in “Development Studies” and no employment prospects at home. As the Guardian reported on Haiti’s earthquake relief aid back in 2013, “about 94% of humanitarian funding went to donors’ own civilian and military entities, UN agencies, international NGOs and private contractors. In addition, 36% of recovery grants went to international NGOs and private contractors.”

      Importantly, Obama had appointed Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to lead the “fundraising” effort in Haiti through the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. As the co-chair of the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, the UN Special Envoy for Haiti, and the co-director of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Clinton was crowned the new king of Haiti.

      The next group of beneficiaries is the small, largely non-Black oligarchy in Haiti. They own the land, the places of leisure, the hotels, the stores, the car dealerships and rental agencies, the ports and wharves. They own both all those entities allowing foreigners to live their rich, western lives in Haiti and the infrastructure enabling goods to come into the country. (As an aside, I visited Club Indigo in 2009, the year before the earthquake; the resort was practically abandoned and its grounds were unkempt and in disarray. Business was not booming then.) Because the oligarchy were already transnational elites, with U.S. or European connections, they received the large no-bid contracts and were under no compulsion to guarantee delivery of finished products. This was, after all, Haiti. The regular poor Black people do not matter.

      By far the biggest beneficiary was western imperialism. The earthquake and its aftermath consolidated the 2004 U.S.-France-Canada-back coup d’état that removed Haiti’s first democratically elected government, led by Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide. It did so by installing the neo-Duvalierist Michel Martelly and Jovenel Moise and the PHTK political party. With the 2010 earthquake, many forgot that was the reason for the UN military occupation of the country. But the UN forces were there to give cover to the coup d’etat. The UN also convened a Core Group that road rough-shod over Haiti’s sovereignty. For example, just weeks after UN soldiers unleashed a devastating cholera epidemic and while the country was still recovering from the earthquake, the U.S. and the Core Group demanded that Haiti move forward with federal elections. The “international community” provided $29 million in logistical support for the elections, while insisting that Haiti’s largest political party, Fanmi Lavalas, was banned. Martelly’s first pronouncement after being selected was that Haiti was “open for business.” The rest is living history.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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