Haiti updates

SCENES FROM HAITI, SIX WEEKS AFTER

By Kim Ives
Haiti Liberte, February 24 - March 2, 2010, Vol. 3, No. 32
(First of two parts)

This Week in Haiti" is the English section of HAITI LIBERTE newsweekly. For the complete edition with other news in French and Creole, please contact the paper at (tel) 718-421-0162, (fax) 718-421-3471 or e-mail at editor@haitiliberte.com. Also visit our website at <http://www.haitiliberte.com>. A mailed subscription in Canada costs US$120 per year. An e-mail subscription costs $20.

 

The three U.S. soldiers parked their tan Humvee on the sidewalk across from St. Louis de Gonzague, once Haiti's most prestigious high school. Today it is home to a camp of about 6,000 displaced Haitians still living in tents and tarpaulin lean-tos six weeks after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake.

 

On the fence surrounding the school, hundreds of paintings are mounted for sale. The site is well chosen. Delmas 33 is a back route used everyday by thousands of soldiers and so-called "non-governmental organization" employees (most are working for or with some government) to go to and from the airport where both U.S. and U.N. troops are based. It is also the command center for almost all the NGOs.

 

The soldiers pensively perused the paintings. Many depicted colorful scenes of green hills, fantastic animals, fruit trees, and quaint houses which contrasted sharply with the dust and devastation of the outdoor gallery. Not far away on a white wall was spray-painted in red and Kreyòl: "Haiti Will Not Die! Down with Occupation! Down with the NGOs!" Solemn groups of young men and market women - arms folded, hands on chins - watched the soldiers as they shopped. The soldiers appeared oblivious to the graffiti, those watching them, the history of the school, and the misery of the camp behind the paintings. They were tourists.

 

That's the most charitable perception of the U.S., French, Canadian, and U.N. troops seen patrolling everywhere but doing nothing to help Port-au-Prince residents dig out from under the rubble, which is all that remains of much of the city. Most Haitians harbor a deep resentment of the foreign troops and want them out of the country.

 

"We are not at war," said Paul Vilmé, 43, a now out-of-work teacher and actor on Grande Rue on Feb. 23 where that day U.S. soldiers had finally helped clear some quake debris "Why all the big guns? Why all the big tanks? Are they just showing off or are they up to something? We need engineers, architects, equipment operators, people with shovels not M-16s."

 

Not far away was Renold Etienne, 32. He is in fact a heavy equipment operator, who knows backhoes, bulldozers, you name it. He just spent three years in the Bahamas and one year in Providenciales. He had come back home to visit his family for the holidays. "The earthquake caught me here," he said.

 

Unable to return to Provo, he has been to dozens of work sites, stood for days outside the base of the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH), and pleaded for a job with many Haitian government foremen. "They want references," he says with a shrug and a mirthless laugh. "I'm living under the stars, with just the clothes on my back, with no home, having worked overseas for the last four years, and they want references? Can you imagine such madness? Anywhere else they would check you out, see if you can operate the rig, then set you to work, but not here."

 

Indeed, in a heavy equipment rental house on the airport road, at least ten backhoes and bulldozers sit idly in the lot. The government should be requisitioning such equipment, one thinks looking at it. Instead, such rental houses - for equipment and cars - are raking in money and are poised to rake in more during this "reconstruction" period, making Haiti's rich bourgeoisie even richer. ("Avis: Choice of the NGOs!" heralds one billboard by the airport's MINUSTAH base).

 

Nonetheless, President René Préval has deployed his specially created National Center for Equipment (CNE) - which boasts scores of dump trucks and excavation equipment - to raze dozens of sites around the capital: the Women's Ministry off Champ de Mars, the TELECO building on Grande Rue, CANADO School in Turgeau, the Lycée Pétion behind the Cathedral's ruins, and La Source School near Sacré Coeur's ruins are just a few. The government is concentrating on schools and public buildings first, then it will set about leveling the ruins of private homes and businesses, a government insider says. Spray-painted in red on hundreds of buildings are the words: "To Demolish."

 

"That's all I see the government doing: carting away collapsed buildings," said Erol Monestime, 26, an unemployed plumber. "That's fine but what about us, the people. They take no leadership on that front, leaving us to the mercy of a bunch of incompetent and corrupt NGOs."

 

This is the biggest complaint from people all over the capital. "I have no tent, no tarpaulin, no food, no water, no coupons, no aid period," complained Lamercie Lounes, 28, echoing the words of many others interviewed. "The guys who get the food coupons give them to their friends, or to women who sleep with them, or they sell them. It is corrupt. You have to know someone to get aid. It is a business."

 

NGOs implemented a system of food coupons. The coupons are given to local "leaders," who are supposed to distribute them equitably in their communities. Only women are allowed to pick up a bag of rice with the coupons at the food distribution centers. For other necessities, like cooking fuel, water and beans, Haitians are left to their own devices.

 

"I lost my wife and mother in the earthquake," said Johnson Dejoie, 39. "I have no job and no way to get any rice. If it wasn't for the generosity of neighbors, I wouldn't be alive now."

 

The NGO's food distribution program is ending now anyway. The Haitian government has said that it will continue to feed 300,000 in Port-au-Prince, but people on the street don't believe them and don't know how it will work.

 

One sees people scrounging, scavenging everywhere. Almost every collapsed building has iron rebar sprouting out of it like wild strands of hair. Often in front of a ruin there is a giant, dense tangle of it, like some piece of abstract art. On the ruins, men with hacksaws and sledge-hammers doggedly work, sweating under the blazing sun and breathing in the choking white dust and exhaust fumes that makes up most of downtown's atmosphere.

 

"I'm going to use it for solder, or maybe make a table out of it, or maybe sell it," said one old man painfully dragging four long, twisted rebar rods behind him down the street. "I've got to do something with it," he said with a big toothless smile.

 

Dozens of young men swarmed over the site where Grande Rue's TELECO building was being razed last week. Some were working on rebar, but others were making piles of aluminum. It sells for 7 gourdes a pound, about 17 cents a pound. Some tore out circuit boards from smashed, ancient computers. Still others were after the big prize: copper wire, which sells for up to 35 gourdes or 87 cents a pound, they said.

 

Suddenly, the scavengers were scattering. Men in yellow TELECO jump-suits were chasing them with clubs, whips, and guns. "We're clearing them off the site for safety," said one of the jump-suits. "We don't want anyone hurt by the machinery."

 

But the scavengers claim that the jump-suits just want to monopolize the copper wire for themselves. "There is no work, we have no other way to survive," said one of the young men, regularly glancing over his shoulder to make sure he would not be hit again. "Why can't they let us look for a little life here? They are a bunch of scoundrels. Look at them." The yellow suited men were picking up large coils of wire and loading them into a blue pick-up.

 

Excavation of the schools is an even grimmer affair. Last weekend, trucks cleared the school that collapsed behind St. Gérard's Church in Carrefour Feuilles. In the ruins were the bodies of 40 young students and a few teachers. All the cadavers were dumped in two mass graves at the bottom of the hill behind the church, just feet from the road.

 

"One of the graves has been closed, the other hasn't," said Stanley Tingue, 14, who escaped death on Jan. 12 because he left the school early to go to the bathroom in the church next door. The stench of death coming from the open pit is overpowering, causing one to immediately gag. "They are still putting bodies in that one. Two hundred students died at St. Gerard University, which they are clearing down there. They have buried most of the boys. Now they are doing the girls." He points to an excavation site where a few trucks and backhoes sit idle, immediately across the street from the mass graves. It is Sunday.

 

Stanley displays a strangely vacant sadness, speaking with a matter-of-fact air. "Down there, by those plastic jugs, there are lots of body parts," he says almost listlessly. "You will find hands and feet."

 

He has come by the empty space that was his former school this Sunday just to look around. One wonders what kind of psychological scars he has after watching most of his schoolmates perish.

 

(To be continued)

 

All articles copyrighted Haiti Liberte. REPRINTS ENCOURAGED. Please credit Haiti Liberte.

 

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500 WOMEN MARCH ON MINUSTAH AND U.S. EMBASSY TO DEMAND
"TENTS, NOT GUNS!"
by Christian Guerrier and Brian Jackson

This Week in Haiti" is the English section of HAITI LIBERTE newsweekly. For the complete edition with other news in French and Creole, please contact the paper at (tel) 718-421-0162, (fax) 718-421-3471 or e-mail at editor@haitiliberte.com. Also visit our website at <http://www.haitiliberte.com>.

 

February 17 - 23, 2010 Vol. 3, No. 31

Christian Guerrier and Brian Jackson, both based in the Miami, Florida area, visited Haiti from Feb. 1 - 9. They are with the Millennials Project, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women.

 

We traveled to Haiti with the idea that women would emerge to lead in rebuilding and reshaping the country's future after the devastating Jan.

12th earthquake. Arriving by bus from the Dominican Republic, we stayed in makeshift tents at Port-au-Prince's Carrefour Aviation Base, near the community of Pont Rouge, where Christian had lived as a boy.

 

Prior to our arrival, we had heard from news reports that women were having difficulty obtaining the aid that was being distributed. When we arrived, it appeared that nobody was receiving such aid. It was quite clear that the most pressing need among the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced was tents. Having toured much of Port-au-Prince by car, we had observed no more than a few hundred tents spread between a handful of locations. Throughout the week, we spent the better part of our time organizing the women at Carrefour Aviation and going back and forth to the United Nation's Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH) Logistics Base, in the airport's northeast corner, where most of the foreign aid groups were stationed. We spoke with no less than two dozen representatives from organizations such as the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), The Red Cross, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), none of whom could tell us how many tents were available, where they were, or why they were not being distributed.

 

The general consensus was that IOM was primarily responsible for the handling of tents, however, when we met with its representative, Louis (no last name provided), he claimed that the organization's resources had dried up, that there was no cache of tents waiting for distribution. "Unless the American people decide to turn the tap back on, there's nothing we can do," he said.

 

The following day, we met a UNHCR representative. The organization supplies tents for the camps of many internally displaced people around the world, but it is not mandated to work in Haiti. He explained to us that UNHCR had offered to provide additional tents, but was told by the IOM that it had "more than enough."

 

We finally attempted to have a group of eight women from the Pont Rouge community admitted to the MINUSTAH Base to speak directly with the representatives of these NGOs, who generally did not want to cooperate with the Millenials Project, it being a new U.S.-based organization that they had never heard of. These women (called the Haitian Women's Leadership Council) could assess and articulate the needs of their community better than any foreign team of aid workers possibly could, and they were willing and able to coordinate the distribution of materials. Despite making the effort of traveling to the MINUSTAH Base, the women were not even allowed in the gate of the walled-in compound. The two of us went into the base to talk with NGO representatives, but they refused to admit the women's delegation. It was turned away.

 

After getting no help and no answers except those that we ourselves were able to deduce from a series of verbal inconsistencies, we decided with the women to organize a public demonstration. Since the Haitian Women's Leadership Council would not be admitted into the MINUSTAH base to voice their concerns, we chose to have a mass march to the base the following day. Throughout the week, huge rallies had been taking place each afternoon at an amphitheater located in the Carrefour Aviation area. By Thursday, Feb. 4, we had amassed about 500 people from the community.

 

The march took place on Friday, Feb. 5th, led by a banner reading January 12 Movement to Liberate Haitian Women. Beginning at Pont Rouge, the crowd of over 500 women marched 20 abreast, with a number of men providing a protective security perimeter around the women. The demonstrators came first to the airport, stopping all traffic along the way. They then proceeded to the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ), which has also been President René Préval's residence and office since the disaster.

 

The demonstrators briefly blocked the DCPJ's entrance as they marched by. Haitian police began hitting the men guarding the demonstration's perimeter with clubs. Despite this provocational brutality, the protestors remained commendably peaceful throughout the march. People joined the procession as it passed. The protestors joined hands, singing traditional Haitian songs and chanting the slogan "Tents, not guns!" in Kreyòl. The march paused again in front of the MINUSTAH Base, and then finally continued on to the U.S. Embassy in Tabarre. The entire march from Pont Rouge to Tabarre is about 7 miles.

 

In a radio address, President Préval claimed to have heard about the march and commented that it should not happen again.

 

On the evening of Feb. 7, it rained for the first time since the earthquake, auguring the rainy season which starts in March. The vast majority of residents in Haiti's "sheet cities" still have no tents to shelter them.

 

On Feb. 9, the January 12 Movement to Liberate Haitian Women, again with the Millenials Project's support, staged a sit-in on the Champs de Mars outside the Plaza Hotel, where CNN had been staying. About 50 demonstrators held signs reading "Tents Now, Politics Later" and "End U.N. Racism."

 

The two groups have initiated plans for another demonstration in Port-au-Prince to be held on Mar. 8, International Women's Day. Women's organizations from around Haiti have been invited to help organize the event, which organizers hope will bring out thousands of women from around Haiti and its capital.

 

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U.S. BRAGS HAITI RESPONSE IS A "MODEL" WHILE MORE THAN A MILLION HAITIANS REMAIN HOMELESS

by Bill Quigley.

 

Despite the fact that over a million people remained homeless in Haiti one month after the earthquake, the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Ken Merten, is quoted at a State Department briefing on February 12 as saying: "In terms of humanitarian aid delivery.frankly, it's working really well, and I believe that this will be something that people will be able to look back on in the future as a model for how we've been able to sort ourselves out as donors on the ground and responding to an earthquake."

 

What? Haiti is a model of how the international government and donor community should respond to an earthquake? The Ambassador must be overworked and need some R&R. Look at the facts.

 

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported Feb. 11 there are still 1.2 million people living in "spontaneous settlements" in and around Port-au-Prince as a result of the Jan. 12 earthquake. These spontaneous settlements are sprawling camps of homeless Haitian children and families living on the ground under sheets.

 

Over 300,000 are in camps in Carrefour, nearly 200,000 in Port au Prince, and over 100,000 each in Delmas, Pétionville and Léogane according to the UN.

 

About 25,000 people are camped out on one golf course in Pétionville. Hundreds of thousands of others are living in soccer fields, church yards, on hillsides, in gullies, and even on the strips of land in the middle of the street. The UN has identified over 300 such spontaneous settlements. The Red Cross reports there are over 700.

 

The UN reported that barely one in five of the people in camps have received tents or tarps as of Feb. 11. Eighty percent of the hundreds of thousands of children and families still live on the ground under sheets.

 

Many of these camps are huge. Nineteen of these homeless camps in the Port au Prince area together house 180,000 people. More than half of these camps are so spontaneous that there is no organization in the camp to even comprehensively report their needs.

 

Another half a million people have left Port-au-Prince, most to the countryside. As a result, there are significant food problems in the countryside. About 168,000 internally displaced people are living along the border with the Dominican Republic, many with families. Others are in "spontaneous settlements" of up to a 1000 people.

 

People living in these densely populated camps will be asked to move to more organized settlements outside the city. Relocation, says the UN, will be on a voluntary basis.

 

The U.S. Ambassador knows full well there are 900 or so aid agencies are on the ground in Haiti. Coordination and communication between those agencies and between them and the Haitian government continues to be a very serious challenge.

 

Though many people are trying hard to meet the survival needs of Haiti, no one besides the Ambassador dares say that it is a model of how to respond. Partners in Health director Dr. Louise Ivers reported on the very same day that "there is more and more misery" in Port-au-Prince. Fears of typhoid and dysentery haunt the camps as the rainy season looms.

 

But still the Haitian spirit prevails. Everyone who has been to Haiti since the earthquake reports inspiring stories of Haitians helping Haitians despite the tragically inadequate response of the Haitian government and the international community. That spirit is something people should admire. Let me finish with a story that illustrates.

 

One orphanage outside of Port-au-Prince, home to 57 children, was promised a big tent so the children would no longer have to sleep under the stars. The tent arrived but without poles to hold it up. The same group was promised food from UNICEF. Twelve days later, no food had arrived. They improvised and constructed scaffolding to create an awning over the mattresses lying on the dirt. They are finding food from anywhere they can. "We're holding on," said the Haitian director Etienne Bruny, "We're used to difficult times."

 

Haitians are holding on despite the inadequate humanitarian response. They are the model.

 

Bill Quigley is the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a frequent visitor to Haiti for human rights work over the past decade. You can reach him at Quigley77@gmail.com

 

...........

 

 

Letter to CBC

 

 

 

Vancouver BC

 

Friday, February 19, 2010

 

 

 

Hello CBC The Current,

 

 

 

I listened to two stories this week on The Current that reported on the calamitous failure of aid to reach many, if not most, of the victims of Haiti’s earthquake. One was the interview with Neil Armand that you broadcast during your first half hour on February 16. A briefer reference was contained in your interview with Professor Melanie Newton on February 18 in your third half hour.

 

 

 

I am concerned that this story is not receiving the attention it deserves on the CBC. I recently addressed a letter to the English and French language CBC ombudspeople expressing my concern over national and local CBC programming. Yours is the only program that has been making regular reference to this story, but even in your case I find your attention is almost accidental. It is mentioned by guests, but is not the subject of your story as such. You devoted considerable time two weeks ago to on-the-spot reports by David Gutnick, but I did not obtain from his reporting a sense of the scale of the relief and aid disaster that has occurred and the resulting  public health threats that are looming, as I am learning from other sources.

 

 

 

The interview with Paul Farmer on The Sunday Edition last Sunday, February 14 is the most comprehensive report on this story that CBC has aired. Host Michael Enright referred to a “looming public health catastrophe” in Haiti when he introduced Dr. Farmer. Even then, Mr. Enright referred exclusively to the “U.S. role” in undermining Haiti’s economy and sovereignty, as if other powers that have rushed military forces to Haiti in the recent and not so recent past, including France and Canada, are not also culpable.

 

 

 

I urge you to consider our concerns and to air reports from the health agencies and volunteers who are on the ground in Haiti, among whom there are many Canadians. Our network would be pleased to help you in contacting potential guests.

 

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Roger Annis

 

Canada Haiti Action Network

 

Ph 778 858 5179

 

 

 

Cc Mr. Vince Carlin, CBC Ombudsman

 

CBC The Sunday Edition

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HAITI: Private Contractors 'Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot'

By Anthony Fenton

 

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50396

 

Photo: A man carries a coffin past a toppled building in downtown Port-au-Prince. Credit:UN Photo/Marco Dormino

 

VANCOUVER, Canada, Feb 19, 2010 (IPS) - Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging "shock doctrine" for earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

 

Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a "Haiti summit" which aims to bring together "leading officials" for "private consultations with attending contractors and investors" in Miami, Florida.

 

Dubbed the "mercenary trade association" by journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of "Blackwater: the Rise of the World' Most Powerful Mercenary Army", the IPOA wasted no time setting up a "Haiti Earthquake Support" page on its website following the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the Caribbean country.

 

IPOA's director Doug Brooks says, "The first contacts we got were journalists looking for security when they went in." The website of IPOA member company, Hart Security, says they are currently in Haiti "supporting clients from the fields of media, consultancy and medical in their disaster recovery efforts." Several other IPOA members have either bid on or received contracts for work in Haiti.

 

Likewise, the private military contractor, Raidon Tactics, has at least 30 former U.S. Special Operations soldiers on the ground, where they have been guarding aid convoys and providing security for "news agencies," according to a Raidon employee who told IPS his company received over 1,000 phone calls in response to an ad posting "for open positions for Static Security Positions and Mobile Security Positions" in Haiti.

 

Just over a week following the earthquake, the IPOA teamed up with Global Investment Summits (GIS), a UK-based private company that specialises in bringing private contractors and government officials from "emerging post-conflict countries" together, to host an "Afghanistan Reconstruction Summit", in Istanbul, Turkey. It was there, says IPOA's director Doug Brooks, that the idea for the Haiti summit was hatched "over beers".

 

GIS's CEO, Kevin Lumb, told IPS that the key feature of the Haiti summit will be "what we call roundtables, [where] we put the ministers and their procurement people, and arrange appointments with contractors." Lumb added that his company "specialise[s] in putting governments together [with private contractors]."

 

IPOA was "so pleased" with the Afghanistan summit, says Lumb, they asked GIS to do "all the organising, all the selling" for the Haiti summit. Lumb pointed out that all of the profits from the event will be donated to the Clinton-Bush Haiti relief fund.

 

While acknowledging that there will be a "a commercial angle" to the event and that "major companies, major players in the world" have committed to attend, Lumb declined to name most of the participants.

 

One of the companies Lumb did mention is DACC Associates, a private contractor that specialises in management and security consulting with contracts providing "advice and counsel" to governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

DACC President Douglas Melvin, a former Special Forces commander, State Department official and director of Security and Administrative Services for President George W. Bush, acknowledged that "from a revenue perspective, yes there's wonderful opportunities at these events."

 

Melvin added that he believes most attendees will be "coming together for the right reasons," a genuine concern for Haiti, are "not coming to exploit" the dire situation there, and does not expect his company to profit off of their potential contracts there.

 

Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism", is concerned that the thesis of her best-selling book will once again be tested in Haiti. She told IPS in an e-mail, "Haiti doesn't need cookie cutter one-size fits all reconstruction, designed by the same gang that made same such a hash of Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans - and indeed the same people responsible for the decimation of Haiti's own economy in the name of 'aid.'"

 

Unhappy with critics' characterisation of the IPOA, Brooks said, "If Scahill and Klein have the resources, the capabilities, the equipment, to go in and do it themselves then more power to them."

 

University of California at Los Angeles professor Nandini Gunewardena, co-editor of "Capitalizing on Catastrophe: Neoliberal Strategies in Disaster Reconstruction," told IPS that "privatisation is not the way to go for disaster assistance."

 

"Traditionally, corporations have positioned themselves in a way that they benefit at the expense of the people. We cannot afford for that to happen in Haiti," she said, adding that "any kind of intermediate or long-term assistance strategy has to be framed within that framework of human security."

 

This, according to the U.N-.based Commission on Human Security, means "creating political, social, environmental, economic, military and cultural systems that together give people the building blocks of survival, livelihood and dignity."

 

Denouncing the "standard recipe of neoliberal policies," Gunewardena said, "If private corporations are going to contribute to Haiti's restoration, they have to be held accountable, not to their own standards, but to those of the people."

 

Reached by telephone, Haiti's former Minister of Defence under the first presidency of Jean Bertand Aristide, Patrick Elie, agreed. He's worried about the potential privatisation of his country's rebuilding, "because these private companies [aren't] liable, you can't take them to the United Nations, you can't take them to The Hague, and they operate in kind of legal limbo. And they are the more dangerous for it."

 

Elie, who accepted a position as advisor to President Rene Preval following the earthquake, added "These guys are like vultures coming to grab the loot over this disaster, and probably money that might have been injected into the Haitian economy is going to be just grabbed by these companies and I'm sure that they are not only these mercenary companies but also the other companies like Halliburton or these other ones that always [come] on the heels of the troops."

 

In its 2008 report, "Private Security Contractors at War: Ending the Culture of Impunity," the NGO Human Rights First decried the "failure of the U.S. government to effectively control their actions, and in particular the inability or unwillingness of the Department of Justice (DoJ) to hold them criminally responsible for their illegal actions."

 

The IPOA's Brooks told IPS that members of the Haitian diaspora and Haiti's embassy have been invited and are "going to be a big part" of the summit.

 

While stressing that it's impossible to know the exact details of an event that is planned outside of public scrutiny, Elie countered that if high-level Haitian officials were to participate, "It's either out of ignorance or complicity."

 

Worried that Haiti is already seeing armed contractors in addition to the presence of more than 20,000 U.S., Canadian, and U.N. soldiers, Elie says he has seen private contractors accompanying NGOs, "walking about carrying assault rifles."

 

If the U.S. military pulls out and hands over the armed presence to private contractors, "It opens the door to all kinds of abuses. Let's face it, the Haitian state is too weak to really deal efficiently with this kind of threat if it materialises," he said.

 

The history of post-disaster political economy has shown that such a threat is all too likely, says Elie. "We've seen it happen so many times before that whenever there is a disaster, there are a bunch of vultures trying to profit from it, whether it's a man-made disaster like Iraq, or a nature-made disaster like Haiti."

 

 

=========================
The Fateful Geological Prize Called Haiti
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17287
By F. William Engdahl
Global Research, January 30, 2010
Behind the smoke, rubble and unending drama of human tragedy in the hapless Caribbean country, a drama is in full play for control of what geophysicists believe may be one of the world’s richest zones for hydrocarbons-oil and gas outside the Middle East, possibly orders of magnitude greater than that of nearby Venezuela.

 

=========================

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24519.htm

The Kidnapping of Haiti

By John Pilger

January 27, 2010 "Information Clearing House

 The theft of Haiti has been swift and crude. On 22 January, the United States secured "formal approval" from the United Nations to take over all air and sea ports in Haiti, and to "secure" roads. No Haitian signed the agreement, which has no basis in law. Power rules in an American naval blockade and the arrival of 13,000 marines, special forces, spooks and mercenaries, none with humanitarian relief training.

====================================

 

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24518.htm 

Haiti Gets a Penny of Each U.S. Aid Dollar

By The Associated Press

January 27, 2010 -- AP-- Only 1 cent of each dollar the U.S. is spending on earthquake relief in Haiti is going in the form of cash to the Haitian government, according to an Associated Press review of relief efforts.

 

Video Report By Al Jazeera  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24520.htm

The Politics of Rice 

In 2008, in the midst of the global food crisis, we travelled to Haiti to look at the politics of rice - how such a fertile country became dependent on food aid. In the wake of this current disaster, that dependence is - initially - going to deepen. But as relief efforts slowly turn to plans for reconstruction, it is important to look back at the policies that brought Haiti to the brink in the first place, and the people who had their own vision of self-sufficiency all along.

 

===================

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/01/25-0

         

 Published on Monday, January 25, 2010 by The Age (Australia)

 

Haitian Quake Toll Could Hit 300,000

by Rory Carroll, Port-au-Prince

 

The Haitian Government has raised the confirmed earthquake death toll to 150,000 and said the figure could double as reports from outside the capital are collated.

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nikolas-kozloff/middle-eastern-and-latin_b...

 

January 26, 2010

Posted: January 22, 2010 03:06 PM

Middle Eastern and Latin American Media: A Thorn in the Side of the U.S. Military in Haiti

 

January 26, 2010

Nikolas Kozloff

Author, "Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left"

 

================

 

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100121/REVIEW/701...

Securing disaster: The US repeats past mistakes in Haiti

The American-led mission in Port-au-Prince, Peter Hallward writes, has put military stability before humanitarian needs in a painful echo of Haiti’s past.

Last Updated: January 21. 2010 10:21PM UAE

 

 

Http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17149

Oil in Haiti - Economic Reasons for the UN/US Occupation

By Marguerite Laurent

Global Research, January 22, 2010 Open Salon - 2009-10-13

This article was first published in October 2009.

http://www.nationnews.com/story/guest-column-hilary-beckles-copy-for-web

The Hate and the Quake

by Sir Hilary Beckles

 

January 17, 2010.

 

 

  

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1245620/Aid-piling-UNs...

 

 

Aid piling up at UN's 'cold beer' compound as red tape keeps aid from desperate Haitians - while UN staff have wi-fi and a bar

 

Sunday, Jan 24 2010 9PM 

 

http://www.defencetalk.com/us-forces-in-haiti-to-grow-to-20000-23763/

US Forces in Haiti to Grow to 20,000

Army News — By American Forces Press Service on January 21, 2010

Roughly 20,000 U.S. troops will be supporting relief efforts in Haiti by Jan. 24, military officials said, adding to the 13,000-strong American force currently there.

http://www.politicaltheatrics.net/2010/01/why-is-the-us-military-occupyi...

Why Is The US Military Occupying Four Airports In Haiti?

 

The Americans’ controlling of the aid operations has raised tensions with some countries. Bolivia and Venezuela have criticized its heavy presence and France earlier expressed annoyance after aid planes were delayed from landing.

politicaltheatrics

Published: January 21, 2010

 

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/85824

Ex-minister warns of US 'takeover' of Haiti

Haiti's former secretary of state for national defence and human rights activists has warned against the militarisation of quake relief efforts as Washington confirmed that it had 12,000 US troops deployed in or around Haiti.

Wednesday 20 January 2010

 

http://www.truthout.org/profiting-from-haiti%E2%80%99s-crisis-disaster-c...

 

Profiting From Haiti's Crisis: Disaster Capitalism in Washington's Backyard

 

Monday 18 January 2010

by: Benjamin Dangl  |  Toward Freedom

 

 

US troop landings delay Haiti aid
Published Tuesday January 19, 2010
 

Haiti earthquake: France criticises US 'occupation'

France has criticised America's relief efforts in Haiti by claiming that international aid programmes should be about helping the country, not 'occupying' it.

Published: 5:07PM GMT 18 Jan 2010

 


Last update - 19:25 18/01/2010
 Gaza collects Haiti aid, says it was similarly shaken by Israel 
 
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service       
 
 
Chavez: US uses earthquake to occupy Haiti

Mon, 18 Jan 2010 06:46:25 GMT

 

 Published on Monday, January 18, 2010 by RebelReports

Disaster Profiteering: US 'Security' Companies Offer 'Services' in Haiti

by Jeremy Scahill

 
 
Published on Monday, January 18, 2010 by The Nation      

IMF to Haiti: Freeze Public Wages

by Richard Kim

 
 
Published on Sunday, January 17, 2010

 The United Nations Organization needs to draw up better and flexible contingency plans for all regions of the globe.

 

Haiti: Too Many Cooks…

Source: Pravda.Ru

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/world/americas/111692-Haiti_disaster-0

 

     

Haiti: U.S. Puppets, Intrigues and Dreams of Sweatshops

Published on Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Lesson of Haiti

By Fidel Castro Ruz

 
 
========================================

Officials Strain to Distribute Aid to Haiti as Violence Rises

 

NYTimes.com

The World Food Program finally was able to land flights of food, medicine and water on Saturday, after failing on Thursday and Friday, an official with the agency said. Those flights had been diverted so that the United States could land troops and equipment, and lift Americans and other foreigners to safety.

"There are 200 flights going in and out every day, which is an incredible amount for a country like Haiti," said Jarry Emmanuel, the air logistics officer for the agency's Haiti effort. "But most of those flights are for the United States military.

He added: "Their priorities are to secure the country. Ours are to feed. We have got to get those priorities in sync." Full story http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/world/americas/17haiti.html?hp

Other stories

Cuba is Missing from US Reports on the International Response to Haiti's Earthquake.  Dave Lindorff. Friday, January 15, 2010 http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/01/15-6

Haitian doctor takes more than 100 patients into his home as refuge from devastation. Mike Melia Associated Press Writer. January 16, 2010.
 
 The Right Testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian Holocaust. Blackwater before drinking water. Greg Palast for The Huffington Post. Sunday, January 17, 2010. http://www.gregpalast.com/the-right-testicle-of-hell-history-of-a-haitian-holocaust/

Haiti: MSF cargo plane with full hospital and staff blocked from landing in Port-au-Prince. MSF demands deployment of lifesaving medical equipment given priority. 17 January 2010.
http://www.msf.ca/news-media/news/2010/01/haiti-msf-cargo-plane-with-full-hospital-and-staff-blocked-from-landing-in-port-au-prince/

 

Update

Hi
The Victoria Peace Coalition website is currently being re-designed and re-developed. While that is going on we will be posting some basic information and useful links here, in this temporary site.