”Cholera democracy formally inaugurated ‘bad boy’ Mickey Mouse (or, is it fascist Mickey Mussolini?) to govern occupied Haiti under a newly adopted occupation constitution. Over 80% of Haiti voters were summarily disenfranchised in the foreign supported cholera elections…” –Ezili Dantò of HLLN, May 14, 2011
(See essays written days after the quake predicting US false benevolence and failure of “aid.” The media called, part 1 and Go home US military: Haiti doesn’t need anymore pain, Jan 16, 2010. See also this essay written 16-months later, I pay this price for you: Haiti is open for business and Avatar Haiti.)
Part 1: US False Benevolence in Haiti: Failure of Foreign “AID” is Structural
On May 11, 2011, at a House Congressional hearing, Rajiv Shah, Executive Director of the Agency for International Development (USAID) talked about the “progress” made in providing safe drinking water and medical care in Haiti. The hearing was an outgrowth of trips Republican Jason Chaffetz from Utah and other House members made to Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq — places where USAID has a major presence. That no infrastructure for sustainable health care, sanitation and clean drinking water has been constructed with the billions collected for the earthquake victims; that the UN imported cholera killing over 5,000 innocent Haitians, leaving 300,000 infected with a foreign disease, did not deter Rajiv Shah from reporting at the hearing that major Monsanto-style “progress” had been made in Haiti.
Shah told Chaffetz, chairman of the House subcommittee on foreign affairs, that more than a million Haitians had access to vaccines, more Haitians had safe drinking water than before the earthquake, and some crop yields have doubled.
At 8:20 into the video below interview on Radio Rezistans/Maroon Voice with Steve Duval,Ezili Dantò talk about this US False Benevolence piece, the meaning of the Kandyo, Malfini and the Mangoose. Ruling elites push disengagement, tolerance to brutality, greed, violence, corruption, false aid and false charity. Entire interview is at this Vimeo link .
That’s progress if Monsanto hybrid seeds destroying Haiti’s domestic seed diversity, further depleting Haiti’s soil and the colonization of Haiti’s food and seeds is truly earthquake relief?
That’s progress if buying US goods and services is aid to Haiti?
That’s progress, if for instance, the toxic USAID agribusiness’ fungicides, pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides used to “double crop yields” seeping from Mother Earth and into Haiti’s drinking water, and potentially giving Haitians cancer 10-years from now is progress?
That’s progress if USAID using foreign aid monies to pay big US pharmaceutical businesses for their vaccines products that Haitians will drink down most likely with foul cholera water on empty Clorox-hungry-stomachs is wholesome and healthy?
That’s progress if USAID using the Haiti earthquake and cholera outbreak as a corporate opportunity to solicit more monies to buy their own crony’s antibiotics, dehydration pills, aquatabs or bottled water – leaving no permanently renewable clean water infrastructure in Haiti as usual – equates to Haiti having “more ” sustainable “safe drinking water than before the earthquake?”
That’s progress if the post-earthquake UN contamination of Haiti’s water system, underground water and the Artibonite River which fertilizes Haiti’s breadbasket that feeds the people is also logical evidence of more Haitians having safe drinking water than before the earthquake?”
The USAID Director’s claim that more Haitians have safe drinking water than before the earthquake, is progress if Haiti tarp dwellers drinking untreated brackish Red Cross water in Haiti making them ill is progress. (See Ezili Dantò on: Zili Dlo-Clean water for everyone ; Colonization of Haiti’s food and seeds is not earthquake relief; Healthcare reform also requires food system reform; The Poverty Pimps’ Masturbating on Black Pain: Monsanto joins the pack ; Vision of Plantation Haiti – A White Pearl, Again! ; The Plantation called Haiti: Feudal Pillage Masking as Humanitarian Aid ; Tell The Truth About Haiti Forum with Ezili Dantò of HLLN ; UN responsibility for importing cholera and, Obama’s empty promises to Haiti – Change did not come (Written two years ago, December 2009, before Haiti earthquake and some TPS was granted.)
“The cholera outbreak need not have happened. Shows the failure of the international relief effort.” —Ezili Dantò – Haitian cholera epidemic preventable, October 27, 2010.
In addition to the USAID progress Rajiv Shah reported has been made in providing safe drinking water and medical care in Haiti, Shah said a new industrial park will create 5,000 jobs.
Chaffetz publicly slammed the USAID Director for making wildly inaccurate claims of success in Haiti. “The totality of the U.S. response has been pathetic and disappointing,” he said.
Shah said 10 to 20 percent of the quake rubble had been removed. Chaffetz responded that earthquake relief efforts in Haiti have been “pathetic,” contradicting Shah’s Haiti “success” figures, pointing out that only 5% of the rubble had been removed according to the Inspector General report.
Ripping apart Shah’s testimony, Chaffetz said, “that’s not cleaned up. You scooted it over.” Chaffetz introduced a picture of himself in Haiti last March, standing on rubble next to a sign saying the site had been cleared “with funding from the American people.
Chaffetz said USAID’s record wasn’t much better in Iraq and Afghanistan. He pointed to a memorandum to Shah from the agency inspector general that concluded wildly inaccurate claims were made about operations in Iraq.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee told USAID director Rajiv Shah, “You would be fired” if the recovery efforts showed the same results in the United States.
“…This is blatant fraud,” Chaffetz said. (Chaffetz rips US disaster relief efforts.)
Recall folks, not too long ago, in a press conference with President-elect Michel Martelly, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, like Shah, also publicly claimed that in the 15 months since the earthquake “there‘s been progress…Twenty percent of the rubble, more than 2 million cubic meters, has been cleared” Further, Clinton, talking about “progress” in Haiti said that since the earthquake “one industrial park has been created to create 20,000 jobs.” Note Clinton said 20,000 jobs were created at the new industrial park, not that 5,000 jobs were created as Shah told Congress at the hearing. ( See, Press Release: Remarks With Haitian President-Elect Michel Martelly After Their Meeting).
The US cost Haiti approximately 850,000 agricultural jobs with Clinton/Bush “trade” policy and promises of hundreds of thousands of assembly plant jobs that never came to past, but pushed Haiti farmers off their rural lands. Yet, both Mrs. Clinton and USAID believe there‘s been progress: “One industrial park has been created to create 20,000 jobs.” (See, Rebuilding Haiti – The Sweatshop Hoax; Haiti and the Aid Racket and, Haiti and the international aid scam .)
Inquiring minds wanna know, is this official denial of accountability their incompetence, blatant fraud or, no, no, that’s not it. It’s most likely the corrupt, incompetent Haiti government and peoples making these US foreign aid officials lie like this. No doubt about it. For, as USAID Director Shah told Congress at the hearing- “We would have had more success with rubble removal and housing if we had more specific support from our partners and the government of Haiti. We’re not in charge of Haiti. We’re in a bilateral partnership with Government of Haiti.” ( Republicans say aid efforts in Haiti are a failure .)
Of course USAID must speak of “bilateral partnership” with Government of Haiti. It wouldn’t serve USAID’s poverty pimping corporatocracy’s purposes, to show the post-earthquake US/World Bank unilateral control of Haiti and Haiti reconstruction through the Interim Haiti Reconstruction (IHRC) protectorate, nor the billions in donor country funds (37% of $5.3billion) collected and still in Clinton/UN/NGO/World Bank coffers. (We won’t mention the US/international controls on Haiti through visa denials, job incentives, economic and other military-industrial-complex embargoes. (See, for instance, Haiti officials reverse some legislative races challenged by foreign observers .)
Here’s the out-of-view, but ever-present distant shadow in this “aid” and promoting “progress in Haiti” scam. If Haiti is corrupt, its corruption is less than 1 cent per dollar of aid. For less than 1 cent of every dollar of US donor aid goes to the Haiti government. If there’s corruption it is NOT with the government or people of Haiti, but USAID and its NGO subcontractors who divvy up more than 99% of “aid to Haiti.” Americans are not taught the truth about foreign aid to Haiti. In fact, 93 percent of USAID aid funds to Haiti go straight back to the U.S. to purchase US goods and services. Additionally, in the area of agriculture, for instance, the Bumper’s Amendment, prevents U.S. government aid from being spent on agricultural programs overseas that could benefit crops that might compete with U.S. exports on the global market. Moreover,
“Statistics indicate the existence of a burgeoning disaster economy where $98.40 of every $100 awarded in reconstruction contracts by the US government is consequently recycled back to the US from the local economy through the salaries of international aid workers/contractors. Reports show that jobs are often outsourced to foreign workers despite unemployment rates of 85%.” (Haiti: The Structural Difficulties of “Building Back Better.)
American “aid” to Haiti is a scam used for corporations and consultant firms, connected to those in power at USAID, to buy their own company’s goods and services at high, uncompetitive prices and then dump it into Haiti whether it’s a Haiti priority or not. ”The United States makes sure that 80 cents in every aid dollar is returned to the home country.” It’s called “Tied Aid. And once the corporate state has used monies, earmarked “for Haiti relief” to purchase its own goods and services, it doesn’t matter whether those goods – collected food, water and medicine – actually reach suffering Haitians or that the services make a difference to help quake or storm victims. That’s why, unlike when the US plutocrats want to bring the Duvalierist overseers back to power, they’ll take away visas to put on pressure if they don’t like an election result. But when the Haiti Oligarchy callously or capriciously ups its gas or food prices, or lets donated food, water, medicine and relief supplies rot at their privatized ports, you don’t see their visas being taken by US policymakers in order to help actually save Haiti lives. Oh no. That’s when the US Embassy drones and USAID will say stuff like “we’re not in charge of Haiti. We’re in a bilateral partnership with Government of Haiti,” “we can’t meddle” in Haiti affairs.
In fact, if most of the paid-for-with-tied-aid relief goods actually reached the poorest of the poor in Haiti and the NGO services significantly lifted Haitians out of poverty, suffering, curable diseases and misery, there would be no need for tied aid and these NGOs and USAID would be out of the real business of increasing corporate market share profits for US corporate oligarchs and plutocrats.
Haiti crisis, disaster, imposed coup d’etats, deaths, chaos and misery are an asset to this industry. Stories abound about tons of collected food, water and medicine allowed to rot at privatized Haiti ports and USAID/NGO warehouses. It’s all blamed, of course, on Haiti corruption or inability to absorb US benevolence and gracious philanthropy. (See, UN Navy bring to Haiti, one year too late, 1million dollars worth of expired goods ; and Food Donation Rot in New York while Haitian Storm Victims Starve and Die and Rot Update)
What is called “US aid to Haiti” is mostly corporate welfare to wealthy US corporations and the tiny Haiti oligarchy that act as their neocolonial subcontractors who get the trickled down. That’s why US aid is a failure and doesn’t help Haiti earthquake victims. Poverty pimping, false charity, harmful food aid , unfair trade, false benevolence and strings-attached “Tied Aid,” is what’s pathetic. Foreign pillaging of Haiti resources and riches with the exclusion of the Haitian people and no economic justice/sharing of profits with poor Haitians to raise the majority’s standard of living is what’s pathetic.
If US “aid” to Haiti were successful, the charitable industry and self-styled “saviors” of Haiti, would not have a gig. Failure is an asset, structurally built into their color-coded distribution policies and disaster capitalism “aid” system. The sooner decent Americans understand this, the quicker these poverty pimps will be booted from their vulture perch and U.S. disaster relief efforts to Katrina and Haiti victims will be more effective. (See, the Bumper’s Amendment ; Mark Weisbrot’s “Haiti and the international aid scam : Haiti is often decried for corruption but look at how reconstruction contracting works: it may be legal but it’s still graft” and, HLLN on oversight needed on USAID.)
Part 2: History Matters – Time to remember Kandyo, the Malfini and Mongoose
As I write this essay on the House hearing where Republicans blasted USAID’s Haiti relief as pathetic, I can’t help but wonder to myself “where are Haiti saviors, Sean Penn and Paul Farmer, now? I’m trying not to say it, but that is just too much work.
So, folks, I cannot finish this piece without bringing up how veteran Haiti watchers would find this hearing just more political theater. Me, I’ve simply lost the battle to try and be, uhmm, more “can’t we all get along!”
I’m thinking that at this Congressional hearing in the House, so-called “progressive” Paul Farmer, the Deputy UN Special Envoy to Haiti, could have been sitting in the position of Rajiv Shah, the current Director of USAID.
There is no difference between the current USAID Director and the Deputy UN Envoy for Haitians. NONE. One comes from big Monsanto-style agribusiness, the other from the humanitarian sector.
The net result of both their involvement in Haiti are to bring lost of Haiti sovereignty and more dependency. They just have different styles for making self-serving convenient alliances. Different styles for getting Haiti’s masses to the same result on behalf of the global oligarchy – to more dependency, domination and endless debt. Different styles for expanding neoliberalism, privatizing disaster relief, opening up new export markets for dumping US goods and services in neo-colonized countries, all behind the benevolent mask of bringing foreign “aid” and UN or US “humanitarian help.”
I need not remind Ezili Network members that Farmer was running for the Executive Director position at USAID that Rajiv Shah now holds. As the head of USAID, Shah, is being blasted about USAID ‘s failures. If Shah is a failure in Haiti, so is Farmer as Deputy UN Envoy – the consolation prize given by the Clinton/Obama administration to Farmer when his nomination to head USAID did not fly.
The failure of both positions is built into the system these organizations preserve. USAID and the UN Security Council serve the same global oligarchy and its profit-over-people interests.
Their functionaries, like Shah and Farmer, necessarily serve these interests not liberty or sustainable, progressive change for the world’s masses. Same thing with both the Republicans who are shocked, shocked, indignant, indignant by USAID failures with earthquake disaster relief aid in Haiti and the Democrats whose administration is under fire for said USAID failures right now.
It’s a nice piece of drama that hearing, the rhetoric, the concern for Haitians because US response has been “pathetic and disappointing.” But it’s just that, mostly fiction, a piece of theater. Congress preside over the laws of tied aid.
Both Republicans and Democrats created and sustain the operations of USAID.
Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are about to put USAID out of the business of creating export markets in the former colonized nations for US big business interests. The truth is, USAID’s so-called “progressive” or “humanitarian” work, represents 50-years of failure. But, USAID is still “open for business” because, as Shah once, in an effort to solicit more taxpayer funds, clearly explained: “USAid can assist in the creation of the (U.S. export) markets of tomorrow.” (See also, the Bumper’s Amendment, prevents U.S. government aid from being spent on agricultural programs overseas that could benefit crops that might compete with U.S. exports on the global market.)
So please folks don’t be confused about the power play between the malfini and the mongoose. Between Democrats and Republicans. Or, “between Wilson and Harding,” to quote one of Haiti’s most favorite satirist.
Recall Beloved that Barack Obama’s only real successful bipartisan move so far has been with Haiti. He’s brought us no sardine delicacy, but the same old, same old. Obama consolidated his own power – that is, clearly showed white America or Officialdom exactly where his principles stood, less there be some confusion, by appointing, for instance, coup-d’etat-George W.Bush (the Malfini) along with “Operation Uphold Democracy”-Bill Clinton (the Mongoose) as co-head of US disaster relief in Black Haiti after the earthquake.
Stop being so CONFUSED folks by the rebranding of the same old fascist. The good cop/bad cop play-acting of the Democrats and Republicans or that of the “progressives” and the “right wingers.”
At the end of the day, in Haitian folkloric peasant parlance, Haiti is the chicken and the malfini and the mongoose are just fighting over which will either swoop down from the sky (the malfini – a bird of prey) or crawl from the ground (the mongoose) to eat you -the chicken!
So, when you watch the Republicans blast the Democrats at a Congressional hearing, or when you hear Michel Martelly’s inauguration speech where he plays on the people’s emotions and hopes, remember how Preval’s 2006 inauguration speech fooled the masses and made us hold our fire, waiting, waiting, hoping, hoping, hoping he really meant to bring the UN slaughters and occupation to an end.
Preval said “Juan Gabriel Valdez manda w fini!” – “UN your mandate is over! Oh, how excited and hopeful some of us all were then!
Preval’s added Novocain was the music that was played throughout his 2006 inauguration. He didn’t play “kè m pa sote” like Martelly. The anesthetic was different.
At his inauguration playing over and over again, tugging at the disenfranchised people’s subconscious, Preval’s inauguration message and proceedings was conducted to the instrumental of music every Haitian patriot knows – “Desalin pa vle wè Blan mannan…“. The cymbals would go boom, boom on the part every Haitian knows. And though the words weren’t sung, the revolutionary lullaby of the Ancestors held our tongues and we hoped, hoped, and hoped, in vain for the occupation to end, for the UN slaughters and the indefinite incarcerations of the poor to stop…
Preval’s political party was called Lespwa -“hope”. The people were summarily betrayed and brought sweatshops under a US legislation called the “HOPE Act.”
Some illogical Haitians now, in 2011, “hope,” ohh so pathetically, so emotionally, so DESPERATELY hope, with even less basis with former Ninja, Martelly! (According to the testimony of assassinated priest Jean Marie Vincent, Michel Martelly went on FRAPH raids against Lavalas voters.)
Remember also, as you watch the circuses of more upcoming finger pointing in Congress on the failures of the NGOs and US foreign aid (benevolence) or with UN staff re-shuffling to Haiti what Haiti satirist, Kandyo, said about the first US occupation (1915 to 1934):
“Se pa te Wilson. Se te Harding.
Tout ‘homme’ te konprann yo te pral manje bwat ‘sardine’.
Yo voye delege komisyon dankèt
Neg rakonte Blan sa Blan fè.
I am satisfied.
–Kandyo, renowned Haiti satirists, traveling griot and performing playwright
We’ve been here, Beloved. Done that. History matters, must not be forgotten. The only response shocked and indignant US official “concerned” after Haitians - Neg rakonte Blan sa Blan fè – testified to the whites about the massacres the whites (blan/foreigners) occupying Haiti presided over back during the first US occupation was, as Kandyo summarizes it: – “We’re satisfied. Good morning!“
Nothing was done because the domination and slaughters to assist the U.S. bankers’ Haiti interests, were as relevant back then as they are today. (See, “Inquiry into Occupation and Administration of Haiti,” – The U.S. Senate Investigates the Haitian Occupation. Interview Haitians about marine conduct in the guerrilla war against Haitian resistance, 1922.)
Oh, and less I forget one of life’s not-so-small-ironies, I hear Haiti is-“Open-for-Business”- to-US-Bankers”-Michel Martelly is said to be a relative of Kandyo.
Kenbe fèm Ayisyen, pa lage.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (“HLLN”)
May 11, 2011
( Written in 2008 after the 4-back-to-back Haiti storms and promises of “aid” to “reconstruct” Gonaives, Haiti. Billions were collected, Gonaives was not reconstructed, to say the least. Gonaives flood victims like the earthquake victims found little sustainable relief. But the poverty pimps made lots of monies. http://bit.ly/c3EKC1)
-“The UN … has repeatedly claimed that underfunding of its $174m cholera appeal, launched primarily to benefit private groups, is hampering the response – despite the fact that Haiti is the top-funded UN appeal for 2010. As nearly a million Haitians remain homeless in the face of a full-blown public health emergency, arguments that existing funds are tied up in longer-term programmes ring hollow…”(Haiti: where aid failed.)
- USAID’s “progressive” work represents 50-years of failure, but USAID is “open for business” and says that “sub-Saharan Africa is the epicentre of our work.” “USAid can assist in the creation of the markets of tomorrow, said Shah…” http://bit.ly/jngt8s (HLLN has been observing Paul Farmer and Bill Clinton opening up said new “export markets” for the U.S. behind the mask of giving “foreign aid” and “humanitarian help” to Congo and Rwanda, since the 2004 Bush Regime change in Haiti when the very successful Farmer moved on to greater humanitarian work and to “help” more in Rwanda.)
Forwarded by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
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If you appreciated these postings, updates and the writings of Ezili Dantò of HLLN giving voice to the voiceless in Haiti, please consider making a donation. Obviously Ezili’s HLLN does not accept USAID false benevolence funding.
A chilling video testimony of brackish Red Cross water in Haiti - Cholera confirmed in Haiti capital. For another compelling testimony on Red Cross delivering filthy water to Haiti victims since the earthquake, view also: How did the Red Cross spend $106 Million Dollars in Haiti: (Ezili Dantò’s note: Amongst some of the testimonies that’s not clearly translated in this most valuable video: a woman standing next to a small child repeating “no, no, no,” points to a water drum with a “Red Cross” sign on it and says that even the water they give is not treated. She explains that she drinks it because she has no money to buy good drinkable water but suffers right now from a stomach ache from drinking the Red Cross’ polluted water.)
More Background Links:
HLLN Note: US Congress must provide more oversight guidelines on USAID (Written in 2008 after the 4-back-to-back Haiti storms and promises of “aid” to “reconstruct” Gonaives, Haiti. Billions were collected, Gonaives was not reconstructed, to say the least. Gonaives flood victims like the earthquake victims found little sustainable relief. But the poverty pimps made lots of monies. http://bit.ly/c3EKC1)
Inspector General Slams USAID on Provision of Housing in Haiti
Haiti and the international aid scam
by Mark Weisbrot, http://bit.ly/h27E2R
Haiti and the Aid Racket by Ashley Smith http://bit.ly/cuPYdo
Rebuilding Haiti – The Sweatshop Hoax
by David L. Wilson http://bit.ly/a7TtCs
US Navy ship brings aid for Haitian orphanages
- Source: Yahoo News
Wed Apr 6, 7:27 pm ET
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A U.S. Navy cargo ship docked in Haiti on Wednesday carrying nearly $1 million worth of relief supplies for orphanages.
The load of 177 pallets of canned food and bottled water was brought by the Navy’s high-speed transport vessel HSV 2 Swift as part of a humanitarian mission.
The donated goods were collected in the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating January 2010 earthquake.
But the Navy’s aid program Project Handclasp said the supplies got held up at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, because of various transport difficulties and the bulk of the food passed its expiration date and had to be tossed.
A spokesman for the program, Cmdr. Lewis Preddy, said sending the food on a ship earlier would have meant drawing down resources from humanitarian missions elsewhere.
Catholic Relief Services is distributing the supplies to Haitian to orphanages.
In November, the same Navy ship delivered a mobile medical clinic and 39 pallets of water filters to Haiti.
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