I don’t mean to dwell on certain issues but until there’s some solid change in Haiti, things are going to remain: Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere. I was reading this Reuters article http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62P2EU20100326 and if i didn’t know better, I would think that Haiti was so incapable of producing it’s own food that they had to start importing it. Well, that’s not the case. Importing cheap rice and sugar were concepts sold to Haitians by Haitian Economist Leslie Delatour during the mid to late 1980’s. It was called Chicago economics: FREE MARKETS. The concept destroyed rural production and incentives in Haiti and sent an additional 2 million people to go live in Port au Prince not to mention how many boat people were sent by this plan to Miami and the Bahamas or how many cane cutters are now in the Dominican Republic, simply because the demand to produce off of the land has declined.
Lobbying is still taken care of by a Delatour, Leslie’s younger brother Lionel. Right now the younger Mr Delatour is looking to attract more people out of the countryside and into the city with his HOPE2 garment bill, which is the crux of Haiti’s economic future if Mevs, Soros, Boulos, Ban Ki Moon and Bill Clinton get their way. Mr Delatour is also busy trying to funnel RECONSTRUCTION monies to brother Patrick Delatour, Minister of Tourism and RECONSTRUCTION “EXPERT”, and sister in law Elizabeth Delatour Preval who has helped turn the Haitian government, led by husband President Rene Preval, into a lobby machine for Haiti’s Elite Families.
In Haiti we’ve always taken a look and addressed the players out front: Cedras, Aristide, The Haitian Army, the Police, the Parliament.. but we’ve never addressed the behind the scene folks who control the contacts to Washington, finance the local operations and control the monopolies that keep Haiti as the Poorest Nation in the Western Hemisphere. Yes, there are people who profit greatly by living in and taking advantage of The Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere.
The Haitian people, aside from the loss of life and the shock of such a tragic event, haven’t had that much of a change in their lives since the January 12 EarthQuake (that I still call SAMSON). Yes, schools are closed and many businesses and homes were lost, but the homes of the Haitian masses, like their tents, didn’t have running water, they didn’t have stoves and refrigerators and they didn’t have toilets. People are fundamentally living now, in these tent and bed sheet cities, the way they did before the Quake, except that suddenly the foreigners are aghast! Suddenly the foreigners insist that water be distributed and Porta Potties be placed near the new residential districts. There were no porta potties before and Haitian People are used to going to get water somewhere within walking distance in 5 gallon plastic buckets. This is the lifestyle one has to get used to when the Haitian elites are running the economy along with the Delatour/Preval lobby machine. This is Haitian REALITY. It’s not new. Haitians aren’t living like this because there was an EarthQuake on January 12.
Expect more of the same when the Haitian Elites and their lobbyers get their RECONSTRUCTION PLANS approved. Bill Clinton isn’t bringing Hope to Haiti. Bill Clinton isn’t bringing Change to Haiti. Bill Clinton, along with USAID, the World Bank, The Inter Development Bank and the United Nations are bringing more of the same to HAITI: more for the few and less for the many… Why, you ask? Because no one is lobbying for the Haitian People. The Haitian Elites have a lobbyist in Washington, but the Haitian People don’t.
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It is always pleasant to see one of the committed Lavalas people change their coat.
Richard Morse was a fanatical Aristide/Lavalas supporter for many years, blaming everything on Duvalier…. when the real trouble was right in front of him. The major Haitian business families effectively control the game, no matter who is in power. Of course, certain families benefit more, under certain presidents…but, they all benefit.
I don’t see much change in the future.
UNIBANK is the power at the moment. Braun and Baussan, with a clique of a dozen or so, confederates are the power behind Preval. They hid the millions he has stolen and control much of the economy. They stand to gain billions with reconstruction.
Andy Apaid was a firm and enthusiastic supporter of Aristide and gained enormous benefits from this association. He gave Aristide something like $1,500,000.00US for Aristide’s 2000 election campaign, with the promise he would get one-third of TELECO in return. The TELECO deal did not fly so he created GROUP 184 to force his will upon the country. He didn’t want to replace Aristide, and this was stated up until moments before Aristide’s departure, in 2004. His idea was to install a Governing Council, to his satisfaction, leaving Aristide as the official Head of State. Collin Powell insisted upon this up until the Wednesday before Aristide’s flight into exile..
Then, as Aristide’s aircraft disappeared over the horizon, he pressed for an Interim Government instead of following the Constitutional requirement under Article 149 that would see a Judge as Provisional President, with elections held in 90 days.
Apaid did not like the obvious result of this, nor did the Americans.
Guy Philippe would have won with a massive majority – for better or for worse…..but, I don’t think anyone would suggest Philippe would have been as bad as Preval.
And so, Apaid, Evans Paul and a couple of others – who really represented nothing other than small interest groups – signed an agreement – on behalf of 9,000,000 Haitians who had no say – to derail the Constitution. The incompetent, corrupt Latortue Government was the result. This led to the flawed electoral process in which Preval was named President by MINUSTAH…in the form of Brazil and Chile, backed by Rene Momplaisir, leader of popular organizations. Preval had 23 percent, not the 51 percent required to avoid a run-off. MINUSTAH gave Preval 51%.
Like a submarine, Andy Apaid disappeared from sight, leaving the Nation to face new problems without any resistance! And so, Andy Apaid, and his business associates are – yet again – responsible for the screw up that Haiti now faces. In effect, Apaid, Group 184 and the rest of that gang, are directly responsible for the disaster Haiti now faces….but no one mentions this.
The two major newspapers and controlled by leading members of the business community and they don’t want to upset their bedfellows.
Richard Morse has stated the obvious truth…but is there any solution??
Perhaps the American Government could use VISAS as a weapon to enforce some minimal degree of integrity among Haiti’s major businessmen, Mevs, Brandt, Bidgio, Vorbe…..
The Americans know where the bodies are buried and can use withdrawal of visa privileges to bring people into line. Otherwise one of my associates estimate, that about $7 billion of the projected final $20 billion will be effectively applied to Haiti’s wounds.
The result will drain away…as money has drained in the past.
There is a need for a massive forensic watchdog to oversee the spending and final results of the billions expended.
In the past, there have been retrospective studies….which finally recognize disasters. By then the damage has been done and the money is gone. The people move on to the next series of projects…waste more money…and do retrospective studies.
This is putting the studies behind both wagon and horse.
Control the money – audit those who receive it (mostly leading families mentioned by Morse)…and insist that those who are contracted to complete projects actually complete them…..or they face actions for their failures.
Now is the time to change the game….before it is too late. If we miss this opportunity, Haiti is really doomed.