Actions we are mobilizing the world for at HLLN| A message to Paul Farmer, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, James Dobbins and Rony Francois
"Transformation is only valid if it is carried out with the people, not for them. Liberation is like a childbirth, and a painful one. The person who emerges is a new person: no longer either oppressor or oppressed, but a person in the process of achieving freedom. It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free their oppressors."-- Paulo Freire, from Pedagogy of the Oppressed
I just watched Paul Farmer bite his tongue and allow Senator John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Bob Corker and others talk about putting Haiti under receivership because the Haitian government is too weak to take care of its own people. What weakened the Haitian government? Wasn't it the US, their multinateral financial institutions, their NGOs and the "private sector" they represent, that forced Haiti's governments, since 1991, not to invest in public services? The absolute lunacy of having to listen to that hearing, particularly the second half of it, is unsupportable. Unsupportable.
Watch the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing with Dobbins, Farmer and Rony Francois.
It's a piece of theater. Sci-fi really. James Dobbins said the NGOs have delivered services to Haiti with fair reliability and accountability. That's not true. He says the 9,000 UN soldiers already in Haiti have done a good job in Haiti these last 6-years and should remain another ten years at least, with reinforcement, to continue building prisons, courts, police. Dobbins fails to mention that all the Supreme Court justices in Haiti were imposed on the people, the duly appointed ones were DISMISSED by the imposed Bush's Haiti technocrats in 2004. The largest political party in Haiti has been excluded from participating in elections since Bush's Boca Raton Regime came to power and even under the puppet Preval. Dobbins also fails to mention in UN occupied Haiti thousands upon thousands of Haiti's young men were warehoused, indefinitely put in prisons, without trial, hearing or ever having been convicted of a crime. He failed to mention the history of charity workers and UN rapes, sexual abuse and molestation in Haiti. Their trafficking in Haitian children and drug dealing. He fails to notice the UN "help" in Haiti for six years did not build any infrastructure, flood barriers, roads for the farmers to get their products to market, or do anything that could have eased the suffering from this earthquake. That they were NOWHERE to be found, as first responders the first three days of the earthquake, just as the over 10,000 NGOs in Haiti were nowhere to be found. Basic public services like security, power, health and education that were already very fragile in Haiti were gutted by the last Bush-supported regime change in Haiti and subsequent UN/US occupation. Their policies were carried out by the NGOs, the World Bank and other Intenational Financial Institutions controlled by the US and by the UN proxy military force. But Dobbins wants these same folks and the World Bank to rebuilt Haiti!
The Senators just repeated the same old self-serving lines that the US has tried in VAIN for decades, nay, centuries, to "HELP Haiti" and Haiti won't cooperate, so now they should just take over Haiti! Farmer just squirmed and weaseled around the truth and let that Haitian doctor, Rony Francois, talk about how the coup d'etat Haitians represent the Haitian majority abroad and are not just the technocratic sell-outs. The lies stink. Meanwhile, the media keeps feeding us pictures of white women embracing confused Black Haitian "orphans" showing their great love for our small children while at the same time feeding us white hysteria about the older Haitians being savage beasts who will pounce on a foreigner - they are gangsters that kill, rape, loot and riot! Never mind there's no proof of this massive looting and killing and raping. If their too old to cuddle on TV like little pets, their black BEAST!!!
Please read Statement on Haiti adoptions from adoptees of color.
For three decades now in Haiti, the United States has been forcing on Haiti a neo-liberal policy which maintains that government should not provide public services and should get out of the life of the people and let the “free market” – the marketplace - do its thing. Today the Senators at the Congressional hearing on Haiti, sat around bemoaning the weak Haitian government their policies brought about, as if they had NOTHING to do with it. They had the gall to talk suggest that the World Bank oversee the reconstruction, with the UN security and the World Relief NGOs providing basic services. All these entities are failures EVERYWHERE in the world. But no, it’s Haitians who are failures.
Never mind that the Chicago-boys forced privatization on Haiti and when Aristide resisted, removed him from office, not once but TWICE. It was their dumping of Arkansas rice into Haiti that destroyed Haiti’s agriculture. That's why the people don't have access to locally grown food right now. No. The Senators commenting at that hearing, some, with more corrupt charges circling around their heads then any poor Haiti public official, get on TV and lie, lie, lie. None dare mention the US's unholy alliance with the mercenary white Haitian families in Haiti. None. But they can slam President Preval of Haiti like there’s no tomorrow! Why not, they don’t need him anymore to uphold their occupation. Nope. Just like they don’t need Wyclef anymore to give a Black face down there legitimizing first, the Boca Raton imposition, and then the UN occupation. Nope. The brother is about to learn what it means to be HAITIAN. Hope he’s ready.
All of the sudden his Yele Foundation has some sort of tax problem. His entourage can't land at the Toussaint Louverture airport. Uhmmm, and no offense to Travolta, but John Travolta's Scientology is landing there just fine, just fine. Poor Wyclef, he made the mistake a few days after the earthquake of going to the airport and trying to take the food there to go distribute. Oh no he was told, the logistics have to be worked out. NGOS have to go "assess." The fact that the brother could actually mobilize the people, form a food chain line and have Haitians helping each other, isn't the plan. Oh no. Now he's barred. Take the place of the failed World Relief NGOs, not happening they say. Compete for charity dollars with the Red Cross, get out of here. He's got "tax problems."
1. Haiti needs emergency humanitarian aid – rescue, recovery, relief and rebuilding, not military occupation.
The occupation of the Toussaint Louverture international airport and other Haitian national spaces by foreign militaries, especially by the US/UN, Canada and France, must end and these areas be returned to the control of the people of Haiti.
Instead of spending all this resource to militarizes Haiti, these funds could instead be better redirected to help with reconstruction, viable reforestation, engineering projects, community-based policing and development, educational initiatives, building of flood barriers, dikes, flood resistant roads, bridges, dredging harbors, building sewers and drainage networks, viable farms, schools, hospitals and health centers. To assist Haiti in irrigation, fertilizer and necessary farming equipment to increase domestic food production in the Artibonite valley and Plaine du Sud farming areas. For planting fruit trees to assist the small rural farmers towards self-sufficiency. For creating indigenous Haiti manufacturing and eco-friendly green jobs with an emphasis in helping meet the needs of women and children in Haiti. (Proper Jatropha production is an excellent option.) To support Haitian-led grassroots capacity building organizations. For child health care, medicines, permanent clean water facilities. For educational initiatives that don't deny Haiti's unique indigenous culture.
2. End indirect aid to Haiti. Foreign aid should go to Haiti directly to strengthen the Haitian government not the churches and NGOs.
a. US foreign policy undermined Haiti’s capacity to respond in emergency situations because it forced Haiti to privatize state assets, funneled all foreign aid to NGOs and not the Haitian government.
A recent article reported the Haitian government has not seen one cent of that money that has been raised for Haiti. I presume that that means the money is going to NGOs," he said, referring to non-governmental aid groups. He said a Puerto Rican group had presented him with a shipping receipt showing it donated $3.5 million of food aid to feed Haitians. Preval said he asked, "Where is the food?" and was told it had already been given to aid groups. (Coordination needed for Haiti aid: Aid flows to charities, but Preval hasn't seen a cent.)
It is the Clinton and Bush neo-liberal policies or US support for coup d’etat that has severely weakened the Haitian government, Haiti's already limited infrastructure, public health and economy that is needed to provide services in times of disasters like this. Neo-liberal policies posits that governments should not provide social services to the people – community policing, electricity, food, clean water, health care, schools, roads, irrigation canals, literacy programs, agricultural assistance. That these things should be privatized and let the marketplace provide. This is the policy that has been imposed on Haiti by both the Bushes and Clinton. And Obama has enlisted these two to further “help” Haiti.
b. The Obama administration must support an international response that respect Haitian sovereignty, not boost NGO profits and power in Haiti .
This US foreign policy effectively forms a shadow government enchaining Haiti that undermines Haiti’s sovereignty, emboldens and empowers NGOs with no public responsibility or accountability to Haitians or Haiti’s long term well-being. The idea that Haiti is too corrupt to absorb aid or get it to the most needy applied during US-supported Haiti dictatorships not, in general, when Haiti has a duly elected government. Besides this fear does not support self-reliance but dependency. There should be accountability measures to assure the aid reaches its intended constituency.
Haiti can no longer countenance World Relief NGOs in the country whose method of doing business is inappropriate to Haiti’s reality, doesn’t respect Haiti’s Vodouist/Konbit/Lakou culture and puts in place programs to exclude the majority of Haiti's people from decisions affecting their every day life.3. Support the institutionalization of the rule of law
a. Return former president Aristide to Haiti so he may assist Haiti’s majority at this agonizing time and help in the relief and rebuilding of the nation. No one can be made stateless. It’s a violation of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
b. Support community organizing, community policing, transparency and participatory democracy.
Haitians, both in Haiti and in the Diaspora, who are historical immune to adversities along with mobilized Black America and our collaborators from all the nations and races, are ready to help, with our bare hands, walking anywhere, doing anything, to get the distribution done. Still are. The military takeover and their alliance with World Relief Organizations who prioritize not saving lives and providing disaster relief with dignity and human rights but their bank accounts, is blocking this.
"The next morning after the earthquake, as a military man of 37 years service, I assumed … there would be airplanes delivering aid, not troops, but aid," said retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore ,..I was a little frustrated to hear that USAID was the lead agency," he said. "I respect them, but they're not a rapid deployment unit… In the first two days after Tuesday evening's quake, "we saw national media in, but we didn't see Air Force airplanes taking in food and water," Honore said. Nor were military doctors on the ground treating the injured, he said. (Retired general: US aid effort too slow.)
The Obama administration must support an international response to the tragic Haiti earthquake that prioritize humanitarian assistance, not security and that makes every effort to allow relief assistance from Haitians abroad and from other nations and providers to enter Haiti. In addition to stopping the blockage of assistance coming from Haitians abroad, Black Americans and from other nations and providers in favor of the major corporate charity organizations, it must also prioritize the distribution and promote and allow Haitians to set up an international coordination of international assistance so that relief supplies, medical treatment and the necessary emergency help actually gets to the most excluded majority in Haiti – reaching the maximum number of earthquake victims immediately. The Haitian people, in Haiti and abroad, with families victimized by the earthquake are the best ones to know where the most urgent needs are still to be met and allowed to direct medical and psychological assistance and other relief to those areas.
5. Respect Haitian human rights and dignity. Stop criminalizing the poor in Haiti. Stop the aid bureaucracy and security restrictions that harms and insults the earthquake victims.
Stop USAID/State Department and the world relief corporate charities from criminalizing the people of Haiti with their dividing of Port au Prince into color-coated security zones (red, orange and yellow – depicting criminal zones to less criminally-prone zones) and inevitably parading around Haiti in vehicles with tinted or rolled-up windows accompanied by an entourage of armed security that distances them from the poor they are supposed to be helping, sending a menacing message of dominance and greater authority over the suffering Haitians in their own country. World Relief NGOs or aid providers working in this crisis should always hire a local Haitian interpreter at an equal wage to the NGO worker's salaries who will act as translator to better communicate with the victims and beyond the immediate need for food, water, shelter, medical and psychological assistance, assess, not guess or make racists presumptions about the people’s needs.
6. Value Family - Help reunite displaced families
The Obama administration must support an international response to the tragic Haiti earthquake that values family and is sensitive to the human agony of family lost and separated in Haiti.
Stop separating Haitian families, or exacerbating family separations with insensitive US emergency relief policies and procedures at a time family members most need to be together. For instance, lift up the ban that prohibits Haitians with permanent residency, who live in the US with their husbands, wives or children, but who are not US citizen from returning to their families in America. Similarly, allow the entry and return of Haitians living abroad, including those who are not US citizens but legal US residents, into Haiti so they may give aid, monies and moral and bereavement support to their families. Respect the earthquake dead – identify the unclaimed corpses, even if through taking a picture before putting them in mass graves, so their love ones may, at some point see that they are gone and have more closure. The mass displacement of the population in the capital and in the South also means the injured and dying are harder to locate and families have been separated from their loved ones. Stop dropping food and water from the air. Haitians are not livestock.
The Obama administration must support an international response that use its power to uphold Haitian-led, Haiti-capacity building relief and rebuilding efforts that sustains human rights, healing and dignity. And that helps save and protect the lives, lands, property and human rights of the Haitian survivors displaced by the 2010 earthquake. Show respect for the people of Port au Prince and in the destroyed Southern areas, who, on the first three days after the earthquake were mostly alone, and who spontaneously organized themselves to save each other with the help of those foreigners who got there to help and set up over a thousand refugee camps to house over two million people throughout Haiti, sharing with each other whatever they had. Show respect. They should be a central and integral part of the redesigning and rebuilding of Haiti.
Rebuilding efforts should hire companies that are committed to integrating all levels of corporate responsibility - economic, social and environmental - in their entire range of operations.
Rebuilding and redevelopment efforts should prioritize agricultural production, building flood barriers and better drainage systems. Infrastructure, sanitation, sewers, electricity, earthquake and hurricane resistant homes, hospitals, schools, supermarkets, etc. Better transportation such as inter-connecting roads from the outback to the cities, a railroad, effective public transportation, watershed protection, communication networks, projects to combat illiteracy, building a universal education system that respect Kreyòl and indigenous Haitian culture and a universal health care system that services the public, an integrated urban land, public spaces and housing reform in the unique character of Haitian art and culture, et al...
8. Relief, rebuilding and redevelopment should be designed by Haitians and their collaborators, not USAID/State Department or the “international community.”
USAID has a history of mistreating the Haitian majority, feeding dependency, starving democracy and should not be the US agency overseeing the US relief effort. And if they are, oversight and accountability are needed. (See, Ezili’s US Congress must provide more oversight guidelines for USAID.)
a. Oversight and accountability
Demand more oversight of USAID earmarked funds for Haiti, greater fiscal accountability, transparency and quantifiable evidence of self-sustainable development achievements and, in particular these new Haiti foreign assistance guidelines should ensure, that food and other aid actually reach their intended beneficiaries and not end up for sale in the open market or stay in Washington or used in Haiti mostly on administrative salary, fees and expenses for USAID's political benefactors, shipping companies and nonprofits.
b. Support Haitians to rebuild Haiti
The Obama administration should support an international response to the tragic Haiti earthquake that supports relief, rebuilding and development efforts designed by Haitians and that allows Haitians with their collaborators in Black America and other chosen partners first preference to assist the Haitian government with plans to rebuild Haiti, and given contract preference and employment preference to rebuild Haiti. Moreover, Haitian natives in Haiti ought not to have to compete with anyone living abroad, including Haitians in the Diaspora for relief, rebuilding and redevelopment jobs generated in the rebuilding of Haiti.
c. Promote Haitian self-reliance, self-respect, self-determination, not dependency, injustice and indignities9. Prioritize jobs and skills transfer to Haitian nationals
Stop the stranglehold of USAID, its other international counterparts and the over 10,000 NGOs over Haiti. Their grip must be loosened if a new paradigm is to be installed for the people of Haiti that promotes Haitian self-reliance not Haitian dependency.
Haitians are in need of justice, restitution, reparation, human rights not charity. Fair trade not free trade. Haiti needs to have its indigenous culture and domestic economic development respected. It does not need the failed unholy Western enslavement trinities of political, socio-economic and educational/religious institutions keeping Haiti’s Black majority in physical and mental chains. Nor does Haiti require further colonial paternalism, false benevolence and to be burden with dependency through World Bank/IMF/IFI's debts and such other modern tools of domination, economic enslavement and financial colonialism. In particular, respect means humanitarian assistance, rebuilding and redevelopment aid should go directly to the Haitian government and not through USAID and its major corporate subcontractors – Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, Care International, International Red Cross, DYNCORPS, and other such Blackwater-like sorts of private contractors because USAID projects undermines Haitian sovereignty, does not promote sustainable development and the funds allocated to USAID for Haiti generally do not reach the people most in need.
USAID was at the frontlines of the irregular warfare creating Coup D'etat, chaos, anarchy and destabilization in Haiti culminating in the 2004 ouster of President Aristide and UN/US occupation.
"The objective of irregular warfare is control over the civilian population and the neutralization of the state, and its principal tactic is counterinsurgency, which is the use of indirect and asymmetric techniques like subversion, infiltration, psychological operations, cultural penetration and military deception." (Cuba: USAID making ever-higher investments in subversion.)
It should be the aim of the rebuilding to train qualified Haitians and Haitians without jobs living in Haiti as their only abode to take over the work that Haitians from the Diaspora or other consultants may hold in the short term during the formulation, design, maintenance of a rebuilt Haiti. For the initial phases of medical relief, there are more Haitian doctors abroad then in Haiti and said doctors and health care providers and collaborators must be immediately integrated in the conceptualization, coordination and distribution of the medical relief efforts. Haitian doctors leaving in Haiti should simultaneously be trained to take over running the hospitals, clinics and health care systems built during the reconstruction phase. This model should apply, as possible, in all the other fields also.
10. Debt Cancellation
The Obama administration should support an international response that supports debt cancellation for Haiti and supports humanitarian relief, rebuilding and development efforts with grants, not loans. Haiti cannot afford to invest in humanitarian relief, rebuilding and development projects while continuing to make payments on debts owed to multilateral financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Debt service payments to these international financial institutions were an onerous burden to Haiti even prior to the earthquake and severely hindered the Haitian governments’ ability to meet its people’s need. The Obama administration should support three specific debt cancellation initiatives and urge an international response that also acts to:
a. Immediately cancel all debts owed by Haiti to the multilateral financial institutions (IMF, WB and IDB);
b. Suspends all debt service payments to these institutions until the debts are completely canceled; and,
c. Provides that all additional funds to Haiti for the rescue, relief, rebuilding and redevelopment are to be given in the form of grants, not loan debts.
Part 2, will cover the compassionate manner to treat the one million estimated orphans; a stop to their forced assimilation and quick adoptions that's dangerous, denies that Haiti has a different family structure to the European nucleus -mom/dad unit and that cultural sovereignty must be respected; it will address propose that the US and international community:
- Encourage maximum leveraging of Diaspora remittances
- End free trade, began fair trade. Support domestic food production, indigenous Haiti manufacturing and job creation. Support grassroots, indigenous Haiti capacity building organizations.
Support Haitian domestic food production, domestic manufacturing, organic food market from Haiti, local job creation, valid reforestation, fair wages not free trade wages, public works projects, sustainable development and a good working culture that values workers’ rights and health. Support Haiti entrepreneurship, Konbit culture and equitable distribution and profit-sharing from the assets of the country. Support Haiti’s fuel sovereignty, clean alternative fuel and valid reforestation. After the emergency relief stage of the earthquake emergency, calibrate food aid so to assist and not further destroy Haiti's food production.
- Raise funds to support the work of HLLN Nou La!- We are Here - earthquake relief efforts, not the same old people who are part of the problem and have no authentic connection to the majority in Haiti.
Please feel free to adopt these measures and help us mobilize an international tsunami force to sweep aware Haiti's containment-in-poverty, dependency, debt and domination.
Ezili Dantò of HLLN
Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Stop treating these people like savages