"The Haitian peasantry, which not so long ago kept the country self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs, became inconvenient after Washington forced Haiti to accept U.S. government-subsidized rice. Port-au-Prince, a town of about a quarter million in 1960, swelled to at least 2.5 million as small rice farmers were forced off the land and into the shanty-opolis, where they built what they could with the resources at hand. U.S.-imposed “structural adjustment” made Port-au-Prince a high-density death trap.Bill Clinton said that he thinks about this everyday, but Haiti cannot regain food security by cashing in on his remorse.
Somehow, this U.S.-mandated migration – which also contributed to the exodus abroad of many hundreds of thousands – is now numbered among the many “failures” of the Haitian people."
Speaking of the loss of livelihood for the small farmers in Haiti, the U.S. Census Bureau released estimates about Haiti's population on Monday. The Bureau expects "Haiti's population will continue to grow quickly despite the tremendous loss of life in the January earthquake. According to the report:
"Haiti's current population at 9.6 million, based on an estimated quake death toll of 230,000. It projects the country will recove...r and surpass its pre-quake population level by 2012. By 2050, the bureau says, Haiti will have 13.4 million people. The Dominican Republic, with a nearly identical population, is expected to keep up the same pace."This might be seen as good news, but the Washington Post story goes on to say that: "By contrast the populations of now-similarly sized European countries like Sweden and Belarus are expected to decline over the same period."
Then the story gets interjected with an element of the aforementioned holes, when it states that: "Overcrowding is already blamed by aid workers and experts for many of Haiti's woes, from environmental degradation and hunger to the deaths of thousands crushed by stacked concrete homes during the earthquake."
Haiti is not over-populated... the city of Port-au-Prince is crowded, no doubt, but these census takers fail to mention that there are huge tracks of land which are uninhabited in Haiti. The reason the "ti paysans" moved from the countryside to the city are two-fold, and both have to do with policies implemented by the U.S. and forced on Haiti.
1) "Free trade" policies forced on Haiti that allowed the dumping of cheap, subsidized food from the U.S. into the Haiti market, destroying Haiti's self-sufficiency at food production.
2) The eradication of the Haitian black pig. Many believe this was done to force the independent, proud farmers (who had resisted being forced off their lands up to that point) to abandon their land and come into the city to work (for slave wages) in sweatshops--something the U.S. had been unable to do prior to the killing of the pigs and loss of the livelihood of the farmers.
USAID/U.S. Embassy and their directors in the democrat and republican parties and their co-conspirators in the rich Haitian oligarchy who run the sweatshops and other slave wage enterprises only have themselves to blame for the conditions that led to so many people crowding into the cities. For most, the jobs they were promised never materialized and they ended up in the slums of Sité Soley, Bel Air, Martissant... etc.
The cheap subsidized rice replaced Haitian rice and now Haiti is the fourth largest importer of American rice, whereas in the past farmers in Haiti grew sufficient rice to feed the entire country. This loss of food security is traced by the experts directly to U.S. trade policies.
The good news is that an effort is being made to repopulate Haiti with "a new variety of pig with the same beneficial qualities as Haiti’s Creole pig.
As for the Haitian farmers, they are in a new battle for their survival with Monsanto "generous" donation of its pesticide covered hybrid seeds, which Monsanto says are not the Genetically Modified (GMO) seeds banned in Europe and other parts of the world, but are just as insidious in that they require sterile land that require specific expensive pesticides and fertilizer. And by the way, they are not good for replanting, so the farmers will have to go back to Monsanto to repurchase seeds.