Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nouvelles d'Haiti du 31 mars au 6 avril 2013 avec Pégie de HCN. Vidéo d'un ministre aux abois au parlement


Nouvelles d'Haiti du 31 mars au 6 avril 2013 avec Pégie de HCN. Vidéo d'un ministre aux abois au parlement

The Haitian Earthquake -Three years later


Editorial

The Haitian Earthquake -Three years later

Par Louis J. Auguste, MD

January 12, 2013 marked the third anniversary of the disastrous earthquake that in 35 seconds destroyed Haiti’s capital city, snuffed the life out of 300,000 individuals. It created at the same time 1.5 million homeless persons and crippled an economy already in tatters. This catastrophe of proportion hardly ever seen led to an outpouring of good will and the more fortunate countries of the world opened their burses and pledged over 1.6 billion dollars to “rebuild Haiti and put it at last on the path to development.” Three years later, every time I mentioned my medical missions to Haiti, I hear the same question over and over from Haitians and Americans alike:”Are they making any progress down there?” The tone of the question always suggests that they already know the answer to their question or at least they assume they know the answer. Of course, it has to be “NO.” After all, the media continuously comments on the corruption and the ineptitude of the Haitian government... Unless you decide to dig deeper with Bill Quigley or Jonathan Katz to unearth the truth about the relief efforts in Haiti. To debunk the myths about Haiti, Jonathan M. Katz spent time on the ground there right after the seism and published a treatise entitled “The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster.” This book is an absolute must for anyone interested in this issue. Bill Quigley and Amber Ramanauskas shared their observation under the title: ‘Where the Relief Money Did and Did not G0 –Haiti after the Quake. This well documented study full of precise numbers cannot be summarized. Instead, I will quote a segment from it verbatim: “1) The largest single recipient of US Earthquake money was the US Government. The same holds true for donations by other countries. Right after the earthquake, the US allocated $379 million in aid and sent in 5000 troops. The Associated Press discovered that of the $379 million in initial US money promised for Haiti, most was not really money going directly, or in some cases even indirectly, to Haiti. They documented in January 2012 that 33 cents of each of these US dollars for Haiti were actually given directly back to the US to reimburse ourselves for sending in our military. Forty-two cents of each dollar went to private and public non-governmental organizations like Save the Children, the UN World Food Program and the Pan American Health Organization. 2) Only 1 percent of the money went to the Haitian Government.

Less than a penny of each dollar of US aid went to the government of Haiti, according to the Associated Press. The same is true with other international donors. The Haitian government was completely bypassed in the relief effort by the US and the international community.”

Three years later, Haiti still exists and life has gone on with and without the International community. Certainly, the Haiti of today represents a completely different reality than the Haiti of 30 or 40 years ago. Every time, I fly to Haiti, I see more American, Canadian or Korean passengers than Haitians. Non-Governmental agencies have sprouted everywhere and they may have reached the record number of 10,000. Of course, these foreigners compete with the local individuals for food, lodging and all other services and this phenomenon has driven up the cost of living. The local production of agricultural goods, already very anemic, has plummeted in the South of the country, in the aftermaths of Hurricane Sandy. Therefore, it is not surprising that life has become quite expensive and from the four corners of the country, we hear reports of extreme poverty, despite countless efforts being deployed by the current government to move the country forward.

Indeed, much attention has been given to the program of free education to the youth of the country, a solid investment in the future since it will provide the country with more educated individuals, better able to deal with a rapidly changing world. Hotels are being built at a faster pace than anywhere else in the Caribbean basin. An industrial center was erected near Caracol with the capacity of creating 400,000 jobs. Agriculture is also a focus of concern, true to the REPONS PEYIZAN platform put forth by candidate Martelly. This program so far has included several projects of reforestation, direct support to the farmers to improve their land management and agricultural techniques and promotion of fish hatcheries, etc… These projects probably need to be expanded ten-fold, but at least it is a beginning. From the point of view of energy, area where the country is seriously lagging behind, efforts are being made to prepare brickets from thrash and garbage for daily cooking, thus hopefully reducing the consumption of wood coal. In addition, there has been a discussion to purchase electricity from the Dominican Republic, project that I believe we should approach with caution, since it would lead to further drain of currency toward the neighboring republic and would also maintain our dependency and ipso facto our vulnerability in case of disagreement and/or conflict with them. We hope that more effort will be made toward the production of renewable energy from the wind, the sun and biodiesel. The Minister of Tourism has been working extremely hard to promote our unique historic monuments and beautiful natural sites, including our well-known beaches, our majestic waterfalls and the newly discovered magnificent caves. She has been also striving to draw investments to make these sites more hospitable and more accessible.

Finally, the recent Carnival in Cap-Haitien was a brilliant idea. Indeed, not only it drew close to a million of people to the Capital of the Northern department, creating an instant influx of capital into the region, but also it allowed young Haitians, Haitian Americans or Haitian Canadians to discover a land that they barely knew either because they were born abroad or because they left the country at a very young age. This event watched by hundreds of thousand over the Internet has forged new bonds and renewed the interest of many expatriates, so that nowadays, more than ever I hear Haitian Americans talk about buying homes and retiring in Haiti.

Therefore, my answers to the question about Haiti is: Yes! Things are getting slowly better and are definitely moving in the right direction. Haiti cannot depend on foreign help to rebuild itself. In 1842, when a severe earthquake destroyed entire blocks of houses in Cap-Haitien and severely damaged its Cathedral, as well as the nearby Sans Souci Palace of King Henri, it took a long time to rebuild the city. Nevertheless, the City was rebuilt without any foreign help. This time again, we can do it if all Haitians put their heads and their hands together to create a better future for the next generations of Haitians. Let us take charge of our own destiny. Let us bring about durable changes that will be catalysts for better outcome ahead: changes in the infrastructures such as better roads, which will facilitate the transport of goods, improve access to touristic sites and result in fewer expenses for car and truck repairs and spare parts. Let us improve the health of our community not simply by reinforcing our hospitals and health centers, but mainly by strengthening our public health policies, providing proper vaccinations to all children, making clean water available throughout the country, adopting stricter rules in the handling and distribution of food in the urban as well as the rural settings, etc...

With a more educated and healthier citizenry, with better infrastructures in a more secure and stable environment, under the rule of the law and with Haiti-centric economic policies, we will not need any foreign aid to rebuild our country and at last Haïti will take the path toward economic development.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

History: WIKILEAKS EXHUMED CABLES REVEAL:HOW THE U.S. RESUMED MILITARY AID TO DUVALIER


WIKILEAKS EXHUMED CABLES REVEAL: HOW THE U.S. RESUMED MILITARY AID TO DUVALIER by Kim Ives - - - - - A chorus of outrage is building against former Haitian president Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier as he sits in the dock of a Haitian court, charged with crimes against humanity during his 15-year rule. However, the U.S. government remains strangely and completely silent. A 40-year-old trove of diplomatic cables, newly unearthed by WikiLeaks, helps explain why. - - - - -

Around midnight in the early morning hours of Jul. 23, 1973, a fire broke out in the packed armory of Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier’s National Palace.

Almost immediately, “President-for-Life” Duvalier and his Army Chief of Staff, General Claude Raymond, telephoned the U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Thomas J. Corcoran, to tell him about the fire and ask for U.S. assistance in putting it out.

The destruction of Haiti’s large weapons cache became, in the following days, the perfect excuse to resume the sale of military weapons as well as military aid and training to the Duvalier dictatorship, after it had been halted during the 1960s under the notorious regime of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier.

Haiti Liberte has been able to reconstruct a clear picture of this pivotal historical moment thanks to a new website constructed by WikiLeaks called the Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy or PlusD. The site enables searching of over 1.7 million State Department cables from 1973 to 1976 which had been declassified and stored in the U.S. National Archives, but which were all but inaccessible due to the form in which they were kept.

Haiti Liberte is one of 18 media partners worldwide to which WikiLeaks provided exclusive access to the PlusD search engine in early March, prior to its unveiling for public use on Apr. 8. This article is one of several which Haiti Liberte is planning based on the cables from the 1970s.

“General Raymond and President Duvalier telephoned me at 0245 [2:45 a.m.] to report fire in National Palace and to request fire extinguishers which we dispatched,” Corcoran explained in a Jul. 23, 1973 Confidential cable. “At about 0325 Foreign Minister [Adrien] Raymond informed me fire was spreading throughout ammunition storage including small arms and artillery ammo and beyond control of local firefighting facilities.” The U.S. immediately deployed a team of nine military fire-fighters from its naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They “acted without regard for their personal safety in fighting the fire in an area in which a large variety of explosive ordnance had been stored and exposed to intense heat over a period of hours,” Corcoran wrote in a Jul. 27, 1973 cable commending their valor.

On Jul. 24, 1973, the day immediately after the fire, Foreign Minister Raymond “summoned” Corcoran and “presented [him] a list of ammunition and mortars which GOH [the Government of Haiti] urgently desires to purchase for the ‘maintenance of public peace, the tranquillity of families and protection of property.’” Adrien Raymond, “on instructions of President Jean-Claude Duvalier,” urgently requested millions of rounds of ammunition for Haiti’s Army. Among the largest items on the long list were 1.5 million 30 caliber rounds for M-1 rifles, 800,000 rounds for 50 caliber machine guns, 600,000 5.56 mm rounds for M-16 automatic rifles, and 400,000 9mm rounds for Uzi submachine guns. Duvalier also wanted dozens of mortars and tens of thousands of mortar shells.

The Haitian Army had never waged war against any enemy other than the Haitian people. Nonetheless, Corcoran and the U.S. Embassy’s military attache called the list “reasonable” and “strongly recommend[ed] approval of sale,” the cable said. In the following weeks, Haiti’s military laundry list would grow in length and breadth, asking not just for more ammunition but also for weapons and supplies, including 38 and 45 caliber handguns, M-1 rifles, M-2 carbines, 30 and 50 mm machine guns, 60 and 81 mm mortars, grenade launchers, cartridge belts, and high-capacity ammo clips. On Jul. 25, 1973, Corcoran sent another Confidential cable where he encouraged the State and Defense Departments “to take quickest possible action” and make an “extraordinary effort to expedite paper work” to reply favorably to Duvalier’s request because, among other reasons, “the Haitian Government is prepared to pay for its requirements, and there is no reason why the US should not get the sale.” (Not long before, Haiti had bought weapons from Israel and Jordan, as well as “from ‘fast-buck’ private arms dealers,” according to Corcoran.)

Furthermore, Duvalier’s “request seems an excellent opportunity to strengthen U.S. influence even more with the GOH... and to win the goodwill of individual Haitian military officers,” Corcoran wrote in the cable. The U.S. had curtailed military aid and sales to Haiti after Francois Duvalier expelled a U.S. Marine Mission from the country in 1963. But following Papa Doc’s death in April 1971, his son “Baby Doc” inherited the “Presidency for Life” and began to repair and improve relations with the U.S., from which he wanted aid and investment. Indeed, the sale was approved and the “GOH delivered to [the U.S.] Embassy Sept. 19, 1973 check no. 163211 drawn on National Bank of Republic of Haiti same date payable to USAFSA [United States Army Forces in South America] in amount of dollars $273,411.40,” Corcoran wrote in a Sep. 19, 1973 cable. The sale was equivalent to over $1.4 million in 2013 dollars.

Nonetheless, the U.S. was worried about appearances, and Corcoran wrote in an Aug. 17, 1973 cable that “no, repeat no, USG [U.S. Government] aircraft delivery [is] contemplated.” Instead the guns and ammo arrived on two Pan Am charter flights on Sep. 26 and Oct. 1, 1973, the cables show. Around the same time, the U.S. Embassy was also negotiating with the regime for the sale of six “Cadillac-Gage commando armored cars,” two of which would be used for the Leopards, an elite counter-insurgency unit of the Haitian army. The U.S. wanted to proceed with the sale of just four cars, the request for which had been made in June, before the armory fire. The Embassy wanted to finish with the pending ammunition and weapons sale “before addressing [the] problem of [the] other two cars,” but Duvalier had threatened to take his business elsewhere, namely to the French, Corcoran explained in an Aug. 31, 1973 cable. He recommended that “that State/Defense [Departments] reply gently to implied threat to transfer order to French firm that financial outlay of that sort to French company at time U.S. giving economic assistance to Haiti might raise all sorts of questions.” Military aid was also being resumed in this period. The “Embassy can understand Haiti's exclusion from the list of countries eligible for grant military training in the 1960s, owing to political conditions prevailing at that time,” Corcoran argued in a Nov. 23, 1973 cable. “However, times in Haiti have changed. The country has a new, young president moving in some positive new directions.” He claimed that “in the past few years, repression has been markedly and genuinely eased in Haiti” and that the government was showing “political restraint” and “a clear desire to do more for the economic development of the country.”

Most importantly, “in international organizations, the new government in Haiti has been a dependable, good friend of the U.S., for whatever that is worth,” Corcoran wrote. “All these are positive tendencies which it seems to us should be encouraged.” This was “why we believe some grant military training for Haiti is very much in our interests,” because, among other things, it provided “the opportunity to establish some influence with the whole generation of younger Haitian military officers who know nothing of the U.S..” “In sum,” Corcoran concluded, “it seems illogical that Haiti... should still be singled out for total exclusion from grant training programs enjoyed by nearly every other nation of the hemisphere for many years -- training which will contribute substantially to advancing a number of our important interests in the region.” Indeed, U.S. military aid was resumed, specifically to train units like the Leopards, which was described by the National Coalition for Haitian Rights in a 1986 report as“particularly brutal in dealing with civilians.”

Researcher Jeb Sprague explains in his new book “Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti” that the Leopards were trained and equipped “by former U.S. marine instructors who were working through a company (Aerotrade International and Aerotrade Inc) under contract with the CIA and signed off by the U.S. Department of State. Baby Doc himself trained with the Leopards, forming particularly close bonds with some in the force. A U.S. military attache bragged that the creation of the force had been his idea. Aerotrade’s CEO, James Byers, interviewed on camera, explained that he had ‘no trouble exporting massive quantities of arms. The State Department signed off on the licenses, and the CIA had copies of all the contracts. M-16 fully automatic weapons, thousands and thousands of rounds of ammunition, patrol boats, T-28 aircraft, Sikorsky helicopters. Thirty-caliber machine guns. Fifty-caliber machine guns. Mortars. Twenty-millimeter rapid-fire cannons. Armored troop carriers.’ A handful of veterans from this force would later serve, off and on, as key figures in various paramilitary forces” which the U.S. used to carry out and maintain coups against the governments of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1991 and 2004.

Jean-Claude Duvalier, who returned to Haiti in January 2011 from a 25 year golden exile in France, is now technically under house arrest in Haiti. An appeals court is receiving testimony and evidence from witnesses charging that Duvalier must be tried for crimes against humanity. Haitian and international human rights groups have documented hundreds of cases of torture and extrajudicial killings and imprisonments under Baby Doc’s 15 year rule from 1971 to 1986. In January 2012, investigating judge Carves Jean dismissed the human rights charges against Duvalier, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired. The appeals court may overrule that decision. About 7,000 of the 1.7 million secret diplomatic cables from 1973 to 1976 deal with Haiti. The cables “were reviewed by the United States Department of State's systematic 25-year declassification process,” WikiLeaks explains on its PlusD website. The cables were then “either declassified or kept classified with some or all of the metadata records declassified” and then “subject to an additional review by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).” Those cables released then “ were placed as individual PDFs at the National Archives as part of their Central Foreign Policy Files collection.”

However, the cables in their PDF form “are actually quite difficult to get to for the general public,” explained Kristinn Hrafnsson, a spokesperson for WikiLeaks and a former Icelandic investigative journalist, to Democracy Now on Apr. 8. “It’s very hard to access them. So, in our view, the inaccessibility and the difficulty of accessing them is a form of secrecy... so we found it important to get it to the general public in a good searchable database.” Twenty-five year old U.S. classified documents are supposed to be reviewed and declassified every year. The public should therefore be able to view classified documents as late as 1988. However, the declassification process has only been done until 1976, meaning it is 12 years behind schedule. Another reason that WikiLeaks established the PlusD database is because “there has been a trend in the last decade and a half to reverse previously declassified policy,” Hrafnsson explained. “A policy set out, for example, by Clinton in the mid-'90s was, a few years later under Bush, is reversed. It was revealed in 2006, for example, that over 55,000 documents that were previously available had been reclassified by the demand of the CIA and other agencies. And it is known that this program continued at least until 2009. So, it is very worrying when the government actually starts taking back behind the veil of secrecy what was previously available.” The PlusD database cannot be snatched back behind the veil. The 1973 to 1976 cables cover the period that infamous Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was in office under both Presidents Richard Nixon and then Gerald Ford. WikiLeaks has therefore dubbed the trove the “Kissinger Cables.” (After he left his post, Kissinger and his wife visited Duvalier in Haiti.)

In 2011, WikiLeaks provided Haiti Liberte exclusively with about 2,000 secret U.S. cables related to Haiti dating from 2003 to 2010. They came from a larger 250,000-cable trove, known as “Cablegate,” which was anonymously provided to WikiLeaks by U.S. Corp. Bradley Manning. He has been imprisoned in “pre-trial detention” some 1,050 days under torture-like conditions. He is being court-martialed and may be charged with treason, which can carry the death penalty. There is a world-wide movement denouncing the U.S. government’s treatment of Manning, who also gave to WikiLeaks a video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter gunning down 12 civilians in Iraq in 2007, including two Reuters journalists. With the release of PlusD and the “Kissinger Cables,” WikiLeaks has once again provided journalists and people around the world a glimpse into the shrouded world of U.S. foreign policy. While Top Secret cables are not available, the thousands of formerly Secret and Confidential cables from the 1970s provide a clear look into how the State Department fashioned its rationales for many outrageous policies during that period, like the resumption of military aid to an unelected, corrupt, and repressive dictator like Jean-Claude Duvalier.

(Please consider subscribing or making a contribution to Haiti Liberte on its website at http://bit.ly/o1t2e1 . Affordable monthly installments can now be automatically deducted. Support independent progressive Haitian journalism!)

Monday, April 8, 2013

"Fatal Assistance", un film/documentaire de Raoul Peck


“Fatal Assistance” ou "Assistance Mortelle" en français Un film/Documentaire de Raoul Peck

Commentaires

Le 12 janvier 2010, un tremblement de terre sans précédent frappe les côtes d'Haïti et sa capitale surpeuplée, Port-au-Prince. 230 000 personnes sont tuées et 1,5 million d'autres sont laissées sans-abri. À travers une longue observation de 24 mois sur le terrain, le réalisateur Haïtien Raoul Peck, met en cause la calamiteuse gestion par la communauté internationale d'une situation post-catastrophe complexe.

Des centaines d'ONG's du monde entier, bientôt suivies par des experts internationaux, arrivent pour les efforts de secours immédiats et pour soutenir le pays dans ses nombreux besoins (hébergement, déblaiement des débris, hygiène, soins médicaux...). La communauté internationale promet son aide inconditionnelle pour reconstruire le pays : 5 milliards de dollars sur les 18 premiers mois, et un total de 11 milliards de dollars sur 5 ans. Des projets de reconstruction tous azimuts

En avril 2010, la Commission intérimaire pour la reconstruction d'Haïti (CIRH), co-présidée par Bill Clinton et le Premier ministre Haïtien Jean-Max Bellerive, est créée pour superviser et coordonner l'ensemble des projets de reconstruction.

La "machine de l'aide" va peu à peu prendre le dessus sur les institutions haïtiennes, interrompant brutalement toute initiative locale. Trois ans plus tard, la population haïtienne a non seulement été passablement marginalisée lors de ce discutable processus de reconstruction, mais se retrouve sans aucun doute encore plus démunie qu'avant la catastrophe. On ne peut que constater que les 11 milliards de dollars promis collectivement à Haïti n'ont jamais été totalement déboursés, et encore moins utilisés pour une reconstruction réelle.

Comment cela a-t-il pu arriver ? Comment le monde entier arrivé au chevet d'Haïti, et si volontaire pour aider ce pays de 10 millions d'habitants, a-t-il pu autant se tromper ?

Aide au développement : les coulisses d'un échec

Au lendemain du séisme, Raoul Peck a entrepris de documenter, 24 mois durant, le processus de reconstruction sans précédent dans son pays. Assistance mortelle s'attaque ainsi à dévoiler les coulisses et les méandres du gigantesque élan international déployé en Haïti, tout en questionnant son impact et ses conséquences. Explicitement radical, le film met en cause la calamiteuse gestion par la communauté internationale d'une situation post-catastrophe complexe. Parmi les principaux meneurs et protagonistes de cette colossale caravane humanitaire, on retrouve aussi bien toutes les agences internationales, la plupart des ONG du monde, que l'ancien Président Bill Clinton, des experts internationaux en tout domaine, des avions entiers d'humanitaires généreux, ainsi que les incontournables stars Hollywoodiennes.

Factuel et sans concession, Assistance mortelle porte un coup sévère à la bonne conscience caritative et à l'entêtement institutionnel. Ce film expose l'échec généralisé de l'aide au développement et revendique la seule issue acceptable : l'arrêt immédiat des politiques et pratiques actuelles de « l'aide » et la redéfinition durable de son rôle et de sa gestion. (NDLR: Souligné par nous)

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