by Roger Annis, published on Rabble.ca, July 10, 2012
Recently resigned Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda was a symbol and point person for many of the harmful policies of aid and international relations that mark the Conservative government of Prime Minister Harper.
Haiti will soon be home to the first United Kingdom diplomatic representation in Haiti since 1966, according to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. The new British Embassy in Haiti will report to the UK’s Ambassador in the Dominican Republic.
“It will place us in a stronger position to support our objectives in Haiti and the region,” Hague said in a statement. “The UK is a major contributor both to reconstruction and development in Haiti through multilateral agencies.”
The UK is also one of the major financial contributors to MINUSTAH, the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti. “It is in Britain’s interest as a P5 member of the UN Security Council to play a more active role in guaranteeing stability and creating the conditions for growth and prosperity,” he said.
Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said he welcomed British authorities’ decision, according to a release from his office. Lamothe said he saw the move by the United Kingdom as an opportunity for Haiti to move closer to the UK through “fruitful cooperation for the benefit of the Haitian people.”
For decades, Noam Chomsky has been an analyst and activist working in support of the Haitian people. In addition to his revolutionary linguistics career at MIT, he has written, lectured and protested against injustice for 40 years. He is co-author, along with Paul Farmer and Amy Goodman of Getting Haiti Right This Time: The U.S. and the Coup. His analysis “The Tragedy of Haiti” from his 1993 book Year 501: The Conquest Continues is available for free online. This interview was conducted in late February 2010 by phone and email. The interviewer thanks Peter Hallward for his kind assistance. This was first published in ¡Reclama! magazine.
Keane Bhatt: Recently you signed a letter to the Guardian protesting the militarization of emergency relief. It criticized a prioritization of security and military control to the detriment of rescue and relief.
Noam Chomsky: I think there was an overemphasis in the early stage on militarization rather than directly providing relief. I don’t think it has any long-term significance… the United States has comparative advantage in military force. It tends to react to anything at first with military force, that’s what it’s good at. And I think they overdid it. There was more military force than was necessary; some of the doctors that were in Haiti, including those from Partners in Health who have been there for a long time, felt that there was an element of racism in believing that Haitians were going to riot and they had to be controlled and so on, but there was very little indication of that; it was very calm and quiet. The emphasis on militarization did probably delay somewhat the provision of relief. I went along with the general thrust of the petition that there was too much militarization. Continue reading In the News: Chomsky Post-Earthquake: Aid Should go to Haitian Popular Organizations, not to Contractors or NGOs
This is a good program (from Al Jazeera) about how the role of profitability and foreign investment in the aid response to Haiti. There’s some great footage of Gildan boxes in amongst the rubble of a former garment factory.
If you shared my pain you would not continue to make me suffer, to torture me, to deny me my dignity and my rights, especially my rights to self-determination and self-expression.
Six years ago you sent your Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to perform an action illegal under the laws of your country, my country and of the international community of nations.
It was an act so outrageous, so bestially vile and wicked that your journalists and news agencies, your diplomats and politicians to this day cannot bring themselves to truthfully describe or own up to the crime that was committed when US Ambassador James Foley, a career diplomat, arrived at the house of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide with a bunch of CIA thugs and US Marines to kidnap the president of Haiti and his wife.