by Mark Weisbrot
Originally published in CounterPunch
Haitians have had a long and arduous struggle just to achieve the rights that most people in the rest of the hemisphere have enjoyed. From the revolution of Haitian slaves that won independence from the French in 1804, through the U.S. occupation (1915-1934), the Duvalier family dictatorship (1957-1986), and the last 20 years of devastating foreign intervention, the “international community” just hasn’t seen Haitians as having the same basic human rights as people in other countries.
They still don’t, perhaps because Haitians are too poor and black. While the horrific earthquake of January 2010 brought international sympathy and aid – much more pledged than delivered – it didn’t bring a change of attitude toward Haiti.
Originally posted in The Miami Herald
The new U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Pamela White, presented her credentials on Friday to Haitian President Michel Martelly.
White is a career diplomat who previously served as ambassador to The Gambia before she was tapped to head the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince. This will mark her second stint in Haiti. She first worked in the country from 1985-90 on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“I never forgot my deep and abiding admiration of the people of Haiti,” White, who has 35 years experience in diplomacy, said in a statement.
Originally posted at Haiti Libre
The former President Bill Clinton visited Wednesday, August 1, the Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, and announced a grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to improve the quality of healthcare at the Haitian hospital. The $442,100 grant to Project Medishare will help the U.S. nonprofit, together with Bernard Mevs, implement a medical training and education program for medical professionals.
Project Medishare’s 16-month program will train 47 radiologists, lab technicians, and pathologists from Bernard Mevs and other local hospitals in the use of state-of-the-art medical equipment. Much of the equipment, including a 16-slice CT (Computed Tomography) scanner, was donated to the hospital in May 2011, but few Haitian staff are trained to use it.
During his visit to Bernard Mevs, President Clinton met with patients, staff, and medical directors at the hospital. He spoke with them about the value of Project Medishare’s training program for Haiti’s future. By focusing on capacity building in this sector, the Fund is promoting a Haiti with the strength to stand on its own.
by Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté
Haitian police have killed four people and destroyed seven homes in an attempt to clear peasants from a remote mountain-top park where they have lived and farmed for the past 70 years. The bloody confrontation, which occurred (July 23, 2012) exactly 25 years to the day after an infamous 1987 peasant massacre near the northwestern town of Jean-Rabel, has incensed the Southeast Department’s population and redoubled charges that the President Michel Martelly’s government is resurrecting the repressive tactics of the Duvalierist and neo-Duvalierist dictatorships which ruled and scarred Haiti over two decades ago.
The incident was first reported and photographed by Claudy Bélizaire of the Jacmel-based Reference Institute for Journalism and Communication (RIJN). His photographs of bloody corpses and burned houses in Galette Seche/Seguin, a remote locality near the peaks of some of Haiti’s highest mountains, have gone viral on the Internet, Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, the mainstream media has largely ignored the story to date.
by Kim Ives, published in Haiti Liberte (print weekly), July 25, 2012
On July 10, a delegation of parliamentarians, unionists and Haiti solidarity activists met with Brazil’s Defense Minister Celso Amorim at the Defense Ministry in Brasilia and grilled him about the continuing UN military occupation of Haiti.
Markus Sokol, a member of the national directorate of Brazil’s ruling Workers Party (PT), told Amorim that over 600 people, with representatives from seven countries, had gathered in São Paulo last November for a congress which launched a “Continental Day of Action” against the UN occupation of Haiti on June 1, 2012, the date of the eighth anniversary of MINUSTAH. There were anti-occupation actions in ten countries (including 20 Brazilian cities) on that date.
“What are we doing in Haiti?” Sokol asked Amorim. “Former [Defense] minister [Nelson Jobim] said that we were training to scale the hills of Rio; that can’t be!