In the News: The Shock Doctrine in Haiti: An Interview with Patrick Elie

by Beverly Bell. Originally posted at The Huffington Post

Patrick Elie has long been a democracy activist. Moreover, during President Aristide’s administration-in-exile during the 91-94 coup d’etat, Patrick was coordinator of the anti-drug unit of the National Intelligence Service, where he was key to exposing the collusion between the U.S. government and the military coup leaders. He subsequently served as Aristide’s secretary of defense. Here Patrick discusses how the ‘shock doctrine’ is working in Haiti, why equality is essential to rebuilding the nation, and why Haitians need to break from the vision that the international community has for its reconstruction.

The Shock Doctrine, the book by Naomi Klein, shows that often imperialist countries shock another country, and then while it’s on its knees, they impose their own political will on that country while making economic profits from it. We’re facing an instance of the shock doctrine at work, even though Haiti’s earthquake wasn’t caused by men. There are governments and sectors who want to exploit this shock to impose their own political and economic order, which obviously will be to their advantage.

One thing to watch is a humanitarian coup d’état. We have to be careful. Especially in the early days, the actions weren’t coordinated at all and they overtook the goalie, which is the Haitian government. The little bit of state that’s left is almost irrelevant in the humanitarian aid and reconstruction. What is going to happen is that it’s not Haitians who will decide what Haiti we want, it’s people in other countries.

Continue reading In the News: The Shock Doctrine in Haiti: An Interview with Patrick Elie