Glen Ford: US set Haiti up for disaster

15 January, 2010 – RussiaToday

In addition to the obvious problems Haiti faces recovering from this week’s earthquake, the country suffers from a lack of civil society and a respected government. Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report says that the effects of Haiti’s history continue to play out in the recovery effort.

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Haiti Newslinks 16 January, 2010 Part 2

16 January, 2010

Too Little Too Late for Haiti? Six Sobering Points Bill Quigley, Truthout:
“Point One. $100 Million – Are You Kidding Me? President Obama promised $100 million in aid to Haiti on January 14, 2010. A Kentucky couple won $128 million in a Powerball lottery on December 24, 2010. The richest nation in the history of the world is giving Powerball money to a neighbor already suffering tens of thousands of deaths?”

US Troops Deployed In Haiti As Popular Anger Mounts By Bill Van Auken
The first contingents of a US military force expected to reach 10,000 troops arrived in Haiti as anger mounted over the failure of international aid to reach the millions left injured, homeless and destitute by Tuesday’s earthquake

Ten Things The U.S. Can And Should Do For Haiti By Bill Quigley

Do not allow US military in Haiti to point their guns at Haitians. Hungry Haitians are not the enemy. Decisions have already been made which will militarize the humanitarian relief – but do not allow the victims to be cast as criminals. Do not demonize the people

Wake Up World! By Bill Quigley

Unless there is a major urgent change in the global response, the world may look back and envy those tens of thousands who died in the quake. Wake up world!

Haitian Earthquake: Made In The USA By Ted Rall

Earthquakes are random events. How many people they kill is predetermined. In Haiti this week, don’t blame tectonic plates. Ninety-nine percent of the death toll is attributable to poverty. So the question is relevant. How’d Haiti become so poor?

Haiti: opportunity knocks Richard Seymour, Lenin’s Tomb

You want to hear about chutzpah? You want to hear about sheer gravity-defying audacity? Well, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, prepare to catch your lower jaw. Forget Limbaugh’s racist anxieties. Forget about Pat Robertson drooling about Haiti’s ‘pact with the devil’. He’s a senile old bigot, and his sick provocations are familiar by now. This is the Heritage Foundation on the Haiti earthquake, which is estimated to have killed 100,000 people: Amidst the Suffering, Crisis in Haiti Offers Opportunities to the U.S…

Catastrophe in Haiti by Ashley Smith
January 14, 2010 – …The corporate media at least reported that shifting tectonic plates along a fault line underneath Port-au-Prince caused the earthquake — and that Haiti’s poverty and the incapacity of the Préval government made the disaster so much worse. But they didn’t delve below the surface. “The media coverage of the earthquake is marked by an almost complete divorce of the disaster from the social and political history of Haiti,” Canadian Haiti solidarity activist Yves Engler said in an interview. “They repeatedly state that the government was completely unprepared to deal with the crisis. This is true. But they left out why.” Why were 60 percent of the buildings in Port-au-Prince shoddily constructed and unsafe in normal circumstances, according to the city’s mayor? Why are there no building regulations in a city that sits on a fault line? Why has Port-au-Prince swelled from a small town of 50,000 in the 1950s to a population of two million desperately poor people today? Why was the state completely overwhelmed by the disaster? To understand these facts, we have to look at a second fault line — US imperial policy toward Haiti…

Haiti Report: Update on Coordinated Rapid Response to Haiti Earthquake

16 January, 2010 — Konbit Pou Ayiti/KONPAY – Working Together for Haiti

Three nights ago a nightmare we hadn’t imagined possible began in Haiti. Like any shocking and horrifying tragedy, we will all remember and tell stories of where we were when we heard about the 7.0 earthquake that shattered Haiti on January 12, 2010. Haiti KONPAY has been playing a critical role coordinating a rapid response to the crisis in both Jacmel and Port-au-Prince. We are currently coordinating efforts to identify and assess needs and also working out logistics to get much needed human and materials resources onto the ground.

Through collaboration with several key partners in the U.S. we are working with a pool of qualified medical professionals and interpreters prepared to travel to Haiti. Beyond Borders is creating a database of potential volunteers and vetting applicants. We are also receiving many helpful offers and are coordinating a team of volunteers following up on the most promising of these. We have outlined a comprehensive rapid response strategy and are contacting other major organizations to share ideas and encourage collaboration. We are seeking meetings with USAID, the UN, the Clintons and others tasked with coordinating international response to share the ideas generated by dozens of smaller NGOs with decades of Haiti experience who are currently working together to carry out immediate response on the ground.

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Haiti: Update on Situation at Delmas 33

16 January, 2010 — KONPAY

Report from Amber Munger in Port-au-Prince


The gunfire spread last night to our zone. At 1 am it started. It was off in the distance a ways when it first started but got closer and closer up until about 2:30 and then it seemed to stop. All of the homeless on the streets and in the refugee camps again met the chaos with loud singing, clapping and prayers.

I am at the Matthew 25 house in Delmas 33. Here we have set up a triage hospital with more than 1,300 refugees on a soccer field. The people at Matthew 25 have been traveling all over the city trying to figure out what clinics and hospitals are operational, what services they can provide and what the needs are.

There is no visible coordination effort from international agencies on the ground. There were no planes coming in yesterday. One of my coordinating partners, AMURT-Haiti, worked to find a plane of 30-40 doctors and supplies that could come, but the plane was not allowed to land in the PAP airport. We have teams in the Dominican Republic with truckloads of supplies, but they were stopped at the border and were not allowed entry.

The situation here is desperate and getting restless. The John Hopkins Students who were visiting Rights based Haiti and AMURT when the earthquake hit, have been doing surveys and assessments of the clinics and refuggee camps in the nearby zones. The surveys that they conducted two days ago show that none of the people in the camps had food or water to last them more than a day.

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The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion? By Michel Chossudovsky

15 January, 2010 — Global Research

Haiti has a longstanding history of US military intervention and occupation going back to the beginning of the 20th Century. US interventionism has contributed to the destruction of Haiti’s national economy and the impoverishment of its population.

The devastating earthquake is presented to World public opinion as the sole cause of the country’s predicament.

A country has been destroyed, its infrastructure demolished. Its people precipitated into abysmal poverty and despair.

Haiti’s history, its colonial past have been erased.

The US military has come to the rescue of an impoverished Nation. What is its Mandate?

Is it Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?

The main actors in America’s “humanitarian operation” are the Department of Defense, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (See USAID Speeches: On-The-Record Briefing on the Situation in Haiti, 01/13/10). USAID has also been entrusted in channelling food aid to Haiti, which is distributed by the World Food Program. (See USAID Press Release: USAID to Provide Emergency Food Aid for Haiti Earthquake Victims, January 13, 2010)

The military component of the US mission, however, tends to overshadow the civilian functions of rescuing a desperate and impoverished population. The overall humanitarian operation is not being led by civilian governmental agencies such as FEMA or USAID, but by the Pentagon.

The dominant decision making role has been entrusted to US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).

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The Big One Devastates Haiti By Stephen Lendman

15 January, 2010 —

Stephen Lendman takes a further look at the massive destruction of Haiti, the ignored warnings of pending earthquake, and the U.S. hypocrisy

With all their woes, the last thing Haitians needed was the calamitous earthquake (the most severe in the region in over 200 years) that struck Port-au-Prince, surrounding areas, and other parts of the country on January 12 at about 5PM (2200 GMT), devastating the capital, possibly killing hundreds of thousands, injuring many more, and disrupting the lives of millions of people already overwhelmed by other crushing hardships.

An AP report said ‘journalists found the damage staggering even for a country long accustomed to tragedy and disaster.’ Many hundreds of thousands lost everything, including loved ones.

Tremors were felt across the country and throughout the region. Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, however, are in shambles. Rubble is strewed everywhere. Roads are impassable. One to Delmas collapsed down a mountain burying many homes underneath. The airport closed, then reopened so relief flights in began. Fires were burning across the city. The National Cathedral and Palace of Justice, Haiti’s Supreme Court, collapsed. So did the Presidential Palace, UN headquarters, hotels, other municipal buildings, business structures, schools, hospitals, churches, everything in an event of biblical proportions.

People were wandering the streets dazed, searching for loved ones. Power is out so communication only by satellite phone is possible, and there’s no TV or radio. In the wealthy Petionville neighborhood, a hospital, ministry building and private homes collapsed. So did other buildings across the capital and in rural communities like Leogane. Jacmel in the southeast also sustained major damage.

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Haiti: Give Here By Enku Ide

15 January, 2010 — Labour Notes – Give Here

The 7.0 earthquake that razed much of the Haitian capital on January 13 has led to a uniquely devastating humanitarian crisis. The death toll is still uncertain and estimates range from anywhere between 50,000 and 500,000. The need for international relief is clear.

This tragedy is compounded by U.S. and European intervention into Haitian internal politics which have caused centuries of poverty and underdevelopment. The vast majority of Haitians are poor and working people, who labor in sweatshops at poverty wages for U.S. corporations like Disney. Their attempts to organize are routinely and violently suppressed.

In Haiti, the presidential palace, UN headquarters, and the senate buildings lay in ruins. Hundreds of injured Haitians a day are crossing into the Dominican Republic, and hundreds of thousands are displaced within Haiti.

U.S. mainstream media is using this disaster to drum up PR for corporate charity, as U.S. banks and corporations are sending millions to the Red Cross and other relief organizations. While any help that addresses the direct needs of Haitians in trouble is needed and rightly applauded, there is a certain irony in celebrating the charity of corporations that have long-term interests in maintaining the status quo of poverty and pillage in Haiti, the poorest country in our hemisphere.

Working people and our organizations in the United States are also organizing to help meet the direct needs of our Haitian brothers and sisters. These appeals for donations and aid come out of solidarity and present an opportunity to relieve some of the immense suffering of the Haitian people. As Haiti begins to rebuild and heal, many of these organizations also look to a day when fights for justice for the poor can create a society where the effects of natural disasters can be better addressed by an independent government with space for unions and other working-class organizations.

The AFL-CIO Solidarity Center is accepting donations to help Haitian workers, and mobilize Haitian unionists living in the Dominican Republic. Donate and read correspondence from someone on the ground.

National Nurses United, the largest RN union, is coordinating a nurse volunteer mission to Haiti. NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro says, “Nurses will be fundamental to the disaster relief process, to provide immediate healing and therapeutic support to the patients and families facing the devastation from this tragic earthquake.” RNs can sign up on the NNU website.

The Transport Workers’ Local 100 in New York City, where a sizable Haitian population lives, kicked off their initial donation with $10,000. Concerned people can add to this pool at their website.

Our friends at the Miami Workers’ Center, a community worker-based organization with Haitian members, would like you to know about the Yéle Foundation. Founded by musician Wyclef Jean in 2005, the organization has worked to support education and cultural activities in Haiti. Yéle will be using connections from this work to provide relief to affected Haitians. Read more about the group and donate.

TransAfrica, a longtime friend of the labor movement, is accepting donations for worthy relief organizations on their website. Along with Jobs With Justice, TransAfrica is calling for a moratorium on deporting Haitians who are living in the United States without proper documentation (which is common in severe natural disasters or wars). Learn more about TransAfrica’s requests.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is asking for support for a community-based organization, Zanmi Lasante. You can find more information and where to donate at the CIW’s site.

Haiti: Aid Efforts – News, History, Analysis

16 January, 2010 — Radtimes

[as of 1/15/10]

Aid efforts:

The Haiti Emergency Relief Fund

TransAfrica has 4 Immediate Recommendations of Aid Recovery

Direct Relief to Haiti

Haiti: Give Here

Helping Haiti

Haiti Earthquake Relief: How You Can Help

How to Help Haiti, Today and Beyond

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Haiti Newslinks for 16 January, 2010

16 January, 2010

Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation under fiscal scrutiny
Washington Post
By Susan Kinzie By Friday morning, just days after the earthquake hit, Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation had raised more than $1.5 million. …

Haiti holds a special place in the hearts of Bill and Hillary Clinton
Washington Post
By Philip Rucker When Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham in 1975, a friend gave them a trip to Haiti. Since that honeymoon vacation, the Caribbean island …

Desperate Americans wait and plead to exit Haiti
Washington Post
By ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU AP PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Cradling babies and limping on crutches, hundreds of Americans waved their passports in the air and …

Companies Send Aid to Haiti
Wall Street Journal
By CHRIS HERRING and DANA MATTIOLI Corporations rushed to send millions of dollars in aid and supplies to Haiti as the quake’s death toll climbed Friday. …

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