Haiti: “This is criminal”

Interview with Pierre Labossiere of Haiti Action speaking on Haiti two weeks after the earthquake.

Haiti-earthquake-SF-rally-Pierre-Labossiere-012510-by-Kamau-web

Pierre raises a number of very important points in relation to the relief itself, the many NGOs, organisations, groups and individuals that have descended on Haiti – aptly described as “social vampires”. He also speaks on the role of President Clinton in pushing neo-liberal policies on the country, such as privatization which led directly to the weakening of both Haiti’s government structures and economy.

M.O.I. JR: Since the earthquake in Haiti, 20/20 and a whole bunch of hip hop media journalists have highlighted Wyclef Jean, a popular rap artist who is Haitian, and many people are star struck into giving to his organization, Yele. Can you give us a history of who Wyclef Jean is, as well as who his family is in Haiti?

Pierre: Wyclef Jean is — everybody knows his background — he’s a talented musician, an artist with the Fugees. At the time he had a powerful message, and he has a foundation called Yele Ayiti, so he is out there. And his uncle is a person who has a different set of politics (from ours) opposed to the people’s movement of Haiti, and his uncle really did welcome the coup d’etat (on Feb. 29, 2004, that deposed democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide, beloved by the vast majority of Haitians, who lives in exile in South Africa) and its aftermath. And Wyclef had taken a position in support on that as well. That is what I know about his history.

M.O.I. JR: Now there are other major people who have been getting publicity around Haiti relief work, that being Red Cross, and many of the people who are reading this today know the history of the Red Cross in terms of dealing with Hurricane Amerikkka, which some call Katrina. Can you speak about two of the other criminals that Obama is working with and what their history is — that being former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush? They are leading a huge relief effort in Haiti and getting people to donate money to their cause. Can you give the people a history about those two criminals specifically?

Pierre: Well, what had happened under President Bill Clinton, really he was pushing what they call neo-liberal policies, which is basically a policy that government should not provide and should get out of the life of the people and really let the marketplace do its thing. I mean the Republicans are more known for that and they come with it very openly, whereas President Bill Clinton deals with it in a different way.
So what has happened as a result in Haiti, those neo-liberal policies have resulted in a weakening of our government structure, the destruction of our economy, a great weakening of our economy. For example, they were pushing on Haiti privatization of government owned enterprises: What I mean by that is the telephone company, the electric company. These are money-makers for the Haitian government. What it is … is that a government manages the resources of the people as a collective — that is what a government is supposed to do — and provide you with services.

So what has happened as a result in Haiti, those neo-liberal policies have resulted in a weakening of our government structure, the destruction of our economy, a great weakening of our economy. For example, they were pushing on Haiti privatization of government owned enterprises: What I mean by that is the telephone company, the electric company. These are money-makers for the Haitian government. What it is … is that a government manages the resources of the people as a collective — that is what a government is supposed to do — and provide you with services.

Haiti is a country that has been robbed of its resources, first of all by the colonialists if we go way back, and then after Haiti became independent in 1804, the former French slave owners, in collaboration with the U.S., Britain, Spain — all of the slave owning nations — forced Haiti to pay reparations to the former slave owners to the tune of about $22 billion.
So from 1826 until 1946, Haiti was saddled with that payment of $22 billion. Monies that should have been building Haiti were actually being sent to former slave owners in reparations for the loss of their property. And what was their property? Us, we the people, our African foremothers and forefathers and their descendants.

So what had happened during that time when President Clinton came in, he was pushing for Haiti to privatize its industries. These industries could be used by the popular government in Haiti: The revenues are supposed to be used to build schools, to build hospitals, to rebuild the country that has been so destroyed over the two centuries of our history.


Continue reading….

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]