Haiti

  • This page details the construction of an understanding of the situation on Haiti on the part of a white guy dimly aware of Haiti.
  • Democracy Now has followed the events every day since the earthquake struck on Jan. 12, 2010. The Thursday show included contributions by Naomi Klein warning about the use of disaster capitalism on Haiti and Bill Quigley, the legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Quigley and Concannon brought up significant moments in Haitian history as arguments for the U.S. paying repartions to Haiti.
    • In 1804 imported African slaves overthrew their French rules to establish the world’s first black republic.
      In response, the French forced Haiti to pay reparations for the loss of its slaves. Haiti was forced to take loans from the U.S. and France in order to pay off the raparations. Repaymenbt of these loans has of course forced Haiti to divert a large percentage of its finances from development to loan servicing.
    • Quigley writeson the CCR site that U.S. invaded and occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. He writes “Revolts by Haitians were put down by US military – killing over 2000 in one skirmish alone. For the next nineteen years, the US controlled customs in Haiti, collected taxes, and ran many governmental institutions. How many billions were siphoned off by the US during these 19 years?”
      The U.S. supported the dictatorships of ‘Papa Doc’ and ‘Baby Doc’ Duvlaier “Ten thousand Haitians lost their lives. Estimates say that Haiti owes $1.3 billion in external debt and that 40% of that debt was run up by the US-backed Duvaliers.”
      Thirty years ago Haiti was more than self-sufficient in rice and sugar. The U.S.,IMF, and the World Bank forced the Haitians to open their markets, whereupon the U.S. dumped massive amounts of subsidized rice and sugar on Haiti, destroying Haitian agriculture which forced millions into the cities.