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The Change that Didn't Come for Haiti

Obama's Empty Promises: Change did not come
by Ezili Danto
Obama's foreign policy has continued the failed George W. Bush policies. War rages on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Torture is no big deal, none of the torturers are being punished for violating the US Constitution, the Guantanamo closing was put off, some detainees only reshuffled and the same old Wall Street tycoons who took down the country now head Obama's economic policies and programs.
 
Unemployment is at an all time high, more so amongst Blacks of course, and the Wall Street bailout mostly didn't help Main Street. It's still the rule of big business as usual. But, if Americans are suffering increase in credit card debt and job loss from the global economic crisis, imagine what the high cost of living, fuel prices, fewer remittances from abroad and the same old imperialist policies are doing to Haiti and the world’s poor.

During his campaign Barack Obama promised change from the 8-years of failed Bush policies, but he’s surrendered to the corporate interests and the Haitian Oligarchy in Haiti, leaving the majority poor out in the cold, as usual: Banned not only from elections that the US is financing to the tune of $18 million dollars, but subject to unfair wages and a gross UN occupation that preserves corporate interests.
 
[For complete article reference links, please see source at Ezili Danto's Open Salon here.]

Listen to Obama's empty "Wi Nou Kapab - Yes We Can" promise for change to Haitian-Americans

Deportations did not stop, Haitians were not granted TPS, political prisoners were not released, US HOPE Act enabled the Haitian Oligarchy to reject fairer minimum wages. UN/MINUSTAH soldiers, known to the Haitian poor as the "vampires of leisure" in Haiti, continued their sexual assaults and killing of Haitians with impunity even with Bill Clinton being named as UN Special Envoy to Haiti and Paul Farmer as his Deputy Envoy. NGO's continue to undermine Haitian government. There's no oversight or accountability on USAID. False foreign aid, false charity, harmful food aid and unfair trade, continues. Foreign pillaging of Haiti resources and riches with the exclusion of the Haitian people and no sharing of profits with poor Haitians to raise the majority's standard of living, continues under this Obama Administration.

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Last year around this time, Father Jean Juste was still alive, a pioneering champion in the struggle for human rights for Haitians living at home and in the US. This year this giant fighter for Haitian human rights and sovereignty is gone but he left us a path to follow. So, we begin this piece by inviting everyone to visit our pages in Homage to Father Gerard Jean Juste, the special photographic report at: HLLN's PhotoGallery - Wake and Funeral of Father Gerard Jean Juste, and our report on Father Jean Juste's final days, the Miami funeral and the negative Miami Herald reporting, which Ezili's HLLN summarily exposed that you'll not read about anywhere else. (See, Ezili's HLLN Blasts Miami Herald's Coverage of Jean Juste Memorial - Reports the Counter-Colonial Narrative.)

Last year around this time HLLN was writing about how:

Food Donations Rot in New York while Haitian Storm Victims Starve and Die

Reporting that Deportations to storm-crippled Haiti, which George W. Bush had stopped for three months from Sept to Dec. 9, 2008, had just resumed.

We were urging a stop to all deportations to Haiti and that Haitians be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS), as well as helping to mobilize "critical" support for the presidential vote, pushing for Obama to win the White House so a less tyrannical US presence could be established in Haiti.

HLLN crafted a Haiti position paper and submitted it to the Obama Team even before he was elected. (What Haitian-Americans Ask of the New U.S. President)

We wrote: "Haitian-Americans ask the next US president and Congress to....end the UN occupation; stop unequal immigration treatment of Haitian refugees and asylum seekers; cancel, without condition, Haiti's debt to international financial institutions; void unfair trade, start reciprocal trade, restrict free trade so not to dump food and other imports into Haiti that eviscerate Haiti's domestic growth and by also calibrating to Haiti's domestic needs for agricultural expansion, public works, job creation, health care, schools, sanitation, infrastructure, and by adding enforceable human rights, labor, environmental rights provisions in US trade laws; permanently stop all deportations to Haiti, grant TPS; stop trading for Haiti with USAID, demand new foreign aid guidelines and oversight of USAID in Haiti. Investigate the role of US in the 2004 coup d'etat where US Special forces forcibly exiled President Jean Bertrand Aristide via an unmarked plane used for renditions."

Barack Obama came into office and sent Bill Clinton to Haiti with a "development plan" for more sweatshops enabling the Haitian Oligarchy and President Rene Preval to reject a mere .63 cents an hour minimum wage increase in order to please US sweatshop owners.

So, today in Haiti, it's better for the people NOT to work at the measly $3.00 per day (.38 cents an hour) jobs than to work! Most times transportation and lunch cost more than the worker makes per day. Food in Haiti, like everything else, is imported from the US (via extortionist "free-trade" policies forced upon Haiti) and costly.
Meanwhile, one of the first clues to Haitians that Obama would be more of the same as George W. Bush for Haiti and that there would be no TPS was the prompt release, on Feb 27, 2009, of a study singling out Haitians amongst all other ethnic groups for deportation. The study revealed that in a span of 20 or more years, 30,000 Haitians had been ordered deported by US Federal immigration judges. No information was released for any other nationalities who had been ordered deported, only Haitians. And only to escalate fear of a Black planet if Obama was even contemplating allowing 30,000 disease-ridden Black Haitians to remain in the US!

After that little media propaganda, there was no more talk of Obama granting TPS to Haitians.

In fact, it seemed that Obama's Homeland Security felt it must make it a priority to hunt down, apprehend, incarcerate and deport Haitian asylum seekers to storm ravaged, famine-stricken Haiti, never mind this was in contravention to international and US national refugee laws for providing safe haven, right to life, security of person, equality under the law and to seek and receive asylum. HLLN asked the question "There are approximately 560,000 ordered deportees in the US, why are only the 30,000 from Haiti being SELECTED for enforcement priority and/or highlighted in the media by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE")?" (HLLN on the report that 30,000 Haitians have been ordered deported by US Federal immigration judges.)

No answer.

Today Haitians are being routinely deported to Haiti. But others, like the Liberians, whose President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a US sycophant who went to Harvard, Obama's alma mater, and who is providing their territory as a launching pad perhaps for US military command for Africa (AFRICOM), were granted DED by Obama immediately.

Approximately 20,000 Liberians living in the U.S. who had TPS that was about to expire, had their status extended. Their humanitarian needs and circumstances are similar to that of Haitians. But no TPS or DED for Haiti from Obama. Nothing for Haitians. No.

With Haiti, the US has already TAKEN everything they want, via the proxy UN occupation and the shock and awe of the 2004 Coupnapping of democratically-elected President Aristide. There's no need to negotiate or cajole when all has been attained by force already from defenseless Haitians and the UN occupation is deflecting charges of imperialism and racism while a USAID/NGO shadow government cancels out Preval's puppet government. (Emiliano Echeverria & Pierre Labossiere: Coups in Honduras and Haiti (video))

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Last year, in December of 2008, and some three months after the most severe hurricanes to hit Haiti in remembered times - the four 2008 Haiti hurricanes/storms - according to human rights organizations, famine and disease had settled in and the people in the badly hit town of Gonaives were still living on rooftops. Various reports indicated that foreign aid and donations had unraveled, especially because the international NGOs and humanitarian organizations were not working in cooperation with the Haitian government, routinely by-passing them. There was no clear coordination among them.

Towards the end of October 2008, at least 26 severely malnourished children died in the Baie d'Orange communal section in Belle-Anse, a remote region of Haiti.

Also in December, there was a school collapse where almost 100 children died.

In New York, 65 tons of food collected by New York Haitians for Haiti still remained in storage after four months because USAID instructed the food had to go to one of its approved NGOs, not directly to the Haitian government. Ezili's HLLN was told, upon inquiring why these donations were not flown out as urgency demanded, that the Federal Government declined transport and even when New York offered to pay for transport, their National Guards were denied airspace clearance. It seemed that USAID, as the US Federal Government agency in charge, would rather see the collected food, water and medicine rot than have their contractors NOT make money off its shipment and delivery in Haiti! And, it did rot in a warehouse in New York while the storm-ravaged people New York Haitians had collected it for, starved and died.

Aid workers and even a US lawmaker expressed fear that the death toll could rise much higher as more Haitian children starve and die without ever receiving appropriate nutrition therapy. Compounding this was the worldwide financial and food crisis requiring the bailout of the most wealthy in the world.

According to the U.N. the world wide resulting high food prices created more hunger.

This was about the time, Ezili's HLLN stepped up its TPS campaign, stating that under these circumstances, it was not the time to deport Haitians, who are providing the most direct aid to Haiti and sending life-saving remittances to their starving families, to storm crippled-Haiti..."

Our concerns fell on deaf ears.

Obama was electedand he did less than even Bush. For, at least Bush had stopped all deportations to Haiti for three months.

Since Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009, Haitians are routinely deported, held in chains in ICE detention centers and or with monitoring devices.

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During the funeral of Father Jean Juste, the UN shot a mourner to death and said it was the crowd that killed him. During a 3 am helicopter operations, a local resident investigating the dead-of-night helicopter landing in his town, was shot in the leg by a UN soldier. The UN said the bullet was in the imagination of the crazy Haitians, the injured man simply fell on a prickly bush!


In terms of UN soldiers and humanitarian workers engaging in sexual exploitation of Haiti's children Canadian Priest John Duarte is in court facing nine counts of sexually exploiting adolescent boys in Port-au-Prince and the northern village of Labadie, where he ran a mission. US missionary Douglas Perlitz has been indicted in the US on nearly identical charges for sexually abusing nine boys in Cap-Haitien. The UN released a report where the 114-Sri Lankan soldiers who were deported from Haiti for building a brothel in Martissant, charged with sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of minors, prostitution and rape, have mostly not been punished. Sexual exploitation and rape by soldiers is a war crime. But there's been no punishment for UN soldiers violating Haitians. (See, I am the history of rape; Sri Lankan Army Peace keepers Abusing Children in Haiti and BBC News Sri Lanka Army Sexually Abuse 100s Haiti.)


Haiti's largest political party has been excluded from the upcoming Feb. elections. There are over 6,440 very poor Haitians in jails, many since 2004, guarded by UN soldiers back-up firepower. They've not been charged, seen a judge or had a hearing. But the Obama team is saying Haiti is now "open for business."

(See also, An Ezili Dantò Book Review: TRAVESTY in Haiti : A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, false food aid... and Fulfilling Leclerc imperative:debt, free trade, wage slavery, UN occupation, UN provoke mourners, gun down unarmed, blames it on victims, Oil in Haiti - Economic Reasons for the UN/US occupation, and Haiti's Holocaust and Middle Passage Continues.)

Why?

Ohh, I forgot, someone reported a "very good" thing happened to Haiti in 2009. Yep, tremendous. Bill Clinton named Paul Farmer as his deputy UN Envoy to Haiti! It now takes a UN motorcade of lots of bullet-proof cars and heavily armed guards to transport the good doctor around Haiti. How marvelous is that for Haiti's poor! Officialdom imperialist envoy must be protected from them there brutal peasant Haitians.

Anyway that's THEIR notion of progress...in Haiti! (Listen to Obama's empty "Wi Nou Kapab - Yes We Can" promise for change to Haitian-Americans.)


But... never mind all this, here's the Obama New Year's message to Haiti, via a message from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the occasion of the 206 anniversary of Haiti's independence. Happy New Year under US/UN occupation Haiti. With love, from Barack Obama:

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    (A message From Secretary Hillary Clinton on the occasion of the 206 anniversary of Haiti's independence)


Repubic of Haiti Independence Day

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 29, 2009

On behalf of President Obama and the people of United States, I congratulate the people of the Republic of Haiti as they celebrate their 206th anniversary of independence on January 1, 2010.

This is an occasion to honor the history and heritage of Haiti and to remember the heroes who founded the first independent black republic, not just the icons such as Toussaint Louverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Alexandre Petion, but also the countless men and women who stood up for their right to live as free people and gave a legacy of freedom for future generations. Their accomplishment changed the face of our world, and their story continues to be an inspiration today.

We also salute the many contributions that Haitian-Americans have made to the culture and prosperity of the United States. Our two nations are bound by strong bonds of friendship and family, united both by our shared history and our common hopes for the future.

The United States stood with Haiti after the tragic hurricanes of 2008, and we remain committed to being a partner and a friend. This has been a year for rebuilding and renewal, and Haitians can be proud of their accomplishments. As 2010 begins, Haiti is poised for a strong future, ready to provide leadership toward its own economic growth, health, and security.

I offer my warmest wishes for a peaceful and prosperous year.  
 
 
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