Sunday, November 6, 2016

The US elections 2016: Haiti Connexion Network endorses Hillary Clinton

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As we had done in 2008 and 2012 for the presidential candidate Obama, the team of Haiti Connexion Network has decided to endorse one of the two candidates vying for the presidency of the United-states.

Our support goes this time for the 2016 US presidential election to the candidate Hillary Clinton.

We hesitated a bit before opting for this choice given the clouds of corruption, suspicion and lack of integrity that are floating above Hillary. Ultimately, we come to find out that much of this negativity is maintained for 30 years by enemies of Hillary, of the extreme right, in the relentless pursuit of their personal and ideological agenda bordering on fascism, racism and machismo. A discovery we made in the light of their attacks and their obstructionist agenda for 8 years against Obama -with Hillary- they perceive as the epitome of liberal progressive movement in the United States. A false perception, as Obama and Hillary, being to the right of the great progressive Bernie Sanders,
Bernie Sanders, great progressive for a large
 sector of American society
do not deserve such treatment. But in their blindness, these conservatives have sought to destroy Obama and Clinton at the same time, facilitating the rise of a peculiar character with instability like no other, we mean in this case the businessman Donald Trump. The latest example of this persecution against Hillary came with the letter to the US Congress from the FBI Director James Comey trying to bounce a few days before the elections the emails issue for which Hillary has assumed full responsibility and apologized to the American public.

This analysis of the electoral situation has allowed us then to carefully study the pros and cons and give accordingly our support for Hillary. Because the alternative -Donald Trump is out of consideration.

Hillary is clearly more qualified than Trump for the position. For 30 years of political life, she has shown her desire for equal justice for all US citizens.


Hillary's experience in state government or business is significantly higher than that of Trump who vows, were he elected president of the Unites States, to govern the nation like his companies for which he had filed bankruptcy several times.

 Having traveled several countries, Hillary Clinton accumulated as US Secretary of State a wide global experience. It is true that she has made missteps for a given country or the other. But what man or woman in position of leadership has not failed at times in this complex and diverse world?

Clinton has guaranteed that she will respect the basic norms of democracy and of the Constitution in the United States. Her rival Trump promises to trample the rights of minorities and immigrants, abandon the traditional principles of peaceful coexistence within or outside the US borders as he has continued to praise dictators or autocratic leaders of other nations. And voters should remember the ease with which Trump spoke about the use of nuclear weapons against other countries, suggesting even he would perhaps encourage the proliferation of these dangerous weapons.

It is true that the outgoing president Obama could have done better to reduce rampant social justice gaps in American society. But some of his achievements are especially palpable in the domains of health, labor and economy which had been in free fall, we recall, under his predecessor George Bush.

We believe that the only way to ensure the continuity of these achievements is for people to vote for Hillary Clinton. A Clinton who, as a Midwestern conservative newspaper (The Cincinnati Enquirer) wrote while endorsing Clinton after a century of support for Republican candidates "In these uncertain times, America needs a brave leader, not bravado. Real solutions, not paper-thin promises. A clear eye toward the future, not a cynical appeal to the good old days”.

Go and vote, because it is your right as well as your duty in a formal and representative democracy!

Haiti Connection Network
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Français
Elections américaines 2016 : Haiti Connexion Network accorde son soutien à Hillary Clinton

Comme nous l’avons fait pour les présidentielles de 2008 and 2012 à l’endroit du candidat Obama, l’équipe d’Haiti Connexion Network prend position encore une fois en faveur de l’une des deux personnalités politiques briguant le poste présidentiel aux Etats-Unis.

Notre appui va cette fois pour les présidentielles de 2016 aux Etats-Unis à la candidate Hillary Clinton.

Nous avons hésité quelque peu avant d’opter pour ce choix vu les nuages de corruption, de suspicion, et de manque d’intégrité qui flottent au-dessus du personnage Hillary. En dernière analyse, nous avons fini par découvrir qu’une grande partie de cette négativité est entretenue depuis 30 ans par les ennemis d’Hillary, conservateurs de l’extrême droite, acharnés dans la poursuite de leur agenda personnel et idéologique frisant le fascisme et le racisme sans oublier le machisme. Une découverte que nous avons faite à la lumière de leurs attaques et de leur agenda obstructionniste pendant 8 ans contre Obama qu’ils pensent -avec Hillary-, sont   la quintessence du mouvement libéral progressiste aux Etats-Unis. Une perception fausse car Obama et
 Hillary étant à droite du progressiste d’envergure Bernie Sanders,
Bernie Sanders, un grand progressiste
aux yeux de plus d'un.
ne méritent pas un tel traitement. Mais dans leur aveuglement, ces conservateurs ont cherché à détruire Obama et du même coup Clinton, favorisant ainsi la montée d’un personnage singulier, d’une instabilité
à nulle autre pareille, en l’occurrence l’homme d’affaires Donald Trump. Le dernier exemple de cet acharnement contre Hillary est venu avec la lettre écrite au congrès américain par le directeur de FBI James Comey essayant de faire rebondir à quelques jours des élections l’affaire des courriels pour laquelle Hillary a assumé son entière responsabilité et présenté des excuses au public américain.

Cette analyse de la conjoncture électorale nous a permis alors d’étudier minutieusement le pour et le contre et d’accorder en conséquence notre soutien à Hillary. Car l’alternative –Donald Trump—est définitivement hors de considération.

Hillary est nettement plus qualifiée que Trump pour occuper le poste. Pendant 30 ans de sa carrière politique, elle a fait montre de sa vision égalitaire pour les citoyens des États-Unis.

L’expérience d’Hillary dans les affaires étatiques ou gouvernementales est nettement supérieure à celle de Trump qui, lui, voudrait diriger les Etats-Unis, s’il est élu, comme ses entreprises ayant pourtant connu la faillite à plusieurs reprises.

 Ayant parcouru plusieurs pays du monde, Hillary Clinton a amassé sous sa toge de secrétaire d’Etat américaine une vaste expérience planétaire. Il est vrai qu’elle a fait des faux pas en certains cas vis-à-vis d’un pays ou de l’autre. Quel homme ou femme d’Etat n’a pas failli des fois en ce monde complexe et divergent ?

Clinton a donné la garantie qu’elle respectera les normes fondamentales de la démocratie et de la Constitution aux Etats-Unis. Son rival Trump, lui, promet de piétiner les droits des minorités et des immigrants, fouler aux pieds les principes traditionnels de coexistence pacifique à l’intérieur ou l’extérieur des frontières des Etats-Unis tandis qu’il n’a cessé de louanger des dictateurs ou des dirigeants autocratiques d’autres nations. Et les votants doivent se rappeler la désinvolture avec laquelle Trump a évoqué l’usage des armes nucléaires contre d’autres pays, allant même jusqu’à dire qu’il verrait peut-être d’un bon œil la prolifération de ces armements dangereux.

Il est vrai que le président sortant Obama aurait pu faire mieux pour amenuiser les écarts de justice sociale sévissant dans la société américaine. Mais certaines de ses réalisations sont palpables surtout au point de vue de la santé, la main-d’œuvre et l’économie qui avait chuté, l’on se rappelle, sous Bush son prédécesseur.

Nous pensons alors que la seule façon de garantir le maintien de ces réalisations est de voter pour Hillary Clinton. Une Clinton qui, comme a écrit un journal conservateur du mid-ouest (Cincinnati Enquirer) appuyant cette dernière --après un siècle de soutien à des candidats républicains—une Clinton, disions-nous, qui sera  « en ces temps incertains un dirigeant doté  de bravoure et non de bravade, susceptible d’apporter [au pays]des solutions réelles et non des promesses creuses [pour le bénéfice du pays].  Elle saura avoir une vision réaliste des choses au contraire d’un personnage qui interpelle cyniquement le souvenir des bons vieux jours. »

Allez, votez ! car c’est autant votre droit que votre devoir dans une démocratie formelle et représentative !

Haiti Connexion Network






Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Une semaine après l'ouragan Matthew, le peuple d'Haïti se sent livré à lui-même

Source Radio Canada

Dans la péninsule sud-ouest d'Haïti, frappée de plein fouet par l'ouragan Matthew la semaine passée, les résidents déblaient des routes et commencent à rebâtir des maisons. Ils prennent les choses en main, car dans des régions éloignées comme la leur, l'aide internationale se fait attendre.


RADIO-CANADA AVEC NEW YORK TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ET CBC

(Annonce indépendante)


Un charpentier de la petite ville de Moron, Israël Banissa, raconte qu'une équipe d'évaluateurs de la Croix-Rouge s'est arrêtée près de sa localité pour poser des questions aux habitants. Mais l'équipe est repartie sans laisser de denrées.
Haïti terminait mardi un deuil de trois jours, décrété par la présidence de la République dans la foulée de l'ouragan qui, selon un bilan provisoire de la protection civile, a fait au moins 473 morts. D'autres estimations font état d'au moins 1000 morts.
On dénombre jusqu'ici 75 personnes disparues et plus de 330 blessés.
De plus, l'ouragan Matthew, qui atteignait la catégorie 4 au moment de son passage en Haïti, y a fait plus de 175 000 sinistrés.
La menace du choléra
La situation est telle qu'à Genève les Nations unies réclament 120 millions de dollars américains pour subvenir pendant trois mois aux besoins urgents de ce pays de 10,5 millions d'habitants.
L'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a par ailleurs annoncé, mardi, l'envoi de 1 million de doses de vaccin contre le choléra en Haïti, où le nombre de cas est en augmentation depuis le passage dévastateur de l'ouragan Matthew.
L'aide canadienne atteint 4,5 millions de dollars
Au Canada, jusqu'ici, 4,58 millions de dollars ont été versés à différents partenaires sur le terrain, selon la ministre du Développement international et députée de Compton-Stanstead, Marie-Claude Bibeau.
« On a vraiment des gens qui sont sur le terrain pour évaluer et valider que l'aide se rend là où elle doit se rendre », affirme la ministre Bibeau.
Celle-ci tente aussi de calmer les appréhensions des Canadiens qui craignent que la confusion ne s'installe en Haïti, comme cela avait été le cas après le séisme de 2010. Elle explique qu'après une catastrophe on envoie en premier lieu « de l'eau, de la nourriture, des vaccins, des médicaments, des abris ».
Étant donné que les premiers envois d'aide sont constitués de denrées périssables, « certaines personnes peuvent avoir l'impression que ça, c'est perdu », explique Marie-Claude Bibeau. Mais, au contraire, il s'agit d'interventions de survie, poursuit-elle en substance.
Les opérations de reconstruction et de développement sont effectuées par la suite.
Fiable, la Croix-Rouge?
Aux États-Unis, la Croix-Rouge est aux prises avec une polémique entourant les efforts qu'elle a déployés en Haïti, après le tremblement de terre de 2010.
Dans une lettre ouverte envoyée au New York Times en juin dernier, la présidence de la Croix-Rouge américaine a démenti que le quart des 488 millions donnés pour Haïti avait, en fait, servi à administrer la Croix-Rouge elle-même, et ses opérations de collecte de fonds.
« Seulement 9 % sont allés à l'administration et aux dépenses liées à la collecte de fonds », a écrit Gail McGovern, de la Croix-Rouge américaine.
À Montréal, la directrice de la Maison d'Haïti, Marjorie Villefranche, affirme qu'il faut faire une différence entre la Croix-Rouge canadienne et celle établie aux États-Unis.
« Moi, j'ai confiance en la Croix-Rouge canadienne parce que ce sont eux qui sont capables de faire le travail », affirme-t-elle.
De trop petites maisons, mais pas de malversations
Mme Villefranche dit avoir vu le travail de la Croix-Rouge canadienne en Haïti à la suite du tremblement de terre de 2010. « On n'est peut-être pas ravis des petites maisons qu'ils ont construites, parce que les gens les trouvent très petites et tout, mais je pense qu'il n'y a pas eu de malversations », dit-elle.
De nombreux Haïtiens de Montréal choisissent d'envoyer de l'argent directement à leur famille, sans passer par les organisations comme la Croix-Rouge, affirme Mme Villefranche.
C'est le cas de Pierre-Louis Dieubon, chauffeur de taxi montréalais. Cet Haïtien d'origine a envoyé cette semaine 2000 $ américains à ses frères, qui ont vu leur maison détruite. « Le gouvernement ne peut rien faire pour eux parce qu'il ne peut aller à cet endroit-là », décrit M. Dieubon.
Et, pour l'ensemble des Canadiens qui souhaitent envoyer de l'aide financière en Haïti, Marjorie Villefranche recommande de passer par des organisations comme la Croix-Rouge canadienne ou Médecins du monde.

Avec les informations de Neil Herland, de CBC
__________________________

NDLR: Diverses organisations caritatives étrangères, comme la Croix Rouge Américaine, ont été dénoncées par les médias indépendants du fait qu'elles ont profité des catastrophes naturelles pour détourner  les sommes destinées aux besoins des victimes haitiennes. Ce qui avait poussé en ce sens le congrès américain à publier un rapport très critique au sujet de la Croix Rouge américaine.
____________________________________________________

Annonce d'en haut est indépendante de la source de l'article 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Clintons Didn’t Screw Up Haiti Alone. You Helped.

By 
Trump has turned Haiti into the new symbol of Bill and Hillary’s crookedness. If only things were that simple.


Last week, during a swing through Miami, Donald Trump stopped by a community center in Little Haiti. Trump has never held much interest in Haiti or Haitian Americans, and it showed. Instead of the usual bluster, the reality TV star tentatively read some vague, prepared remarks off a sheet of paper, then sat back on a stool “to listen and to learn” for a few minutes from the small crowd of mostly middle-aged, upper- and middle-class Haitian Americans in dark suits and print dresses, scattered among a few rows of folding chairs.

POOL/Getty Images
Not long ago, Trump’s team glommed onto the possibility that Haitian Americans—generally black, generally Democratic-leaning voters who make up roughly 2 percent of the population of Florida, where Trump and Hillary Clinton are separated by less than a point—might be persuaded to vote against the former secretary of state. The irony of a nativist pandering to thousands of immigrants and refugees aside, there was a logic to this. Many people rightly identify Clinton with failures of humanitarianism and development in Haiti. The Trump team has folded that perception into a half-true narrative in which Haiti—like Whitewater and Benghazi before it—becomes a synecdoche for all the ills, real and imagined, of the Clintons themselves.

There are good reasons the world’s first black republic has been an island-sized headache for Clinton as she seeks the presidency. Haiti is a place where some of the darkest suppositions that lurk on the left and right about her and her husband take form. Here is an island country of 10 million people where America’s ultimate power couple invested considerable time and reputation. Here is a fragile state where each took turns implementing destructive policies whose highlights include overthrowing a presidential election. Bill Clinton in particular mixed personal relationships, business, and unaccountable power in ways that, if never exactly criminal, arouse the kind of suspicion that erodes public trust. No two individuals, including Haiti’s own leaders, enjoyed more power and influence than the Clintons in the morass of the failed reconstruction following the deadly Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, when a troubled country managed to go from catastrophe to worse.


The Clintons compounded the resulting political problem the way they usually do, by saying as little as possible while letting their enemies fill in the blanks. A year before he became Trump’s campaign “CEO,” Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon began pushing facile theories of corruption and malfeasance in the book Clinton Cash, written by Peter Schweizer under the aegis of Bannon’s Orwellianly named Government Accountability Institute. It was later turned into a film. Both versions of Clinton Cash tell a kaleidoscopic version of Haiti’s post-quake story, remixed and more than occasionally fudged to push the Clintons into the center. Those flawed but relatively measured accounts in turn inspired whack-job theories that have become articles of faith in the anti-Clinton fever swamps, such as the fantasy that Hillary and Bill just straight up stole billions of dollars in post-quake relief money—an impossible claim so unmoored from reality that even Peter Schweitzer didn’t bother making it.

Donald Trump (à gauche) en conversation avec un participant à la rencontre du candidat à Miami le 16 septembre 2016


The reality is a lot more complicated (and interesting) than that. The United States and Haiti were the first two independent republics in the Americas, and our often blood-soaked relationship goes back a lot further than the meeting of a silky Arkansan and an ambitious Illinoisan at Yale Law School.


Trump, probably unwittingly, submerged himself in some relatively recent chapters of that history at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. His host was Georges Saati, a wealthy Lebanese-Haitian industrialist whose family backed the brutal 20th-century dictatorships of François and Jean-Claude Duvalier and whose far-right faction helped foment the violent overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004.
George Sami Saati (FB Photo)

Trump was also treated to a speech by Bernard Sansaricq, a radical right-wing ex-Haitian legislator whom the Los Angeles Times once called the “self-proclaimed president of Haiti’s Senate” and who collaborated with the military junta that ruled during Aristide’s first exile in the 1990s, following a coup carried out during the George H.W. Bush administration by former Duvalierists on the CIA payroll. Trump was so moved that this week, his staff published another statement by Sansaricq on its website.
Bernard Sansaricq (FB photo)

Both wealthy Haitians openly loathe Bill Clinton, who ordered the U.S. invasion that put down the junta and restored Aristide to power, for a time. Sansaricq, who long ago left Haiti and ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress as a Republican in 2010 and 2012, repeated nonsensical, Breitbart-esque claims about “the whole world” having given “billions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation for the Haitians” (false: The Clinton Foundation has raised about $30 million in connection with Haiti and was at no point a general clearinghouse for post-quake relief money) and promising Trump the Haitian American community’s support if he will “ask Hillary Clinton to disclose the audit of all the money they have stolen from Haiti.”

Trump nodded thoughtfully. “I didn’t understand,” he said, “now I understand it.”

He didn’t. I know, because I’ve spent years looking into what’s really gone on in Haiti. I was the Associated Press correspondent in Port-au-Prince from 2007 to 2011 and survived the earthquake in 2010. I’ve spent years digging into the details of the response and recovery, much of which I put in a book. I’ve also done extensive, critical reporting on the Clintons’ roles in particular, which is why my name appears halfway through the Clinton Cash documentary, misleadingly implying that I was some sort of corroborating source.

In all that time, neither I nor anyone else has found the coveted evidence of either Clinton making off with vast sums of money from Haiti or the relief effort. And while America’s foremost power couple may be as culpable as anyone for the disastrous results of the earthquake response, it is fundamentally misleading to say that they are singularly responsible for it, much less for America’s long and abusive history with its oldest and poorest neighbor. I wish things were that simple.

There’s a real case to be made against Hillary Clinton in Haiti. From her first days as secretary of state, Clinton saw the island republic as a place to “road-test” a central piece of her foreign policy vision of “elevating development alongside diplomacy and defense as core pillars of American power.” Haiti would be a major example of “economic statecraft,” as she called it, where business and government partner to address natural disasters, poverty, and disease, neutralizing threats while generating money and power for the United States—what her husband would call a “win-win-win.”

Clinton has gotten grief in this election for that kind of thinking, exemplified elsewhere by a 2011 speech in which she pitched reconstruction in Iraq, eight years after the U.S. invasion, as a “business opportunity.” In reality, what she is pushing has been standard U.S. foreign policy for more than a century. (In Iraq, she was very late to the party.) It’s no less true when it comes to “humanitarianism.” The U.S. government devotes less than 1 percent of its budget to “foreign aid,” most of which goes to vendors based in the United States. For instance, nearly half a billion dollars of U.S. government relief aid “for Haiti” following the 2010 earthquake went to the Defense Department. The vast majority of U.S. government contracts went to American firms; almost no cash ever went, or was intended to go, to Haitians or the Haitian government. The same is true for nearly all nongovernmental organizations and charities, including the American Red Cross.

Despite promises to change this way of doing aid, both Clintons rode herd on business as usual—Hillary as head of the State Department (which includes the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID), and Bill in his panoply of roles, including co-chairing the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), a nominally Haitian government agency charged with overseeing the allocation of reconstruction money donated by foreign governments to a World Bank–managed fund for 18 months after the earthquake. USAID, ignoring recommendations to hire Haitian contractors, brought in several U.S. firms (and one Mexican firm) to build a housing development. The added cost of flights, hotels, cars, food allowances, living expenses, and “danger pay” ballooned the cost per house from $8,000 to $33,000, investigative reporter Jake Johnston found. Ultimately two of the American contractors weresuspended from receiving future government contracts. “Out of ignorance, there was much arrogance,” a Haitian official told Johnston.

But when the right isn’t beating the Clintons over the head about it, this pattern—keeping the money close to home—is how most conservatives, and a lot of other Americans, want foreign aid to work. Clinton’s insistence that relief and development efforts yield benefits for American businesses and consumers is aimed mostly at critics who don’t understand that this is how U.S. aid and intervention always operate. (That includes Trump himself, who told a Fox News town hall in April: “We have many, many countries that we give a lot of money to, and we get absolutely nothing in return, and that’s going to stop fast.”)

Before and after the earthquake, the State Department openly and enthusiastically pushed a vision of prosperity for Haiti through foreign investment in tourism, construction, and low-wage garment factories. In its view, this would save Haitians from poverty and prevent future refugee crises while making money for American and multinational corporations. That idea is badly flawed—among other things, the low wages and sweeping tax exemptions investors demand mean little money flows into the local economy—but it’s the program every single U.S. presidential administration has backed in Haiti since at least the 1960s. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Haiti produced huge quantities of cheap clothes, toys—and at one point all the baseballs used in the U.S. major leagues—earning it the nickname the “Taiwan of the Caribbean.” It’s a bipartisan effort: Clinton’s vision of “economic statecraft” isn’t all that different from the policies Ronald Reagan was pushing when his administration created the Caribbean Basin Initiative.

But efforts to resurrect the assembly sector, which collapsed in the turmoil following the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship 1986, got ugly. A few months before the quake, U.S. embassy officials pressured the then-Haitian president, René Préval, to nix a legislative proposal to raise the minimum wage for garment factory workers from roughly 22 cents an hour to 62 cents an hour, arguing that higher wages would discourage investment. Préval and legislators compromised at 38 cents an hour. (It has since gone up.) Bill used his newly minted position as U.N. special envoy to promote the economic agenda. “In the end all of our efforts will have to be judged by how many jobs we create, how much we swell the middle class, and whether we perform for the investors and make them a profit for doing the right thing,” he said at the time.

Once the disaster struck, the U.S. government focused its reconstruction efforts on pushing this vision. That resulted in the construction of Caracol Industrial Park, a $300 million, 600-acre industrial development built to house garment factories in northern Haiti. The project was financed through U.S. tax money via USAID, as well as the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank. The Clinton Foundation helped promote the project to investors. Bill and George W. Bush teamed up to lobby Congress together to expand trade preferences for Haiti-sewn apparel. Bill also used his position with the IHRC to direct further funds to the project. With the help of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a former South Korean trade minister, the organizers recruited Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd., a South Korea–based global garment giant that supplies many of the clothes you buy at Target, Walmart, Gap, Old Navy, and other stores, to be the anchor tenant.

All that was at stake when, 11 months after the earthquake, Haiti held a presidential election. Millions were still displaced and polling places in rubble, but the United States and its allies were paying for the election and insisted it go on. The process fell into chaos in the first round, with riots in the streets and candidates accusing each other of manipulation and fraud.

The electoral mess increased the Americans’ frustrations with Préval; they blamed his recalcitrance and skepticism about foreign intervention for the slow pace of reconstruction. The U.S. embassy openly fanned the flames by saying the official electoral results conflicted with a European Union–sponsored poll. U.S. officials then pushed Préval to throw his party’s candidate out of the second-round runoff and replace him with Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, a raunchy pop singer who enthusiastically backed foreign investment projects including Caracol. (Martelly had also proved receptive to guidance from foreign political hands.)

Clinton’s State Department played hardball behind the scenes, revoking the visas of Préval’s inner circle and banding with France, Brazil, Canada, and the United Nations leadership to pressure the president into stepping down.

Then, on Jan. 30, 2011, the secretary personally flew to Port-au-Prince. The night before, she had traded emails with her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, as well as the Clinton Foundation’s chief operating officer, Laura Graham, who also served as Bill’s chief of staff on the IHRC. In one email, Graham said resistance was building against the U.S. plan and that the secretary had been “specifically criticized today for imposing this solution.” Mills suggested that Clinton emphasize a message in response: “The voices of the people of Haiti must be heard. The votes of the people of Haiti must be counted fairly. And the outcome of this process must reflect the true will of the Haitian people. That is the only interest of the United States.”

Hillary delivered that message almost word for word to the Haitian and foreign press the next day. Behind closed doors, she sweet-talked Préval, convincing him that accepting the U.S.-backed candidate would secure his legacy.

Martelly became president in May. In his inaugural speech he declared, in English: “This is a new Haiti open for business, now!” Bill was in the audience.

Initially, Martelly accepted Garry Conille—Bill Clinton's chief of staff at the U.N. Office of the Special Envoy—as his first prime minister. But sensing a babysitter, Martelly quickly booted him out and replaced him with his own business partner. “The situation cannot afford Washington to sit on sidelines. They elected him and they need [sic] pressure him,” Graham grumbled to Mills in an unusually candid email.

The earthquake recovery foundered, inflation spiraled, and violence spiked. Martelly left office earlier this year amid an unfinished, fraud-wracked election; for a week, the country had no president. Haiti is now struggling with a weak, transitional government. Demonstrations loom, as do strikes and threats of takeover by armed militants.

Caracol opened in 2012 with both Clintons joining Martelly (and an acquiescent Préval) at the opening ceremony. The project has been a disappointment by any measure. Sae-A brought in a fraction of the jobs it promised. Its employees grumble about the long hours, tough conditions, and low pay. The project has had little positive impact on Haiti’s economy so far.

Trump has criticized Caracol on the stump, referring in a recent speech to the time that “Hillary Clinton set aside environmental and labor rules to help a South Korean company with a record of violating workers’ rights set up what amounts to a sweatshop in Haiti.” It’s a hypocritical complaint for a mogul who employs his own sweatshop labor in China and Central America. Small wonder that he dropped that line of criticism at the Little Haiti event, where his hosts were wealthy industrialists whose opposition to Aristide (and Bill Clinton) was rooted in large part in the former Haitian leader’s resistance to garment-factory owners and foreign investment schemes. Still, it’s only a bit overstated—while Hillary built nothing alone, her State Department pushed hard to get the park up quickly, over theobjections of other administration departments.

But what the shallower critics of the Clintons miss is whom this fundamentally unjust system is designed to benefit. Despite cherry-picked, half-understood stories about permits for nonexistent gold mines and isolated instances of naked (and duly punished) fraud that account for rounding errors in the actual billions raised and spent after the earthquake, there is simply no evidence that the intent was to line the Clintons’ pockets.

The system isn’t designed for them; it’s for us. The low wages that the U.S. embassy helped suppress are the reason we can enjoy a steady stream of $9 Mossimo camisoles and $12.99 six-packs of Hanes T-shirts. Even U.S. military uniform parts get made in Haitian sweatshops. As America moves further away from its producer past and deeper into its consumer present, we will want cheaper and cheaper smartphones and cheaper and cheaper clothes that we can afford on our stagnant service wages, and we will demand our leaders find us alternatives to sourcing from rivals like China. Places like Caracol are the result. Some Americans say they want production jobs to come back home, but few are ready to pay twice as much for their clothes or $100 extra for their iPhones, most of which would still have to be sourced from overseas.

To get the things we want, the United States has been in the business of overturning elections and toppling governments for more than a century. Clinton’s trip to Haiti in 2011 represents the softer end of a long tradition of U.S. invasions, coups, and usurpations: Panama in 1903 to Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1954, to Congo, 1961; Vietnam, 1963, to Chile, 1973, to Iraq 2003, and on and on.


The U.S. Marines occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934, helping foster the overcentralization—whereby American-run businesses and breaks on custom duties were concentrated in the capital—that made the 2010 earthquake so deadly.  And we have been meddling ever since—ferrying leaders out and in and out again.
Marines américains en patrouille durant l'occupation d'Haiti en 1915
As Trump was reminded in Little Haiti, Bill Clinton ordered the 1994 U.S. invasion. George W. Bush ordered his in 2004. The U.N. peacekeeping mission that dumped cholera into Haiti’s waterways a few months after the quake had nothing to do with Clinton’s U.N. Office of the Special Envoy; it was created years earlier, during the Bush administration, to take over from his U.S.-led force and has been kept there and aggressively defended by administrations through Barack Obama’s in large part because it is cheaper than sending U.S. troops back again.

That military might is used, explicitly, to keep things from deteriorating to the point that thousands of Haitians flee toward Florida, as they did in the 1980s and 1990s. Why? Because as it turns out, a lot of Americans aren’t fond of refugees.

None of this gets the Clintons off the hook for the actions they are personally responsible for in Haiti. I’ve asked Hillary’s spokesman many times to comment on how things have turned out there and what if anything she would do differently as president. He said once that she’d comment “when the time comes to do so.” That was back in April 2015. I’m still waiting.

Bill continues to mix his post-presidential fame and Haiti business matchmaking in ways that set off alarm bells—often in conjunction with his trademark quarter-million-dollar speaking fees. In the reconstruction effort, he often partnered with Irish cell phone company Digicel and its head, Denis O’Brien. The company helped arrange at least one lucrative speaking engagement for the former president, while the Clinton Foundation “facilitated introductions” to help O’Brien build a luxurious new Marriott hotel next to Digicel’s Port-au-Prince headquarters. USAID has directed about $1.3 million to Digicel since 2008, along with private grant money. Digicel has donated tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. It’s hard to say how, or even if, any of those parts fit together: Digicel was dominating Haiti’s cell phone market and doing development work there long before the Clintons re-engaged with the country in 2009. USAID money started going to Digicel while George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice were running U.S. foreign policy, and most has been paid out since Clinton left the State Department. An indirect speaking fee is hardly proof of a kickback scheme. Still, the relationship is clearly an example of the many ways money and celebrity combine and strengthen each other at the highest levels of power.

But it ignores all history and logic to pin the whole sordid tale of Haiti’s relief and reconstruction disasters on one couple, no matter how powerful they have been. Turning legitimate criticisms about U.S. intervention into a question about one candidate’s personality is a way of avoiding harder questions. The Clintons didn’t create the world we live in; they just know how to navigate it better than most of us do. If we want it to change, we have to change it.  And it seems clear that electing a strongman leader who turns to putschists for advice on the developing world and who has never shied away from making money by working with corrupt regimes isn’t the answer. Changing a system that operates with millions of people and trillions of dollars will take more than shunting all the evils of empire onto one or two personalities—not when we benefit from them so eagerly and almost never change ourselves when it counts. Pretending otherwise is just a way to let ourselves off the hook, too.


Source: Slate
La  mise en caractères gras de certaines phrases du texte sont de l'auteur. Illustrations de HCN à l'exception de la toute première photo qui acconpagne l'article dans les colonnes de Slate

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Trump aux haitiens à Miami: Je veux être votre champion

Le candidat présidentiel républicain Donald Trump a rencontré un  groupe d'Haitiano-américains ce vendredi 16 septembre à Little Haïti (Little Haiti Cultural Center)

D'emblée, Trump a attaqué son adversaire politique Hillary Clinton qui, selon lui, n'a rien fait pour Haiti, surtout après le tremblement de terre  de Janvier 2010 quand Haïti avait besoin d'aide au maximum.


"L'argent des contribuables [américains] destiné à Haïti et aux victimes du tremblement de terre est allé à un grand nombre de copains des Clinton," a déclaré Trump.


Plus tard, Trump a dit aux participants qu'il était venu "écouter et apprendre" en vue d'établir de nouveaux rapports avec la communauté haitienne.
"Que vous votez pour moi ou non, je veux vraiment être votre plus grand champion," --Donald Trump
Concernant les préoccupations de certains compatriotes quant à l'ingérence des Clinton pendant deux decennies dans les affaires d'Haiti, Trump a répondu qu'il appréhendait mieux la situation haitienne vis-à-vis des Clintons

«Je ne comprenais pas, je comprends maintenant", a déclaré Trump

 Quelques manifestants ont brandi des pancartes disant: «Little Haïti dit Non au racisme et à la haine de Trump."

Certains ont fait cependant ressortir l'absence de progrès en Haïti malgré l'implication de Bill et Hillary Clinton, ce qui leur donne une raison de voter pourt Trump.

Quid de la position controversée de Trump sur l'immigration? Il semble qu'il n'y pensent pas trop, apparemment trop satisfaits que Trump ait promis de nommer un américano-haitien comme ambassadeur en Haïti, s'il était élu.

Les participants comprenaient des médecins haïtiens, des avocats et d'anciens ministres du gouvernement d'Haïti.


Le candidat républicain a aussi rencontre d'autres ethniques groupes (cubains,venezueliens) à qui il a fait aussi des promesses  comme celles de revenir sur la politique d'ouverture envers Cuba initiée par Obama.

Commentant cette rencontre avec les Haitiano-Americains, Dr Carl Gilbert, directeur de Haiti Connexion Network (HCN), a dit : ce type du nom de Trump démontre de plus en plus une anomalie psychique, mentale ou autre. J'aimerais que ses supporters, à part leur bigoterie, nous disent les raisons  les poussant à soutenir ce type. Définitivement, Hillary, malgré son manque apparent d'intégrité, est nettement plus qualifiée pour gouverner. Les votants ne doivent pas oublier que Trump a fait sa route en avançant des mensonges de droite à gauche,  soit dans le domaine des affaires soit maintenant dans la politique. Et ce n'est pas sans raison que le gouvernement fédéral avait intenté un procès contre lui et son père pour discrimination systématique envers des Noirs dans le loyer de ses appartements à New-York. De plus, nous vivons ici aux Etats-Unis et non en Haiti, ce qui se passe ici politiquement devrait nous préoccuper davantage en ce qui concerne droits civiques, jobs, économie, etc. Si l’on est pauvre ou malmené ici on ne peut pas aider Haiti. Oxygen first on your face before you help others nous dit toujours les hôtesses de l’air dans les avions. La politique est d'abord locale.

Jeremy Gilbert, Miami, pour HCN-9/17/2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

EN MEMOIRE DE JEAN-FRITZ LAPLANCHE



PAR DR CARL GILBERT

Samedi dernier, 20 août 2016. C’est avec une grande stupéfaction que j’ai appris l’assassinat crapuleux d’un ami, l’honorable Maitre Fritz Jean LAPLANCHE

Autant dire que cette nouvelle a frappé les membres des communautés jérémiennes et grand’anselaises comme la foudre vu que Fritz fut un être noble et digne de cette région qu’il a servie depuis son jeune âge face au dépeuplement des valeurs individuelles qu’ont connu Jérémie et ses environs au fil des années.


C’est le cas de dire que Jérémie est en train de pleurer l’un de ses enfants fauché encore une fois par la violence aveugle qui a entaché l’histoire de cette ville et de ce pays que Fritz a pourtant aimés jusqu’au bout. Un amour qu’il allait prouver à nouveau quand il projetait à deux jours de la date fatidique son départ pour Jérémie en vue de prêter sa participation à la célébration de la St Louis, fête patronale de la ville.

Mais ce pays qu’il portait profondément dans son cœur l’a laissé mourir comme un chien. Que dis-je ? comme un chien haïtien !

Car un chien dans des pays civilisés aurait reçu des soins intensifs immédiatement après que les balles assassines l’aurait atteint et les sociétés protectrices des animaux de ces pays n’auraient pas abandonné ce chien dans son trépas pendant plus de 4 heures d’horloge avant que le nécessaire ait été fait pour sauver sa vie. Mais Hélas ! c’est ainsi que Fritz a connu sa fin, gisant seul par terre, avant qu’un bon samaritain lui ait accordé un coup d’œil et appelé les « soins d’urgence » qui, malgré son état grave, voulaient que tout soit payé d’avance avant l’administration de tout traitement pour stopper l’hémorragie qui, goutte par goutte, consumait la vie de notre Fritz.  Pays de chiens…haïtiens!


Fritz a pourtant vécu, lui, sa vie non pas comme un chien mais en tant qu’un chevalier infatigable qui a travaillé sans répit jusqu’à la fin de ces jours.  Il voulait revoir ses amis d’autrefois et nous invitait directement ou indirectement à revenir au pays pour la grande fête des valeurs retrouvées. Il n’a pas eu cette chance ! On ne lui a pas donné cette chance !

Rude travailleur, il s’attelait à la tâche qui jamais ne lui était difficile. Souriant, affable, éducateur conscient-- comme son père-- on le voyait toujours avec un livre à la main. Et il pouvait déclamer des vers inspirants de poètes haïtiens ou étrangers comme ça, sans hésitation, pour réhausser une conversation ou bien pour prodiguer un conseil à un ami ou à un jeunot qu’il voulait aider à faire face aux problèmes de la vie.


« Plus encore que la vie, la mort nous tient par des liens subtils » a écrit Charles Baudelaire. Je suis presque certain que Fritz dans l’au-delà où maintenant il se trouve est en train de nous regarder avec son visage à jamais rayonnant, lançant vers nous ces liens d’amour et d’autres bons sentiments qu’il a tissés au cours de sa vie fauchée par un con ou des cons qui ne savent même pas qu’ils sont cons.

Mon épouse Ghislaine et moi présentons nos sincères condoléances à sa femme, ses enfants, son frère Dr Eric Jérôme, à ses soeurs Marie Carmelle, Marie Lourdes, Irnise Jerôme, aux proches et amis éprouvés par la perte cruelle de cet homme qui bien que mort restera comme un point lumineux dans le ciel de la ville de Jérémie. Paix à son âme !

Les funérailles de Jean Fritz Laplanche seront chantées le Samedi 27 août 2016 à 8 h 30 a.m au Parc du Souvenir. L’exposition se fera dès 7 h 30 a.m. La famille reçoit le vendredi 26 Août 2016 au Salon Ange Bleu de l’Entreprise Celcis, sis au # 1, rue Jose Marti, Turgeau, de 4 h à 6 h pm. L’inhumation se fera au Parc du Souvenir.

Dr Carl Gilbert