Thursday, November 10, 2005

Like A Fairytale

Haiti, the fictitious country, for hundreds of years that most efficient engine of imperial wealth, now the neo-liberal wonderland, too good to be true:

Who in their right mind would even dare to promote election in such a chaotic context? Who is going to participate in that charade where more than 60% of the people will be excluded? But the so-called election is not about the majority, it is about capturing the presidency for and by a minority, which is crying foul following the announcement of a Haitian-American entering the race.

There are currently 34 presidential candidates in the race the electoral body (CEP) has not issued an official list yet - but in reality the upcoming selection is between two U.S.-backed candidates: the representative of the Group 184, Charles Henri Baker and the Millionaire expatriate, Dumarsais Siméus who sits on the Florida Gov. Jeb Bush,s Haiti Task Force. All indications are leading to the latter as the most favorite. No longer interested in supporting the traditional and corrupted elite to run the country, the United States has decided to change course by supporting an inexperienced candidate who lacks local support. After all, the United States influence in the country,s internal affairs has a long history. When security arrangements for the President and other high officials are being contracted at the U.S. embassy, there is no need to argue about who is really in control.

Siméus candidacy has become a litmus test for the puppet regime, which is now under tremendous pressure from both its supporters. On the one hand, the United States is pushing for Siméus and on the other hand, the traditional elite are looking for ways to keep him out of the ballot. Such challenge can ruin the organization of the election and unless the technocratic regime drops its opposition to Siméus, it can be used as a pretext to finally put Haiti under total control of the UN where Siméus would likely be the top administrator. The backers of the current regime have been denying it for months but all indications are proving otherwise. The UN Security Council resolution that granted MINUSTAH complete control of the local police and the security apparatus is one step in that direction.

The situation in Haiti must be viewed in a broader context. We are now living in an Orwellian time. When your supporters are clamoring that election can be held even though in reality it is foolish - you have no choice but to follow. Otherwise, you will be history just like your predecessor. This is where we are now in Haiti. Nothing matters anymore. Nothing makes sense. Welcome to our newest wonderland, the land of insanity.
- Lucson Pierre-Charles

"Haiti's debt to international financial institutions and foreign governments has grown from US$302 million in 1980 to US$1.134 billion today. About 40% of this debt stems from loans to the brutal Duvalier (Papa and Baby Doc) dictators who invested precious little of it in the country. This is known as odious debt, because it was used to oppress the people, and, according to international law, this debt need not be repaid."
- quoted here.

It happened also in the 18th century; the planters of the island borrowed against their slaves from Paris financiers. By the last decades of the ancien régime, the financiers had foreclosed and taken over the fabulously profitable sugar industry of Saint Domingue. Today the US puppet plays the role of planter hocking the population as if with their own consent:

July 21, 2004—Haiti received more than $1 billion in pledges for the next two years at a donors’ conference that drew representatives from 30 countries and 32 international organizations.

With these funds, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere is ready to tackle urgent and medium-term development needs after nearly 15 years of political, social and economic instability.

"I am delighted with the result of this conference which demonstrates the level of solidarity of the international community with the people of Haiti," said Interim Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue.
- World Bank, an article with the surreal title Financing Haiti's Future

After the Haitian revolution led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, during which the Haitian people resisted the invasions of both Britain and France (the failed British campaign to re-enslave the Haitians was the most expensive, in men and money, of the Napoleonic wars), France demanded the new nation compensate the slaveowners for the losses they sustained in the citizenry's freeing themselves of bondage, inaugurating the national debt which has continued to enslave the citizenry of Haiti to this day. The democratically elected, enormously popular Lavalas government sought the return of that initial indemnity from France, but the kidnapping of the President and the overthrow of the constitutional democratic order of Haiti, by the US, France and Canada, put an end to Haiti's pursuit of the return of that ransom paid over the course of a century by the nation to French financiers to secure European recognition of the legal liberty of its citizens.

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