Almost two months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti with over 150,000 people confirmed dead in the capital alone the sight of western corporations and charities swooping in to make a profit off the dead carcasses in the streets of Haiti would sicken anyone with a conscience.
When an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale hit Port-au-Prince in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, devastated by decades of western imperialism and economic control one could only look in horror and donate what they could via legitimate Haitian charities.
Despite the western media’s agonising pleas for people to respond and musicians holding fund raising concerts the real evil was concealed.
Instead of offering aid, doctors and assistance the first thing that America did was to get consent from the UN to take over all air and sea ports in Haiti as well as block all roads.
According to journalist John Pilger in an article titled ‘The Kidnapping of Haiti‘, “…13,000 marines, special forces, spooks and mercenaries, none with humanitarian relief training”, were sent to Haiti by America. Pilger said that the airport at Port-au-Prince was literally an American military base, and all for what we have to ask?
Pilger uncovers a brutal history of American occupation in Haiti for economic purposes. In 2004 President Bush ordered the kidnapping of the democratically elected prime minister of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and exiled him in Africa. Why he did this was simple, to keep Haiti as a cheap labour reserve to make American goods.
It was former American president Bill Clinton who ironically was appointed as the main UN man in Haiti, the very man that turned Haiti into a sweatshop for American companies.
According to Pilger, “Haiti is where Walt Disney contractors make Mickey Mouse pyjamas, for next to nothing. The US controls Haiti’s sugar, bauxite and sisal”.
Sports equipment for American baseball is made by poor Haitians who are paid next to nothing, and this is the reason why Jean-Bertrand Aristide was illegally removed from power by Bush because he tried to bring reform for Haitian workers.
In another article by author and editor Benjamin Dangl, titled ‘Profiting from Haiti’s Crisis: Disaster Capitalism in Washington’s Backyard‘, it is argued that America has brought ‘Disaster Capitalism’ to Haiti, this is where the American government, American corporations and the IMF force neo liberal policies on countries that experience disasters benefiting financially from their vulnerability. Already big companies and organisations such as The Heritage Foundation, The mercenary trade group International Peace Operations Association, Goldman Sachs and the International Monetary Fund are swooping in to take control of Haiti and make money off the crises.
Haiti is a nation with a history of revolution. It was the first country in which African slaves successfully rose up and defeated the combined European powers of France, Britain and Spain; to create the first free slave state. Ever since that historical moment Haiti has been undermined by European powers and continue to be undermined by these same powers today.
According to Pilger oil was found in Haiti’s waters decades ago and America has kept it as a reserve until Middle East oil runs dry. This can explain the US military presence in Haiti.
When will pop stars discuss these real issues? When will celebrities risk their careers to speak out against these injustices?
Countries like Cuba offered around 400 doctors and health-care experts free of charge to the Haitian people and Cuban doctors worked every day in 227 of the country’s 337 communes.
It seems that Haiti’s historic fight against colonial powers continues to this very day.
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