Disputes emerge over Haiti aid control

France, Venezuela, Nicaragua Accuse the US of Occupying Haiti
The United Nations must investigate and clarify the dominant U.S. role in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, a French minister said Monday, claiming that international aid efforts were about helping Haiti, not “occupying” it.

Chavez says U.S. occupying Haiti in name of aid
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez on Sunday accused the United States of using the earthquake in Haiti as a pretext to occupy the devastated Caribbean country and offered to send fuel from his OPEC nation.

Clash over Haiti aid flights
Alain Joyandet, French co-operation minister, told reporters at the airport he had protested to Washington via the US ambassador about the US military’s management of the airport where he said a French medical aid flight had been turned away.

Ortega warns of US deployment in Haiti
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says that the United States has taken advantage of the massive quake in Haiti and deployed troops in the country.
“What is happening in Haiti seriously concerns me as US troops have already taken control of the airport,” Ortega said on Saturday.

UN Secretary-General visits Haiti to support relief efforts…

Ruined Roads Impede Haiti Relief Effort

Mixed martial artists call for donations to Haiti relief groups

Heavy-lift helicopters join Haiti quake relief effort

Wyclef Jean denounces attacks on Yele Haiti Foundation with video

Frustration amid aid gridlock

Thousands of Haitians wait for help

Tens of thousands neglected at quake epicentre

Haiti earthquake: Hillary Clinton visits devastated capital

Haiti: Desperate for the world to deliver on its promises

5 thoughts on “Disputes emerge over Haiti aid control”

  1. Caricom Blocked…as US takes control of airport
    The Caribbean Community’s emergency aid mission to Haiti, comprising Heads of Government and leading technical officials, failed to secure permission Friday to land at that devasted country’s aiport, now under the control of the United States.

    Manning Heads for DR to Help Haiti
    Prime Minister Patrick Manning is expected to leave tomorrow for the Dominican Republic to meet with other Caricom leaders to map out a plan for the recovery of earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon revealed yesterday.

    …PM to attend Haiti talks

    Reparations, not handouts, for Haiti

    President Preval: We must keep our cool

    Nightmares, tears, over Haiti

    Haiti aid flows but not reaching victims
    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Hungry, haggard survivors clamoured – and sometimes fought – for food and water yesterday as donors squabbled over how to get aid into Haiti and rescuers waged an increasingly improbable battle to free the dying before they become the dead.

    TT aid pours in for Haiti
    Aid continues to pour in for earthquake-ravaged Haiti from all over the world and Trinidad and Tobago is holding its own as local groups continue to collect foodstuff and other essentials for the Haitian people, who are now fighting each other for scraps of food and where drinking water is almost non existent.

    ‘Radiothon’ yields US$.5m in pledges
    MORE than US$500,000 in pledges were raised by radio stations within the One Caribbean Media (OCM) network in support of the ‘Help Haiti Now’ fund.

    Supermarkets sending food to Haiti
    The Supermarkets Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) is compiling its own containers of food items to send to the Haitian people in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake which rocked the capital city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

    We must put Haiti at centre stage
    I was going to write about local politics this week: the internal UNC elections, the very interesting address by the President of our Republic on the occasion of the opening of Parliament; the attempt by Udecott to stop the Uff Commission of Enquiry from submitting a report.

    Senegal offers land to Haitians
    Senegal is offering free land to Haitians wishing to ‘return to their origins’ following this week’s devastating earthquake, which has destroyed the capital and buried thousands of people beneath rubble.

    UN hit hard: ‘worst disaster’

    1. The number of US troops, not search and rescue, not doctors, not aid workers, but soldiers that are in Haiti, plus their apparent total control of the airport, makes me ask is there something there that the US wants to hide, that was set in place after Aristide was booted out? Will aid from Cuba be allowed in?

      I am suspicious of the US military bein there in such massive numbers. seems there must be a hidden agenda somewhere. This needs watching.

      Shooting a looter in the head, when there is no one to open a supermarket to provide food, puts life and death decisons not in the hands of the Haitian people, but again in the hands of people pointing guns at their heads. Shades of 1920’s?
      What is the Organization of AMerican States going to say about this? They are hopelessly silent.

      If Rene Preval is any kind of leader, why is he not cordinating relief efforts.Where is he for God’s sake? Is he under house arrest? Or is the massive buildup of US troops there to prevent a return of the legitimate leader, Jean Bertrand Aristide.

      Something about this stinks, and its not the smell of dead people under rubble.

      1. If Rene Preval is any kind of leader, why is he not cordinating relief efforts.Where is he for God’s sake? Is he under house arrest? Or is the massive buildup of US troops there to prevent a return of the legitimate leader, Jean Bertrand Aristide.

        This is exactly why I hold the view that (as stated in previous comments) no occupation can take place without the direct assistance of local leaders, I also indicated that we just can’t fully blame outsiders fro problems that exist in any country. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts abosolutely!!!

  2. When Haitian Ministers Take a 50 Percent Cut of Aide Money It’s Called “Corruption,” When NGOs Skim 50 Percent It’s Called “Overhead”

    Crushing Haiti, Now as Always

    By Patrick Cockburn
    January 17, 2010 – counterpunch.org

    The US-run aid effort for Haiti is beginning to look chillingly similar to the criminally slow and disorganized US government support for New Orleans after it was devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005. Four years ago President Bush was famously mute and detached when the levies broke in Louisiana. By way of contrast President Obama was promising Haitians that everything would be done for survivors within hours of the calamity.

    The rhetoric from Washington has been very different during these two disasters, but the outcome may be much the same. In both cases very little aid arrived at the time it was most needed and, in the case of Port-au-Prince, when people trapped under collapsed buildings were still alive. When foreign rescue teams with heavy lifting gear does come it will be too late. No wonder enraged Haitians are building roadblocks out of rocks and dead bodies.

    In New Orleans and Port-au-Prince there is the same official terror of looting by local people so the first outside help to arrive is in the shape of armed troops. The US currently has 3,500 soldiers, 2,200 Marines and 300 medical personnel on their way to Haiti.

    Of course there will be looting because, with shops closed or flattened by the quake, this is the only way for people can get food and water. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. I was in Port-au-Prince in 1994, the last time US troops landed there, when local people systematically tore apart police stations, taking wood, pipes and even ripping nails out of the walls. In the police station I was in there were sudden cries of alarm from those looting the top floor as they discovered that they could not get back down to the ground because the entire wooden staircase had been chopped up and stolen.

    I have always liked Haitians for their courage, endurance, dignity and originality. They often manage to avoid despair in the face of the most crushing disasters or the absence of any prospect that their lives will get better. Their culture, notably their painting and music, is among the most interesting and vibrant in the world.

    It is sad to hear journalists who have rushed to Haiti in the wake of the earthquake give such misleading and even racist explanations of why Haitians are so impoverished, living in shanty towns with a minimal health service, little electricity supply, insufficient clean water and roads that are like river beds.

    This did not happen by accident. In the 19th century it was as if the colonial powers never forgave Haitians for staging a successful slave revolt against the French plantation owners. US Marines occupied the country from 1915 to 1934. Between 1957 and 1986 the US supported Papa Doc and Baby Doc, fearful that they might be replaced by a regime sympathetic to revolutionary Cuba next door.

    President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a charismatic populist priest was overthrown by a military coup in 1991, and restored with US help in 1994. But the Americans were always suspicious of any sign of radicalism from this spokesman for the poor and the outcast and kept him on a tight leash. Tolerated by President Clinton, Aristide was treated as a pariah by the Bush administration which systematically undermine him over three years leading up to a successful rebellion in 2004 led by local gangsters acting on behalf of a kleptocratic Haitian elite and supported by right wing members of the Republican Party in the US.

    So much of the criticism of President Bush has focused on his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that his equally culpable actions in Haiti never attracted condemnation. But if the country is a failed state today, partly run by the UN, in so far as it is run by anybody, then American actions over the years have a lot to do with it.

    Haitians are now paying the price for this feeble and corrupt government structure because there is nobody to coordinate the most rudimentary relief and rescue efforts. Its weakness is exacerbated because aid has been funneled through foreign NGOs. A justification for this is that less of the money is likely to be stolen, but this does not mean that much of it reaches the Haitian poor. A sour Haitian joke says that when a Haitian minister skims 15 per cent of aid money it is called ‘corruption’ and when an NGO or aid agency takes 50 per cent it is called ‘overhead’.

    Many of the smaller government aid programs and NGOs are run by able, energetic and selfless people, but others, often the larger ones, are little more than rackets, highly remunerative for those who run them. In Kabul and Baghdad it is astonishing how little the costly endeavors of American aid agencies have accomplished. “The wastage of aid is sky-high,” said a former World Bank director in Afghanistan. “There is real looting going on, mostly by private enterprises. It is a scandal.” Foreign consultants in Kabul often receive $250,000 to $500,000 a year, in a country where 43 per cent of the population try to live on less than a dollar a day.

    None of this bodes very well for Haitians hoping for relief in the short term or a better life in the long one. The only way this will really happen if the Haitians have a functioning and legitimate state capable of providing for the needs of its people. The US military, the UN bureaucracy or foreign NGOs are never going to do this in Haiti or anywhere else.

    There is nothing very new in this. Americans often ask why it is that their occupation of Germany and Japan in 1945 succeeded so well but more than half a century later in Iraq and Afghanistan was so disastrous. The answer is that it was not the US but the efficient German and Japanese state machines which restored their countries. Where that machine was weak, as in Italy, the US occupation relied with disastrous results on corrupt and incompetent local elites, much as they do today in Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.

    Patrick Cockburn is the Ihe author of “Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq.

    Source: counterpunch.org

  3. Good news this morning. An Australian News Crew (Channels Nine and Seven) rescues a baby girl, and a UN worker is pulled alive from the rubble, while in other parts of town(where there may be other babies trapped besides their dead parents), they are setting fire to entire areas. Could they be killing people who are still waiting to be rescued?The uneven nature of this effort- who lives and continues to hold out hope, who is burnt in rubble, and so can never be identified- cause me to keep concern for Haiti and Haitians at the forefront of my consciousness.

    The US,in its generosity,no tongue in cheek,really,should allow the emergency evacuation of everyone who can name a relative they have in the US- up to first cousin, who can take them in, and in what city. This can be quickly verified by the State Dept. (Now, this would be real help!)These people could go to their relatives for up to an 18 month period, while the desperate issues are dealth with. Sending relatives home to help would be of little use because there are not enough hospitals, no paying work and the banking system, such as it was, may be non-functional. Canada,Jamaica and the DR should also allow people with relatives there, to migrate temporarily as a humanitarian gesture. The story of the old peolple from the resident home, lying outside with no aid, and waiting to die kept me awake last night. If the crew that wrote and filed that story had offered them some food…

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