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What U.N. Special Envoy Bill Clinton may do to help Haiti

August 16, 2009

by Marguerite “Ezili Danto” Laurent, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

President Jean Bertrand Aristide meets with President Bill Clinton in October 1994.
President Jean Bertrand Aristide meets with President Bill Clinton in October 1994.
Bill Clinton may be useful to Haiti’s people – not only the ruling tyrannical Haiti oligarchs and U.S. elites in Haiti – if he uses his spotlight to:

1. Support granting TPS to Haitians.

Stopping indefinite detentions and/or automatic repatriation of Haitian refugees and support justice and equal application of U.S. laws towards Haitian immigrants and refugees.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and work permits to Haitian nationals ought to be granted with a specification to stop all deportations until Haiti has recovered from the ravages of hurricanes, floods and the bicentennial coup d’état instability.

2. End the U.N. military occupation.

Expose the U.N. killings, rapes, arbitrary arrests and political persecutions in Haiti. Support justice for the coup d’état and U.N. victims, not impunity for the U.N. and the economic elites in Haiti. Support the release of all political prisoners in Haiti.

The 9,000 U.N. troops in Haiti are paid over $601.58 million per year and have been in Haiti for four years. That is $50.13 million per month, $1.64 million per day. Yet, during the recent floods and hurricane season in Haiti, the Haitian president had to call for international help from the international community. Wasn’t that help already in Haiti, to the tune of 9,000 U.N. – MINUSTAH – troops already cashing in $1.64 million per day?

Why are they there, if incapable of providing emergency help? If they had not one amphibious unit, temporary bridge, caravan of trucks or equipment to reach Haitians in distress, what use are they to the people of Haiti? Are their war tanks, heavy artillery, guns and military presence in Haiti making Haitians more secure, more safe, more free, more prosperous, better nourished, educated and healthier than before they landed four years ago? No.

Special envoy Bill Clinton ought to support ending the U.N. military occupation. Haiti needs development and infrastructure assistance, poverty reduction assistance through investment in Haitian agriculture and self-sufficiency. Tractors, not tanks and guns. Community policing, not war soldiers.

Clinton could help if he uses his spotlight to demand the demilitarization of the Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers, promoting not any army on Haitian soil, foreign or domestic, but community-based policing, community-focused U.N. and Haitian police work and training, and the banning of U.N. tanks, heavy weapons, equipment and all small arms exports to Haiti.

3. Support canceling immediately and WITHOUT CONDITIONS all Haiti debt to international financial institutions.

4. Support fair trade in Haiti, not sweatshops or “free trade,” and begin reciprocal trade.

Stop grossly unfair free trade deals and ineffective initiatives such as the Caribbean Basin Initiate Investment Support (OPIC) or the Special Export Zones (SEZ) under the Hope Act, which bans trade unions to protect workers’ rights or other such sorts of agreements – pummeling, bullying and beating Haiti into the dust of misery, debt and poverty. And, instead, support Haitian food production and domestic manufacturing, job creation, public works projects, sustainable development and a good working culture that values human rights.

5. Stop failed U.S./USAID policies of fleecing U.S. taxpayers and handing the money to USAID (U.S. Agency of International Development).

And stop effectively trading through USAID, churches and predator NGOs. A great portion of food aid from such entities does not reach the intended beneficiaries in Haiti and ends up for sale in the marketplace.

Start fair trade with Haiti and supporting grassroots, indigenous Haitian capacity building organizations. USAID denies Haitian sovereignty and progress by blocking, declining and subverting any direct assistance to empower the Haitian government. Instead, the majority of Haiti’s national budget – provided by the international community as a consequence the 2004 Bush/USAID regime change – is currently managed by non-governmental organizations approved by USAID. For instance, some 800 NGOs control part of the budget, thoroughly undermining the state’s ability to deal with the famine and food crisis.

Direct that the U.S. re-orientate its resource allocation to Haiti to trade with the Haitian government, not, in effect, with USAID, foreign NGOs, churches and charities in the name of Haitians. For this U.S. foreign policy effectively forms a shadow government enchaining Haiti and undermining Haiti’s sovereignty, and emboldening and empowering NGOs with no public responsibility or accountability to Haitians or Haiti’s long term well-being.

It is in the best interest of the United States to directly support Haitian democracy, good governance, development, self-reliance and self-sufficiency. This cannot be done if the Haitian government has to compete with foreign funded NGOs and charities that are not elected or accountable to the people of Haiti, but are predatory and promoting dependency and their own organizations’ interests for self-perpetuation in Haiti.

To effectively support grassroots, indigenous Haiti capacity building organizations, the U.S. Congress must demand greater fiscal accountability, transparency and quantifiable evidence of sustainable development achievements from reform projects designed, supervised and financed through USAID and their subcontractors, corporate consultants and charity workers using federal funds in Haiti. And in particular these new Haiti foreign assistance guidelines should ensure that food and other aid actually reaches its intended beneficiaries and does not end up for sale in the open market or stay in Washington or get used in Haiti mostly on administrative salaries, fees and expenses for USAID’s political benefactors, shipping companies and nonprofits.

6. Support the institutionalization of the rule of law.

Special U.N. Envoy Bill Clinton should support the institutionalization of Haitian laws, not “democracy enhancement” projects by USAID, IRI (International Republican Institute) or NED (National Endowment for Democracy) that promote coup d’état, instability and financial colonialism and containment-in-poverty in Haiti through neo-liberalism – “free trade,” “globalization” and other such “privatization” – schemes.

Every time the United States supports the destabilization of a duly elected government it visits enormous economic pressures and political turmoil upon Haiti. The turmoil and pressures benefit Haiti’s bloody military and economic elites and undermines Haitian justice, participatory democracy, self sufficiency, sovereignty and self-determination and promotes insecurity, debt, dependency, foreign domination, injustice, a rise in fleeing refugees and structural containment in poverty. This instability has widespread and deep and disturbing repercussions. It keeps Haiti underdeveloped, dependent and contained-in-poverty.

Clinton may begin to support the Haitian Constitution by assisting with the return of President Aristide to Haiti and thereby reinforce the rule of law and interests of the majority of Haitians, not just that of the undemocratic and morally repugnant Haitian elites.

7. Encourage maximum leveraging of Diaspora remittances.

The Haitian Diaspora invests over $2 billion dollars per year in Haiti. That investment is destroyed, diluted and undermined when it must be used to bury family members killed in political turmoil, kidnapped in the chaos of anarchy – the instability that follows coup d’états – or to move and help rebuilt the family of a relative or friend traumatized by the U.N. soldiers’ rapes, molestation, arbitrary detention and indefinite incarcerations of their children, relatives and friends in Haiti.

Funds sent from the Diaspora should instead be used to buy books for the children and relatives to go to school, supplies to carry out a viable family business or seeds to plant next year’s harvest. Remittances should be be invested in Haiti’s tourism, schools, reforestation, agriculture, road construction, flood barriers, communication, energy, sanitation or health needs.

Moreover, when the U.S. deports an income earner to a Haiti ravaged by storms and famine, this decreases remittances and further impoverishes family members who depended on the remittances from family members abroad. Diaspora remittances are the most effective and direct aid to the Haitian poor in Haiti.

Conclusion

Special U.N. Envoy Bill Clinton may assist Haitian development, democracy, self reliance and sovereignty if he supports granting equal treatment and TPS to Haitians, ending the U.N. military occupation, demanding justice for the coup d’état victims, calling for the release of thousands upon thousands of political prisoners in Haiti and assisting Haiti with poverty reduction with domestic agricultural investments not sweatshops. He should support Haiti-led capacity building grassroots organizations not foreigners and NGOs, support community policing, support canceling without conditions the unfair debts to international financial institutions and promote the return to Haiti of President Jean Bertrand Aristide. All this would support stability and participatory democracy, stop the flow of refugees and illegal immigration and meet the policy interests of the United States.

For further information, see Ezili HLLN’s

Haiti Policy Statement for the Obama Team 

What Haitians and Haitian-Americans Ask of the New U.S. Congress and President

The Free Haiti Movement Demands 

Marguerite Laurent, an award winning playwright, performance poet, dancer, actor and activist attorney born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, founded and chairs the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, supporting and working cooperatively with Haitian freedom fighters and grassroots organizations promoting the civil, human and cultural rights of Haitians at home and abroad. Visit her website at www.margueritelaurent.com.

6 thoughts on “What U.N. Special Envoy Bill Clinton may do to help Haiti

  1. Malaika H. Kambon

    16 August 2009

    Great Expectations?

    Why would anyone expect that former U.S. president Bill Clinton would work to end the U.N.’s occupation of Haiti?

    He is, after all, the new U.S. designated U.N. ‘special’ envoy to Haiti and as such he has rebellions to quell, resources to steal, people to disappear…

    So why would anyone presume that Clinton will negotiate his own unemployment by disbanding his merry band of MINUSTAH thugs?

    Why would anyone presume that Clinton would defy the Haitian elite and fight for the return of President Aristide to Haiti?

    Why would Clinton defy the dictates of Presidents Washington through Obama and acknowledge the will of the Haitian people to be free?

    A brief review of historical events in Haiti seems politic, at this point.

    Haiti has fought for her dignity, sovereignty, and freedom despite the ravages of Columbus, the political assassinations of Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean Jacques Dessalines before and after winning a war of independence from 1791 – 1804 against Europe’s military might and $US 400,000 in foreign aid; the mortgaging of her future by a 150M franc payment to France; the U.S. Marine invasion of the country and robbery of her treasury in 1915; and 31 more coups d’etat.

    FANMI LAVALAS has TWICE democratically elected the same president -Jean-Bertrand Aristide, only to have him TWICE overthrown by Euro-America (once with Canadian assistance,) in just over a decade’s time, once in 1990 and again in 2004.

    TWICE Haiti’s FANMI LAVALAS has successfully boycotted fraudulent, U.S. financed and instigated/UN sponsored senatorial elections, once in April and again in June of 2009.

    Additionally Haiti has:

    (1) Continued to fight for the same TPS that this same U.S. designated ‘Special’ envoy denied as an incoming U.S. president in 1993,

    (2) Continued to accept nothing less than liberty or death in her ongoing battle for dignity, freedom, sovereignty, and freedom from foreign domination and control.

    (3) Continued to do battle daily with the combined military might of the nearly 10,000 U.N. ‘casque bleu’ (blue helmeted) U.N. soldiers who have invaded and occupied Haiti since the 2004 coup against President Aristide.

    (4) Continued to fight for the freedom of ALL political prisoners, specifically Ronald Dauphin

    (5) Fought on all fronts – in the parliament, senate, courts, and on the streets for a decent and livable minimum wage

    (6) Continued to mobilize, as she has throughout her history, specifically in her Diaspora, where it is estimated that her ’10th department’ (people who live outside of Haiti) sends millions of dollars annually back to Haiti.

    (7) Continued to fight this same U.N. military that has committed and continues to commit numerous human rights atrocities, (U.N. Accommodates Human Rights Abuses by Haitian Police by HIP http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/5_8_5/5_8_5.html
    shoots to kill babies in their homes with head shots and even into a massive grieving populace (U.N. Denials in Haiti http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/6_30_9/6_30_9.html
    as an attempted warning that funerals for beloved heroes such as Pe Jery Jean Juste, support for alleged ‘bandits,’ continued demonstrations for the return of a democratically elected presidential family in exile (the Jean-Bertrand Aristides) and demonstrations and demands for justice for a disappeared human rights hero (Lovinsky-Pierre Antoine) will not be tolerated.

    All of these things say that the poor of Haiti, i.e. 97% of the population, and its leadership – is still strong, despite all attempts by the powers that be to the contrary.

    Thus Cowboy Bill Clinton, he of the multi-tasking uses of cigars, is dragging a red herring over AYITI (Haiti) by his recent appointment of Paul Farmer as his U.N. Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti, cementing the fiction that he, Cowboy Bill is in Haiti to act in Haiti’s best interests.

    For obviously, Haiti cannot do this for herself…

    Neither of the Clinton’s are in Haiti on behalf of the people of Haiti, nor have they ever been.

    For while Clinton pretends to ‘promote democracy’ in Haiti, in actuality he plays the same ‘secret agent man’ game he’s played previously.

    He dismisses U.N. MINUSTAH alleged ‘bandit raid’ massacres of an unarmed Haitian populace as mere ‘controversy and incident,’ bolstering the ‘collateral damage,’ songs of MINUSTAH leaders Juan Gabriel Valdes (1 June 2004 -31 May 2006) Guatemalan Edmond Mulet (1 June 2006 – 31 August 2007) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

    Most specifically were the 6 July 2005, the 22 December 2006, and the 2 February 2007 massacres in Cite Soleil, including the assassination of Dred Wilme.

    There were many more massacres and attacks by the ‘casque bleu’ (blue helmets) of MINUSTAH, in conjunction with the Canadian trained Haitian National Police, and the paid minions of the U.S. CIA – (FRAPH) – led by Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant integrated into police ranks by the U. N. MINUSTAH forces.

    These attacks were all against unarmed Haitian civilians in poor communities, against FANMI LAVALAS members, and against backers of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

    And they were not ‘mere collateral damage.’ They were concerted targeted attacks against a political power of the people that the powers that be cannot defeat.

    The people on the ground in AYITI know this.

    One has only to read the following books and articles to get a peoples’ analysis of what is in store for Haiti with Cowboy Bill as UN Special Envoy.

    EYES OF THE HEART by Jean-Bertrand Aristide

    Haiti: The People Do Not Buy Liberty & Democracy At the Market, by Kevin Pina http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/8_7_9/8_7_9.html

    Clinton’s ‘silence’ challenged in Haiti, by Kevin Pina http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/7_7_9/7_7_9.html

    THE USES OF HAITI by Paul Farmer

    Clinton worked to destabilize Haiti.

    Now he’s back to attempt to finish what he started. Hurricane Bill meets MINUSTAH.

    He hopes to destabilize Haiti as well as to derail any unity between the people of Haiti and the people of the Honduras, whose recently deposed President Zelaya fought for the people of Honduras in much the same ways that President Aristide fought for the people of Haiti.

    Clinton has deemed Haiti ‘safer today’ because of the United Nations MINUSTAH invasion army of nearly 10,000 as it terrorizes the country raping, pillaging, and murdering with impunity.

    Cowboy Bill also deemed it ‘safe’ to grant concessions of amnesty to Haitian mass murderer Franck Romain, (mastermind of the 1988 Saint Jean Bosco massacre,) and Brigadier General Raoul Cedras, (leader of the first U.S. instigated coup d’etat against President Aristide in 1991) during his tenure as president.

    Cedras was in the pay of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency at the time, along with the deadly paramilitary FRAPH and its leader ‘Toto’ Constant.

    Presidential hopeful Bill Clinton campaigned to halt the vicious George Bush policies of denying TPS to Haitians, imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

    A victorious President Clinton promptly flipped the script and backed Bush in denying the 300 Haitians then in Guantanamo Bay prison their human rights. ‘Captured By Guantanamo,’ http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalization-institutions_government/guantanamo_haiti_2867.jsp

    Just as Lincoln didn’t free enslaved Afrikans in the U.S., Clinton didn’t work to righteously ‘return’ President Aristide to power in 1994.

    Instead, like France, he attempted to return Haiti to right wing control by forcing attempts at U.S. rule of Haiti by proxy due to U.S. government dislike of Aristide’s ‘leftist’ democracy and his further assertions of capitalism as ‘a mortal sin.’

    Clinton legitimized the coup d’etat of 1990 against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and assisted in subsequent attempts to completely destabilize Haiti.

    By default, he – and Hilary – also legitimize the coup d’etat of 2004 in Haiti and do for Obama what Condoleeza Rice/Colin Powell did for Bush: attempt to destabilize Haiti and prevent her from becoming a world power, particularly in the western hemisphere.

    It does not take rocket science to discern that Cowboy Bill is in Haiti to divert peoples’ attention while he and his wife prop up U.S. control of Haiti via the Andy Apaids, the Haitian elites, the Group of 184, the World Bank, and the IMF, as a repeat performance in 2009 – while stealing Haiti’s oil and other lucrative resources from the poor to give to the rich.

    These resources include, but are not limited to, the institutional enslavement of Haiti’s people, whose working wage is a whopping 70 gourdes per day (less than 38 cents per hour) by order of the current puppet president, Rene Preval.

    The U.S. enslaver has sent its overseer/puppet masters – complete with cigars and whips – to inspect its minions and to keep them in line, in what the U.S. considers to be its ‘failed state’ plantation.

    Obviously, the overseers seek to present a gift wrapped Haiti with a nice sauce and a partridge in a pear tree to an Obama administration and white house victory celebration, tied with ‘foreign investments’ and an NGO bow.

    Frederick Douglas reminded us that ‘Until She Spoke’ ‘… no Christian nation had given to the world an organized effort to abolish slavery…’
    Until She Spoke by Frederick Douglas
    http://www.haiti-usa.org/historical/index.php?cp=21

    And El Hajj Malik El Shabazz reminded us in his 1964 ‘Ballot or the Bullet’ speech that … you don’t take your case to the criminal (he created the problem) you take your criminal to court…

    And President Aristide was deadly accurate when he said that:

    “Pèp pa achte libète ak demokrasi nan mache,”

    The people do not buy liberty and democracy at the market.

    In this case, it’s the peoples’ market and the peoples’ court, and the people have spoken.

    They haven’t stopped speaking.

    They’ve been saying ‘liberty or death’ since the first Taino rebellions, since Toussaint L’Ouverture and since Jean Jacques Dessalines.

    So why are there those who are still foolishly braying to these modern day ‘great white hope’ wanna be’s, Bill & Hillary Clinton, for some kind of deliverance?

    FANMI LAVALAS is the people of Haiti. The people of Haiti are FANMI LAVALAS.

    They don’t need Bill and Hillary.

    President Jean-Bertrand Aristide refused to sell out Haiti. He is in exile.

    Lovinsky Pierre Antoine refused to sell out Haiti. He is disappeared.

    Pe Jery Jean Juste refused to sell out Haiti. He was murdered, though his spirit will be with us always.

    The fight for Aristide’s return continues. The fight to discover what has happened to Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine continues. Pe Jery’s fight for the liberation of Haiti continues in the hearts, minds, spirits, souls, and bodies of we who uncompromisingly will be free.

    Tankou wozo nou pliye, men nou pa kase… Like reeds the people bend but do not break.

    a luta continua

    Reply
  2. Justin Davis

    Do you think Clinton is having a positive or negative effect on the Region? I think sometimes he gets involved in areas of foreign policy he should not, but I guess in other parts of the world like north korea he was helpful. Not sure.

    Thanks…

    Justin Davis
    Freight Quote

    Reply
  3. Horus virgin nana

    Bill Clinton seem kind of cool but not so cool . I do not want to bash this guy and he better try to do the right thing even though this guy is a free mason they believe in some bullshit type of stuff witch don’t really matter to me. We all know that this guy is going to Haiti to make money lots of it don’t matter what any body say. The elite as given him a chance to make billions so hes not going to look out for black Haitians like we all think; but he is not a full to take care of black people autonomy cause this guy coming from a KKK father and he is with the CFR . Haiti need to get take over buy its people not some fools who wants to enslave it’s people that are already struggle because of these stupid fools. Listen to bill last week you’ll have to press for tps but do so respectfully this brainwash to the niggas who pay two hundred fifty dollars to listen to hi bullshit while millions of Haitian in America and Haiti are living below poverty level. Don’t screw your while Clinton are going to take the elite to Haiti so that they can continue to rape the Haitian people . I hope the Japanese take over very soon before these greedy bastard kill all the haitian race. Politicians, and religious founders are nothing but thieves . We hope they change their mind before it to late. preval suck.!!!! just like Jesus Christ and who cares magicians are lies that is what he was.

    Reply
  4. Horus 3000bc

    I would like to see haiti in a different light to wards a better world, but there is only one problem the elite bankers are not going to let that happen any time soon unless they follow up on the Japanese order to reestablish peace in this planet and to abolish poverty in the world.
    They are so racist they would hate to see a black nation like Haiti to succeed because they still hold that thing in their hearth for the Haitians since 1804 . To day every body knows how this government of this world is racist and they proud of this nasty behavior . So if bill clinton is going to haiti he need to start with the tps, remove the UN occupation, release all political prisoners,raise the minimum wage to $3.00 per hours not 38 cent and not go over there to becomes the grandmaster of the slave ,also he need to make his money at the same time help to rebuild the country wish was destroy by man made hurricane.

    Reply
  5. wilmer batista

    yo wilmer batisat kiero una entrevista con alguien relacionado al señor gerald la tortue para dar una conferencia en rep dominicana con relasion a la situacion politica en el pais vesino ahi estan todos mi informacion mi telf es 829 904 8940 y 809 431 8940

    Reply
  6. constant content

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I'm not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I'd post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Many thanks

    Reply

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