Tag: Partners in Health
On Nov. 18, Rwandan President Paul Kagame inducted seven thieves without borders and one medical doctor into his “National Order of Outstanding Friendship,” presenting them with medals for “exemplary service” to the nation, meaning himself and his ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Kagame is a modern day exemplar of French King Louis XIV’s theory of government: “L’état, c’est moi” (“I am the state”).
When Bill and Hillary Clinton married in 1975, a friend gave them a trip to Haiti for their honeymoon. The Washington Post reported: “Since that honeymoon vacation, the Caribbean island nation has held a life-long allure for the couple, a place they found at once desperate and enchanting, pulling at their emotions throughout his presidency and in her maiden year as secretary of state.”
“Haiti may have many problems but until 2010 cholera was not one of them. In fact, the country had no known history of the disease at all,” the Al Jazeera host explains. In October 2010, the first of now 8,000 Haitians died of cholera introduced to Haiti by U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal and the U.N.’s negligence in allowing their untreated waste to poison a major river.
On July 15, 2011, to mark the 58th birthday of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a gathering of volunteer medical doctors and nurses provided a free medical clinic in Port-au-Prince. This year was special because of the return of Haiti’s first democratically elected and twice ousted president.
The return of Jean Claude Duvalier, "Baby Doc," to Haiti as a free man was excruciating to veterans of the struggle that overthrew the 30-year dictatorship. The traumatizing symbolism of Duvalier’s return at Haiti’s weakest hour is an insult to the dead and an assault on the living.
The U.N. has threatened to pull out of Haiti. Oh, what a blessed seasonal gift that would be. Bon voyage, U.N.! Goodbye. We’ll help you pack. The Haitian people on the streets demonstrating are asking for YOU, for the U.N. to go. Take Clinton, the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) and the NGOs with you, please.
Cholera, a "disease of poverty" caused by lack of access to clean water, has spread to Haiti's capital city of Port au Prince. At a small, desolate camp of ripped tents nearby, a gleaming water tank is propped up on bricks. But it’s empty.
In the weeks since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, familiar patterns of interference and neglect by the major powers that dominate the country are firmly entrenched. Notwithstanding heroic efforts of ordinary Haitian people, Haitian government officials and agencies and many international organizations, a grave health risk hovers over the people and the direction of Haiti’s reconstruction remains entirely undetermined.
“Two months after the devastating earthquake, the situation in Haiti is downright criminal,” says Robert Roth. According to the spokesperson for the activist network Haiti Action Committee, major Western players such as the U.S. are more interested in defending their own geopolitical interests in Haiti than truly helping the hard hit Caribbean country.
You can walk down many of the streets of Port au Prince and see absolutely no evidence that the world community has helped Haiti. Twenty three days after the earthquake jolted Haiti and killed over 200,000 people, as many as a million people have still not received any international food assistance.
Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health stated, “There’s also no violence. There is no insecurity.” He said the security concerns are being overstated due to “misinformation and rumors … and racism.” In a week since the earthquake, the U.S. had airlifted only 70,000 bottles of water for 3 million people in need.
Haiti is now forced by the World Bank and its bloodsucking siblings like the IMF to pay more than $1 million a week to satisfy debts incurred by the Duvaliers and the post-Duvalier tyrannies. Haiti must repay this debt to prove its fitness for "help" from the Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFI).
In Haiti, they have a name for hunger. It's called Clorox hunger - meaning something that eats you from the inside. But it's an imposed hunger, an imposed starvation on the people of Haiti. It has a history. Until the 1980s, Haiti was self sufficient in rice production. But with the lowering of tariffs, Haitians got what we call "Miami" rice. Haiti was flooded with cheap rice imports and Haitian peasants couldn't compete.