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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.
Within days of a Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated much of southern Haiti, the New York Times was using the disaster to promote a United Nations plan for drastically expanding the country’s garment assembly industry, which employs low paid workers to stitch apparel for duty-free export, mainly to the U.S. market.
In many ways, Black August, at least in the West, begins in Haiti. It is the Blackest August possible — revolution and resultant liberation from bondage. From its earliest days, Haiti was declared an asylum for escaped slaves, and a place of refuge for any person of African or American Indian descent.
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).