Haitians at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia are trying to bring attention to Haiti, where Bill and Hillary Clinton are accused of defrauding the country of billions in earthquake relief money and destabilizing the nation’s economy and state institutions. Mainstream media has moreover tried to ignore this most significant part of the Clintons’ background. It is where Bill and Hillary Clinton spent their honeymoon. But since then, the poor island nation has become a source of undue enrichment for friends and family of the Clintons and for the Clintons themselves.
During my last trip to Haiti this June with a delegation of students and human rights observers, we were exposed to the raw violence of the ongoing forced dispersal of the poor. On May 31, the Martelly regime intensified a process – in the name of “eminent domain” – of violently evicting the poor from their homes in downtown Port-au-Prince and then physically destroying their homes and businesses.
Obama denounced the recent “elections” in Burma as “neither free nor fair.” The Haitian “elections” are also neither free nor fair. The largest party, Fanmi Lavalas, is excluded, as it has been in every election since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in 2004; 1.3 million earthquake victims are displaced; and cholera has already taken 1,600 lives.