Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Commentary on Haiti by Norman (Otis) Richmond


By Norman (Otis) Richmond

Let’s call a spade a spade.

Jorge Heine opinion piece, “After the mayhem, the real challenge is
to fix Haiti “in the Toronto star, is disturbing to say the least.
Heine opines, “A legacy of dictatorship, foreign intervention and
environmental degradation has left its enormously talented and
spirited people at the mercy of the worst kind of man-made and natural disasters."

Haiti's problems are a result of imperialism, slavery and colonization.
Heine maintains that the United States, Canada, and France (the "Big Three" as they are referred to in Haiti) on the one hand, and
Argentina, Brazil and Chile (the "ABC"), as well as the members of MINUSTAH (the United Nations mission there) have made a serious effort to help Haiti pull itself up by its bootstraps, though always with limited resources.

If the truth is to be told, it is the Big Three who are the problem.
Secular humanists like myself have always maintained: "When the lion lays down with the lamb you get nothing but lamb chops."

France was the slave driver state that enslaved the heroic Haitian
people until 1804. The former slave owners didn't fully recognize and
honor Haiti's independence until 1838.

Then they had the audacity to demand that Haiti pay 150 million gold francs as "compensation" for its "losses."

The United States, "the land of the tree and the home of the slave",
didn't recognize Haiti until 1862.

The "great" U.S. of A occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934 after US
Marines invaded the island.

Popular resistance drove the Yankee imperialist out after 19 years.

And recently, President Barack Obama promised $100 million in aid to Haiti. Recall, his inauguration cost $150 million.

Canada's record in Haiti is less than stellar. Both Liberals and
Conservatives come up short on the Haiti question.

The current Stephen Harper led government has boots on the ground in Haiti. It must never be forgotten that it was the Liberals that started the ball to rolling in Haiti.

The 2004 coup against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was planned in Canada. Yves Engler discusses this issue in great detail in his book, the Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy.

Engler points out: "Ottawa played an important role in consolidating
the international forces that planned and carried out the coup. On January 31 and February 1, 2003, Jean Chretien's liberal government organized the "Ottawa Initiative" on Haiti to discuss that country's future.

No Haitian officials were invited to this meeting at Meech Lake where high level U.S., Canadian and French governmental officials decided that Haiti's elected president "must go", that the army should be recreated, and that the country would be placed under U.N. trusteeship.".

"History is best qualified to reward our research" was one of Malcolm
X's favorite quotes. With this in mind, can the Haitian people trust
"The Big Three"?

For info: norman.o.richmond@gmail.com

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