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Haiti News Updates on Wednesdays and Fridays (may change to one day a week).

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Emily and Threats of flooding

Storm UPDATE:

UPDATE 2-Storm Emily kills four, may reform over Caribbean | Reuters:

* Storm claims at least four lives

* Forecasters see heightened chance of cyclone reforming

MIAMI, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Emily killed four people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, authorities said on Friday, as remnants of the storm drifted over the Caribbean with a "high chance" of restrengthening into a tropical cyclone. ...

At least one other person died in neighboring Haiti in flooding in the sprawling southern city of Les Cayes.

Flooding still threat for Haiti after Emily wanes |  
The 50-year-old mother of five had returned to her home made out of sticks and dirt Wednesday night after a family funeral took her away for five days. Despite the government's calls and text messages alerting Haitians to the threat of Emily, Dorceli hadn't heard of the approaching storm or threat of flooding until she came back.

"I was in shock," Dorceli said as she stood in a soup of mud at the entrance to her home, a crude dwelling the size of a one-car garage. The river outside her door was rushing by and she didn't want to take any chances.

She tugged at Desir's white polo shirt. She wanted to go.

Haiti - Weather :Red alert lifted, highlights by department - HaitiLibre.com

 

  The threat was real. We recorded, particularly in the Southeast, floods, strong winds brought down trees in some areas, rain ;
    The population has largely followed the instructions of alert. Some have evacuated voluntarily, others were helped by the emergency services: the Haitian Police, the Red Cross, the Minustah, the volunteers of civil protection ;
    For now, we have been informed of one case of death in Fond Fred, commune of Les Cayes. This is a body found in the Ravine du Sud. The police and the justice of the peace are now investigating the causes of death. A person is also injured in Cayes-Jacmel (falling tree);
Haiti - Weather : Update on the situation in Haiti this Friday - HaitiLibre.com
Ronald Sémelfort, Director of the National Meteorological Centre of Haiti (CNM) indicated that despite this better weather conditions, damages are still possible in Haiti, considering the risks of flash floods and dangerous landslides, for these reasons the Haitian authorities maintains the level of alert to red. ...

ax Obed Désir, , the government spokesman said that the Artibonite Valley in the center of Haiti, and affected by the floods. According to him, dozens of homes are threatened by the rising waters of the River, but most residents refuse to leave their homes because they want to protect their property.

The Deputy Gracia Delva reported that two sections of the town of Marchand Dessalines were flooded.

Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, head of Civil Protection reported that the evacuation operations of population took place in areas at risk of Tabarre and Thomazeau and around the capital, Léogâne and the Department of Nippes. She is asking the public to remain vigilant and invites it to apply the recommendations of the authorities to limit the damage in case of future flooding.

Rainy weekend? Depends on Emily | HeraldTribune.com:
Though battered by the mountains of Haiti on Thursday and stretched out by strong competing winds on Friday, the remnant thunderstorms of Emily still have a shot at organizing into a tropical storm again. If it does, it will likely rob moisture from most of Florida, reducing rain chances here.

Competing winds over the western Atlantic are expected to subside Saturday making it easier for Emily's thunderstorms to resume their counterclockwise circulation. National Hurricane Center forecasters predict high chances for Emily's return today.

WikiLeaks Aristide
Wikileaks Haiti: The Aristide Files| by Kim Ives and Ansel Herz Aug 5, 2011 The Nation
The cables show that high level US and UN officials even discussed a politically-motivated prosecution of Aristide to prevent him from “gaining more traction with the Haitian population and returning to Haiti.”

The secret cables, made available to the Haitian weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté by WikiLeaks, show how the political defeat of Aristide and his Lavalas movement has been the central pillar of US policy toward the Caribbean nation over the last two US administrations, even though—or perhaps because—US officials understood that he was the most popular political figure in Haiti.

Women's Right

MUST READ How the World Failed Haiti

“Until the Day I Die”: Gerta Louisama on Haitian Women Winning their Rights: by Bev Bell

Tèt Kole started on Sep­tem­ber 6th, 1986 and the Jean-Rabel mas­sacre was on July 23, 1987. We lost 139 peas­ants [when the two largest landowner fam­i­lies in the region hired hit men to stop Tèt Kole’s work for land reform]. Then we had a sec­ond mas­sacre in Piatte in 1990. The big land own­ers, the army, and the local police are respon­si­ble for those blood baths. It was ask­ing for these neces­si­ties that got the peas­ants slaugh­tered. They were well-planned mas­sacres to sub­due us.

It’s like the peas­ants have no rights because they don’t have access to clean water, no access to roads, no access to health care, no access to free school­ing. And if we protest for those rights we’re enti­tled to, they will send in the police or MINUSTAH [UN peace­keep­ing troops] and they’ll spray tear gas, arrest peo­ple and beat them up. You don’t even have the right to protest for your rights.

Legally speak­ing, both men and women have the same rights. In this coun­try, we have plenty of laws. They’re on paper, they’ve just been set aside. Part of our move­ment is to get these laws respected.

MADRE »Aid Beyond Survival:  
For MADRE, the women we work with are not “disaster victims,” “target populations,” or “aid recipients.” They are our sisters. So when they face disaster, we aim to ensure that they and their families not only survive, but that they recover and flourish. And when we talk to our sisters about what they need in the wake of disaster, they say what you would expect: food, water, shelter, healthcare. But they also say, “we need to re-create the feeling of normal life in the community. We need the children to laugh again.”
MINUSTAH (UN Troops in Haiti are called Minustah)

Peacekeeping and Impunity in Haiti - FEATURES - Current Intelligence:

And yet, measures to prosecute criminality among peacekeepers are minimal at best. Many feel that UN inactivity and blame-shifting add to a culture of impunity within peacekeeping missions. A UN panel sidestepped the role of peacekeepers in introducing cholera in Haiti, choosing to focus instead on local conditions such as poor access to healthcare that widened the scope of the outbreak. “It's like blaming a building for catching fire to take pressure off the guy who dropped the match,” tweeted AP Haiti correspondent Jonathan Katz at the time.

“There is strong sentiment that the UN has failed to take responsibility for [its] role in the introduction of cholera into Haiti, and that the UN and MINUSTAH behave as an arrogant supranational organisation without the responsibilities of a sovereign state,” said a senior Western aid official in Port au Prince, where street graffiti commonly denounced the UN “occupayson” well before the disease outbreak.

Haiti - Politic : Reactions of the Minustah to the rejection of Bernard Gousse-
"This is the second time that the Parliament rejects the nomination of a Prime Minister designated by the President of the Republic, since his inauguration on 14 May 2011.

Minustah is concerned about the absence of a government in Haiti for almost three months. This limits the State's ability to implement its programs, to guide the reconstruction process, and to meet its responsibilities towards the people of Haiti.

Evictions & nowhere for homeless earthquake survivors to go

Overwhelming Majority of Haitians Living in Displacement Camps Want to Leave but Have Nowhere to Go |  
Luca Dall'Oglio, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti, explains, "The intention survey debunks the notion that people are living in the camps out of choice. The survey indicates that it is extreme poverty, worsened by the earthquake which has kept hundreds of thousands of Haitians homeless for so long."
Evictions Report: Government adds insult to injuries of displaced | Boston Haitian Reporter:  
Mayor Jason of Port-au-Prince declared: “The government doesn’t owe people anything, the 10,000 gourdes ($500 U.S.) the government gives is charity for them to restart their lives.” That is the kind of declaration we might expect to hear from the mouths of NGOs, not from those who govern - those to whom we have given a mandate to govern us....

In the past months, the lives of Haiti’s internally displaced have become increasingly difficult and it is more complicated than just the bad conditions in the camps. Authorities have declared that the victims actually have houses and big businesses, or they are criminals. The NGOs also seek to invalidate these homeless families by saying they stay in camps because they weren’t accustomed to getting getting the good services such as free water, food and health care that they receive in the camps now. In reality, most camps lack all of these basic services which are considered fundamental human rights.

The mayor of Delmas and the police destroyed the camp at the Airport Intersection (Kafou Ayopo) at six o’clock in the morning, they said the camp was a home for criminals. Yet they arrested no one and didn’t find even one knife. If we consider what the government calls “social housing” (low income housing) and the declaration made by Mr. Martelly, then we can expect all 700,000 people living in the camps today to be evicted before long because there is no housing
for the poor.

Cholera

Heavy Rains Threaten to Bring More Cholera Cases; What to Do About It? | Relief and Reconstruction Watch:

Haiti may thankfully be spared the heavy impact of Tropical Storm Emily, as the storm seems to have weakened as it hit Hispaniola’s mountains. Health workers and others have been tracking the storm’s progress with trepidation, as it was heavy rains in June that led to a resurgence in cholera cases. Unfortunately, even a weakened storm may still bring strong rains, and more cholera. The PBS Newshour's Talea Miller reported yesterday:...

But missing from the report was any mention of the role the U.S. government played in undermining Haiti’s provision of potable water. As described in great detail elsewhere, the U.S. government, under the Bush administration, directed the Inter-American Development Bank, in a highly unusual move, to withhold loans to the Aristide government that would have provided hundreds of millions of dollars for a potable water project, among other purposes. The Aristide administration was even forced to pay interest on the loans, despite their non-disbursal (in other words, the “loans” actually took money from Haiti while offering nothing in return).

Martelly

Haiti’s new president: A bitter baptism for “Sweet Micky” | The Economist

Perhaps because of his experience as a stage performer, Mr Martelly has hitherto gone down well with ordinary Haitians. But he faced his first protest in late July: he was pelted with plastic bottles and stones on a visit to Cap Haïtien, the country’s second city. He reacted by ordering an investigation into what he claimed was a plot to kill him. His friends say that while he is hard-working and a good listener, he is still adjusting to the demands of governing. “Sweet Micky should let Michel Martelly be the president,” says one of them.

Many worry that the vacuum could prompt unrest after four years of relative calm. UN peacekeepers have mounted raids in some of the rougher slums in Port-au-Prince, the capital, to keep criminal gangs in check.

HIP:6th Anniversary of UN Massacre in Cite Soleil, July 2011: UN troops again go to Haiti slums

Humanitarian Aid

Volunteering in Haiti: Good intentions not enough - seattlepi.com:  

How the World Failed Haiti

A year and a half after the island was reduced to rubble by an earthquake, the world's unprecedented effort to rebuild it has turned into a disaster of good intentions

In March of last year, two months after the devastating earthquake that killed 300,000 Haitians and left more than a million homeless, Sean Penn was faced with a monumental challenge. Penn, who had been spending most of his time in Haiti since the quake, was running a large camp for internally displaced persons in the foothills of a wealthy suburb of Port-au-Prince, on what had been the city's lone golf course. Nearly 60,000 poor and middle-class Haitians, most from Haiti's devastated capital, had migrated here, pouring over the crumbled walls of the exclusive country club, and established a spontaneous and overcrowded city of crude dwellings fashioned from plastic sheeting.

Jean-Claude Bajeux, activist and scholar who fought Haiti’s Duvalier dictatorship, dies -Washington Post
Born in Port-au-Prince and educated at Princeton University, Bajeux remained an advocate for human and Haitian rights regardless of the government in power for almost his entire life. Targets included the 29-year regime of father-and-son Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier, a succession of military rulers and former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Reliable Haiti Sources

Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) Center For Economic and Policy Research
Canada Action Network Haiti Liberte
HaitiAnalysis Flashpoint Radio
Ansel (Mediahacker) Jeb Sprague
Haiti Action Committee TransAfrica Forum
Democracy Now! Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye
Haiti Information Project Public Archive
SF Bay View Let Haiti Live
HAITI HUMAN RIGHTS INVESTIGATION: NOVEMBER 11-21, 2004 By Thomas M. Griffin, Esq. Comprehensive report on: the lead up to the coup; the US, France &Canada's role in it; the USAID, IFES; post coup Haiti; MINUSTAH; and more.

Haiti After the Coup - Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights (report,1993)

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti:

IJDH Does amazing work in Haiti. I donate to them whenever I can. Please support IJDH's work.

IJDH draws on its founders’ internationally-acclaimed success accompanying Haiti’s poor majority in the fields of law, medicine and social justice activism. We seek the restoration of the rule of law and democracy in the short term, and work for the long-term sustainable change necessary to avert Haiti’s next crisis.

"For friends of Haiti who seek to support a progressive and principled human rights organization that gets its facts right and does not erase history, look no further than the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti."

— Paul Farmer, Co-Founder, Partners in Health

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti:

Twitter AP Reporter:

@KatzOnEarth Jonathan M. Katz
Danticat: To make a difference support grassroots women's organizations ... that deal with gender violence including FAVILEK & @IJDH

6 Jul via web Unfavorite Undo Retweet Reply

The Aristide Foundation for Democracy (AFD) was created in 1996 by former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (the first democratically elected president of Haiti) with a simple principle in mind: "The promise of democracy can only be fulfilled if all sectors of Haitian society are able to actively participate in the democratic life of the nation."
Haiti Emergency Relief Foundation (HERF):
Haiti’s grassroots movement – including labor unions, women’s groups, educators and human rights activists, support committees for political prisoners, and agricultural cooperatives – are funneling needed aid to those most hit by the earthquake. They are doing what they can – with the most limited of funds – to make a difference. Please take this chance to lend them your support. All donations to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund will be forwarded to our partners on the ground to help them rebuild what has been destroyed.
Partners in Health At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill.
Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods(SOIL)
Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. We believe that the path to sustainability is through transformation, of both disempowered people and discarded materials, turning apathy and pollution into valuable resources.

Haiti diary book day posted on Sundays (biweekly) : Current book is The Black Jacobins: Chapter 1: The Property  You can see
our book list is here. Have a recommendation?

Public Archive has three excellent articles about Haiti: The Black Jacobins and The Black Jacobins Online

Haiti slavery- Indulgence had the white colonial in its grip from childhood. "I want an egg," said a colonial child. "There are none." "Then I want two." This notorious anecdote was characteristic. (The Black Jacobins, P29)

NEWS ORGANIZATIONS:
Haiti Libre COHA
CounterPunch Common Dreams
Al Jazeera English IPS

 

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