Skip to main content

Their words, not mine:

Amidst the Suffering, Crisis in Haiti Offers Opportunities to the U.S.

In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region.
While on the ground in Haiti, the U.S. military can also interrupt the nightly flights of cocaine to Haiti and the Dominican Republic from the Venezuelan coast and counter the ongoing efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to destabilize the island of Hispaniola. This U.S. military presence, which should also include a large contingent of U.S. Coast Guard assets, can also prevent any large-scale movement by Haitians to take to the sea in rickety watercraft to try to enter the U.S. illegally.

...and to think that people will still call Naomi Klein a conspiracy theorist.

The rest of the blog post uses the same imperialist/disaster capitalist outlook that we've grown accustomed to since the days of Pinochet. What's frustrating to me about it is the Heritage Foundation's ignorance of the fact that Haiti already has enacted some of the harshest neoliberal 'reforms' ever even conceived of. Among the results have been unprecedented dependence on foreign agribusiness, food riots and mud cakes.

Most callous of all is the call to exploit the current powerful position of the US Coast Guard in Haiti to prevent them from reaching the US. There is no legitimate reason that Haitians currently do not have temporary protected status and that is what needs to be fixed. One can't help but be reminded of the way Clinton broke a campaign promise by denying asylum to Haitians fleeing the murderous junta of Gen. Cedras.

NYT, 14 Jan. 1993:

It was Mr. Clinton who helped create the expectation of an exodus from Haiti when he condemned the Bush Administration for a "cruel policy of returning Haitian refugees to a brutal dictatorship without an asylum hearing."

Mr. Clinton had promised to give Haitians refuge and make it easier for them to apply for political asylum until democracy is restored in their country. At one point in the campaign he said, "If I were President, I would -- in the absence of clear and compelling evidence that they weren't political refugees -- give them temporary asylum until we restored the elected Government of Haiti."
But in a bluntly worded taped radio message broadcast this morning directly to Haiti and Haitian communities in the United States, Mr. Clinton said that Haitians who fled by boat would be intercepted and returned to the island. He also emphasized that he would enforce current United States immigration policy, which prevents Haitians escaping poverty -- but not those fleeing political persecution -- from seeking asylum in the United States.

Mr. Clinton's announcement was met with dismay in Haiti and among American refugee groups that have worked closely with the transition team to forge a new appraoch to the problem of boat people.

"The practice of returning those who flee Haiti by boat will continue, for the time being, after I become President," Mr. Clinton said in the broadcast. "Those who leave Haiti by boat for the United States will be intercepted and returned to Haiti by the U.S. Coast Guard. Leaving by boat is not the route to freedom."

Those who want to read about the US' less-than-benevolent role in Haiti's history can read two of my previous diaries:

Originally posted to Daisy Cutter on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:27 PM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site