Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti -- Blame Murka First!

In view of the loads of utter crap and racist/classist codswallop being served up on and by the *SCUM* and being spewed upon the poor citizens of Haiti in the wake of their tragic catastrophe this week--"A pact with the Devil?" WTF izzat about?--I am firmly of the opinion that it behooves Murkins (notoriously the most an-historical people on the planet) to observe that Haiti's fate, while apparently fore-doomed by geology, wouldn't have been so dire had the rest of the Hemisphere--and especially The USofA--not treated Haiti as the pariah of the region, but had instead granted them the same sorts of privileges accorded to other, post-colonial nations of the hemisphere. EG:

Susie Madrak, on C&L yesterday, marshalled the relevant facts:
The thing is, there never was any "deal with the devil" - at least, not the way Pat would lead you to believe. This is from Jean R. Gelin, Ph.D, a Haitian Christian:
For quite some time now, several articles on the Internet have mentioned the existence of an iron pig statue in Port-au-Prince as a monument to commemorate Haiti’s so-called pact with the devil through Vodou. The statue would be in remembrance of a pig that was killed during the gathering by the African slaves. In an effort to know more about that rumor, I contacted several authors about the exact location of the pig statue that’s incidentally nowhere to be found in the country. Their answer was complete silence, a simple apology, or just the removal of the reference from their texts.

One writer was grateful to me for pointing out the inaccuracy of her article, and she made the necessary adjustment. But I am sure that the same allusion can be found somewhere in other published pieces of writing and documents. The worst part of the whole picture is that the story is believed by many sincere Christians in America and around the world; and not only do they believe it, they also spread it as fact. The tragedy of our age is that repeated lies are often mistaken for the truth, especially when repeated long enough.
But Maggie Koerth-Baker on Boing Boing finds out Haiti's real deal with the devil:
Pat Robertson thinks that Haiti is poverty stricken (and earthquake-stricken) because the country made a deal with Satan to help them overthrow the French.

Back in May, the Times Online provided some slightly better insight into Haiti's past. Beyond a vague assumption that Imperialism had probably screwed Haiti somehow, I didn't know much about the country's history. Reading this story has been nothing short of nauseating.

Summary: Haiti was forced to pay France for its freedom. When they couldn't afford the ransom, France (and other countries, including the United States) helpfully offered high-interest loans. By 1900, 80% of Haiti's annual budget went to paying off its "reparation" debt. They didn't make the last payment until 1947. Just 10 years later, dictator François Duvalier took over the country and promptly bankrupted it, taking out more high-interest loans to pay for his corrupt lifestyle. The Duvalier family, with the blind-eye financial assistance of Western countries, killed 10s of thousands of Haitians, until the Haitian people overthrew them in 1986. Today, Haiti is still paying off the debt of an oppressive dictator no one would help them get rid of for 30 years.

The rest of the world refuses to forgive this debt.

So, in a way, maybe Robertson is right. Haiti is caught in a deal with the devil, and the devil is us.
Update: mgfarrelly points out another thing I didn't know—the U.S. Congress is currently considering a bill called The Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation. Part of what this bill would do is help countries like Haiti get their debt canceled, without making that cancellation conditional on things like closing down free schools or raising the cost of fresh water. May be a good time to contact your representatives about about this bi-partisan measure.
Sounds like a useful thing to do to help Haiti. Call your Congress critter and tell them you support the Jubilee Act. This would be the kind of reform that would decimate the "shock-docttrine" plans the Owners and Aristos have for Haiti.

Just for the record, I am convinced that USer policy was and is designed to make Cuba another Haiti, in revenge for Castro's effrontery in tossing UFC out of the country along with the Mafia...

(*SCUM* = SoCalled Unbiased Media)


P M Prescott said...

I've decided to stop feeding the crazies by correcting their stupidity and arguing against them. When you do this they win, all they want is attention and you give it to them.

Anonymous said...

The 'Jubilee Act' WTF,OMG,LOL,You cannot be serious. We are FUCKING doomed.