It is not enough to be the poorest country in the world and to be in the sphere of corruption from the Clinton Foundation after suffering a devastating earthquake in 2010, now the UN has admitted that its peacekeeping troops literally imported cholera bacteria in its efforts to help the nation.
The only problem is those efforts have now cost the country thousands of deaths throughout the last six years.
It filtered money through Haiti and back to itself.
In January 2015 a group of Haitians surrounded the New York offices of the Clinton Foundation. They chanted slogans, accusing Bill and Hillary Clinton of having robbed them of “billions of dollars.” Two months later, the Haitians were at it again, accusing the Clintons of duplicity, malfeasance, and theft. And in May 2015, they were back, this time outside New York’s Cipriani, where Bill Clinton received an award and collected a $500,000 check for his foundation. “Clinton, where’s the money?” the Haitian signs read. “In whose pockets?” Said Dhoud Andre of the Commission Against Dictatorship, “We are telling the world of the crimes that Bill and Hillary Clinton are responsible for in Haiti.” Continue reading »
You can’t make this stuff up.
The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.
The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six. Continue reading »
– How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes (ProPublic, June 3, 2015):
The neighborhood of Campeche sprawls up a steep hillside in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. Goats rustle in trash that goes forever uncollected. Children kick a deflated volleyball in a dusty lot below a wall with a hand-painted logo of the American Red Cross.
In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes. Continue reading »
– End the Occupation – Haiti: Time for Clinton and Co to Pack and Go (CounterPunch, Dec 17, 2014):
Once more, we have tasted salt. We have mourned our dead from the earthquake and the cholera epidemic. The collective depression, the temporary zombification has lifted. It is time to evict the occupier and pursue the traitors and enemies of our independence. No exception.
This is not the first time the United States has occupied Haiti and been evicted from it. The first occupation began during the administration of the questionable Nobel Peace Prize laureate President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. It was countered by an armed insurrection that grew to include over 40,000 Haitian fighters who regularly engaged the US marines. Although this insurrection was ultimately crushed, it was followed by numerous popular strikes in Haiti as well as calls in the US by women’s groups and Black Americans to end the occupation. The return to sovereignty was relatively simple: a committee was assembled to organize legislative and presidential elections. The occupation formally ended in 1934, near the start of the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who personally came for a flag-raising ceremony in Haiti to recognize its independence. Continue reading »
Obama fighting for slave labor in Haiti.
– WIKILEAKS: US Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap (Business Insider, June 3, 2011):
A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour.
(This article was taken down by The Nation due to an embargo, but it was excerpted at Columbia Journalism Review.)
It started when Haiti passed a law two years ago raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. According to an embassy cable:
This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).
Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year … As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.
Thanks to U.S. intervention, the minimum was raised only to 31 cents.
How will things look like in the coming financial-economic collapse in America (and Europe)?
WASHINGTON — An Amnesty report laid bare Wednesday horrific accounts of rape in Haiti’s squalid refugee camps a year after a devastating quake left many struggling to rebuild their shattered lives.
They are women like Guerline, who two months after losing her husband when their home crumbled to the ground in the devastating quake, had to watch as her teenage daughter was raped in a makeshift tarpaulin camp in Port-au-Prince.
“Four men raped her. She is 13 years old,” Guerline told Amnesty International researchers, who compiled the report after interviewing more than 50 women and girls in Haiti’s post-quake camps.
“They told me that if I talked about it, they would kill me. They said that if I went to the police, they would shoot me dead.
“I’m scared. There is nowhere safe where I can live, so I had to keep quiet,” said Guerline, who, like all the women interviewed for the report, was given a false name to protect her from reprisals.
Guerline was raped on the same night as her daughter by hooded men in the tent city. She can’t get the events of that terrible night out of her head.
Amnesty said little is being done to help her and other victims of rape and sexual violence, old woes for Haiti that worsened after the earthquake killed over 230,000 people, injured 300,000 others and flattened large tracts of the capital.
Castro’s doctors and nurses are the backbone of the fight against cholera
They are the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America’s doorstep which Barack Obama pledged a monumental US humanitarian mission to alleviate. Except these heroes are from America’s arch-enemy Cuba, whose doctors and nurses have put US efforts to shame.
A medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans is operating all over earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti, as part of Fidel Castro’s international medical mission which has won the socialist state many friends, but little international recognition.
Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention. Most countries were gone within two months, again leaving the Cubans and Médecins Sans Frontières as the principal healthcare providers for the impoverished Caribbean island.
Figures released last week show that Cuban medical personnel, working in 40 centres across Haiti, have treated more than 30,000 cholera patients since October. They are the largest foreign contingent, treating around 40 per cent of all cholera patients. Another batch of medics from the Cuban Henry Reeve Brigade, a disaster and emergency specialist team, arrived recently as it became clear that Haiti was struggling to cope with the epidemic that has already killed hundreds.
Since 1998, Cuba has trained 550 Haitian doctors for free at the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina en Cuba (Elam), one of the country’s most radical medical ventures. Another 400 are currently being trained at the school, which offers free education – including free books and a little spending money – to anyone sufficiently qualified who cannot afford to study medicine in their own country.
UN peacekeepers were the most likely source of the cholera epidemic sweeping Haiti, according to a leaked report by a French disease expert.
Epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux conducted research in Haiti on behalf of the French and Haitian governments.
Sources who saw the report said it had evidence the outbreak was caused by river contamination by Nepalese troops.
Peacekeepers kill at least one person in clashes as Haitians blame epidemic on Nepalese force
UN peacekeepers in Haiti have shot dead at least one person in clashes sparked by claims that Nepalese soldiers brought the cholera epidemic that has swept the country, killing 1,000 people.
Crowds in two northern towns threw stones, set up burning barricades and blocked roads to protest against the presence of the foreign troops and the government’s response to the crisis, which has unsettled the authorities and the UN in the runup to elections on 28 November.
One man was shot by a UN peacekeeper during an exchange of gunfire in Quartier Morin, near the country’s second city, Cap-Haitien.
The UN peacekeeping force, known as Minustah, said the soldier had acted in self-defence, but an investigation had been launched.Cap-Haitien, the country’s second city, was this morning cut off from the rest of Haiti after a day of rioting shut its roads and airport, and left more than a dozen people wounded. Clashes in the town of Hinche injured seven Nepalese peacekeepers, according to local radio.
The head of Nepal’s mission in Haiti, Lt. Col. Krishna, center, and Prakash Neupane, deputy chief of the MINUSTAH engineering section, left, enter Nepal’s U.N. base in Mirebalais, Haiti, Sunday Oct. 31, 2010. A cholera outbreak that has killed more than 300 people in Haiti matches strains commonly found in South Asia, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday, intensifying the scrutiny of a U.N. base that is home to recently arrived Nepalese peacekeepers, built on a tributary to the Artibonite River. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Researchers should determine whether United Nations peacekeepers were the source of a deadly outbreak of cholera in Haiti, two public health experts, including a U.N. official, said Wednesday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the strain of cholera that has killed at least 442 people the past three weeks matches strains found in South Asia. The CDC, World Health Organization and United Nations say it’s not possible to pinpoint the source and investigating further would distract from efforts to fight the disease.
But leading experts on cholera and medicine consulted by The Associated Press challenged that position, saying it is both possible and necessary to track the source to prevent future deaths.
“That sounds like politics to me, not science,” Dr. Paul Farmer, a U.N. deputy special envoy to Haiti and a noted expert on poverty and medicine, said of the reluctance to delve further into what caused the outbreak. “Knowing where the point source is – or source, or sources – would seem to be a good enterprise in terms of public health.”
The suspicion that a Nepalese U.N. peacekeeping base on a tributary to the infected Artibonite River could have been a source of the infection fueled a protest last week during which hundreds of Haitians denounced the peacekeepers.
United Nations investigators have taken samples of foul-smelling waste trickling behind a Nepalese peacekeeping base in Haiti amid claims that sewage from the newly arrived unit caused the cholera epidemic that has made more than 4,000 people ill.
Journalists visiting the base unannounced came upon the investigators and mission spokesman Vincenzo Pugliese later confirmed that the military team was testing for cholera.
It was the first public acknowledgement that the 12,000-member force was directly investigating allegations that its base played a role in the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the epidemic continued to spread, with cases confirmed in two new departments in Haiti’s north and north east, said UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokeswoman Imogen Wall. At least 303 people have died and 4,722 have been taken to hospital.
– Haiti to to be affected by cholera ‘for years to come’ (Telegraph):
Cholera will remain a problem in Haiti for years to come, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted.
An epidemic of the disease in the Caribbean country has killed 259 people, with 3,000 others admitted to hospital.
Some health officials and aid workers said on Tuesday that the outbreak appeared to be slowing and had not infiltrated the “tent towns” around Port-au-Prince, the capital.
“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.
In an open letter sent of May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds…, and on what is left our environment in Haiti.” Haitian social movements have been vocal in their opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines local production with local seed stocks. They have expressed special concern about the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the Ministry of Agriculture rejected Monsanto’s offer of Roundup Ready GMO seeds. In an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured the Ministry of Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMO.
Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto’s Director of Development Initiatives, called the news that the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture approved the donation “a fabulous Easter gift” in an April email. Monsanto is known for aggressively pushing seeds, especially GMO seeds, in both the global North and South, including through highly restrictive technology agreements with farmers who are not always made fully aware of what they are signing. According to interviews by this writer with representatives of Mexican small farmer organizations, they then find themselves forced to buy Monsanto seeds each year, under conditions they find onerous and at costs they sometimes cannot afford. Continue reading »
The US has sent 33,000 troops to Haiti, but they are nowhere to be found?
That is called ‘full American Katrina support’!:
Robert Gates: “I don’t know how … [the US] government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has.”
….US President Barack Obama pledged full American support in a phone call to his Haitian counterpart Rene Preval.
Source: BBC NEWS
EXTRA: An Interview With A Haitian-American Nurse
While I was getting something to eat in Delmas, I ran into a group of Haitian American nurses and doctors from the United States. I wanted to get their reaction to the earthquake and relief efforts.
“I thought I was going to be seeing military everywhere.”
Reporting from Haiti
You have to be in Haiti to see for yourself that no where in Port-au-Prince are troops present or actively helping survivors.
No Aid In Port-au-Prince
I have been driving all week around Port-au-Prince taking photos of the destroyed homes and buildings and as I’ve gone from one end of this city to the other, the US is military is only found at the airport – nice and secured behind those gates.
Meanwhile, the UN and its white Jeeps are driving all around this city, but I haven’t seen them stop at any particular location to give food or water. Where is all the aid going, if any?
Michel David Stephan is a 22-year-old Haitian university student who has not been able to continue his studies because the campus has been badly damaged. I asked him what he thought of the UN.
“We call them ‘tourists’ because they don’t do nothing,” Stephan told me.
I also asked Stephan what he thought of the US military.
“They are tourists too, they only come to take pictures,” he said.
The only people present and actively helping on the ground are members of relief organizations, but there aren’t enough of them.
As a journalist my job is to try to provide answers, but I find myself scratching my head too. The troops are not seen at the tent cities or shanty towns – are they tanning at the beach? That’s a big maybe.
In many parts of Port-au-Prince you see people selling and providing services. They are trying to go back to a normal life, but right next to a bank, there is a tent city and when you drive around at night, you see people camping out where ever there is space. Do they have a full belly? Most likely not. Would they appreciate the help? No doubt.
There is a big propaganda machine spitting out lies that the Haitians are happy to see Americans everywhere, but those Haitians must be the ones living in the United States. Here what you see are signs with phrases like: “We need food and water,” “We need medicine.” Continue reading »
Adopted orphans arrive in France as UNICEF raises trafficking fears
UNICEF warned of children disappearing from hospitals and raised fears of child trafficking in the wake of Haiti’s devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. Thirty-three Haitian orphans arrived in Paris on Friday after France fast-tracked adoption procedures.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced Friday that several children have gone missing from hospitals in Haiti in the aftermath of the killer earthquake, raising fears of trafficking for adoption abroad.
“We have documented let’s say around 15 cases of children disappearing from hospitals, and not with their own family at the time,” UNICEF adviser Jean Luc Legrand said.
The UN agency said it expected trafficking networks to spring into action, taking advantage of weakened local authorities to kidnap children and eventually getting them out of the country.
33,000 US troops! Can we call it a invasion now?
I am not saying that Hugo Chavez is right, but I know that the US and the Russians have weapons that could easily cause such an earthquake.
Chavez: US weapon test caused Haiti earthquake
Added: 20. Januar 2010
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has once again accused the United States of playing God. But this time it’s Haiti’s disastrous earthquake that he thinks the U.S. was behind. Spanish newspaper ABC quotes Chavez as saying that the U.S. navy launched a weapon capable of inducing a powerful earthquake off the shore of Haiti. He adds that this time it was only a drill and the final target is … destroying and taking over Iran.
I also know that the elite plans to invade Iran within the next 3 years to cause WW III. The elite constantly changes their plans and adapts them to the ‘environment’ very quickly. Call me a conspiracy nutcase, I don’t care. I know it. So maybe Chavez is right.
About 20,000 U.S. troops are expected to support relief efforts in Haiti by next week in addition to the 13,000 American military personnel already there, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kruzel.
Those men and women to be deployed are members of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade and other units. Thousands of other troops are operating afloat off the Haitian coast and on shore, distributing provisions, assisting in medical operations and helping to maintain security. Some 2,200 Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit are slated to arrive within 48 hours, Kruzel reports.
“The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit is a huge part of enabling us to extend our reach to places around the country that may need our assistance but we just haven’t been there yet,” Army Lieutenant General P.K. Keen, the top U.S. commander in Haiti, said on Thursday during a segment aired on The Pentagon Channel.
The additional forces come as international aid continues pouring into Haiti following a magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Jan. 12, creating what an official called one of the greatest humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas, reports Kruzel, in a statement obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police. Continue reading »
Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) — An earthquake measuring 6.1 struck Haiti today, eight days after the devastating temblor that may have killed more than 200,000 people, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake was centered 59 kilometers (36 miles) to the west-southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince at a depth of 9 kilometers, the USGS said in a preliminary e-mailed report. It struck at 6:03 a.m. local time, the USGS said.
Rescue workers with the New York police and fire departments reported “violent shaking” from the tremor yet were able to continue working, according to an e-mailed statement from the police department. The 76-member team, which includes four police dogs, pulled two children alive from the rubble of a brick building last night.
Buildings shook in Port-au-Prince and people fled to the streets, the Associated Press reported. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the earthquake was located too far inland to generate any tidal waves in the Caribbean, AP said.
“We felt the quake but it wasn’t too bad,” said Tamar Hahn, an aid worker with the United Nations Children’s Fund, in an interview on Argentina’s C5N television. “They say it was a 6.1 but it didn’t feel so strong.” Continue reading »
Read and weep:
“We can’t evacuate any Haitian patients to the US,” John McDonald, from the University of Miami Medical School, said. “Our country treats the Haitians like s***. The people land, they get sent back. When Cubans land, they open restaurants.”
Another doctor at the tented clinic said that she was so desperate at being forced to discharge children still in grave danger of dying from infection that she wanted to “scream and scratch people”. For want of bed space “we are sending wounded children back on to the streets of Port-au-Prince with no plan even for how they will be fed,” said Jennifer Furn, from Harvard Medical School.
Dr Furn’s task was complicated by instructions from the UN to vacate the tents by 8am yesterday. “The UN say they need these tents as a staging post for regular personnel,” Dr Furn said. “It’s breaking my heart. How can I send children with wounds and head bandages out into the streets?”
So this is ‘full American support’???
Robert Gates: “I don’t know how … [the US] government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has.”
….US President Barack Obama pledged full American support in a phone call to his Haitian counterpart Rene Preval. Source: BBC NEWS
Full ‘Katrina’ support!
I could have uploaded HORRIBLE pictures piled up with corpses, but choose not to, because I want you to be able to get some sleep.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – U.S. troops will help keep order on Haiti’s increasingly lawless streets, the country’s president said on Sunday as desperate earthquake survivors waited for food, water and medicine.
World leaders pledged massive aid programmes to rebuild Haiti but desperate earthquake survivors were still waiting on Sunday for food, water and medicine.
Five days after a 7.0 magnitude quake killed up to 200 000 people, international rescue teams clawed away at the rubble of collapsed buildings in the wrecked capital, Port-au-Prince, in a race against time to find more survivors.
But logistical logjams kept major relief from reaching the hundreds of thousands of hungry Haitians waiting for help, many of them sheltering in makeshift camps on streets strewn with debris and decomposing bodies. Continue reading »
– CLash over Haiti aid flights (Financial Times):
Fuel shortages, poor communications and a logjam at the Port au Prince airport on Sunday continued to hinder a massive international aid effort to Haiti five days after a devastating earthquake in which more than 100,000 are now feared to have died.
The United Nations humanitarian agency, Ocha, warned at the weekend that humanitarian operations might be forced to shut down in the next few days if fuel supplies were not replenished.
As Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, headed for Haiti to see for himself the extent of the worst humanitarian disaster that the world body has had to cope with in decades, concern grew over delays in the airlift to the capital’s airport, which is under US control.
Alain Joyandet, French co-operation minister, told reporters at the airport he had protested to Washington via the US ambassador about the US military’s management of the airport where he said a French medical aid flight had been turned away.
In Paris, the foreign ministry tried to quash a looming diplomatic spat by insisting Franco-American co-operation was proceeding as well as possible in view of the extent of the disaster.
Mr Joyandet’s complaint underlined the frustration of relief teams dependent on the single runway at the airport to ferry in supplies if they were to avoid 24-hour delays involved in bringing supplies in by road from the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
The French news agency AFP also quoted people trying to leave Haiti as complaining that the US was giving priority to its own citizens. The US military re-established operations at the airport after its control tower was damaged in the earthquake. Kenneth Merten, US ambassador, told AFP: “We’re working in co-ordination with the United Nations and the Haitians. “Clearly it’s necessary to prioritise the planes. It’s clear that there’s a problem.”
Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) — More U.S. troops are arriving in Haiti today after the American commander on the ground said that security must be improved to ensure aid reaches survivors of last week’s earthquake. Source: Bloomberg
PARIS (AP) — The United Nations must investigate and clarify the dominant U.S. role in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, a French minister said Monday, claiming that international aid efforts were about helping Haiti, not “occupying” it.
U.S. forces last week turned back a French aid plane carrying a field hospital from the damaged, congested airport in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, prompting a complaint from French Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet. The plane landed safely the following day.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warned governments and aid groups not to squabble as they try to get their aid into Haiti.
“People always want it to be their plane … that lands,” Kouchner said Monday. “(But) what’s important is the fate of the Haitians.”
But Joyandet persisted.
“This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti,” Joyandet, in Brussels for an EU meeting on Haiti, said on French radio.
In another weekend incident, some 250 Americans were flown to New Jersey’s McGuire Air Force Base on three military planes from Haiti. U.S. forces initially blocked French and Canadians nationals from boarding the planes, but the cordon was lifted after protests from French and Canadian officials. Continue reading »
Is that what you call full support???
Robert Gates: “I don’t know how … [the US] government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has,” he said.
The announcements came after US President Barack Obama pledged full American support in a phone call to his Haitian counterpart Rene Preval.
Source: US sending up to 10,000 troops to earthquake-hit Haiti (BBC NEWS)
Maybe this is what the US calls full support:
Send in the military and stay.
Is this the best the US can do?
(AFP) — Helicopters sit ready to go from this US aircraft carrier off Haiti, but there’s a problem: after a day of frantic aid runs there is simply nothing left to deliver.
Aboard the warship some 3,500 US military personnel have been coordinating the flights of 19 US helicopters carrying aid since early morning.
Visible from the ship is Haiti’s scarred capital city Port-au-Prince, devastated by Tuesday’s 7.0 magnitude, which Haitian officials say killed at least 50,000 people.
In less than 12 hours, helicopters from the USS Carl Vinson made some 20 trips to scout the ravaged landscape and deliver items that were originally intended for the ship’s crew.
Among the supplies dropped off were thousands of bottles of water and energy drinks, 8,000 sheets and hundreds of camp beds.
Dozens of hospital beds have been arranged on board the ship to accomadate those injured in the quake, including a US citizen evacuated from the US embassy in Port-au-Prince.
The take off and landing space offered by aircraft carriers are crucial for the international aid effort, which has struggled to get in relief via Port-au-Prince’s single-runway airport.
The relief work also faces logistical and coordination challenges, according to Rear Admiral Ted Branch, the most senior military official aboard the USS Carl Vinson.
“We have lift, we have communications, we have some command and control, but we don’t have much relief supplies to offer,” said Branch, who commands the battle group led by the nuclear-powered Carl Vinson. Continue reading »
– Struggle to Bring Relief Continues in Haiti (New York Times):
An off-duty police officer brought water to distribute to a large crowd near the airport on Friday. Cargo planes and military helicopters swooped in and out of the crowded airport in Port-au-Prince, and hundreds of American troops were arriving, with more on the way.
Preparedness is everything:
– Rethinking Diversification (Catherine Austin Fitts was Assistant Secretary of Housing)
Food security collapses in Haiti as machete-wielding gangs fight in the streets
(NaturalNews) Overnight, Haiti has gone from an organized, civil nation to a scenario of total chaos with gangs running wild through the streets, ransacking shops and fighting over food with machetes.
Learning this, many an ignorant westerner might naively say, “That could only happen in Haiti. It’s because those people are so poor, so uncivilized. It could never happen here…”
Oh but it could.
Haiti isn’t so different from wherever you live — a city in America, Canada, Australia, the UK or anywhere else. Everywhere in the world, people will fight for survival when the situation becomes desperate. The only reason the streets in your town aren’t overrun with firearms and machetes right now is because food is plentiful. The electricity works. The water supply is functioning and police keep the relatively few criminals under control.
But wherever you live, your city is just one natural disaster away from total chaos. Hurricane Katrina proved it: Even in America, a civil, law-abiding city of people can be turned into looting, stealing and dangerously armed bands of gang-bangers.
And you know why? Because people aren’t prepared for disasters. Come to think of it, most people aren’t even prepared for a disruption in food and electricity lasting more than 48 hours. Almost nobody has spare food, water, emergency first aid supplies or the ability to physically defend themselves against aggressors. They are betting their lives on the bizarre idea that their government will save them if something goes wrong.
The people of Haiti are now learning what the people of New Orleans already know: Your government won’t save you. In a real crisis, you are on your own.
Law and order is a fragile thing
When disruptions occur — whether through natural disasters, radical weather events, war or civil unrest — governments and city police organizations can break down within hours. In Haiti right now, there is no government running anything. No police force. No authority. It’s every man (and woman) for himself. If you want to eat, you pick up a machete and fight for it.
It is a desperate situation.
This article isn’t really about Haiti, by the way. It’s about YOU and where YOU live. If a natural disaster struck your town tonight, would you be prepared?
Do you have the means to procure clean water if the water system breaks down? Do you have a way to provide shelter for yourself and your family if there’s no electricity or heating fuel available? Can you physical defend yourself and your family against aggressive marauders desperately searching for food? (Or do you have enough to share with them? If so, how will you share with the hundreds or thousands that follow in their footsteps?) Continue reading »
– Haiti: Gangs Armed With Machetes Loot Port-Au-Prince (CBS NEWS)
– Haiti Earthquake: Law And Order Breaks Down; Who’s Running Haiti? No One, Say The People (Telegraph/Reuters)
– 4000 prisoners loose as Haiti earthquake quake topples jail (The Australian)
Makeshift camps are sprouting up in Port-au-Prince
Up to 10,000 US troops will be on the ground or off the coast of Haiti by Monday to help deal with the earthquake aid effort, US defence officials say.
Aid distribution has begun but logistics continue to be extremely difficult, UN officials say.
Tuesday’s earthquake has left as many as 45,000-50,000 people dead.
Correspondents say survivors seem increasingly desperate and angry as bottlenecks and infrastructure damage delay relief efforts.
|AT THE SCENE
Matt Frei, Port-au-Prince
No-one is in charge. The president is sleeping at the airport with quite a few journalists and aid workers.
Earlier this morning, I stood on top of the rubble of the Supreme Court, the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the Senate – where a few senators had been killed when the quake hit. Their bodies have been dragged out and put in body bags. The representatives of state are literally lying on the pavement slowly rotting away.
This is a citizenry left to its own extremely meagre resources. You’ve got ordinary people trying to administer IV drips to their family members who are slowly dying, but not a single doctor or nurse at the general hospital.
Many are spending another day without food and shelter in the ruined capital.
UN humanitarian chief John Holmes told reporters that 30% of buildings throughout Port-au-Prince had been damaged, with the figure at 50% in some areas.
The US has already sent an aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, to Haiti and the USS Bataan, carrying a marine expeditionary unit, is on its way.
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm Mike Mullen, said a hospital ship and more helicopters would be sent in the coming days, carrying more troops and marines.
He said the total number of US troops would rise to between 9,000 and 10,000.
“Right now, I mean, literally as we speak, the Vinson (aircraft carrier) and the company from the 82nd Airborne who got there last night are focusing on delivering water from the helicopters offshore to the people of Haiti.”
| They want us to provide them with help, which is, of course, what we want to do
US defence secretary Robert Gates said the relief effort was the “highest priority for US military assets in this hemisphere”, and all necessary resources would be made available.
He described infrastructure problems which have led to delays in aid distribution as “facts of life”.
“I don’t know how … [the US] government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has,” he said.
The announcements came after US President Barack Obama pledged full American support in a phone call to his Haitian counterpart Rene Preval.
The UN said a total of about $310m (£190m) in international aid had been pledged so far for the relief effort.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: “Food and water are in critically short supply” Continue reading »
Gangs Takeover Port-au-Prince
Added: 14. Januar 2010
– Haiti Earthquake: Law And Order Breaks Down; Who’s Running Haiti? No One, Say The People
Central Business District Resembles Hell On Earth As Bodies Pile Up And Armed Men Battle Over Food, Supplies
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CBS) ― The earthquake aftermath has brought out the best and worst of the people of Haiti.
Much like the days after Hurricane Katrina, looting has become a problem very quickly.
The looting appears to be isolated to Port-au-Prince’s old commercial center. It’s an area that under normal circumstances would be filled with many shops, markets and a few homes. But on Wednesday it was a completely different scene.
It looked like a war zone.
Some of the buildings were on fire. Smoke was everywhere and there were bodies in the streets, many just quake victims lying where they were when the magnitude 7.0 blast hit.
What made the situation that much more tense was sightings of gangs of young men with machetes. On Wednesday they were seen getting into stores and taking all the supplies they could carry. The armed men were seen marching up and down the streets with machetes raised and the competition among the gangs turned quite fierce.
Fights between gangs were seen on the streets. Machetes were flailing and it was impossible to predict what would happen next.
There was no sign of police or any kind of law and order. Continue reading »
– Who’s running Haiti? No one, say the people (Reuters):
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Desperate Haitians turned rubble-strewn streets and parks into makeshift hospitals and refugee camps on Thursday in the absence of any noticeable response from authorities in Haiti after Tuesday’s earthquake.
With the 7.0 magnitude earthquake collapsing the presidential palace, a string of ministries and the headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the country, Haiti faces a dangerous vacuum in security and government.
The Caribbean nation of 9 million people, the poorest in the western hemisphere, has a turbulent history of conflict, social turmoil, dictatorship, fragile institutions and devastating natural catastrophes.
Many in the capital Port-au-Prince picked away at shattered buildings with bare hands, sticks and hammers hoping to find loved-ones alive. Thousands of homeless people began to set up their own camps anywhere they could, the biggest right opposite the collapsed presidential palace.
“Look at us. Who is helping us? Right now, nobody,” said Jean Malesta, a 19-year-old student who was the only survivor when her apartment building collapsed from the powerful quake that has killed thousands, possibly tens of thousands.
She and a dozen others lay under a tent they had set up in the park opposite President Rene Preval’s palace. His weak and under-resourced government appears totally unequipped to handle the crisis, its officials in disarray and nowhere to be seen.
‘WE ARE ON OUR OWN’
“So far, they have brought us nothing. We need water, food, shelter, everything, but we are on our own,” Malesta added, to cries of agreement from women sitting and lying around her.
Law and order began to break down in Haiti yesterday as “constant” gunshots were heard across the capital and shops were looted.
More than 3,500 US troops are due to arrive in the country by the end of the week to bolster around 3,000 police and international peacekeepers who were said to have been deployed to secure the airport, port and main buildings.
But charity workers said they had seen little evidence of the security measures and warned of widespread looting and fights breaking out over dwindling water supplies.
Inmates escaped from the damaged main prison in Port au Prince on Tuesday when it collapsed in the earthquake.
Thieves were blamed for starting at least one mass panic in the city’s central square during the night, spreading rumours that a tidal wave was coming so they could steal the belongings left behind by hundreds of fleeing people.
Thieves also descended on a half-collapsed supermarket in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince, carrying out electronics and bags of rice. Others siphoned gasoline from a wrecked tanker.
“All the policemen are busy rescuing and burying their own families,” said tile factory owner Manuel Deheusch. “They don’t have the time to patrol the streets.”
With law enforcement stretched thin even before the earthquake and the UN’s 9,000 peacekeepers distracted by the collapse of their headquarters and the loss of up to 100 staff, the country is ill-equipped to deal with major unrest. Continue reading »
• Tens of thousands lose homes in 7.0 magnitude quake
• UN headquarters, schools and hospitals collapse
Footage of the earthquake’s aftermath. Contains disturbing images Link to this video
René Préval, the president of Haiti, has described the devastation after last night’s earthquake as “unimaginable” as governments and aid agencies around the world rushed into action.
Préval described how he had been forced to step over dead bodies and heard the cries of those trapped under the rubble of the national parliament. “Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed,” he told the Miami Herald. “There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them.” Préval said he thought thousands of people had died in the quake.
A 7.0 magnitude quake – the biggest recorded in this part of the Caribbean and the largest to hit Haiti in more than 200 years – rocked Port-au-Prince, destroying a hospital and sending houses tumbling into ravines. Continue reading »
Tens of thousands of people fled coastal areas of Texas on Wednesday after Hurricane Ike spun off Cuba, roared into the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward the state with growing strength.
After pummeling Haiti, Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean, Ike refueled in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward landfall near Corpus Christi, where it is expected to hit early Saturday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds exceeding speeds of 131 miles per hour.
HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) — Hurricane Ike tore across Cuba with 100-mph winds Monday, sending 50-foot waves crashing over buildings and forcing the evacuation of 900,000 people.
Fallen bricks crushed a van Monday in Camaguey, Cuba, as Hurricane Ike struck the island.
At 2 p.m., Ike’s eye had moved back over water off Cuba’s southern coast. Ike was a Category 2 hurricane, with steady 100-mph (160-kph) winds and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.
Ike’s eye is expected to move back over Cuba on Tuesday, then move into the Gulf of Mexico and grow again in intensity.
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Hurricane Ike moved past the southern Bahamas on Sunday, carrying high winds and heavy rain as the Category 4 storm surged forward on a track that could take it toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Obenson Etienne walks to his house Sunday in Providenciales, one of the isles in the Turks and Caicos.
The possibility prompted state and local officials in Florida and Louisiana to prepare for what may be the third major storm to affect the Gulf Coast in less than a month.
“Let’s hope it’s all a false alarm,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Sunday as he pre-emptively issued a state of emergency. His state is still recovering from Hurricane Gustav; more than 370,000 people there are still without power, nearly a week after Gustav made landfall, he said.
“There continues to be much uncertainty about the predicted track,” he said of Ike.
On Sunday, President Bush declared a state of emergency in Florida. The hurricane’s outer bands could start affecting the Florida Keys by Monday afternoon.