Sunday, January 17, 2010

Starving Haitians Resort to Cannibalism-Feast On Putrid Corpses!

"I was a racketeer for capitalism," he proclaimed. "I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of a half dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street."
Few military men or political leaders have been as blunt. Certainly, none of the players in Haiti's more recent dramas have been candid about what is really at stake. In the 1990s, for example, President Clinton talked about "upholding democracy." Yet the central objective of his Haiti occupation was to maintain effective control of the country until President Aristide's term expired. Total media coverage tended to obscure the obvious: the US had entered into an agreement with the Haitian military for national co-management until the next elections. CIA support for those who conducted the coup was never mentioned, nor was the Haitian military's involvement in drug trafficking. Prior to the U.S. occupation, the media was also suspiciously silent about, as Aristide put it, a "sham embargo" that squeezed the poor but exempted businesses. Instead, it assisted the administration in launching a smear campaign against Aristide that ultimately became conventional wisdom.
Under U.S. pressure, General Raoul Cedras and his accomplices ultimately stepped aside. But years later, even though the U.S. occupation force was gradually replaced by UN troops, many U.S. military and civilian advisers remained, some becoming instrumental in developing a new Haitian police force. Since Aristide agreed not to seek immediate re-election, and only a year of his five-year term was left by the time he returned, the real battle turned to Haitian hearts and minds. In the following years, U.S. planners came to view the most serious threat to "security" coming from Aristide and his supporters, who were upset that the same forces responsible for orchestrating the 1991 coup still dominated the country. The main job of the occupiers, meanwhile, was to protect the middle-class and business community, while squelching resistance. As it was back in 1915, the underlying goal of the U.S. occupation was to set the stage for an acceptable election, manipulating public opinion if possible, but remaining ready to use force if the terms of debate were questioned.
It was far easier to identify the economic interests at stake in 1915. In a globalized economy, those who pull Haiti's strings are more numerous, and all but invisible. By the late-90s, over 60 U.S. corporations were doing business in Haiti, many of them well-known in the apparel and sportswear trade. The names included Wilson and Star Sportswear baseballs and softballs, Universal Manufacturing, and H.H. Cutler Co., producing goods for Disney's Babies, Fisher-Price, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League. The leading retail outlets for goods made in Haiti before and during the 1990s coup were Sears, J.C. Penney, and WalMart.
At the time, Haitian labor leaders maintained that Aristide's intention to raise the minimum wage to 50 cents an hour, up from a scandalous 14 cents, was a crucial reason for his overthrow. Even if they were wrong, the wage situation, a byproduct of the World Bank's structural adjustment program for the country, said much about the true intentions behind U.S. intervention. As in 1915, Haiti was essentially considered an endangered investment, and so U.S. troops were deployed again to pacify the population.
The Haitian army, implicated in drug trans-shipment operations and accused of widespread violations of human rights, was never effectively purged. In fact, a general amnesty ensured that criminals and murderers would not be brought to justice. Public bitterness and distrust deepened, particularly since social and economic conditions did not fundamentally change, an outcome all but assured by the fact that Aristide, as a condition of his return, agreed not to implement the reform program that had been derailed three years before.
After Aristide was returned to office, the main focus of U.S. attention turned to promoting a "moderate" successor, someone more willing to play ball with U.S. businesses and the World Bank. The US effort to "uphold democracy" was conducted within the context of this overriding objective, repeatedly stressed in President Clinton's post-occupation comments. The situation was, of course, complicated by a flood of Haitian "boat people" who tried to enter the U.S. after the coup. But, as Clinton knew well from personal experience in Arkansas, this flood had begun during the Duvalier era. In 1980, however, the only people in the U.S. who cared were exiles, a handful of activists, and people living in communities directly affected by the influx.
Once Haiti was "stabilized" in the 90s, the refugee flow diminished to a trickle. The average Haitian was no better off. But the U.S. mission was nevertheless classified as a success, and public attention soon turned to the next televised crisis.
Greg Guma is the editor of Toward Freedom, an international newsletter based in Vermont, and the author of books such as 'Uneasy Empire: Repression, Globalization, and What We Can Do' and 'The People's Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution'. He has written about Haiti since visiting the island nation in 1977, including a documentary on the new DVD collection Haiti Rising (Green Valley Media)
Bodies being burned in Haiti- Doctors claim over 40,000 in morgues already
Survivors of the Haitian earthquake are leaving the devastated capital city. Some of its inhabitants have managed to leave on trucks that belong to the UN. Many are leaving the city in search of food, water and medicine. Aid has been slow to reach people because of bottlenecks caused by poor infrastructure. In an effort to get more supplies into the country, America has been given control of the airport in Port-au-Prince.There have been ugly scenes at aid distribution points, as people fight for whatever is available. There have also been widespread reports of violence and looting as desperate people search for food and water.The UN’s World Food Programme has set up four aid distribution sites in the capital. The organisation is giving out special biscuits, but the people do not realise the biscuits are different. One aid worker said: “They don’t understand these are high energy biscuits fortified with vitamins with an expiry date of November 2010.”The estimated death toll now stands at 140,000, and managing the bodies is one of the top health priorities. Morgues were filled up early on. 40,000 bodies have been buried in mass graves. Now some Haitians are taking matters into their own hands and burning the bodies on rubbish tips along with other waste.
The population of the Port-au-Prince metro area is greater than 2 million. The majority of the population is of African descent, but a prominent mulatto minority controls many of the city's businesses. There are sizable numbers of Hispanic residents, as well as small numbers of Caucasians (mostly foreign-born). Citizens of Middle Eastern (particularly Syrian and Lebanese) ancestry are a tiny minority with a significant presence in the capital. Arab Haitians (a large number of whom live in the capital) are more often than not, concentrated in financial areas where the majority of them establish businesses. Most of the mulattos in the city are concentrated and reside within wealthier areas of Port-au-Prince.
Haiti Archbishop Killed in Quake as Churches, Cathedral Reduced to Rubble
The archbishop of Port-au-Prince was killed in the devastating earthquake that has demolished the Haitian capital and taken untold lives since striking Tuesday, according to a dispatch from the Vatican.
The body of Msgr. Joseph Serge Miot, 65, was found under the rubble of the archdiocese, and may be one of only hundreds of victims trapped in the ruins of Church buildings on the island.
The apostolic nuncio in Haiti, Msgr. Bernardito Auza, said that the cathedral and all the major churches and seminaries in Port-au-Prince were leveled by the most powerful temblor to strike the island in two centuries. Hundreds of seminarians and priests were trapped in the rubble, he told Vatican Radio.
A priest at the French headquarters of Archbishop Miot's order, the Missionaries of St. Jacques, cofirmed to Fox News what he called the "sad and terrible news" of the Haitian archbishop's death. He had no further details of the status of clergy working in Haiti.
Half of the children in Haiti are unvaccinated and just 40% of the population has access to basic health care.[50] Even before the 2010 earthquake, nearly half the causes of deaths have been attributed to HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, meningitis and diarrheal diseases, including cholera and typhoid, according to the World Health Organization.[51] Ninety percent of Haiti’s children suffer from waterborne diseases and intestinal parasites.[52] Approximately 5% of Haiti's adult population is infected with HIV.[53] Cases of tuberculosis (TB) in Haiti are more than ten times as high as those in other Latin American countries.[54] Some 30,000 people in Haiti suffer each year from malaria.[55]

By most economic measures, Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. It had a nominal GDP of 7.018 billion USD in 2009, with a GDP per capita of 790 USD, about $2 per person per day.[56]
It is an impoverished country, one of the world's poorest and least developed. Comparative social and economic indicators show Haiti falling behind other low-income developing countries (particularly in the hemisphere) since the 1980s. Haiti now ranks 149th of 182 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index (2006). About 80% of the population were estimated to be living in poverty in 2003.[57] Most Haitians live on $2 or less per day. [58] Haiti has 50% illiteracy,[59] and over 80% of college graduates from Haiti have emigrated, mostly to the United States.[60] Cité Soleil is considered one of the worst slums in the Americas,[61] most of its 500,000 residents live in extreme poverty.[42] Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery, working as unpaid household servants.[62]
About 66% of all Haitians work in the agricultural sector, which consists mainly of small-scale subsistence farming,[63] but this activity makes up only 30% of the GDP. The country has experienced little formal job-creation over the past decade, although the informal economy is growing. Mangoes and coffee are two of Haiti's most important exports.[63] Haiti's richest 1% own nearly half the country's wealth.[64] Haiti has consistently ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world on the Corruption Perceptions Index.[65] Since the day of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Haiti's government has been notorious for its corruption. Haitian dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier, his wife Michelle, and three other people are believed to have taken $504 million from the Haitian public treasury between 1971 and 1986.[66]
Foreign aid makes up approximately 30–40% of the national government's budget. The largest donor is the United States – followed by Canada, and the European Union also contributes aid.[67] From 1990 to 2003, Haiti received more than $4 billion in aid. The United States alone had provided Haiti with 1.5 billion in aid. [68] Venezuela and Cuba also make various contributions to Haiti's economy, especially after alliances were renewed in 2006 and 2007. In January 2010, China promised $4.2 million for the quake-hit island,[69] and President Obama pledged $100 million in US assistance.[70]
U.S. aid to the Haitian government was completely cut off in 2001–2004 after the 2000 election was disputed and President Aristide was accused of various misdeeds.[71] After Aristide's departure in 2004, aid was restored, and the Brazilian army led the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti peacekeeping operation. Following almost 4 years of recession ending in 2004, the economy grew by 1.5% in 2005.[72]
In 2005 Haiti's total external debt reached an estimated US$1.3 billion, which corresponds to a debt per capita of US$169, in contrast to the debt per capita of the United States which is US$40,000. [73] In September 2009, Haiti met the conditions set out by the IMF and World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries program to qualify for cancellation of its external debt. [74]
Of Haiti's 8.7 million inhabitants, the literacy rate of 65.9% is the lowest in the region.[which?] Haiti counts 15,200 primary schools, of which 90% are non-public and managed by the communities, religious organizations or NGOs.[75] The enrollment rate for primary school is 67%, and fewer than 30% reach 6th grade. Secondary schools enroll 20% of eligible-age children. Charity organizations like Food for the Poor and Haitian Health Foundation are currently working on building schools for children as well as providing them necessary school supplies.
The educational system of Haiti is based on the
French system. Higher education – under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education.[69] is provided by universities and other public and private institutions. [76]
Although Haiti averages approximately 360 people per square kilometer (940 per sq mi.), its population is concentrated most heavily in urban areas, coastal plains, and valleys. Haiti's population was about 9.8 million according to UN 2008 estimates,[77] with half of the population being under 20 years.[78] The first formal census, taken in 1950, showed that the population was 3.1 million.[79] Haiti has the highest fertility rate in the Western Hemisphere.[80]
90–95% of Haitians (depending on the source) are of predominately African descent; the remaining 5–10% of the population are mostly of mixed-race background. A small percentage of the non-black population consists primarily of Caucasian/white Haitians; mostly of Arab,[81] Western European (French, German, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish), and Jewish origin.[82][83] Haitians of Asian descent (mostly of Chinese origin) number approximately 400.[82]
Haitians of mixed race live mostly in the wealthier suburbs of the capital, such as Pétionville or Kenscoff. Many were born in the southwestern regions of Haiti, such as: Jacmel, Les Cayes, Cavaillon. During the colonial years there was a higher proportion of Europeans in this area than in the north, which was more isolated, had fewer cities and was devoted to large plantations with extensive populations of enslaved Africans. Some of the white planter fathers ensured the education of their sons (and sometimes daughters), even sending some to school in France. Some of the mixed-race population was therefore able to build more social capital than those in the north of mostly African descent. In addition, the free people of color (les gens du couleur libre) (or mulatto) population had more civil rights than did Africans who were free. By the time of the revolution, there were numerous educated mixed-race men who became part of the leadership of the country. As in most Latin American countries, there is no one-drop rule regarding African ancestry in Haiti.
Forced self-cannibalism as a form of torture or war crime is not uncommon. Erzsébet Báthory forced some of her servants to eat their own flesh.[7] In the 16th Century, Spanish colonizers forced natives to eat their own testicles.[8] Incidents were reported in the years following the 1991 coup in Haiti.[9] In the 1990s young people in Sudan were forced to eat their own ears.[10]
One famous case of self-cannibalism is the Armin Meiwes trial. One of the persons involved, Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, had wanted his penis to be amputated; after Armin Meiwes amputated, they attempted to eat it together but found that it was too hard.
Monsters and Cannibals at war in Haiti
Fuelled by drugs and voodoo, supporters of Haiti's President Jean-Bertrand Aristide are fighting a revolt against him, reports Marcus
By Marcus Warren Published: 12:01AM GMT 13 Dec 2003
Thousands of students calling for the resignation of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide clashed with police and armed thugs yesterday in a day of violence that once again brought anarchy to the streets of the Haitian capital.
Drink and drug-fuelled mobs of Aristide supporters roamed the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, into the night, setting up barricades, intimidating onlookers and flaunting their weapons in the hope of muzzling a groundswell of demands for the government's overthrow.
The thugs, known as "the Monsters", shut down most of the capital, chanting "Aristide for king" and screaming "This is a war between the dark and light-skinned" at passers-by as they gathered in front of the presidential palace to the accompaniment of voodoo drums.
Pulling drivers out of their vehicles to rough them up and steal their cars, their only saving grace was their poor marksmanship. One hoodlum who took aim with his revolver at the car in which I was travelling, missed from 10 yards.
Heavily armed police patrolling the city did nothing to stop the mayhem. Law and order had all but broken down even before the latest surge of violence. Haiti can field only 5,000 policemen to control its 8 million people.
To maintain his grip on power, Mr Aristide and his allies have been forced to rely on "the Monsters", thugs mostly recruited from the slums.
The demonstrating students, terrified by their brutality, were forced to take to the hills above the city, marching through alleys to avoid the mobs.
"Things can still happen fast here," Andy Apaid, a key opposition leader, said yesterday. "This can still be delayed but it will take a lot of killing to do so and prompt the downfall of his regime."
Today's demonstrations were the most violent of a week-long wave of protests by up to 10,000 students that has been moving through the streets of Port-au-Prince.
Behind the unrest aiming to unseat Mr Aristide, the former priest who once inspired support across the country, lies the same voodoo cult that fuelled the slaves of Haiti to rout Napoleon's armies and win their freedom 200 years ago.
The black cross of the Baron, Master of the Dead and Keeper of the Cemeteries, that was carried at the head of the student demonstrations symbolises their readiness to die for their cause - a readiness which may soon be put to the test as the country plunges into new bloodshed and violence.
Haiti is still the poorest country in the Americas and the Port-au-Prince slums offer an image of destitution so complete that the late Mother Theresa called them "the Fifth World".
The spectacular upsurge in strife has been aggravated by Mr Aristide's campaign to mark the bicentenary of Haiti's founding with fanfare and celebrations.
The anniversary marks the occasion when a slave insurrection, freeing the colony from French rule, gave the world its first black republic.
Haiti's more recent past has seen US occupation, the reign of terror of the Duvaliers and their "Tontons Macoutes" secret police, coups and death squads.
Nowhere is Mr Aristide's weakened status more visible than in Gonaives, where Haiti declared its independence on January 1, 1804. Monuments to the date have been smashed up and its slums are under the control of the so-called "Cannibal Army".
Tyres burn on the streets, pigs snuffle through barricades of rubbish built to keep the police at bay and even "Rosie's", a local brothel, has been shot up.
Sporting red neckerchiefs which endow them, so they think, with the mystical power to dodge harm and sprinkling a special voodoo eau de toilette as they march, the "Cannibals" scream for revenge against Mr Aristide.
Although ordained as a Catholic priest, Mr Aristide, 50, is only too aware of the power of voodoo beliefs. In a populist bow to the masses he has declared it an official religion.
Many Haitians still assume that, as the survivor of numerous past assassination attempts and coups, he has mystic powers himself.
Even voodoo may not save him now. While the "Cannibal Army" will spoil the bicentenary only in Gonaives, the student demonstrations could yet sweep aside his rule.
"The streets are hot. Aristide is in trouble," the demonstrators chanted as they jogged through the streets. "We are not afraid. We will never fear."
Some former cronies, several of them with distinctly unsavoury pasts of their own, are deserting their president. One ex-ally predicted that he is destined for "death, prison, or, at best, exile".
Nor can he depend on the inhabitants of the slums who were once his disciples and believed he could deliver them from a life little better than animal.
"Death is all I see for my children," said Marie Medesin, the mother of nine, as she surveyed the shacks built among rubbish tips and open sewers that are home to her and hundreds of thousands of others in the city.
So desperate is the situation in the slums that a dead body, clearly the result of some violent confrontation between gangs, lay unclaimed, and almost unnoticed, for hours.
The softly spoken president seems convinced that he and only he can save the country from total ruin. "What we have been through in recent years would be enough to make any other president unable to govern," he said.
Often criticised for trying to run the country like a parish priest, he pleaded for "dialogue" and "conciliation" at a press conference this week.
But within 24 hours, "the Monsters", were running wild on the streets outside, trying to stone foreign journalists and shooting up opposition radio stations.
"I dare someone to come into my position and keep both the rich and poor happy," he said during a press conference which ended with him, like a caring vicar after a Sunday service, shaking hands with each journalist as they left.
He may have spoken too soon. Someone may take him up on the challenge earlier than he thinks. But no one can relish taking over a country with such a turbulent past where half the population is illiterate and one in 20 have Aids.

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