On Friday night, April 24, 2015 while Fox News aired their Haiti expose about how the Clintons used Haiti earthquake funds to enrich themselves, HBO aired a VICE investigation to find out what happened to the $10 billion in aid collected. The 1.5 million people made homeless after the earthquake are worst off today than they were before the earthquake. They were mostly reshuffled out of the tents, repeatedly evicted into one horrible squalor after the other. The VICE segment explains how the $10 billion in aid made the privileged foreigner, richer.
Read below the article, written by Rick Cohen, for Non Profit Quarterly reviewing VICE on HBO’s report about the charity industry and the US government’s bipartisan aid racket in Haiti. Not that VICE’s mealy-mouthed coverage is this clear. There’s a USAID female spewing the same old line about Haiti not having the capacity to absorb aid. But she tells how USAID’s structural directives are to spend aid monies with US companies. No one focuses. No one mentions that making a market for US companies in Haiti means the US continually destroys local capacity, privatizes Haiti assets so that Haiti will perpetually depend on aid, that in turn, keeps USAID workers and subcontractors in cushy Ol’ Dixie jobs and lifestyle.
The latest news is that only 15% of the monies raised by the Clinton Foundation went to charity. A whopping 85% went for salaries, travel and benefits. Considering these revelations, Clarice Feldman, writing in The American Thinker, wrote: “The only questions remaining are when will she drop out of the race and can we expect a thorough investigation of the Foundation with appropriate consequence.”
The VICE segment analyzes what happened, uhmm “scientifically, by the numbers” without ever focusing on the elephant in the room – that foreign aid to Haiti is also a slush fund for US empire building. It’s a US tool for warfare, where spies and intelligence agents work at NGOs to carry out the policies of the Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission. It’s subterfuge, sabotage and blatant economic slavery, dished out by the Bush and Clinton dynasties and their Hollywood friends, as building Haiti back better. “Better,” that is, in the white gaze. For the white psyche.
The white supremacist system loves to report on how awful life is for Haitians. Never mind that they created the conditions for all the slums in Haiti, in order to live off of it.
Site Soley, for instance, was created in the 1980s because of the sweatshop hoax and US policies. The unrest there, partly became the pretext for the 2004 US marine invasion, later outsourced to the UN. The earthquake slums that are allowed to fester, like Canaan, give the West a permanent job in peacekeeping, private security and drug dealing to heal the sicknesses associated with such squalor living conditions. That’s why the quake monies failed to build good homes, sanitation, clean water and infrastructure for the Haiti victims. (See also, Western Aid to Africa a Smoke Screen For ‘Looting’ The Continent.)
White folks have increased their good living and presence in Haiti in direct proportion to the unendurable misery and apartheid they are institutionalizing. After the US occupation began in 2004, the US tunneled and drilled, on the earthquake fault-line. They built the largest Embassy compound in the Western Hemisphere in tiny Haiti. It’s the fourth largest US Embassy in the world.
Someone said to me yesterday “how did Haitians let this happen without saying anything?” I write, for the record that, Haitians did speak up. Many lost their lives and freedom fighting to stop the sweatshop hoax, the US-trained militarized police and the heinous charitable industrial complex‘s greedy rampage. We pointed out that foreign aid and the crisis caravan is meant to cripple. It’s corporate welfare for the Bill Gates and Bill Clinton Foundations, just as it’s been for the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations. It’s the white men’s way of projecting himself as a benevolent Cecile Rhodes while gorging on Black blood, lands and resources. It’s a deadly depopulation scheme but no news outlet will tell you this. But the evidence is clear. USAID has formally been in Haiti for over 50 years, it’s net assistance to Haiti is zero. Haitians lived way better before it arrived.
Historically, Haiti has been a fiscal paradise for the White Savior Charitable Industrial Complex, otherwise known as the NGOs, the non-for-profits and the UN “peacekeepers.” Haitians put together a 14-Points For a Return of Haiti’s Sovereignty and for Disaster relief, Rebuilding with Human Rights, Healing and Dignity. But we were drowned out by the Hollywood/State Department propaganda about the non-racist, good-hearted, “US democracy bringers” to Haiti!
At the Free Haiti Movement we exposed, from day one, that US aid to Haiti is money laundering for the super rich. If, the centers of power had listened, there would be no cholera in Haiti, no ten thousand cholera deaths, no World Bank plundering of Haiti mining, no Clintons absconding with 10 billion in aid meant for sick and homeless. HLLN wrote: Go home US military: Haiti doesn’t need anymore pain.
But Black death and carnage always helps a white campaign for electoral office, or to ride out a world recession or to sell US newspaper and TV adds. Neither Vice News nor Fox News have yet found their way to understanding that Haiti is one of the LEAST violent places in the Western Hemisphere and that the UN MINUSTAH troops are the AFRICOM of the Western Hemisphere.
It will take maybe another 5 years for them to get there. To even begin to examine how Barack Obama installed dictatorship in Haiti.
Five years ago, while enduring the most unimaginable grief – 316,000 Haitians dead in 33 seconds – most thinking Haitians knew the Clintons, the Bushes, the sell-out Black misleadership in the US and the white charitable industrial complex would come to feed on the sick and traumatized Haiti survivors. We anticipated their fake benevolence, self-serving hero spiels and the many books that would be written about the sacrificing white guy, gal or foreigner who would rush in to “save” the Black woman’s child. Their rapist UN soldiers provided the fraudulent legal framework for the plunder. But that wasn’t enough. As the Fox News and HBO-Vice segments show, Haiti pain can now be used as a campaign tool by the US duopoly to attain or keep political power in the United States, by using failed Haiti reconstruction to bash in the heads of their political rivals. It’s not about ending US imperialism and racism towards Haiti. (Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Ghettos.)
Haiti has barely survived the last 100 years of US imperial tyranny, bullying and containment in poverty. The second US military occupation of Haiti has been outsourced to the UN and to US Private Military Security Contractors for over 11 years now. It’s time again to go on record and say: Haiti doesn’t need false US charity, but justice.
Go home Pamela White, go home Hillary Clinton, go home Samantha Powers. Go home cholera-infected UN rapists. Go home Chemonics. Go home Jim Yong Kim, Ban Ki Moon. Go home foreign pedophiles. Go home USAID. Go home US military. Haiti does not need any more pain. Indict, don’t elect another Bush or Clinton.
“…yesterday I died again. We’re traumatized, bruised and bloodied. But we’re still here because we can handle this and all that we know is still to come as we’re ‘rescued’ some more.” — Go home US military: Haiti doesn’t need anymore pain by Ezili Dantò, Jan. 16, 2010
Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Ghettos– Just as suburb housing were subsidized by the US Federal government, well-built gated-community housing in Haiti was subsidized by earthquake funds for foreigners living in Haiti after the quake. While housing for Haiti quake victims were not prioritized and those actually built, were built in the crowded fashion of housing projects in the US. The US designers of these shoddy housings for Haitians are well aware that when families are concentrated in small areas with little opportunity, no public services, far away from jobs and with no way to make a living, it’s a formula for unrest and crime.
As you read the NEW YORK TIMES breaking news: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal, let’s recall also Hillary’s brother says he goes to the Clinton Foundation meetings to solicit business. This is how the quid pro quo for a 25-year Haiti gold mining permit came along. Let’s also recall the Bill Clinton, Frank Guistra, Canadian mining connection to Haiti mining. The Bill and Hillary Clinton flagship Caracol “reconstruction” project for Haiti wasn’t built in the South where the earthquake happened. The Caracol sweatshop was put way up in the North. It’s where Haiti’s mining belt is and another excuse for the wealthy to built infrastructure for the mining companies Wall Street banksters and World Bank crooks funneling their pay-offs through the Clinton Foundation, but calling their bribes to the Clintons, “Haiti earthquake aid.” (See also The Clinton’s Little Tin Box on the use of the Clinton Foundation to enrich the Clintons.)
Written in 2010 – The Poverty Pimps’ Masturbating on Black Pain:
“The corruption and violence to Haiti, to Africa, to most parts of Asia, to Australia’s autochthones, et al…, are structural, not perpetrated just by the large NGOS and charity organizations, the elite corportocracy and imperialist powers that backs them up. No. It’s as structural as white privilege. An inheritance some bear the brunt of on this planet while others profit.
No paradigm change may come about if this is ignored. Haiti’s majority starve, suffer, grieve and die, while thrill seekers, disaster tourists and the various “missionaries”, “non-for-profits (NPOs)” and “peacekeepers” sunbath, swim at the beaches, at Labadie on vacation, on salary or hourly rate for a “charity” or, for taking pictures of us crushed, grieving , deprived and dead for international photo contests to “help us.” That some good is done by some charity workers doesn’t justify the horror of the poverty pimping system whatsoever.”
UN Shooting Unarmed Haitians in the head in Haiti – April 28, 2015
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VICE on HBO Reports on White Savior Charitable Industrial Complex in Haiti
by Rick Cohen, Original Source: Non Profit Quarterly April 25, 2015
When Vikram Gandhi presents tonight’s VICE story on U.S. aid to Haiti—“Haitian Money Pit”—the story will have news both new and old.
The new news is that Gandhi names places and names where U.S. aid to Haiti was misused, abused, ripped off, and generally screwed up.
It’s about time that the American public learned firsthand, with poignant video, about the misguided direction and use of much of the charitable and governmental aid that went to help Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010. The show, which will be aired on HBO at 11pm Eastern on Friday, hits on a variety of programs and practices that were inflicted on Haitians in the name of humanitarian relief and longer-term development assistance—some stupefyingly horrific, some darkly comic, including the following:
- $10 billion in aid to Haiti that still hasn’t led to permanent housing or decent water and sewage systems, leading to Haiti’s suffering the largest modern outbreak of cholera in history. Seven hundred thousand people affected—and nearly 9,000 deaths—from a disease that’s preventable through providing people with clean drinking water. The problem of polluted water supplies causing cholera continues even today.
- For every dollar of U.S. government aid to Haiti through USAID, only one cent went to Haitian organizations, Haitian companies, or even the Haitian government, as opposed to contracting with non-Haitian organizations, nonprofit and for-profit, for the delivery of aid.
- There were plans to build 15,000 houses at a cost of $53 million, but according to Gandhi’s sources, the cost ballooned to $93 million and the number of homes to be built shrunk to 2,600. At the same time, the U.S. embassy authorized $70 million to build townhouses with pools for U.S. embassy staff—with functional electric power and clean drinking water, which is unavailable for most everyone else in Haiti.
- On the darkly comic side are the model homes built for the Zoranje housing festival, supported by the Clinton Foundation among others, a $2.4 million “showroom” for international firms to build prototype houses in the expectation of winning contracts for mass production. The homes ranged from the impractical (for example, wood homes in a nation that has been largely deforested) to the nutty (you have to watch the show to see just how insane some of the models were), and not one house model was used to make homes for Haitians anywhere, other than the ones who moved into the demonstration models after the “expo”—Gandhi calls it “squatting in a permanent reminder of what our aid intended to give them.”
- In some cases, Haitians who “received little to no foreign aid actually appeared to be doing better than those in designated relief areas,” Gandhi found.
- “Adding injury to insult,” in Gandhi’s words, the International Olympic Committee built an $18 million state of the art soccer field and recreational center for a community where residents lived, typically squatted, in shantytown housing without basic public services such as clean drinking water.
- $300 million in aid spent in Caracol, seven hours north of the earthquake, where the earthquake didn’t really hit, providing yet another soccer field, a cultural center, and other facilities, but really geared toward a $260 million industrial park that was planned long before the earthquake.
- The use of U.S.-based contractors, notably USAID’s largest contractor, Chemonics International, to build much of the useless stuff that isn’t helping Haitians in need.
Gandhi concludes early on that “long term relief aid to Port-au-Prince appear[ed] to be squandered,” emblematic of a consistently troubled dynamic of the delivery and use of aid in Haiti, to the benefit of people and interests who weren’t Haitian or, if occasionally Haitian, weren’t directly affected or displaced by the earthquake (as in Caracol, seven hours north of Port-au-Prince). No one from USAID was willing to be interviewed for the VICE show to address the issues Gandhi reported upon, which is more than telling about USAID’s role in the misguided Haitian relief strategy pursued.
In a way, however, though some of the incidences of screwed up aid are new to American viewers, the underlying issues are old news, with lessons that NGOs, for-profit aid deliverers, and donor countries seem to learn—and then forget, or perhaps ignore—over and over again. Among the obvious lessons Gandhi implies or surfaces are these:
- The donors and the implementers frequently didn’t talk to Haitians about what they wanted and about what they needed.
- In many cases, the donors were planning showcases for themselves and their interests—for example, the soccer fields next to shanty homes without basic plumbing, which simply underscored their cluelessness.
- By circumventing Haitian institutions, donors and implementers weakened rather than strengthened systems of governance.
- By failing to work on basic infrastructure such as water, sewerage, and power, they left Haitians vulnerable and in prolonged conditions of underdevelopment.
- Part of the problem of USAID-funded solutions are the rules that the U.S. Congress imposes on aid, including requiring U.S. contractors for various services and U.S. supplies, thus bypassing and weakening local markets.
- Another part of the problem are the USAID instructions to contractors, which will build what they are told to build, like the $2.3 million police station in Caracol, with the cost estimates redacted from public disclosures on the projects.
Ultimately, this dynamic is to some extent what Gandhi called “disaster capitalism” and what the U.S. ambassador to Haiti called in a leaked document “the gold rush.” But it isn’t just the for-profit contractors like Chemonics. The fault is partly in the development industry’s continued failure to build and strengthen local governance and local civil society, and partly in the government policies of the U.S. that lead to bids and contracts to do the things like Chemonics has built. In other words, if USAID RFPs it, Chemonics and others—both for-profit and nonprofit—will build it. We all know better. Gandhi’s story should have resonance.—Rick Cohen