mardi 22 décembre 2015

Democracy denied: US turning Haiti into another vassal state

December 21, 2015 by Cynthia McKinney Robert Baer just made an incredibly important admission that for me comes way too late, but still it’s good to know. The former CIA officer admits he was given millions of dollars which he used successfully to bribe politicians in Yugoslavia to betray their country’s interest. Robert Baer describes how the U.S. brought democracy to Yugoslavia by destroying it.
Of course, this policy, financed by my tax dollars, didn’t benefit me or my next door neighbors; but certain individuals in both the U.S. and Yugoslavia benefitted handsomely from the gambit. Oops, too bad about those hundreds of thousands of lives; too bad about Srebrenica. So, now, Robert Baer is trying to make amends, of sort, by exposing the whole affair.
Therefore, it is with this backdrop in mind, that I want to explore how U.S. policy can hurt multitudes of people, yet benefit a small clique, and so be deemed “successful.” U.S. policy in Yugoslavia literally wiped the country off the map. If you are not a peace and justice kind of person, it could be said that the U.S. policy to destroy that country was effective and successful, despite the tremendous loss of life that resulted. And now, the U.S. is attempting to bring “democracy” to Haiti.
Haiti is currently in the midst of an electoral crisis because the U.S. wants to dictate who the next president will be. In 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interfered in Haiti’s election results, denying the people their right of self-determination.
According to the previous (and now current) head of Haiti’s Presidential Electoral Commission (EC), Pierre Louis Opont, the EC had prepared election results to be publicized; those results were passed on to Cheryl Mills, the chief of staff of then-Secretary Clinton. But, instead of announcing the two winners, who would then compete in a runoff, Mills announced a completely different result.
Opont and the remaining commission members were shocked, but said or did nothing at the time and allowed the fraudulent result to stand.
Haiti is currently in the midst of an electoral crisis because the U.S. wants to dictate who the next president will be.
In July 2015, Opont went public with the saga, just as Haiti was about to commence its presidential campaign for 2015. Needless to say, the U.S.-backed Michel Martelly, an entertainer known onstage as “Sweet Mickey,” went on to “win” the Haitian election, defeating Jude Celestin, who had the backing of outgoing President Rene Preval, a Jean-Bertrand Aristide ally. Democracy denied.
During the 2010 election, the U.S. State Department had made comments like Celestin “was too close to [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez.” The U.S. government took it upon itself to deny democracy to Haitians because they had voted for a Chavez ally to lead them.
Well, Hugo Chavez is no longer an issue, nor is the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which just handed Chavez protégé President Nicolas Maduro a crippling blow in Parliamentary elections on Dec. 10, 2015.
Meanwhile, it was later revealed that Secretary Clinton had awarded, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a $100,000 donation to an organization that supported Clinton’s choice for President, Martelly. After his inauguration, one of Martelly’s favorite slogans was “Haiti is open for business.”
The U.S. government took it upon itself to deny democracy to Haitians because they had voted for a Chavez ally to lead them.
For the then-secretary of state that proved to be an understatement. First, there was the revelation that Tony Rodham, the Secretary Clinton’s brother, was awarded a contract to mine Haitian gold. Tony Rodham has no special insights into gold mining except that he is Hillary Clinton’s brother.
Moreover, the Haitians have refused to mine for more gold because they have steadfastly demanded the return of their gold bullion, taken for “safe keeping” by the U.S. in 1915. The U.S. militarily occupied Haiti until 1934, but maintained economic control over the country.
It is this economic control over Haitian resources that is at the center of the Haitian struggle for self-determination. Now, Secretary Clinton is running for president of the United States but has yet to answer the question of how her brother came to gain a gold mining contract in Haiti during her tenure at the State Department. Her official answer is that she doesn’t know.
More recently, another revelation has come to light of the Clinton Foundation having a for-profit peanut business in Haiti. Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corp., known as Acceso Haiti, is a project of the Clinton Foundation and Canadian mining magnate, Frank Giustra.
It is economic control over Haitian resources that is at the center of the Haitian struggle for self-determination.
Candidate Clinton has yet to be asked about her investments in Haiti that have spawned from the 2010 changed election results.
In addition to finding gold in peanuts, as “Sweet Mickey” is on his way out of the Haitian presidency (the Haitian Constitution prohibits presidents to succeed themselves), yet another Clinton Foundation donor was awarded a contract in Haiti. In October 2015, President Martelly awarded an Israeli company, HLSI, the right to secure Haiti’s land and sea borders.
Now, with the prospects of having yet another election stolen, the people of Haiti have erupted to protect their right of self-determination and, moreover, to protect their resources from more Clinton pillage. This Haitian struggle for independence and dignity today is as important for this small Caribbean country as was a similar struggle that resulted in the Haitian Revolution in 1804.
Recognizing that the situation could easily slip from their control, the U.S. Embassy called presidential candidate Jude Celestin in for “consultations.” The result was that Celestin got up and walked out of the meeting. He declared at the time, “I am not a dealer; I am a leader.” Celestin, however, did not reveal the contents of the “deal” that was discussed.
With the prospects of having yet another election stolen, the people of Haiti have erupted to protect their right of self-determination and, moreover, to protect their resources from more Clinton pillage.
There certainly is enough on the table. But the U.S. Embassy should not be in the position of protecting ill-gotten gains of U.S. presidential candidates against the will of the people in the affected country. Jude Celestin has already had one election stolen from him by the Clintons; but this time, he has forged a relationship with the other candidates. They call themselves “the G8.”
So far, the G8 have held firm and called the presidential election, Round One, fraudulent. And they will not recognize any election outcome announced by the already-tainted Presidential Election Commission without an independent investigation of the allegations of fraud.
The U.S. Embassy has not been able to peel away individual candidates who form the G8. On a recent trip to the country, Ambassador Kenneth Merten came away empty-handed.
Jude Celestin has already had one election stolen from him by the Clintons; but this time, he has forged a relationship with the other candidates. They call themselves “the G8.”
Now, a special delegation from the United Nations is on the ground in Haiti trying to fix this mess because neither the U.S. nor the Organization of American States has been able to move the G8 from its united position. Today, the G8 remain united in their call for an investigation of the election fraud that marred the first round of the presidential poll.
The U.S. brought democracy to Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavia no longer exists. The U.S. has spent $5 billion according to the State Department bringing democracy to Ukraine, and today Ukraine is in turmoil.
In the end, neither the people of Yugoslavia, nor the people of Ukraine have benefited from U.S. democracy. And so it goes with the people of Haiti. But the list of non-Haitians who benefit from U.S. “democracy” is long, indeed.
And the Clinton Foundation family and donors top this list.
After serving in the Georgia Legislature, in 1992, Cynthia McKinney won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the first African-American woman from Georgia in the U.S. Congress. In 2005, McKinney was a vocal critic of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and was the first member of Congress to file articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party nomination for the U.S. presidency. She can be reached at Cynthia@runcynthiarun.org and on Facebook at CynthiaMcKinneyOfficial.
This story first appeared at https://www.rt.com/op-edge/325895-haiti-presidential-elections-clinton/.

Haiti on the outside looking in at 'Star Wars' delirium

Port-au-Prince (AFP) - Without a single functioning movie theatre in their country, Haitians have been feeling left out in recent days, while much of the rest of the world swoons over the latest "Star Wars" movie.
The debut past this weekend of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was a worldwide event -- except in remote and impoverished corners of the globe like Haiti, where fans of the epic film franchise are out in the cold.
"This is a situation which really brings me down," said Vladimir Desir, 30, a long time Star Wars fan.
"I may have to wait five or six months until they show it on television, since I don't want to watch a poorly made pirated version," he said.
The seventh episode of this hit series has attained blockbuster status in its first weekend, with an estimated $238 million tickets sold in the US and Canadian -- a box office record -- and more than a half-billion dollars worldwide.
Haiti's last cinema closed its doors in 2009, after failing to make a profit, in large part because of rampant film piracy.
"This is a real problem that I regret on a personal level, but also for all the movie fans in this country, said Emelie Prophete, director of the Haitian Copyright Office, known under the French acronym BHDA.
"The piracy problem is not specific to Haiti but pirate DVDs are even sold outside the presidential palace and other state institutions," Prophete said.
There was hope that a newly renovated theater, the Triumph, which reopened this past summer after being repaired to fix damage sustained in the 2010 earthquake.
The theater so far has screen movies only sporadically, all of which have been domestic films.
"Screenings of Star Wars at the Triomphe? I doubt it," Prophete said.


Haiti’s electoral council postpones Sunday’s presidential vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council yesterday postponed until January this Sunday’s scheduled presidential run-off election amid accusations by the opposition candidate of fraud and irregularities.
“The Provisional Electoral Council informs the general public, political parties and candidates in particular, that the elections of local authorities as well as the partial legislative and presidential elections that were to be held December 27, 2015 are postponed,” the council said in a statement.
Ruling party candidate Jovenel Moïse and former government executive Jude Célestin were due to face each other on Sunday.
Instead, the vote will take place in January, possibly on January 10, two of the council members said.
“We are technically ready for the election but the election has been postponed because there is a commission assessing the process,” Pierre Manigat Jr, vice president of the electoral council, said. “This commission will make recommendations to the electoral council. We could not go on organizing the election without waiting for the recommendations of the commission.”
The winner will succeed President Michel Martelly in February as the head of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
If the postponed election goes well, it will mark the first time in Haiti’s rocky political history that three democratic elections have been held in succession without interruption by fraud or armed rebellion. Moïse and Célestin came out on top in a field of 54 candidates in the first round on October 25.
The third-place candidate in the first round alleged that ballots supporting him had been destroyed.
The Caribbean nation of about 10 million people has struggled to establish democratic rule after decades of dictatorship, military coups and election fraud.
Martelly, a popular singer, oversaw the slow recovery from a devastating earthquake in 2010, but critics have said that he allowed corruption to run rampant and failed to resolve political divisions that led to the dissolution of parliament in January.
Moïse represents the ruling Parti Haitien Tet Kale (Haitian Party of Bald Heads), named after Martelly’s smooth scalp. He won nearly 33 per cent of the vote in the first round.
Célestin, of the Alternative League for Progress and Emancipation of Haiti, won 25 per cent.
The election will also determine a few remaining Senate and lower house seats that required a run-off in addition to local positions for hundreds of municipalities.

AP Interview: Haiti President Defends Questioned Elections

Haitian President Michel Martelly has defended much-criticized elections in the divided country and asserted that the opposition has spread unsubstantiated allegations about widespread electoral fraud purely to strengthen its position.
During an interview with The Associated Press, Martelly said he believed that disputed results from the October presidential round that put the government-backed contender on top for a two-candidate runoff was a genuine reflection of voters' will.
"We feel confident enough that what happened the first time will happen again because it's the vote of the people," the outgoing president said Monday on the grounds where the domed National Palace once stood before it pancaked in Haiti's 2010 earthquake.
Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council reported that Jovenel Moise of Martelly's well-financed Tet Kale party received nearly 33 percent of the Oct. 25 vote to clear the packed field of 54 presidential candidates. Official results have the political newcomer getting 117,602 more votes than second-place finisher Jude Celestin, an ex-state construction chief who was eliminated from a runoff during the last election cycle after a contested count was reviewed.
In recent weeks, growing allegations of rampant fraud have brought sometimes violent street protests and so many broad accusations from civil society, religious and opposition groups that Haiti's Dec. 27 runoffs were postponed late Monday.
For now, no immediate resolution to Haiti's electoral tensions is in sight. A new election date won't be announced until a special commission formed by presidential decree can review Haiti's electoral process and make recommendations.
On Monday, Martelly said political opponents and critics have been wildly exaggerating the extent of irregularities on Oct. 25. On a whole, he asserted, balloting was remarkably "free and fair" in a country where votes have never been easy and are often marred by violence, intimidation and other blatant irregularities.
Martelly noted that after polls closed on Oct. 25, international electoral missions and local groups hailed it as an apparent success. It contrasted sharply with an earlier legislative round in August that suffered from various violent disturbances, even though international monitors said it was not enough to disrupt the legitimacy of the overall vote.
His assertion is that the opposition was so troubled by Moise's status as the leading candidate that leading figures started denouncing the elections as a mockery of democracy. Celestin has called the first-round results with agricultural entrepreneur Moise on top a "ridiculous farce."
"It looked like the potential winner was not what the opposition expected, so the same minute, the same night, they started building that perception (of fraud)," said Martelly.
Opposition factions and some observer groups suspect that fraudsters used some of the roughly 900,000 accreditations issued for political party representatives to facilitate multiple voting. There are also accusations that electoral council officials accepted bribes to secure spots in runoffs, among other fraud allegations.
The various accusations have raised so many suspicions here and abroad that Martelly, under pressure, announced the creation of an evaluation commission to hopefully provide a way out of the impasse. He said his priority is a "credible" final round that will be recognized as legitimate.
This year's three rounds of balloting for nearly all of Haiti's public offices have been the first elections under Martelly's tenure. Despite pressure from the U.N., U.S. and others, previous efforts to hold legislative and local votes were snarled by bitter infighting between the executive and legislative branches.
Although Celestin's opposition alliance has called for resignations at the electoral council and judicial investigations, Martelly asserted that this Provisional Electoral Council has proven itself to be "strong enough and independent enough." He noted that the council was loudly praised when it rejected first lady Sophia Martelly's bid to run for Senate. The move was heralded as a sign the body known as the CEP was independent.
"(They said) that this was the best CEP, particularly at the time that they kicked my wife out of the race," he said.
Constitutionally due to leave office on Feb. 7 because he can't run for a consecutive term, Martelly told AP that his main remaining task is handing over the reins to a legitimate government. He said he's seeking compromises with Celestin's camp, sitting senators and the electoral council to ensure runoffs occur soon. He warned that some opposition factions were trying to derail elections so a transitional government could instead be put in place.
"They believe this is the only way they can get in power and also the only way they can organize elections for themselves," he said.
——— David McFadden on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmcfadd

vendredi 18 décembre 2015

Architectural Association School of Architecture bamboo workshops in Haiti teach post-disaster construction techniques

The AA School is working with Quisqueya University, the Wynne Farm and ARUP through short workshops to design and build architectural projects contextualized for the climate of the Caribbean and the cultural vernacular of Haiti using bamboo. The country is plagued by a lack of lightweight materials in the built environment, the legacy of disastrous deforestation, and bamboo is a solution to the building supply shortage as well as the damaged ecology.
The AA Haiti Visiting School is built on the premise that the disproportionate devastation of the 2010 Port au Prince Earthquake was a disaster of engineering and deforestation, and not one of nature. In Haiti deforestation has destroyed rural economies and has removed lightweight timbers from the Haitian construction sector. In this present-day scenario, when Haiti’s forest coverage has reached 1.4%, many ecologists, architects and engineers are asking, ‘Can bamboo alleviate some of Haiti’s problems?’
For 2 years now the Architectural Association along with groups of overseas and Haitian students has been designing projects which are born out of site mappings in areas of Haiti and this information is used as design drivers in making projects as location specific as possible. To accomplish this, 3D modeling, cultural lectures from FOKAL (Fondasyon Konesans ak Libete) and CIAT (Comité Interministériel d’Aménagement du Territoire), climate analysis software, and the input of a structural engineer from ARUP refine projects which propose a seismic and climate resilient lightweight vision of a future Haitian built environment.
The deforestation that has afflicted Haiti fits into a global trend. In 2010 the World Resources Institute revealed that the planet has lost 85% of its forest coverage as a result of deforestation. In Haiti, deforestation has removed lightweight materials from the construction sector and this is a pattern being replicated around the world. Where developing countries would often use timber and bamboo, the cement block has taken precedence. Standard methods of construction for the majority of residential, commercial and civic structures in Haiti involve the use of non-reinforced concrete block and are executed by an unskilled labour force.
Such building practices are not unique only to Haiti, as a significant percentage of the developing world’s population inhabits buildings of similar attributes; structurally unstable buildings constructed without the oversight of knowledgeable and experienced engineers and architects. According to the UN-HABITAT in a 2012 study, around 33% of the urban population in the developing world in 2012, or about 863 million people, lived in slums, many of which are in areas exposed to huge seismic and hurricane risks.
The long term goal of the AA Haiti Visiting School, is to encourage a lightweight construction industry in Haiti. In this, local students are trained with the tools and knowledge required to design aesthetically to change the preconceptions of bamboo to the Haitian population and structurally to protect against hurricanes and earthquakes. We want to establish a means to procure lightweight materials to meet the demands of these designers, so they can source from a domestic procurement network that can sustainably treat and sell construction-grade bamboo, to a skilled labor force who have a knowledge of working with the material and the means to build for themselves and their own families at an overall cost less than the pre-2010 per sq ft cost of construction in Haiti.
For the third year we will be investigating the potential of bamboo, through experimental architectural design contextualized for the climate, culture and geopolitical complexities of this Caribbean paradise. Participants will be asked not only to create a vision for a specific site, activity and community, but design a structure that can act a catalyst for a change in a national relationship with the material. In the second stage of the program, one proposal will then be constructed in January 2017.


Ex-police commander in Haiti faces up to life in Miami cocaine case

An attorney for Claude Thelemaque says he deserves the same sentence — about four years — as the Haitian trafficker who ratted him out.
The defendant is among more than a dozen Haitians and Colombians charged with using the island to ship cocaine to the United States
A former commander in the Haitian National Police faces up to life in prison at his Miami federal court sentencing on Thursday for providing protection to smugglers who flew thousands of kilos of Colombian cocaine loads to Haiti that were eventually shipped to the United States.
Yet the defense attorney for 48-year-old Claude Thelemaque argues that such severe punishment is way out of line, noting the former officer's “boss,” a major Haitian drug trafficker, received only about four years in prison after he snitched on his client and other smugglers involved in his ring.
Defense attorney Albert Levin, in court papers, said it's “unfathomable” that prosecutors have deemed Thelemaque a “manager” to enhance his punishment but described the snitch, Rodolphe Jaar, as a “minor” player in a plea deal that says he was involved in smuggling only between 15 and 50 kilos of cocaine.
Indeed, at trial in August, prosecutors acknowledged in a court filing that three cooperating witnesses described Thelemaque as Jaar's “right hand man in providing security for the landing strip in Haiti” that allowed planes from Colombia and Venezuela to transport up to 6,000 kilos of cocaine loads between 2005 and 2012. Jaar, however, was not among those who testified against Thelemaque.
Thelemaque’s fate is not that unusual in the upside-down system of justice in U.S. drug-trafficking prosecutions: the first suspect to cooperate with the feds almost always gets the best deal.
Levin said he believes his client, who has family back in Haiti, deserves a sentence closer to Jaar's — about four years. Assistant U.S. attorneys Monique Botero and Kurt Lunkenheimer strongly disagreed in their court filing, arguining that U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams should not even reduce the advisory guidelines — life in prison — for Thelemaque’s offense.
In court papers, Levin said the prosecutors’ treatment of Jaar, who had been a major Haitian trafficker for more than a decade, is difficult to fathom because he “double-crossed” the Drug Enforcement Administration as an informant. In 2012, Jaar secretly stole 50 kilos from a 420-kilo cocaine load while tipping off federal agents about the deal so they could seize the rest and go after his co-conspirators.
At his sentencing last year, Jaar owned up to his transgression: “I admit I made a big mistake in my cooperation,” he said.
Three other defendants implicated in the case received heavier prison sentences: Francisco Anchio-Candelo, a Colombian trafficker, who received an 11-year sentence; Olgaire Francois, a former Haitian police officer, who also got an 11-year term; and Jairo Jaimes-Penuela, a Colombian trafficker, who was sentenced to 14 years.
Thelemaque, a one-time police commander who was whisked away to Miami in November 2014 after his arrest at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, was convicted of a single drug-trafficking conspiracy charge in August. He became the latest of more than a dozen Haitian law enforcement officers, drug traffickers and politicians to be taken down in a federal crackdown dating back more than a decade.
When Haiti flourished as a “narco-state,” Colombian cocaine smugglers would pay off local cops to protect their precious loads flown in on planes that landed at night on dirt roads illuminated by the headlights of police cruisers, according to U.S. authorities.
At Thelemaque’s one-week trial, federal prosecutors portrayed the veteran Haitian National Police officer as a member of a protection racket that provided security for thousands of kilos of Colombian cocaine transported to the island for final shipment to the United States.
Botero and Lunkenheimer, the prosecutors, said that Colombian and Haitian drug traffickers routinely hired the “best security” on the island — the Haitian National Police.
They said the Colombian traffickers knew Thelemaque by his alias, “Teleco,” as three of them testified against him at trial.
Prosecutors singled out the 420-kilo load of cocaine — about 925 pounds — that landed on a dirt road near the coast south of Port-au-Prince on Feb. 20, 2012, accusing Thelemaque of playing a key role on the security team. But Thelemaque's defense attorney, Levin, countered that his client was not even in Haiti on that date. He showed the jury his client's stamped passport to prove it.
Levin said that Thelemaque, who did not testify, was in Fort Lauderdale when the big cocaine load landed in Haiti and that he stayed in South Florida from Feb. 19-21 before returning home..
At trial, Levin confronted the three now-convicted traffickers — Anchio-Candelo, Jaimes-Penuela and Carlos Acevedo-Rincon — accusing them of misidentifying Thelemaque as “Teleco” in the hope of getting their prison sentences reduced.
Jaar, the one-time DEA informant who ran the ring’s trafficking operation in Haiti, told federal agents that Thelemaque had helped unload the February cocaine shipment — even though trial evidence showed the defendant wasn’t in the country.
The 12 Miami federal jurors, who deliberated for two days and indicated they could not reach a verdict three times, finally found Thelemaque guilty after the judge urged them to reach a consensus.
Jay Weaver: 305-376-3446, @jayhweaver
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article50221495.html#storylink=cpy

mercredi 2 décembre 2015

Big party for little ones in Haiti
Haiti (MNN) — Defrosting a 20-pound turkey may take from 5-7 days, and that is a long time to prepare for a Christmas dinner for most people. But each year, the staff of For Haiti with Love Inc. starts planning their Christmas dinner in August.
FHWL will hold a Christmas party for up to 1,000 people on the beleaguered Caribbean island.
Every Christmas since 1988, FWHL hosts the party in Northern Haiti. They invite children and their families–as many as they can feed with that year’s donated money and food.
FWHL co-founder Eva DeHart says, “It becomes the social event of Cap Haitien. It’s kind of neat that the outstanding party of the year for Cap Haitien is for poor children only.”
Besides the meal, each child who attends receives a present and hears the Gospel message.
It is a chance to get a lot of children together to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, DeHart says.
The kids eat a good meal. They often take part of it home and share with others. Each child gets a present that was donated as far back as August just for this occasion. They not only hear the Gospel, they get to see it in a movie. This year’s Christmas party includes a showing of the Haitian Creole language JESUS film.
While it is too late to donate materials needed for the party, FWHL is still seeking monetary donations to pay for shipping costs. DeHart also asks for prayers for good weather, for the notification of the party to go out to those who are most in need, and for open hearts that are ready to accept Jesus.

The Deadly Cholera Book of Numbers Swells in Haiti

It has been four years since I have been in a cholera treatment center (CTC) in Haiti and five years since the United Nations infected the Mirebalais River by dumping raw sewage from the Nepalese encampment into the waterway.
The river system is forever contaminated, and cholera will never be eradicated from this island nation that had never before experienced the deadly disease. What followed was an attempted cover-up by the United Nations, and a slow response to a plague that has now killed almost 10,000 and infected over 743,000 since October 2010.
Truth spoke with the help of the courageous Organization of American States Brazilian diplomat and Professor, Ricardo Seitenfus. Seitenfus was fired from the OAS for telling the truth in 2010.
Standing outside the Nepalese United Nations camp on the banks of the Mirebalais River at the genesis of the outbreak, one could see the sewage pipes before they were entombed with rock in an attempt to bury responsibility. It was obvious what was about to happen as Vibrio cholerae slowly seeped into Haiti's central waterways; finally exploding beyond containment in Haiti's largest river, the Artibonite.

"The Book of Numbers" at the hospital in St-Marc is a volume of despair. The CTC continues to receive patients--196 admissions so far this November and two deaths as of last week. The "book" holds twenty names per page and is several inches thick. One must still walk through bleach before entering and leaving the cholera ward. You can disinfect boots, but not rivers and streams in a country that has no central water treatment facility.
The trends this year are tripled compared to last year. 19,949 cases and 170 deaths occurred countrywide in July 2015, as opposed to 7,739 cases and 56 deaths in July 2014. One must remember that these are cases that made it to reporting centers and hospitals. It is suspected that many more incidents go unrecorded in remote regions. Official counts change rapidly.

The flesh and blood people lying in misery on the cholera cots are testimony to the larger numbers. Babies, the young, and the very old inhabit the CTC in St-Marc. Seeing someone on a cholera cot is to see someone completely exposed and vulnerable. There is a hole cut in the center for the constant and interminable diarrhea and a bucket nearby for vomiting. Hospital gowns are stained because they cannot be changed fast enough. IV lines are taped to thin arms, providing life-saving rehydration, but the misery continues for days.
It is stunning to learn that the hospital does not have enough supplies: not enough rehydration fluids; and too few rapid detection tests after $95 million was promised by USAID for cholera.
Despite these millions and millions of dollars, a few boxes of rehydration fluids stand between the suffering people and the morgue. Odors from the morgue seep into the parking lot, and are a violent assault to the senses. One can smell the truth.

Neg Mawon photo by Nienaber
There is an evocative sculpture in Port-au-Prince located on the "Champ de Mars," and near the site of the former national palace. The palace did not survive the earthquake of January 2010, but the statue, "Neg Mawon," or unknown slave, remains standing and undamaged. The late artist Albert Mangones celebrated the slaves who revolted against France from 1891-1804. The slave is chained, yet defiantly blows a conch shell to summon others in a fight for freedom.
There are many shackles still attached to the Haitian people. International meddling has tightened them, but cholera should surely be one of the easiest to loosen and break. It is the least the international community can do. It requires will, a moral stance and a sincere apology. Redemption from international sins demands atonement, not short news cycles focusing on the pornography of poverty and thecurrent electoral crisis, or breast-beating and years of mea culpas.
With Andre Paultre in Haiti

Picrures credit :Nienaber 


Not many people outside Haiti are familiar with Haitian food. That's a shame, because the island's cuisine is a colorful blending of African- and Caribbean-influenced fare. And — just like the language — Haitian food also has a bit of Creole mixed in for good measure: root vegetables, meats like oxtail, peppers, and a unique blend of spices working together to form basic, zippy dishes that sing with a soupçon of French complexity.
 That's exactly what you'll get at 1-year-old Piman Cafe, a small Haitian restaurant located on the outskirts of Wilton Manors just a few steps from Fort Lauderdale High School. According to co-owner Frandy Cardichon, Piman Cafe is also one of the few places in the area that offers several authentic Haitian dishes. Though there's no menu to help you decide what to order, the friendly staff will gladly explain the basic offerings that range from fried fish, chicken, and oxtail served with heaping portions of rice and beans and fat wedges of fried plantain.
For something hearty, order a bowl of Haitian legim stew: a complex dish with plenty of spices that help to make this combination of eggplant, cabbage, carrots, peppers, and spinach taste near sublime. The dish is a traditional Haitian meal typically flavored with braised meats like pork or oxtail and even seafood like conch or crab. It's thick, filling, and spicy and sticks to your ribs the way any good stew should.
For meat lovers, griyot (fried pork) is one of the more popular dishes of Haiti. But the pork itself is not the star of this dish; rather, it's the orange-based marinade that walks the fine line between sour and salty before resolving into a peppery heat that lingers on the tongue. On the island, it's often served with a spicy salad known as pikliz, Haiti's official condiment, a pickled vegetable slaw made with white-vinegar-soaked Scotch bonnet peppers, carrots, and cabbage. That's also how you'll find it prepared at Piman, where — if you're so inclined — you can even purchase a jar of the house-made condiment to go. 
Piman Cafe is located at 1560 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-356-7995, or follow them on Facebook.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.


Haitian Woman Reveals Irregularities in Her Adoption, 30 Years Later

Mariette Williams Discovers She Was Taken without Parents' Consent
After thirty years, a Haitian woman finally revealed the irregularities that took place during her adoption process, according to media reports last Friday, November 27.
Mariette Williams, who was adopted in 1986, discovered that she was never given up for adoption and that the process occurred without the consent of her biological parents.
Her adoption papers reveal the name of an orphan who no longer exists and who belonged to Rose-Marie Platel, her godmother. Patel was responsible for the unauthorized adoption when Williams was nearly three and a half years old.
The woman’s adopted parents, Sandra and Albert Knopf, live near Vancouver, Canada. During the adoption process 30 years ago, a man named Henry Wiebe told the hopeful parents that they could adopt a child in Haiti for US$3,500, and two for $6,000.
The negotiator brought Knopf to the orphanage managed by Platel in Haiti. It was there where Knopf found little girls with parasites, infected eyes, and apparently malnourished.
The Canadian couple never met the Haitian attorney who completed the paperwork, nor did they go before a court in order to be approved by a judge. Rose-Marie Platel, the “godmother,” was in charge of everything. 
Knopf admitted to her daughter that there were red flags during the process: wrong birthdates and the sudden appearance of documents. 
After searching to meet her biological family, Williams found a Facebook profile page of Pestel, Haiti, a town mentioned in the adoption documents. She posted a message on the town’s social network that read: “My name is Mariette. I am looking for my family.”
Weeks later, she discovered that she had four sisters and two brothers in Haiti; her mother was still living, but her father had passed away. 
Adoption irregularities like these frequently occurred in the Caribbean country. In 2013, the Center of Journalistic Investigation (CIPER) in Chile published a report on the unusual practices of the Multicolor Families Foundation, a Haitian organization which oversaw the adoption of Haitian children by Chilean families. 
According to the report, the foundation did not keep a directory or any sort of registry for each adoption. Instead of working with an attorney, the foundation went through a proxy “with good contacts.” CIPER further uncovered that at least seven kids were given up for adoption without being approved legally. 
The organization was never accredited in Chile, and although they had legal personnel in Haiti, the foundation operated under the guise of a protection house for children, which originally allowed them to establish themselves in the country.



hnson December 1, 2015 No Comments
 Recycling bins are on every corner in many major cities in the United States. We take for granted that we have access to recycling - plastic recycling, metal recycling, glass recycling, you name it. However, it’s not so easy to recycle in developing countries.
Take Haiti, for example. In Port-au-Prince alone, every month around 9 million pounds of plastic waste is created. Not surprisingly, the majority of that plastic waste comes from plastic bottles. Since recycling including plastic recycling isn’t common there, the bottles are tossed into canals or on the streets. This habit is not good news for Mother Nature.
One man – Ian Rosenberger – had a vision to change the plastic pollution landscape in Haiti after helping with disaster relief efforts in the country. He also wanted to help with the poverty so many Haitians struggle with in a country that has a 40% unemployment rate.
From this vision, Thread was born as a solution to both the plastic waste and the poverty struggles in Haiti. Thread turns the mountains of plastics into fabric (i.e. plastic recycling) – and jobs for impoverished Haitians.
So how does the plastic recycling solution work?
People throughout Haiti can collect plastic bottles and turn them into the Ramase Lajan, a network of 26 plastic-collection centers sponsored by Executives without Borders (a non-profit) and owned and operated by Haitians. These people are given an immediate sum of cash, which allows them to provide for their family and keep the plastic waste out of their country.
After the plastic bottles are collected through the Ramase Lajan collection centers, they’re then moved to Haiti Recycling in Port-au-Prince to be cleaned and shredded down into a raw material called “flake.” The flake is packaged and exported to the United States.
After arrival in the U.S., the flake is melted and extruded into fiber and spin yarn that's made into a variety of different fabrics like 100% recycled PET polyester. Some of the plastic thread is also blended with cotton or canvas. Once the fabric is made, it’s sold to manufacturers that turn it into boots and shoes, bags and totes, sports apparel as well as a variety of other consumer products.
All of the polyester fabrics Thread manufactures are 100% post-consumer material. These fabrics need approximately 90% less water and 80% less energy to manufacture compared to virgin polyesters that are made straight from oil.

Through their 100% transparent supply line, Thread has been able to support the creation of nearly 4,000 income opportunities in Haiti and Honduras (Thread also operates in Honduras). In addition, they are able to collect and re-purpose around 300,000 pounds of plastic waste from these impoverished countries each month.
If you like to support responsibly made products, look for apparel and accessories made with Thread Ground to Good fabrics.
All imagery courtesy of Thread International and Jesse Colaizzi Productions

Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering, Founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.

Montclair's seventh annual Concert for Haiti scheduled for Jan. 30

Americans tend to have short attention spans. Every time a new disaster or story of suffering hits the news, we tend to forget the last one. However, the nation of Haiti is still reeling from a series of devastating earthquakes in 2008 and 2010. And that's why Cindy Stagoff is letting the Montclair community know that the Seventh Annual Concert for Haiti is fast approaching, and its cause is as urgent as ever.
The concert is once again being held on January 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 67 Church St, and will raise funds for WhyHunger, Haitian Education Leadership Program, Edeyo Foundation and Lamp for Haiti. And if the past is any indication, tickets and sponsorships will once again go quickly. Those interested in sponsorships can contact Cindy Stagoff at cstagoff@comcast.net. Tickets can be purchased at Watchung Booksellers, 54 Fairfield St., or online at Ticketleap: http://outpost.ticketleap.com/haiti-2015.
Talent from near and far
Once again, the concert shines the spotlight on local and international Haitian artists and performers. "The concert is a vehicle for raising funds and bringing people together," Stagoff added, "and part of bringing people together is finding a writer or an artist. And every year it's something different. This year it's Francks Deceus."
Stagoff learned about Deceus from Deb and Jason DeSalvo, who own several of the artist's works. "We went to a Caribbean-African art fair in the Puck Building a bazillion years ago," said Deb DeSalvo. "He has a very distinctive style and voice, and it definitely has to do with coming to this country with the American dream, with family, and with the image of the black man."
"We're trying to bring a multimedia perspective to the concert," added Stagoff. "I've had artists before, but this artist takes my breath away."
The concert itself will feature a combination of local and nationally-known artists including Paul Beaubrun with Zing Experience, Richard "Earthman" Laurent and Soleil Laurent, Big Mamou, Passing Notes and the Temple Ner Tamid group, including Cantor Meredith Greenberg, Leora Perlman, Bob Mellman and Peri Smilow with Tom Parente and Melissa Schaffer.
In addition, iconic folk duo Aztec Two-Step will give a rare local show, and jazz giant Melissa Walker will sing accompanied by the Jazz House Kids.
Full Circle
One more performer will be on hand who has special meaning to Stagoff: Harry Chapin's daughter Jen Chapin. "This year we're also working with WhyHunger, [which was] started when I was in high school by Harry Chapin, his colleague Bill Ayres when it was the Food and Hunger Hotline. Unfortunately Harry died in 1981 in a car crash, but his family and friends have continued this foundation ever since.
"I became a lawyer to focus on poverty issues and women's rights. So for me, my meeting with Harry Chapin was one of my first meetings with someone interested in social justice and poverty issues.
"I met Jen at the WhyHunger annual event. We chatted briefly, and I told her about my historic connection to her father, and the organization in New York City. So it just feels like it's coming full circle with Jen performing."
Between now and the concert, Stagoff is busy signing up sponsors and alerting the town that tickets are already on sale - and that they go fast.
"Every year it's harder and harder to organize this event," said Stagoff, "because people are focused on other things.
"This is not just a concert that we're organizing. We're also trying to raise money, and you don't raise much money for the four nonprofits that we're supporting through ticket sales. So I have to work really hard to get sponsors."
Despite the many concerns in organizing the concert, the cause itself is always on Stagoff's mind. "There are so many people in need and so many issues and disasters occurring that it's harder every year to get people to refocus on what's going on, and what still needs to be done.
"But Montclair rises to the occasion every year," she added. "Montclair is a beautiful community filled with kindhearted, empathetic, activist-oriented people. That's why we live here."

Email: cannon@northjersey.com

Rebuilding Haiti, One Stitch at a Time

Visiting Haiti is an experience measured as much in magic as it is sadness. On a recent trip back I had the opportunity to retrace the footsteps of a fashion icon who’s left a part of his heart where an earthquake left the already struggling nation in physical and economic ruin.

In an industry seemingly disinterested in the trappings of the world’s afflicted, Kenneth Cole has made humanitarianism an emblem woven into the core fabric of his brand. The man did it decades before it was cool, and he continues to do it because sincerity in its truest form doesn’t fatigue with time.
With the shock of fast charity subdued by time and
disinterest, a hardheaded few still remain to see Haiti’s
 potential birthed . They’re helping it along with a kind of
philanthropy the world is unaccustomed to.
 As Mr. Cole puts it, “we’re in a love/Haiti relationship.”
It’s a fitting motto; sometimes love must
come tough.
What follows is an essay recounting of a few days I spent with Mr. Cole in this place of remarkable contrasts, where I witnessed the emergence of a pioneering style of humanitarianism and development work that puts the fate of Haiti in its own hands.

The dream of Haiti is not easily reclaimed from its greatest nightmare. Five years removed from seismic upheaval, the poorest nation in the Americas region continues to see its impulse for beauty and progress wrestled into stagnation by demons both natural and self-made.
But for the mountainous range of challenges Haiti faces, its young crave a chance to lift their restless hands in defense of the idea that their country is better than the poverty and corruption that bind it.
Bluntly, Mr. Cole remarks “we’ve gotta make better shoes,
damnit.” The sentiment, delivered with a reassuring laugh,
 is a rare breed of honesty that comes not just innately
from perfectionism, but as a means of protecting this
fragile moment of possibility from going undeveloped.
Like a fine tapestry, the delicacy of this task requires it be done with careful finesse . Thread by thread, fabric by fabric, Haiti finds itself stitching a future from an exciting moment of genesis. Craftsmanship has deep roots here in Haiti, and it is the kind made by hand that best define this country’s rare magic.

From the iconic papier-mâché that populates Carnival to the intricate metalwork made from repurposed materials, Haitians have the spirit of imaginative creation imbued in their cultural DNA.

At Rebuild Globally, where his company has partnered with an initiative to turn old tires into high-end footwear, charitable interest in the line is just not enough to move product in a way that guarantees survival. They have only the barest of tools after all.


Connect them to the global supply chain, giving them a small but vital component that’ll give the shoes the uniform look they need to be taken as seriously as they deserve.
As Haiti begins to grow an identity in manufacturing, altruism must match the elevated standards of the modern day, if only to be the jewel its nickname implies: The Pearl of the Antilles. Haiti must be measured against other pearls, and its most valuable allies in this will be those who don’t treat foreign aid as something to be tossed from the back of a pickup truck.
With the institutions of self-sufficiency seeded, eager Haitians know their time has come.
One of Mr. Cole’s longest standing causes has been in pushing HIV/AIDS research forward, and that’s been no different in Haiti. He’s partnered with amFar to build a revolutionary clinic working to eradicate the transmission of HIV from afflicted mothers to their unborn children with great success. Click the red button to make a donation to amFar and help keep initiatives like this alive.

Source: http://www.ryot.org/rebuilding-haiti-kenneth-coleone-stitch-at-a-time/946923

#GivingTuesday: In Haiti, your gift saves lives AND families

In the foothills of Haiti where we live, the plaintive eyes of hungry children bore through us, their hands upturned, begging for food.
This country of more than 10 million, located in the verdant Caribbean, suffers from unrelenting chronic food insufficiency. This paradox defines a nation where 15 percent of children are orphaned or abandoned, many because their parents can no longer afford to feed them.
Extreme unemployment, lack of access to birth control and stunning poverty all conspire to force children out of loving families and into orphanages, or worse – into the cruel streets.
Children who are truly without parents need proper supervision and love in the confines of a clean, licensed orphanage, but many orphanages that house these ‘economic’ orphans lack quality living conditions and adequate food supply. Certainly the answer to proper childcare for those with parents lies somewhere outside these ill-equipped orphanages.
For the 80 percent of the Haitian population, who live on less than two dollars a day, a small offset of their daily expenses means the difference in keeping their children in the home or turning them into one of the thousands of economic orphans.
Consider the story of one young orphan we encountered. Jono* had noticed that the nightly portions of food that he and his five siblings received were gradually decreasing.
During the eight short years of his life, he had increasingly been falling behind his friends in height and weight, and now he looked more like a four-year-old than a second-grader.
He knew the people living in his rural area of Haiti had always struggled for food, but since the earthquake, it seemed worse.
He had seen his mother talking quietly with the orphanage director down the road, but there was no way he could know they were talking about him.
Within the week, his mother had tearfully pushed him through the orphanage gates, turned her back on him and walked away.
Jono had entered the surreal world of the economic orphan, not abandoned by death, but rather rejected by living parents who could no longer afford to feed him.
The knowledge that his brothers and sisters were enjoying the relative comforts of familiar surroundings and each other was almost crushing to his diminutive frame.
For the 80 percent of the Haitian population who live on less than two dollars a day, a small offset of their daily expenses means the difference in keeping their children in the home or turning them into one of the thousands of economic orphans.
At our non-governmental organization, LiveBeyond, we identified 70 children who were at least 40 percent underweight and at risk of being turned out of their homes in Thomazeau, Haiti.
We began feeding these children two meals per day, supplying daily vitamins and providing scholastic tutoring, leadership training and daily physical fitness routines.
We measured physical and cognitive parameters at one-month intervals and periodically assessed family well-being, and have seen remarkable improvement throughout the year. Additionally, the costs of the program were a fraction of the monthly costs for housing children in an orphanage.
Besides experiencing the obvious benefits of keeping children in a functional home surrounded by parents and siblings, these children are thriving by being part of a cohesive group of children who like them were struggling to survive. While these benefits are priceless, the costs of the minimal investment to keep children in their own homes far outweigh the emotional and spiritual trauma that awaits the abandoned.
As you think about where your dollars can be most effective on this #GivingTuesday, remember Haiti, where a little goes a long way, and your donation not only feeds a child, but helps him or her to remain in a home with a family.
We see this as the most cost-effective solution to the orphan crisis, and it not only can help stabilize the family unit, but the community as a whole.
Dr. David Vanderpool is founder and CEO of LiveBeyond, a faith-based, humanitarian organization improving lives of the poor in Thomazeau, Haiti, with sustainable solutions in medical and maternal health care, clean water, education, and agricultural and economic development.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/12/01/givingtuesday-in-haiti-your-gift-saves-lives-and-families.html