The following is exerpted from Dady Chery and Eric Draitser Discuss Imperialism and Colonialism in Haiti.
Note: MINUSTA is the UN military mission in Haiti. Its purpose is either peace-keeping or neocolonial occupation, depending on your political views and/or level of cynicism.
During the earthquake, MINUSTAH and the Haitian police were looking [out] for each other, and they were protecting property, but not helping Haitians. They don’t like this to be said, because they like to present themselves as being these humanitarians who have been helping Haitians, but in fact that is what they did. It really showed what their priorities were. It was Haitians who actually helped each other. In fact, it is always Haitians who help each other. It was Haitians who dug each other out of the rubble. There was one kid who actually just tore a wall so that he could get his classmates out of a building that was collapsing. That was news in Haiti. In the US, you were seeing people who were covered with dust, who looked wholly catatonic and miserable. You had people like Clinton and Paul Farmer speaking for everybody and saying how much aid was needed, etc., and basically laying the ground for receiving billions of dollars, in fact in the end about $13 billion in aid that they went into Haiti to administer. In Haiti, you have a population of 10 million and $13 billion in aid that no one has actually seen, really… [Bill] Clinton and his rich friends moved in, and in a very short period, they took control of the country.
The earthquake happened in January . By March 8th, they had the Lower House in Haiti (this would be the House of Representatives) voting on a state of emergency that would allow an organization called the IHRC (Interim Haiti Recovery Commission) to run the country for 18 months, and that organization was headed by Clinton. It had 14 foreigners, headed by Clinton, all rich. The rules were that they were supposed to put down $100 million, or erase $200 million in debt, and in addition provide military. Against that, you had 7 Haitians, all of whom were supposed to be picked by the 14 foreigners. So this is how Haiti was supposed to be run during this emergency period when you would have Clinton managing all of the aid money. The Haitian parliament was supposed to dissolve itself. It fought very hard. In the senate, the vote initially didn’t go through because of the lack of quorum. They had another vote, and there was finally a quorum. At the end of that, there were rumors that at least 3 senators had probably been bribed to show up so that there would be a quorum for a vote. Now that you had Clinton and his friends administering the country, what happened next – and this is something that you never saw in the American news – is that people from the Haitian parliament went on the streets protesting with everybody else. I don’t know of any situation [in the US] where you’ve had senators and members of the House out on the street leading protests, but this is what happened, and it went on for months, through the summer of that year. These votes were in April. People were protesting that the president had forced this on them, and that the country had been sold to the international community, and they wanted it to be stopped.
… And the corruption is phenomenal! You have roads that are built part way and then stopped, even though the companies are paid. You have, for example, the IHRC taking credit for projects that other agencies paid for. In fact, around the end of the 18 months, the Haitian senate declared the IHRC to be a fraud, and they did not renew it. People are formally demanding that Clinton accounts for all this money and for what he has done as part of this Haiti reconstruction. He hasn’t. It’s very clever. He is also the special envoy to the UN in Haiti.
… The cities that were destroyed by the earthquake were mainly Leogane and Port-au-Prince, involving a little bit over a couple of million people. The country has 10 million people, and there were other cities, for example, that were unaffected by the earthquake: Cayes in the south, Cap Haitien in the north, Gonaives. All these cities have had their electricity and potable-water supply infrastructures dismantled so that they could be reconstructed!
… Martelly is an incredibly vulgar musician who was living in Florida until Clinton decided that he would make a good Haitian president. The person he wanted to be president initially was the hip-hop star Wyclef Jean, but Jean could hardly speak Kreyol or French, so that was not particularly believable. Wyclef Jean brought Martelly to a meeting with the Clintons, and they decided that they preferred Martelly. There were elections, and Martelly did not even qualify for the second round, but Hillary Clinton made a special trip to Haiti, and all of a sudden another candidate was out, and Martelly was in. In the second round, he wound up winning. It was such a ridiculous cheat. From the start the Lavalas party, which had more than 80 percent of the electorate, wasn’t allowed to participate in the elections. So in the end, it was only about 20 percent of the electorate that participated, and a Martelly win is pretty doubtful anyway.
…Effectively, he has got rid of all the local governance. Haiti, right now, I could say, has no government. The only person, who was supposedly elected, who is still in the Haitian government is Martelly. He has replaced every mayor in the country, all the local judiciary