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Haiti: Bloggers’ Reactions to Regional Interventions

For more than two weeks, the governance of Haiti after the earthquake has been seriously questioned by Haitian bloggers. They are now discussing the reactions in the neighboring countries and islands of the Caribbean. Here is a review of the French-speaking posts dealing with this question.

Radio Kiskeya reacts to Fidel Castro‘s statement about the alleged “American occupation” in Haiti. After giving his “Lesson of Haiti” regarding health and cooperation, the former Cuban leader now condemns the military American intervention and above all the consenting silence of the UN [Fr]:

“Au milieu de la tragédie haïtienne, sans que personne ne sache comment ni pourquoi, des milliers de soldats des unités des Marines des Etats-Unis, des troupes aéroportées de la 82e Division et d’autres forces militaires ont occupé le territoire d’Haïti”, affirme le “lìder maximo” dans un billet publié sur le site officiel Cubadebate.cu.

“In the midst of the tragedy taking place in Haiti and without anyone understanding either how or why, thousands of US Marines, of 82nd Division airborne troops and other military forces are occupying the country of Haiti”,the “lìder maximo” stated in a post published on the official website Cubadebate.cu.

“Pire encore, ni l’Organisation des Nations Unies, ni le gouvernement des Etats-Unis n’ont fourni aucune explication à l’opinion publique mondiale sur ces mouvements de forces”, a poursuivi Fidel Castro…

Even worse, neither the UN nor the US government have provided any explanation to the world public opinion concerning these troops transfers, Castro added…

Radio Kiskeya reinforces this point by mentioning similar fears about the American intentions among other Latin American presidents [Fr]:

Avant Fidel Castro, les Présidents nicaraguéen Daniel Ortega, bolivien Evo Morales et vénézuélien Hugo Chàvez avaient dénoncé avec véhémence le déploiement sur et autour du territoire national d’un imposant contingent militaire américain qui devait s’élever dimanche à près de 20.000 hommes.

Before Fidel Castro, other Presidents, Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega, Bolivian Evo Morales and Venezuelan Hugo Chavez had already fiercely condemned the deployment on and around the Haitian national territory of a significant number of American military units, supposedly 20.000 soldiers.

Potoprincipe also takes interest in the question of the Caribbean countries, in a post entitled “Chavez cancels Haiti's debt” [Fr]

“Nous allons annuler (la dette). Elaborez les documents nécessaires et la dette est annulée”, a déclaré Chavez à l'issue d'une réunion des ministres des Affaires étrangères de l'Alliance bolivarienne des Amériques (Alba) sur Haïti à Caracas, sans préciser le montant de cette dette.”

“We are going to cancel (the debt). Write the necessary papers and the debt is cancelled” Chavez said after a meeting about Haiti of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), which took place in Caracas. He did not tell the exact amount of the debt.”

As Potoprincipe concludes this post [Fr], the beginning of a Caribbean collaboration via ALBA is dawning:

Le plan inclut l'assouplissement des conditions d'accueil des Haïtiens dans les pays de l'Alba: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivie, Equateur, Honduras, la Dominique, Antigua-et-Barbuda, Saint-Vincent et les Grenadines.

The plan includes relaxed reception conditions for Haitian citizens in ALBA countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecaduor, Honduras, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Other bloggers have been either worried or sceptical concerning the intervention of Haiti's neighboring country, the Dominican Republic.

Blogger Réseau Citadelle expresses his total refusal at the deployment of soldiers from the Dominican Republic in Haiti [Fr]:

Rien n'est plus révoltant que de lire sur Radio Kiskeya un article faisant état d'une autorisation du gouvernement haïtien accordée aux Nations Unies pour le déploiement de 150 soldats dominicains en Haïti.

Nothing was more appalling to me than reading on Radio Kiskeya, an article dealing with the Haitian government permission given to the UN, to deploy 150 Dominican soldiers in Haiti.

In this same post, Réseau Citadelle advocates self-reliance so that Haitians provide support for their own people [Fr]:

Nous voulons démontrer aux étrangers qu'il y a encore en Haïti des hommes et des femmes capables d'assurer la continuité nationale. La destruction de Port-au-Prince, n'est pas celle d'Haïti.

We want to show the outside world that Haiti is still populated with men and women able to ensure national continuity. The destruction of Port-au-Prince does not imply the destruction of Haiti.

In a follow-up post, Réseau Citadelle insists on the psychological impact of this Dominican intervention [Fr]:

Le déploiement de soldats de la République Dominicaine sur le sol d'Haïti est un coup dur pour le moral des haïtiens. Dans la ville du Cap-Haitien, les observateurs n'y croient pas…

Seeing the deployed Dominican Republic soldiers on the land of Haiti is a psychological blow for the Haitians. In the city of Cap-Haitien, people can't believe their eyes…

In a post entitled “the Dominican solidarity” [Fr], Alterpresse lists all the initiatives from Dominican people and their government to help Haiti since Jan. 12th. However, the post mentions some distrust among some Haitians, echoing Réseau Citadelle's rejection:

Des migrants haïtiens, qui ont été contactés par AlterPresse à Santo Domingo, se sont montrés prudents, voire sceptiques quant à l’intention réelle du gouvernement dominicain d’aider Haiti.

Some Haitian migrants, reached by AlterPresse in Santo Domingo, consider the real intention of the Dominican government in helping Haiti, with caution and even scepticism.

Condemning altogether the Dominican Republic, MINUSTAH and President Preval, Réseau Citadelle is questioning the opportunity to resort to the Caribbean Community [Fr]:

Toutefois, pourquoi il ne fait pas appel aux soldats de la CARICOM ? Ils avaient intervenu en Haïti en 1994 au coté des troupes américaines.

Why hasn't he resorted to the CARICOM soldiers? They came to Haiti in 1994 along with the American troops.

Meanwhile, according to blogger Bajan Global Report, CARICOM considers an active participation in the recovery effort of Haiti. Following the same logic as Réseau Citadelle and Radio Kiskeya, former Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson defines one priority – Haitians living inside and outside Haiti provide support for their own so that the recovery could be sustainable:

“Unless there is ownership by those directly affected, the best laid plans will come to naught. In addition to the involvement from the outset of the Haitian authorities, that of civil society and of the people of Haiti is also of overarching importance,” he added.
[…]
The former Jamaican leader further recommended the involvement of the Haitian Diaspora, as well as the urgent reinforcement of the public functions of the state, including the public service, to ensure that the progress made in the provision of public goods and basic services is sustainable.

1 comment

  • Jeff Prager

    Fabienne,

    Appreciate your concern for Haiti and the Haitian people. I have the same concern, actually for people everywhere.

    The US will, as they have globally, find a method to extract Haitian natural resources, oil and minerals, while at the same time promoting a facade of humanitarian aid, something the US is adept at. The ONLY hope for Haiti is the total elimination of US influence and that’s clearly unlikely.

    Jeff Prager
    Founder & Publisher – Retired
    Senior Magazine

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