Tons Of Food Aid Rotting In Haiti

haiti-eat-dirt.jpg

click on the photo for YouTube video

Without Bribes, Food Containers Are Stuck In Customs Port

Many Haitians Regularly Eat Dirt Cookies

If you want to know what corruption does to a country and a people, look no further than our CARICOM neighbour Haiti.

Excerpts from Associated Press…

Tons Of Food Aid Rotting In Haiti Ports

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (AP) – While millions of Haitians go hungry, containers full of food are stacking up in the nation’s ports because of government red tape – leaving tons of beans, rice and other staples to rot under a sweltering sun or be devoured by vermin.

A government attempt to clean up a corrupt port system that has helped make Haiti a major conduit for Colombian cocaine has added new layers of bureaucracy – and led to backlogs so severe they are being felt 600 miles away in Miami, where cargo shipments to Haiti have ground almost to a standstill.
The problems are depriving desperate people of donated food. Some are so poor they are forced to eat cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable oil to satisfy their hunger.

An Associated Press investigation found the situation is most severe in Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city. One recent afternoon, garbage men shoveled a pile of rotting pinto beans that had turned gray and crumbled to dust as cockroaches and beetles scurried about.

(snip)

The U.N. World Food Program and large-scale U.S. rice growers say they have been able to get their food into Haiti by hiring local agents to handle bureaucratic procedures. But smaller charities, merchants and private citizens have often been forced by the delays to throw away containers of food or pay exorbitant fees.

The problems stem in part from efforts to clean up a port system the World Bank recently ranked as the second-worst in the region, ahead of only Guyana.

(snip)

And despite the reforms, some say the bribes are continuing.

Jean-Paul Michaud, a Canadian, said he sailed to the capital of Port-au-Prince late last year carrying 60 pounds of donated clothing and medicine – and that port authorities demanded $10,000 in “customs fees” – code for a bribe to make the fees disappear.

“I’d have rather thrown the aid in the water,” said Michaud. The Canadian Embassy intervened and the fee was later waived.

Krabacher’s group says it has paid nearly $16,000 in fees in the first six weeks of 2008 alone, compared to $23,418 for all of 2007.

… read the full article at MyWay: Tons Of Food Aid Rotting In Haiti Ports

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27 Comments

Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Corruption, Haiti, Politics & Corruption

27 responses to “Tons Of Food Aid Rotting In Haiti

  1. Sympathy for Haiti

    Thanks for posting the article BU. I tend to have a special place in my heart for my brothers and sisters in Haiti and usually read everything I can find on the island.

    **************

    BFP Says,

    You are very welcome, friend. We gave you a name though because all must have a handle to post.

    And… a small point….we are BFP, not BU.

  2. born and bred

    Here’s one for Billary…………………….

    Bill Clinton’s affair with Voodoo

    i
    June 28, 2005

    Bill Clinton’s affair with Voodoo
    by Judi McLeod, Canada Free Press.
    Tuesday, June 28, 2005

    Toronto– When it comes to dabbling in the black arts, former U.S. President Bill Clinton has much in common with deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

    Saddam reportedly wore a stone around his neck to ward off evil. When he was ensconced in his Iraqi palaces, he summoned up the jinn (genies) to do his bidding.

    According to historian Joel A. Ruth, a Voodoo sorcerer, supplied to Clinton by the exiled-by-coup John-Bertrand Aristide, once put a curse on incumbent President George W. Bush, “by manipulating a doll made in the president’s image.”

    Neither Saddam’s magic stone, a special talisman meant to keep the Grim Reaper at bay, nor the Voodoo sorcerer’s curse against George W. worked. Saddam languishes in prison awaiting trial. Clinton, relegated to the public speaker’s tour, was last week paid a $300,000 fee to address a business audience in Bogotá, Colombia.

    The long road of destruction Aristide carved through poverty-stricken Haiti was paved in part by one William Jefferson Clinton.

    Clinton’s friendship with Aristide, a former Catholic priest turned Voodoo practitioner dates back to 1991 when Aristide, ousted in a coup, took up residence in Washington, D.C. Joining the cocktail circuit and networking for the political aid needed to help restore his power, he soon found his way within the inner circle of the soon-to-be Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton.

    As time would tell, Clinton paid more than a politician’s lip service to the practice of Voodoo.

    According to the Haiti Observateur, “During a March 31, 1995 visit to Haiti under Aristide’s restored rule, Clinton took part in a Voodoo initiative ceremony intended to keep him impervious to Republican attacks and to guarantee his re-election.” (FrontPageMag.com, Feb. 20,. 2004).

    No Voodoo ceremony could ward off Monica Lewinsky and the rest, as they say, is history.

    His friendship with Clinton now cemented, Aristide later began shipping Haitians to the U.S., many of them to Florida shores 600 miles away.

    In 1998, Senator John F. Kerry followed in Clinton’s footsteps and co-sponsored a bill that resulted in amnesty for an estimated 125,000 Haitians granted “temporary asylum” before 1996 because they were fleeing the chaos, terror and poverty inflicted on them, largely by Aristide.

    Aristide, whose last act for Haiti was to declare Voodoo an official religion, fled the country on February 29, 2003 amid a rebellion and pressure from the U.S. and France.

    “Voodoo,” Aristide professed in a speech to Congress attendees, “is one of the great religions in the world alongside Christianity, Islam and Judaism”.

    Since June 2004, a United Nations stabilization force has been in Haiti. The presence of UN “blue helmets” notwithstanding, lack of security remains the number one problem.

    The interim government leading the country since Aristide’s ignominious departure has not improved the life of its citizens. Government commissions are being disbanded as quickly as they are being created and would, were it not for the tragedy, be the stuff of television sitcom comedy.

    The children of Port-au-Prince continue to die of hunger. Marauding armed guards still loyal to Aristide battle police and there are signs of UN corruption.

    A recent spate of violence in which at least 20 people were killed, is forcing U.S. officials to consider deploying American troops to help maintain order ahead of a general election slated for the last quarter of 2005.

    While Aristide is living a life of a king’s ransom in exile, most Haitians are subsisting on less than a dollar a day.

    Meanwhile, it will take more than black magic to clean the slate of Bill Clinton in a country whose mantra is “Haiti is cursed”.

    Canada Free Press founding editor Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the media. A former Toronto Sun and Kingston Whig Standard columnist, she has also appeared on Newsmax.com, the Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and World Net Daily. Judi can be reached at: letters@canadafreepress.com.

  3. Banned

    Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide said Monday he was forced to leave Haiti in a “coup d’etat” by the United States.

    “I was told that to avoid bloodshed I’d better leave,” he said in an interview on CNN.
    March 1, 2004

    Aristide wanted reparations from France returned. Who provided the Haitians with weapons to challenge the Haitian security at the time? Who now benefits from the cheap labour now in abundance in their virtual backyard? Where were you and the Caribbean heads when Aristide was asking for help? (I have absolutely no respect for Perry Christie, then leader of the Bahamas who provided local intelligence to the Americans when the “special ops” was being carried out.

  4. born and bred

    Why are my posts always withheld? I’ve heard the standard line. They are not withheld on BU. I do not write anything negative, aggressive, or abusive.

    The last one I sent in 15 minutes ago is still pending being posted.

    **********

    BFP says,

    The fact that this post was not held up shows that it is about the content of your last post and not that you as a person are being moderated. Please read the section at the top about comment moderation.

    … And if 15 minutes to be approved makes you angry, you’ll be positively livid when we all get together for lunch today as nothing will be moderated for a couple of hours!

    Poor you. You can solve this very easily though by starting your own blog at WordPress.com. It will take you about 15 minutes and then you’ll never have to wait again for your comments to be approved.

    As to why your comments go straight through at Barbados Underground… we don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are always in the “Top 100” WordPress.com blogs worldwide and therefore receive an average of just under 1000 spam comments per day that we have to sort through. That’s just life, but we will continue to do the best we can.

    If we fail to meet your standards and expectations, we apologise.

    Is the sun over the yardarm yet? Ahhhh darn. Not yet!

  5. born and bred

    Come on BFP no need to be sarcastic. I just made an observation.

    I believe I have not only made worthwhile comments to your blog but ALWAYS agreed with you point of view.

    Is that the way to treat a “friend”???

    **********

    BFP says,

    I agree B&B. Either George or Clive is in a snarky mood today. Probably Clive as he has been in a foul mood for a week or more. Woman troubles we hear. Too bad but no need to be nasty to the world. I’ll bring it up at lunch. Clive was going on at Hants the other day too.

    Robert

  6. born and bred

    Thanks Robert,

    I really appreciate it. I felt a bit rejected!!

  7. In a quest for tolerance

    BFP, can I ask a question? I was wondering, has B’dos over the years ever sent any missions to Haiti? I do not mean church efforts, I mean governmental.

    I believe Haiti is involved in some small way in Caricom, but I am just wondering what we have ever done for that country like granting any scholarships so poor bright students can study here for a time or anything like that. Just enquiring.

    I know the majority of the population happens to be dirt poor and somehow I have more sympathy/tolerance for persons born into such unstable conditions than ones in places who appear to have everything and make little or no use of it.

    If you are wondering if I have ever done anything for the poor in Haiti I can tell you yes and that I plan to do more in the future. I do have Haitian friends living in Haiti, but communication is snail-like.

    Still I am glad that you took the time out to post the article to raise awareness on this blog of the plight of Hatians who have little control over their circumstances. We in this country are so blessed that we take it for granted. Thanks BFP.

    **********

    BFP Says,

    Hi IAQFT,

    Everything we’ve seen says that there is enough food getting to the island, but between the corruption and the gangs who rule the various neighbourhoods, nothing gets to the people. I don’t know what the solution is for failed nations, but simply giving the nations more doesn’t work.

  8. John

    I never realised until I saw a question on CBC during the news the other night that the Dominicn Republic gained its independence from Haiti in 1844.

    http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab43

    Were it not for this event, the whole island would probably now be known as Haiti.

    I always think of Haiti and its independence from France but never link the two halves of the island of what was once all Spanish and known as Hispaniola.

    Think I will do some more reading on the two countries which exist side by side and try to become less ignorant of the island with the major land mass of the Caribbean.

    When I think of Guyana in the south, I can only wonder at why the lands blessed with the most resources in the region seem also to be cursed to such an extent.

  9. peltdownman

    Born & Bred
    Canada Free Press is just about as right wing as you get, and you know how the right loathes the Clintons. The credits for Judi McLeod at the end of the piece say it all – Drudge Report, Fox News, Etc. I would take this piece with a pinch of salt. You know, throw it over my shoulder and make a wish?

  10. born and bred

    Peltdownman:

    Watch the Clinton Chronicles and then come again with all of this “right wing nonsense”. Two murdered boys and countless others that were murdered what wing are they now???

    Then you can read the following website and inform yourself of the facts.

    http://prorev.com/wwindex.htm

  11. born and bred

    http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-6470450895164255089&autoPlay=true

    That will give you the FACTS as many GOVERNMENT Officials in Arkansas have related it.

  12. 94

    How can a country which has been independent for so many years continue to plunge like that?
    I think it was betrayed by the ones who ruled, those who only wanted to help themselves while the people trusted in them to do the right thing.
    It is light years away from modernity in some aspects.
    My thing is to ask how human are we when other human beings like our selves are living subhuman lives if there is such a thing?
    Have we then not all failed as human beings? I mean it boggles my mind to think of persons in this world who are filthy rich (nothing wrong with being rich) but who do little to change the negative direction the world is headed in.
    Bill Gates is one of the notable exceptions who is spending his billions to make a difference and Warren Buffett seems to be doing the same.
    I dream that one day someone is going to put some serious infrastructure in this unstable place without thinking of the returns for himself/herself but for the country and see where it can lead. Build schools, roads, plant trees continually, invest in the country on a whole just to see if it won’t turn around. That is my dream.
    Yet I deal with the reality everyday that Haiti may very well be populated in the majority by persons who are merely living because they are not dead.
    The situation in Haiti as in other places may well be an indictment on our existence as a race, since no man is an island.

  13. Mathilde

    This is disgusting and depressing as hell. Haiti had so much to offer. Its scary when you fly over the entire island and can tell exactly where the Dominican Republic starts.. one side bald and devastated, the other green and lush..

  14. Pat

    94:

    It is a pity that we are not taught any history of Haiti in school. When Toussaint (?) rebelled, kicked out the French and freed the slaves, the US and Britain sent warships to surround the island. The French government ordered the Haitians to pay 100 gold Louis’ for each slave or they would bombard the island and flatten it.

    Now the slaves had no money, so up comes big Uncle Sam and volunteered to lend the money at exhorbitant rates and a HAND in managing the country. Toussaint not wanting his people killed agreed. The interest on the loan was killing the country. The loan was not repaid until 1936 under Papa Doc’s reign, and Haiti by that time was sucked clean by the US. Toussaint when he got freedom for the Haitians was implementing land reforms, where everyone would get some of the land. However, the half-breeds, (now called mulattoes), the children of the French planters and slaves, had him killed and claimed the plantations as theirs, being the children of these white planters. So the blacks, former slaves got nothing and had to continue in slavery to these mulattoes.

    Toussaint decreed that any slave arriving on Haitian soil immediately become a Haitian citizen. Slaves in Jamaica heard this and went there in droves. Some stole a boat from their master, who followed them there and demanded their return only to be told that slaves are not property and every black on Haiti is a Haitian, to take his boat and leave.

    The mulattoes continues to keep the Haitian economy in a stranglehold. They intermarry to keep the money among themselves. The corruption is endemic to the system and will not be cleaned up in a hurry.

    The country is poor mainly because of the USA and France.

    Imagine Haiti with all those rice fields now getting rice as food aid. Blame Clinton for that (or was it Bush the younger?). He promised to help Aristide if he signed an agreement to import cheap American rice. This cheap genetically engineered rice outsold the traditional local rice. The farmers could not make any money as their rice was not selling, so they stopped planting, the paddies dried up and turned to dust bowls.

  15. Banned

    BFP
    Is it possible to submit a posting see it posted on your screen then have it removed later? If it does happen, would there be a reasonable reason for it to happen?

    ***********

    BFP says,

    Sure… as with your posting discussing a conspiracy theory and Warren B. We don’t allow our blog to be used to further such talk, but george started to respond to it before another one of us reminded him what we had agreed upon… so the comment was removed.

    IF that’s what you be talking about.

  16. Banned

    Yeah..

    You’re referring to me as a conspiracist for stating facts? Things happen and I have a way of finding out and will respond to anything you throw at me. To remove what I wrote is share cowardice.

  17. 94

    The word is sheer Banned. LOL.

    Thanks for the lesson Pat. I don’t particularly believe that it is that simple. I must read some more.

    What role does religion play in poverty? There is a view that where ever Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion the level of poverty in the country is more than average. (Am I allowed to say that BFP? Don’t want to cause any undue stress.)

    What do you think Pat?

    ************

    BFP says,

    The same thing could be said of another religion: communism.

  18. 94-
    Your theory that “where Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion the level of poverty in the country is higher” is just not valid.

    The level of poverty in Latin America (the poorest group of RC countries) is far lower on average than Africa and India and Indonesia whose combined population is far greater. Then factor in the RC countries of Europe such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and Austria which are quite prosperous and you have an even greater refutation of your theory.

    True India, Indonesia, China and the rest of Asia are rapidly overtaking Latin America in their average standard of living but only within the last thirty years.

    Haiti and Bolivia are the poorest in the Western Hemisphere by far, but they alone do not support your fantasy.

    Sociologically Haiti can best be compared to Sub- Sahara Africa where corruption in every ruling clique sucks the blood of the whole country generation after generation.

  19. 94

    Pandora, I did not say it was my theory. I said “there is a view…” I was only asking a question.

    I could lay the blame for all the problems in this world where they belong; Sin, but that would have been too easy so I asked a question.

    If we are going to be technical about religion, you may notice that neither India, Africa nor Indonesia can be termed Christian countries far less have Roman catholicism as the dominant religion.

    And also Roman Catholicism is not a religion but a denomination (albeit the largest one) of one of the world’s great religions Christianity. Sorry about that one since I really had no excuse for saying that RC was a religion.

    You may want to compare Italy, Spain et al with England, Canada, Holland or the USA where Protestantism is a bigger deal than RC.

    Furthermore, think of the instability of a few RC countries like the said Spain which can be taken as the model RC state. Franco’s dictatorship rings any bells? The French Revolution had any causes?

    Anyway, never mind me, but like I said; “there is a view.”

  20. Pat

    94:

    It has been proven that the reason the people of Quebec were so poor prior to the last half of the last century was because of the Catholic Church. The Church saw business people as evil, and discouraged the French from venturing into this field. (So, the English, Scots and some Irish flourished.) The Church encouraged their parishioners to breed, so that they would have more hands to farm, fish and chop wood for the priests, Emperor of France and the Bishop of Rome. literally.

    Pandora may be right on some points, however, up to 1990 there were large depressed (poor) regions of Italy, Spain and Portugal which the EU had to beef up, strengthen and develop before the ensuing common market. Billions of dollars were donated by other countries to develop these areas, so that most countries would start on an almost equal footing. Greece was one of the regions and I am not sure how it has come along. I have not been on CORDIS or dealt with the EU in the five years since I retired, so have no recent info.

  21. Citizen First

    Pat

    you wrote “It is a pity that we are not taught any history of Haiti in school.”

    Your brief and inaccurate synopsis of Haitian history certainly exemplifies this concern.

    Just for starters, Toussaint did not kick the French out. In 1801, he actually took full control of what was then known as Saint Domingue and the eastern Spanish part of Hispaniola in the name of France by defeating the British and the Spanish. It was in 1804 that Independence from France was proclaimed by Dessalines.

    The debt (more of a ransom) to France of 150 million francs was “agreed” to by Boyer in 1825 under threat of invasion by a French naval force. Interestingly, Boyer ruled the whole of the island of Hispaniola until 1843 when he was deposed. This debt/ransom was paid off by 1883.

    The U.S. first occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934 mainly in response to threats to U.S business interests in Haiti.

  22. 94

    Thanks Pat. I mean that.

    And thanks BFP.

  23. John

    Citizen First

    Glad to see some historical facts. My reading is that the Haitian leader was “bought off” by the French when he agreed to the debt on Haiti’s behalf in the 1820’s.

    Pat, Haiti’s history is too complicated to easily simplify. I agree however it got the short end of the stick.

    Toussaint died in the French Alps as a prisoner of the French. I remember some of that from school and checked it up on the net.

    He reached an agreement with LeClerc in 1802 who tricked him and sent him to France as a prisoner where he died in 1803 before Haiti’s independence.

    The Mulattoes did not have him killed. He was too successful and the French wanted him out the way.

    They got him out of the way …. and got alot more too that they did not want or bargain for!!

  24. Asiba-The Buffalo Soldier

    will there be a cropover festival this year ?
    i think cropover is in trouble
    will cropover be postponed

    i want the above discussed on this blog

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