la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
WikiLeaks Haiti: The Aristide files

US officials led a far-reaching international campaign aimed at keeping former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide exiled in South Africa, rendering him a virtual prisoner there for the last seven years, according to secret US State Department cables.

The cables show that high-level US and UN officials even discussed a politically motivated prosecution of Aristide to prevent him from “gaining more traction with the Haitian population and returning to Haiti.”

The secret cables, made available to the Haitian weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté by WikiLeaks, show how the political defeat of Aristide and his Lavalas movement has been the central pillar of US policy toward the Caribbean nation over the last two US administrations, even though—or perhaps because—US officials understood that he was the most popular political figure in Haiti.

They also reveal how US officials and their diplomatic counterparts from France, Canada, the UN and the Vatican tried to vilify and ostracize the Haitian political leader.


President Obama and Kofi Annan’s successor, Ban Ki-moon, also intervened to urge Pretoria to keep Aristide in South Africa. The secret cables report that Aristide’s return to Haiti would be a “disaster,” according to the Vatican, and “catastrophic,” according to the French.

But the regional and Haitian view was quite different. US Ambassador James Foley admitted in a confidential March 22, 2005, cable that an August 2004 poll “showed that Aristide was still the only figure in Haiti with a favorability rating above 50%.”

Uhm. But of course.

Jan. 15th, 2011

  • 11:04 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
A must read, because I can't quote it all. The Denial of Self Determination: The International Community and Haiti.

If any nation in the history of humanity has been terrorized by the naked brutality and hypocritical logic of modernity, it has been Haiti. One would assume that the Haitian Revolution in 1804 would be looked upon as a pivotal moment which helped to shape the ideas of freedom, equality and justice. This was not the case. Haiti has been the victim of both history and hypocrisy, since it’s independence in 1804 as the small nation who fought for the freedom, dignity and justice has been met with a nightmarish hell of slavery, genocide, racism, isolation, extreme oppression and economic terrorism exercised in the name of modern civilization that has not disappeared in the 500 years since Christopher Columbus first landed on the island. The recent turmoil surrounding the Haitian elections on November 28th must be seen as an extension of international support in the undermining of the Haitian people’s right to self determination.


It was within this debt riddled framework of the new global economic order, fighting against the unjust demands of the IMF, World Bank and the United States, that led a Roman Catholic Priest named Jean Bertrand Aristide to become Haiti’s first democratically elected president in 1991. Aristide’s grassroots support among the poor of Haiti led to his landslide victory with Fanmi Lavalas receiving 67% of the vote.

Aristide led calls for reparation of Haiti’s odious $21 billion debt to France, and was against further rounds of privatization of the Haitian economy. These concerns did not sit well with the United States or France resulting in a coup in September 1991. Due to international as well as internal pressure, Aristide was placed back in power by the Clinton administration but was not allowed to complete a full 6 year term or run for re-election in the next available term. In 2000, Aristide was elected once again, with 91.8% of the vote.


The devastating earthquake on January 12th and the tragic aftermath is being used as a backdrop of excuses to mask the engineered irregularities of the recent election. The November 28th election is the most recent step in the international community’s attempt to stifle the demands of self determination by the Haitian people. Fanmi Lavalas, by and large the nation’s most popular political party has been banned in every election since the overthrow of Aristide in 2004. The exclusion of Lavalas continued into the November 28th elections based on the party failing to meet last minute technicalities invented by the highly controversial Haitian Provisional Electoral Council – heavily influenced by current President Rene Preval. Fanmi Lavalas and 14 other political parties were excluded from participating in the November 28th elections without any transparent reasoning.

Ignoring reports highlighting the irregularities of the November 28th election from civil society organizations both domestically and abroad, the international community continued to support and finance the highly flawed process. As early as June, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti issued a comprehensive report titled The International Community Should Pressure the Haitian Government for Free and Fair Elections ( but the international community did not pay attention to the warnings of political turmoil resulting from their backing of highly flawed elections.

The reasoning behind such vehement support for Haiti’s current flawed elections is simple. There is over $10 billion in reconstruction contracts, an amount too large to be trusted to any independent, or heaven forbid progressive candidate who would channel the money into the building of much needed public services and infrastructure which served the Haitian people. What the international community demands from these elections is a President which will rubber stamp any of their self serving development projects. An article in the Washington Post titled “Would be Haitian Contractors Miss out on Aid” further demonstrates the self serving nature of aid to Haiti stating that of every $100 of US contracts, only $1.60 makes it into the hands of Haitian contractors.

Last one for the day

  • Nov. 15th, 2010 at 5:02 PM
la_vie_noire: (Claymore2 dagger)
Cholera Outbreak Worsens in Haiti.

Yes, experts predicted the likely outbreak of deadly disease not long after the earthquake, yet infrastructure in preparation for the outbreak was still lacking when it hit. Indeed, as of two months ago, a mere 2% of the earthquake debris has been cleared; I’m unsure if more recent figures are available, but it’s doubtful that two months managed to magically accomplish what nine months did not. With this being the case, it’s less than shocking that there is also a severe lack of working toilets and uncontaminated water.

If you have money to spare, Partners in Health is an on the ground organization in Haiti that takes a community-based approach to providing free health care. They have been responding to the cholera outbreak by treating patients both at special treatment centers and in their communities, distributing soap and water purification supplies, educating communities on prevention, building showers, and working towards long-term water security in Haiti. You can support Partners in Health’s efforts to respond to the cholera outbreak and save lives by donating here.

la_vie_noire: (Default)
Aqrima admirably continued dealing with the annoying white feminists: honour killings in india.

a few years ago, i would have agreed with you. i would have been shocked and upset about this, and i would have been very angry about patriarchy and casteism in india. and i still am. i am much more upset about it than you know. you tell me i’m an evil person, that i’m excusing violence with complexity, and i’m writing this here to tell you that actually, the complexity only makes the violence sharper, more real. the complexity cannot erode the violence. it is the explanation, but it cannot be the excuse (credit to richard siken’s poem, snow and dirty rain, for that phrase). it cannot be the excuse, because i, we, live with this history. because i live with the knowledge that i grasped onto white amerika instead of paying attention to my history. because the violence of priding the west over a postcolonial state that the west carries the legacy of colonizing, and continues to colonize… because that violence is real. because the violence of what happened to nirupama pathak, and her fiance who remains unnamed throughout that article (because upper caste people are the only ones to talk to, didn’t you know? they’re nice and liberal, they talk about “old india”s and “new india”s and nice linear history “we shouldn’t be like this in the 21st century [we have to be more like you white western people, you’ve got it all right, yes yes we realize that now, sorry sorry]”) … because that violence is horrific. because she should not have died. because imagine what her fiance is living through now, with the knowledge that he is so wrong, so untouchable, that his lover deserved to be killed rather than marry him.

because i don’t like any entire marginalized culture, mine or anyone else’s, being completely written off. “archaic”. “conservative”. how do you know what is archaic and conservative? how do you know the history of caste violence? how do you know that history is linear and chronological, period? how do you know what changed with colonialism and what didn’t? how do you know about the oppression in pre-colonial times and the oppression in colonial times and the oppression in post-colonial times? how? how do you so easily take the apologia of upper-caste middle class privileged folks in india as the right thing, oh yes, at least they’re admitting that culture can be changed, at least they should try, blah blah blah blah. Because it makes you happy to hear that. It makes you happy to be told, over and over, affirmed, that your way is the right way. That you’ve got it all right. That you understand cultureS, so much so that you can make it one great culture monolith.

it’s very wonderfully ironic that you say “take it up with the NYT or coherently explain your point of view here”. wonderful use of the tone argument, i must say. (this is a more direct summary). also, you establish my point exactly. the point is, the new york times represents white amerika (mostly). so what you are telling me is that i, a south asian person, should have to tell the new york times to stop being racist and imperialist, because otherwise the new york times has the perfect right to do so. thank you for putting the onus on me, as a marginalized person.


and the thing is? violence is systemic. address the systemic issues, and maybe we have a fighting chance at making things better.

Via ontd_feminism: How to Write about Haiti, inspired on How to Write about Africa

For starters, always use the phrase 'the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.' Your audience must be reminded again of Haiti's exceptional poverty. It's doubtful that other articles have mentioned this fact.

You are struck by the 'resilience' of the Haitian people. They will survive no matter how poor they are. They are stoic, they rarely complain, and so they are admirable. The best poor person is one who suffers quietly. A two-sentence quote about their misery fitting neatly into your story is all that's needed.


The US Embassy and United Nations always issue warnings that demonstrations are security threats. It is all social unrest. If protesters are beaten, gassed, or shot at by UN peacekeepers, they probably deserved it for getting out of control. Do not investigate their constant claims of being abused.

It was so violent right after the January 2010 earthquake. 'Looters' fought over goods 'stolen' from collapsed stores. Escaped prisoners were causing mayhem. It wasn't necessary to be clear about how many people were actually hurt or died in fighting. The point is that it was scary.

Now many of those looters are 'squatters' in 'squalid' camps. Their tent cities are 'teeming' with people, like anthills. You saw your colleagues use these words over and over in their reports, so you should too. You do not have time to check a thesaurus before deadline.

Point out that Port-au-Prince is overcrowded. Do not mention large empty plots of green land around the city. Of course, it is not possible to explain that occupying US Marines forcibly initiated Haiti's shift from distributed, rural growth to centralized governance in the capital city. It will not fit within your word count. Besides, it is ancient history.


And just because I want to spam no more:

Fairy Tail spoilers up to chapter 15 )


Writing this was painful. And took me a lot of time. Because I mostly copy and pasted html.
la_vie_noire: (Clare-killing)
I have been avoiding talking about the SPN shit because some of the responses this got made me sick to my stomach and I'm still damn busy.

What kind of bubble are some people living into? People. Context. Nuances. Do you know how many people, real people of color, did the Haiti's Earthquake kill early this year? And yet, you still think that the worst thing that could happen is "bringing your agenda into fandom." Instead of, you know, respecting a tragedy and its victims.

Dear fucking God, it's hardly the first time something like this has happened to fandom and yet people affected (marginalized people) have to smile and let the fucking white assholes go on with their kinks on their tragedies without saying anything because otherwise "would be stirring things up." Dehumanization of actual people? Secondary matters to privileged people's kinks.

Fucking privileged assholes. The sociopathy going on in some of these comments is amazing.

For the record, if you say that "showing anger over this is worst than the actual offense" you are a offense to my humanity. No argument.

Jan. 18th, 2010

  • 9:14 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Charity is not the same as Compassion by [personal profile] deepad. She, as always, talks about a lot of things that have been bothering me lately.

One of the most vicious and manipulative tools we humans have evolved is to use our individual impulses towards kindness and pity to build systems that reinforce oppressive and discriminatory practices.

"Clothe the pauper." "Heal the heathen." "Rescue the orphan." "Free the woman."

The discourse around disaster relief in Haiti has already begun to make me sick to my stomach. Because "natural disasters" are somehow painted apolitical, as though the sphere of human responsibility has been completely suspended.

This is crap, of course, because human beings and the things they do are as much a part of nature as the wind and water and earth and fire around us, and it is political when century-old housing habits evolved for a specific geological fault location get eradicated, or poverty forces urban encroachment into areas too close to the sea, or evacuation systems are ignored because the people they will save are considered expendible.

So donating money? Comes from a generous impulse, but is pretty easy to do. As Michael Maren says, "Although it's really easy to donate your dollars, it is unimaginably difficult to actually help people. The best fund raisers in the business are not the best relief workers in the business."

Jan. 14th, 2010

  • 8:02 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Both via [personal profile] the_future_modernes.

Shock Doctrine for Haiti:

Good to see that, in the midst of the today's confusion, someone's focusing on what really matters: making sure America's 210 years of superhuman cruelty toward Haiti continue without respite.

Catastrophe in Haiti

THE REAL state power isn't the Préval government, but the U.S.-backed United Nations occupation. Under Brazilian leadership, UN forces have protected the rich and collaborated with--or turned a blind eye to--right-wing death squads who terrorize supporters of Aristide and his Lavalas Party.

The occupiers have done nothing to address the poverty, wrecked infrastructure and massive deforestation that have exacerbated the effects of a series of natural disasters--severe hurricanes in 2004 and 2008, and now the Port-au-Prince earthquake.

Instead, they merely police a social catastrophe, and in so doing, have committed the normal crimes characteristic of all police forces. As Dan Beeton wrote in NACLA Report on the Americas, "The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which began its mission in June 2004, has been marred by scandals of killings, rape and other violence by its troops almost since it began."

First the Bush administration and now the Obama administration have used the coup and social and natural crises to expand the U.S.'s neoliberal economic plans. [...]

So while Pat Robertson denounces Haiti's great slave revolution as a pact with the devil, Clinton is helping to reduce it to a tourist trap.

At the same time, Clinton's plans for Haiti include an expansion of the sweatshop industry to take advantage of cheap labor available from the urban masses. The U.S. granted duty-free treatment for Haitian apparel exports to make it easy for sweatshops to return to Haiti.

No surprises here. But I just wish I could say fuck to them and get over it, but of course, that's never a possibility.

And via [personal profile] skywardprodigal:

Wonderful Why is Haiti so poor?. But please, do not read the comments.

Haiti Update

  • Jan. 14th, 2010 at 1:44 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
If you want to help, here is the list of organizations skywardprodigal trusts.

There is also [ profile] help_haiti which consists in fandom auctions.

Jan. 13th, 2010

  • 11:19 AM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Haiti has been hit by an earthquake of magnitude 7.0, the strongest in two centuries.

Updates here. voz_latina is doing a coverage here. Another earthquake, magnitude 5.7, hit today.

Hundreds are disappeared and the dead toll will probably be as big.


la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire

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