Obama's foreign policy has continued the failed George W. Bush policies. War rages on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Torture is no big deal, none of the torturers are being punished for violating the US Constitution, the Guantanamo closing was put off, some detainees only reshuffled and the same old Wall Street tycoons who took down the country now head Obama's economic policies and programs. Unemployment is at an all time high, more so amongst Blacks of course, and the Wall Street bailout mostly didn't help Main Street. It's still the rule of big business as usual. But, if Americans are suffering increase in credit card debt and job loss from the global economic crisis, imagine what the high cost of living, fuel prices, fewer remittances from abroad and the same old imperialist policies are doing to Haiti and the world's poor.
During his campaign Barack Obama promised change from the 8-years of failed Bush policies, but he's surrendered to the corporate interests and the Haitian Oligarchy in Haiti, leaving the majority poor out in the cold, as usual. Banned not only from elections that the US is financing at the tune of $18 million dollars but subject to unfair wages and a gross UN occupation that preserves corporate interests.
Listen to Obama's empty "Wi Nou Kapab - Yes We Can" promise for change to Haitian-AmericansLast year around this time, Father Jean Juste was still alive, a pioneering champion in the struggle for human rights for Haitians living at home and in the US. This year this giant fighter for Haitian human rights and sovereignty is gone but he left us a path to follow. So, we begin this piece by inviting everyone to visit our pages in Homage to Father Gerard Jean Juste, the special photographic report at: HLLN's PhotoGallery - Wake and Funeral of Father Gerard Jean Juste, and our report on Father Jean Juste's final days, the Miami funeral and the negative Miami Herald reporting, which Ezili's HLLN summarily exposed that you'll not read about anywhere else. (See, Ezili's HLLN Blasts Miami Herald's Coverage of Jean Juste Memorial - Reports the Counter-Colonial Narrative.)
Deportations did not stop, Haitians were not granted TPS, political prisoners were not released, US HOPE Act enabled the Haitian Oligarchy to reject fairer minimum wages. UN/MINUSTAH soldiers, known to the Haitian poor as the "vampires of leisure" in Haiti, continued their sexual assaults and killing of Haitians with impunity even with Bill Clinton being named as UN Special Envoy to Haiti and Paul Farmer as his Deputy Envoy. NGO's continue to undermine Haitian government. There's no oversight or accountability on USAID. False foreign aid, false charity, harmful food aid and unfair trade, continues. Foreign pillaging of Haiti resources and riches with the exclusion of the Haitian people and no sharing of profits with poor Haitians to raise the majority's standard of living, continues under this Obama Administration.
Last year around this time HLLN was writing about how:
Food Donations Rot in New York while Haitian Storm Victims Starve and Die
Reporting that Deportations to storm-crippled Haiti, which George W .Bush had stopped for three months from Sept to Dec. 9, 2008, had just resumed.
We were urging a stop to all deportations to Haiti and that Haitians be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS), as well as helping to mobilize "critical" support for the presidential vote, pushing for Obama to win the White House so a less tyrannical US presence could be established in Haiti.
HLLN crafted a Haiti position paper and submitted it to the Obama Team even before he was elected. (What Haitian-Americans Ask of the New U.S. President )
We wrote: "Haitian-Americans ask the next US president and Congress to....end the UN occupation; stop unequal immigration treatment of Haitian refugees and asylum seekers; cancel, without condition, Haiti's debt to international financial institutions; void unfair trade, start reciprocal trade, restrict free trade so not to dump food and other imports into Haiti that eviscerate Haiti's domestic growth and by also calibrating to Haiti's domestic needs for agricultural expansion, public works, job creation, health care, schools, sanitation, infrastructure, and by adding enforceable human rights, labor, environmental rights provisions in US trade laws; permanently stop all deportations to Haiti, grant TPS; stop trading for Haiti with USAID, demand new foreign aid guidelines and oversight of USAID in Haiti. Investigate the role of US in the 2004 coup d'etat where US Special forces forcibly exiled President Jean Bertrand Aristide via an unmarked plane used for renditions."
Barack Obama came into office and sent Bill Clinton to Haiti with a "development plan" for more sweatshops enabling the Haitian Oligarchy and President Rene Preval to reject a mere .63 cents an hour minimum wage increase in order to please US sweatshop owners.
So, today in Haiti, it's better for the people NOT to work at the measly $3.00 per day (.38 cents an hour) jobs than to work! Most times transportation and lunch cost more than the worker makes per day. Food in Haiti, like everything else, is imported from the US (via extortionist "free-trade" policies forced upon Haiti) and costly.
Meanwhile, one of the first clues to Haitians that Obama would be more of the same as George W. Bush for Haiti and that there would be no TPS was the prompt release, on Feb 27, 2009, of a study singling out Haitians amongst all other ethnic groups for deportation. The study revealed that in a span of 20 or more years, 30,000 Haitians had been ordered deported by US Federal immigration judges. No information was released for any other nationalities who had been ordered deported, only Haitians. And only to escalate fear of a Black planet if Obama was even contemplating allowing 30,000 disease-ridden Black Haitians to remain in the US! (Haitian Community Activist Jean Montrevil Faces Deportation and ICE gives Houston teacher a reprieve.)
After that little media propaganda, there was no more talk of Obama granting TPS to Haitians.