Ezili Dantò of HLLN
It is the big world charity industry and security consultancies that make out like fat rats in every Haiti crisis, not the little Haiti town mayor who wants a cut of the trickle down.
Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network ("HLLN") is the most noted group of Haitian scholars, lawyers, doctors, grassroots organizations, artists, students, human rights activists and non-Haitian solidarity activists to give Haitians and friends-of-Haiti the Rada to Petwo - or, generally the Warrior and Pacifist tools, narratives - the very lexicon - to defend Haiti's defenseless people from the ravages of neo-liberalism, NGO false charity and US/Euro/UN false benevolence. One Haitian radio personality recently noted, in sum, that "no one has written more about Haiti in recent years or documented Haiti's riches, and rich and paradoxical way of being in a more thorough and comprehensive manner than Ezili Dantò of HLLN."
It's more than two months after the earthquake
and the media coverage seemingly has forgotten that the fleecing of aid
dollars earmarked for Haiti's earthquake victims happens BEFORE the
trickle down aid gets to Haiti. So, instead of focusing on the fact
that less than one cent from every aid dollar collected, in the name of
Haiti's pain, gets to the Haitian government, the media assist the
charity and NGO industry in Haiti by focusing their reporting on the
smallest of corruptions, that of the Haitian official who wants a
portion of the food, water or tents actually reaching Haiti. The big
crooks, the corrupt World Relief organizations, USAID, UN and their
NGOs and the 10,000 charities in Haiti masturbating on Black pain in
the name of "helping Haitians" get free passes.
Right now, the UN, USAID, US State Department, European Union, everyone, is anxiously weighing in on the game to rebuild Port au Prince, just as they did when Gonaives - the Northern coastal town that got flooded by hurricanes in 2004 and then again in the four back-to-back hurricanes of 2008. For us Haitians it's an old song, just different Haitians suffering and dying, different Haiti town that has crumbled, foreign reconstruction monies never rebuilds where the poorest live. That's a period, not a comma. Remember Katrina. Remember Rawanda, Remember Clinton with Rawanda, Bush with Katrina and don't forget the role of the Red Cross in both.
If one just looks back at the flooding of Gonaives, Haiti in 2004 and 2008, just at that one Haiti example, and calculate how much money was raised by the World Relief Organizations, the NGOs, the UN, US State Department consultancies, the European Union, Canada, et al, in the name of "rebuilding and bringing relief to the people of Gonaives, in those two instances combined, you'll see that conservatively more than $3 billion dollars were collectively raised by these Internationals, their NGOs and private US charities to reconstruct and provide hurricane relief, flood rebuilding, food, water, medicine and shelter to the people of Gonaives, Haiti. Today, the people of Gonaives are still walking on muddy roads. Little was rebuilt and the people will tell you they mostly got no help other than food and water in the first couple of weeks when the media cameras where on.
That's why at Ezili HLLN we forgo the UN, USAID, OAS donor conferences on rebuilding and reconstructing Port au Prince.We know the story. We are the Haitians who've endured and know well the international corruption. Like most of Haiti and Haitians, one-third of our friends and colleagues perished in the January 12, 2010 earthquake.
It's not possible to absorb this unless you become more than you were on January 11, 2010. And for us, who work at the Ezili Dantò Witness Project and the Ezili HLLNetwork there are no words to capture the pain, grief and suffering especially as we've never recovered from the two Bush coup d'etat's and death squad ravages in 1991, 2004, the slaughters of the UN and imposed-Boca Raton regime from 2004 and 2006. Not to mention what was lost in hurricanes in 2004 and 2008.
One Haitian heading for Haiti who we advised to be careful, responded "I'm dead already." I supposed that's very true. For to survive and recover from such staggering, unfathomable cruelties doesn't seem possible. But, we've indeed survive US/Euro containment in poverty for centuries and overcome their donors lyrical waxing about rebuilding/reconstructing Haiti in their images since Haiti's endless Independence Debt began. We've so been through this too many times before. US/Euro aid and donor monies go to State Department cronies, former USAID-mission directors and their ex-employees who have set up NGO charities and security firms. They gobble up monies raised in the name of poor Haitians and then later on count on the mainstream media's colonial narrative on Haiti to play the "Haiti can't absorb aid" song or the "Haitian government is weak" chorus refrain or the ever racist "Haiti is corrupt and inherently violent" 206-year-old symphony.
When all is said and done it's an old story and only the Haiti neophyte, idiot or the ridiculously optimistic go to these meetings where the agenda is not set by Haitians but by foreigners looking out for themselves. At the end of the day, after shipping fees, NGO salaries and apportioning current disaster funds for the NGO's "future disaster fund" coffers, what aid actually ends up in Haiti is mostly rotted food that doesn't reach the most needy of the poor.
The only relief that is sustainable, dignified, humane and that
actually works in Haiti is Haitians helping Haitians. And that is why
as a Haiti-led, Haiti capacity building organization, Ezili's HLLN is
currently mobilizing help to continue our educational work, our public
advocacy work, to assist the earthquake victims and long-term
We are on a fundraising tour with the Haiti Forum and doing teach-ins about Haiti that will provide real information about the NGO charity and World Relief/humanitarian industry in Haiti, and all over the developing world, that has, since the end of the Cold War taken on the role of pushing US foreign interests and neoliberalism abroad.
Neoliberalism and US regime change in Haiti destroys and weakens popular governments the US does not think are corporate-friendly enough and then, instead of justice being done, their charity industry rush in, as a political tool, to empower only certain voices amenable to US interests. President Aristide was twice removed, not because the US/Euros wanted to improve Haiti's human rights and corruption record, but because the US corporatocracy was angry he had raised the minimum wage and simply terrified, that like Cuba and Venezuela, he might nationalize Haiti's - oil, gas, gold, copper, iridium, uranium et al... - resources to improve the people's living standards. There's no question now, as HLLN has documented in these last 6-years of UN/US occupation, that Haiti has significant reserves of oil, gas, gold, copper, iridium, uranium, limestone, coal and other strategic mineral deposits.
In Haiti, it's the voice of the Haitian oligarchy and the anti-Lavalas cartel that is empowered by the NGO industry and USAID programs. That is what the Red Cross, World Vision, Clinton Global Initiative, Catholic Relief Services, CARE International, Save the Children, UNICEF, the UN presence, et al.. - the over 10,000 charities in Haiti - are there to institute in Haiti, not impartial relief, human rights, inclusion and dignity for the Black majority. Humanitarian aid is the tool they hide behind in order to carry out their funding-country's political, cultural and social purposes. And, of course, as well to garner huge economic profit off Haiti's poverty, misery, imposed fratricide and mostly man-made and foreign-manufactured crisis.
Crisis that originates mostly from US/Euro neo-liberalism policies or natural disasters that are made much worst by US/Euro financial colonialism, racism, false benevolence and false charity. This Haiti reality is fully explained at our HLLN Haiti Forums, the consciousness-raising arm of HLLN's FreeHaitiMovement.
If you sponsor and attend an Ezili HLLN Haiti Forum , you'll be helping to raise relief/rebuilding funds for Haiti's grassroots and for well-known Haiti-led organization, not the NGO "contain-them-in-poverty" industry. And, you will learn the Haiti history and narrative not found anywhere else or in any book!
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