Monday, December 28, 2009

Child Slaves in Haiti

Say! Why don't we check in on "Haiti ... the core [of] our engagement in the Americas, as our largest program in the region," Canada's second-biggest foreign initiative after the mega-success [please note: that's sarcasm] of Afghanistan? How are Canada and Haiti doing? After all, Canada (at the behest of the United States and in cooperation with France) helped Haiti celebrate its 200th birthday in February 2004 by overthrowing its democratically-elected president, Bertrand Aristide and imposing a puppet-government.

(Technically speaking, we didn't overthrow the government. Oh my no. What Canada, France and the United States did was to "protect" Aristide from the rebels (who appeared to have come from the United States) by spiriting him out of the country. [Canada, France, and of course, the United States of America, simply didn't have the resources to face-off with these Haitian rebels! So there was never any thought of fighting them.] Of course, that thin tissue of lies is easily seen through because now that the "danger" is past, we actively oppose the return of Aristide to his own country.)

The secondary, supposedly more truthful, honourable, though legally unjustifiable, justification is that France (which used to own the country as a slave colony), the United States (which routinely overthrows democratic, populist governments in the Americas and installs corrupt, narco-torture states in their stead) and Canada (which is an all-around shameless kiss-ass to the USA and which also defends Canadian mining companies which destroy the environment and brutalize their opponents in the less "developed" parts of the world), are all TERRIBLY CONCERNED with the freedom and material conditions of the Haitian people, and overthrew Aristide because he was a "dictator" who was fraudulently elected and who maintained his regime with murderous criminal gangs who he had armed. In this capacity, Aristide brutally presided over a "failed state" that was unable to deliver the necessities of life to Haiti's suffering population.

As members of the "good countries" (as opposed, say, to the "bad countries" - [if you're confused about what the terms "good" and "bad" mean, go watch a re-run of the 1970s series "S.W.A.T." and imagine you're an 11-year old boy]) Canada, France and the USA have a "responsibility to protect" the people in impoverished, undemocratic shit-holes from their own fucked-up, dictatorial regimes. We got's to go in there to these countries and kick-out their detestable, murdering, scum-bag governments and put in puppets politicians and state institutions that can adequately service the subsistence needs of their populations.

For instance, Canada has helped Haiti by removing the sadistic Aristide and replacing him with convicted torturers and murderers who drove the human rights situation in Haiti into the ground. ... Oh, wait a second, that doesn't sound like "helping." It sounds like we made things worse for Haiti instead of better.

Oh well, at least the UN Mission for Haiti (MINUSTAH) is trying to make the country safe for democracy, by attacking the members of Aristide's political party (the largest political entity in the country) and allowing machete-wielding psychopaths to slaughter people at will. ... Um, okay, that doesn't sound too promising either.

Well, at least the rich countries of Canada, France and the United States are pooling some pocket-change together to ensure that Haitians have enough to eat right? Right? Right??? Wrong.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums and Charlene Dumas was eating mud.

With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies.

Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.

Okay, okay, okay. But what about the children? Won't the leaders of these three rich, powerful countries even do something about the children of Haiti? At least so that they can even fucking pretend that they ever gave a single shit about Haiti and its people?

Sadly, that brings me to the subject of today's post. It appears that the poor of Haiti have absolutely no means to feed their children and so they are handing them over to work for slightly wealthier Haitians (who turn their own children over to Hatians farther up the economic ladder themselves) where they labour as unpaid domestic servants (as in "slaves") and are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery as unpaid household servants, far more than previously thought, a report said Tuesday.

The Pan American Development Foundation's report also said some of those children — mostly young girls — suffer sexual, psychological and physical abuse while toiling in extreme hardship.

The report recommends Haiti's government and international donors focus efforts on educating the poor and expanding social services such as shelters for girls, who make up an estimated two-thirds of the child servant population.

Young servants are known as "restavek" — Haitian Creole for "stays with" — and their plight is both widely known and a source of great shame in the Caribbean nation that was founded by a slave revolt more than 200 years ago.

Researchers said the practice is so common that almost half of 257 children interviewed in the sprawling Port-au-Prince shantytown of Cite Soleil were household slaves.

This is beyond disgusting folks. It's disgusting that our governments did this. That they are continuing to do this. And that our media system tells us more about Boxing-Day shopping than about this five-years (and counting) travesty. Just further evidence that our entire political system is debased beyond repair and require root-and-branch change.


no_blah_blah_blah said...

Even Aristide's party, Fanmi Lavalas, isn't allowed to participate in elections according to a ruling by the Provisional Election Council. This ruling came due to Lavalas supposedly failing to meet undefined "legal requirements".

Dysfunctional "democracy"/puppet dictator in power? Check. Humanitarian crisis? Check. Sounds like the standard "national building" template used by the U.S. and its allies.

Strangely, the only successful national building exercises were West Germany and Japan after WWII due to the U.S. needing allies that were actually able to stand on their own feet to contain the Soviet Union. Clearly the U.S. is able to do it properly when they need real, not paper, tigers.

Sir Francis said...


I blogged about this outrage last year. I planned to do an update but never got around to it.

Most Canadians have no idea we're even in Haiti, and we needn't wonder why our governmental-military elites aren't eager to promote our efforts there: I guess there's not much partisan mileage to be gotten from a photo-op of Harper or MacKay doing a grinning "thumbs-up" in front of some Haitian slum kids eating their breakfast mud-pies.


What the Allies did in West Germany and Japan wasn't really nation-building; the Germans and Japanese already had nations, each with its own democratic tradition (though relatively new). It was reconstruction, with the Marshall Plan providing the necessary financial assistance and the Germans and Japanese doing the logistical, civic and governmental heavy lifting on their own. In fact, it was the Allies' hands-off approach (especially in Japan) to which much of the Plan’s success was owed.

thwap said...


Thanks for the link. It's truly nauseating what is going on. It's all part of the naked contempt for democracy that our elites exhibit on a daily basis. They have as much regard for our own opinions and democratic structures when it comes to challenges to the corporate agenda here.

Haiti is a measuring stick to determine just how inhuman their adherence to corporate rule is. How low will they go? How much will they brutalize a people?

Sir Francis,

There aren't many photo-ops for the harpercon scum. But they're trying. Perhaps I'll make a post of it.

Kevin Pina in the link NoBlah, provided says imagine the hue and cry if Hugo Chavez did to his opposition what the UN and our puppet-government are doing to Lavalas.