When this article appears on the morning of March 31, the much ballyhooed “International Donors Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti” will be getting underway at UN Headquarters in Manhattan.
While demonstrators in the street outside protest the continuing US and UN military occupation of Haiti, now over six years old, and the Haitian people’s exclusion from deliberations on the country’s reconstruction, dignitaries inside like UN Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Haitian President René Préval will unveil a plan with lots of pomp and ceremony but which boils down to just one thing: Washington’s take-over of the “new” Haiti.
Hyperbole? Unfortunately, no. The lead editorial in Sunday’s New York Times, which generally articulates the thinking of the US power elite, lays it out clearly: “The plan envisions a multidonor trust fund *managed by the World Bank* that pools money for big projects and avoids wasteful redundancy. The Haitian Development Authority would *approve* the projects; outside auditors would *oversee* the spending.” (Our emphasis added.)
Translation: the World Bank, not Haiti, will run the show, a council of foreigners (with a sprinkling of token Haitians) will rubberstamp directives, and other foreign overseers will supervise the Haitians carrying out the directives.
Kim Ives is the editor of Haiti Liberte. This article is from Haïti Liberté, published in Port au Prince and Brooklyn.