Tag Archives | Haiti

Cuban Medics in Haiti Put the World to Shame

Cuba In HaitiNina Lakhani writes in the Indepedent:

They are the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America’s doorstep which Barack Obama pledged a monumental US humanitarian mission to alleviate. Except these heroes are from America’s arch-enemy Cuba, whose doctors and nurses have put US efforts to shame.

A medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans is operating all over earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti, as part of Fidel Castro’s international medical mission which has won the socialist state many friends, but little international recognition.

Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Vice Ventures Into Haiti In Search Of Zombies

Just in time for Halloween, VBS TV brings us a ghoulish film that follows Vice correspondent Hamilton Morris as he travels to Haiti to explore the underbelly of voodoo culture and hunt down actual Zombies. In 1982, Harvard ethnobotanist Wade Davis traveled to Port-Au-Prince to investigate the ethno-biological base of the Haitian zombie. Davis left the island convinced that zombies were not fictional creations, but in fact real monsters that roamed the rural villages of Haiti. Inspired by Davis’ work, VBS correspondent Hamilton traveled to the Haitian capital last year to conduct his own zombie investigation under the guidance of a man who survived fourteen bullets to the face.
Continue Reading

Wyclef Jean Ineligible For Presidency, Or Is He?

Wyclef Jean has been singing about “If I Were President,” but Haiti’s electoral board says he is ineligible. Could the rapper’s position as roving ambassador override his lack of residency in Haiti? BBC reports:

Haitian hip-hop star Wyclef Jean has said he will appeal against a ruling that he cannot run in Haiti’s presidential election.

Haiti’s electoral commission said that Mr Jean was ineligible to stand as the Haitian constitution requires candidates to have lived in the country for five years prior to an election.

The 40-year-old singer lives in the US.

But he argues that his role as a roving ambassador for Haiti since 2007 exempts him from the residency requirement.

The country is still recovering from January’s earthquake, which killed an estimated 230,000 people and left more than one million homeless.

Following the ruling on Friday, Mr Jean issued a statement saying he respectfully disagreed with the electoral panel’s decision, but accepted it and urged his supporters to do the same.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

President Wyclef

Why not? We had B-movie actor Ronnie Reagan as U.S. president and California has Austrian bodybuilder-turned-action-movie-hero Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor. Time reports on musician Wyclef Jean's bid to become president of Haiti:
Hip-hop, more than most pop genres, is something of a pulpit, urban fire and brimstone garbed in baggy pants and backward caps. So it's little wonder that one of the music form's icons, Haitian-American superstar Wyclef Jean, is the son of a Nazarene preacher — or that he likens himself, as a child of the Haitian diaspora, to a modern-day Moses, destined to return and lead his people out of bondage. Haiti's Jan. 12 earthquake, which ravaged the western hemisphere's poorest country and killed more than 200,000 people, was the biblical event that sealed his calling. After days of helping ferry mangled Haitian corpses to morgues, Jean felt as if he'd "finished the journey from my basket in the bulrushes to standing in front of the burning bush," he told me this week. "I knew I'd have to take the next step." That would be running for President of Haiti...
Continue Reading

Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

GMOBeverly Bell, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, writing for Huffington Post:

“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.

In an open letter sent of May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds…, and on what is left our environment in Haiti.”[1] Haitian social movements have been vocal in their opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines local production with local seed stocks.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A New Earthquake Hits Haiti: Monsanto’s Deadly Gift Of 475 Tons Of Genetically-Modified Seeds

MonsantoBy Fr. Jean-Yves Urfie for the Center for Research on Globalisation:

Haiti’s earthquake on 12 January this year has been a lucky business break for some. The transnational firm Monsanto is offering the country’s farmers a deadly gift of 475 tonnes of genetically-modified (GM) seeds, along with associated fertiliser and pesticides, which will be handed out free by the WINNER project, with the backing of the US embassy in Haiti. Do Haitians know Monsanto made the “Agent Orange” defoliant sprayed over Vietnam by US planes during the war there, poisoning both US soldiers and Vietnamese civilians?

Do Haitians know that these GM seeds have been declared dangerous by many countries? They often come in kits along with a Monsanto herbicide called “Roundup,” which contains glyphosate. In my native Brittany, it has already polluted the water table. But Monsanto insists its product is biodegradable. It is being sued for this by anti-frauid officials in Lyon.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

MIT Student Develops $3 Cutting-Edge Healing Device, Field Tested in Haiti

Healing DeviceDavid L. Chandler writes on MIT News:

No one really knows why, but for an open wound, simply applying suction dramatically speeds healing times. (The theory is that the negative pressure draws bacteria out, and encourages circulation.) But for almost everyone, that treatment is out of reach — simply because the systems are expensive — rentals cost at least $100 a day and need to be recharged every six hours.

No more. Danielle Zurovcik, a doctoral student at MIT, has created a hand-powered suction-healing system that costs about $3. The device is composed of an airtight wound dressing, connected by a plastic tube to a cylinder with accordion-like folds. Squeezing it creates the suction, which lasts as long as there’s no air leak. What’s more, where regular dressings need to be replaced up to three times a day — a painful ordeal — the new cuff can be left on for several days.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The United States of Foreclosures

Foreclosures Are Rising And Not Just Homeowners Are Affected: A Haitian Family Loses Island Home In Earthquake, NY Home in “Bankquake”

The financial crisis started as a housing bubble with the financial industry convinced that home values never fall. How wrong they were even as they leveraged and securitized their investments to create a global crisis.

Now brace yourself, because not only isn’t it over until it’s over, but in some respects it’s only just begun. There will be more foreclosures this year than last and as a result more suffering for American families

Ed Harrison who monitors this industry for a website called Credit Write Downs sees a “second wave coming”—like a new tsunami in a industry that All of Obama’s horses and all of Obama’s men have not been able to do anything about. The idea of challenging fraud and deception with a debt relief plan goes a bit too far for these self-styled centrists.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Voodoo Practitioners Shrug Off Blame for Haitian Quake

From the Telegraph:

In a whirl of limbs and with eyes bulging, the woman is helped to a squat in the ramshackle shed and starts cackling maniacally like a terrified chicken.
“Kaaaa! Ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka,” she screams and stutters, her right arm bent in front of her.

Around her, the other Voodoo worshippers look on, unsurprised but expectant as their ceremony reaches its climactic mid-point. Someone ties a red cloth to her arm, which stops shaking.

In their eyes, she is possessed by a spirit of the dead – one of the 220,000 estimated to have perished in Haiti’s January quake perhaps – and is thus, in a way, blessed.

When she picks up a rusty knife and swings clockwise around the room, gulping from a bottle of cherry-flavored alcohol, they do not draw away.

Instead they embrace her, even kiss her. And in that way they are blessed, too.

But for all the fervor and favor being shared in this back-alley corner of Cite Soleil, a Port-au-Prince slum that was badly smashed in the quake, the practitioners of Voodoo are feeling under seige.

Read the rest
Continue Reading