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The Destruction of Haiti and Bill Clinton’s Legacy as the Death Toll Climbs.

Earthquake Debris Continues to Clog Port-au-Prince Streets by United Nations Photo
(Earthquake Debris Continues to…from United Nations photo courtesy of Flickr)

One of Bill Clinton’s accomplishments during his presidency was to successfully strong-arm Haiti into joining NAFTA. Absent tariff protections, cheap imported subsidized U.S. rice flooded the Haitian market under “free trade” protocols. First destroying  Haiti’s agrarian subsistence economy; then, soon after, it’s societal structure. Thanks Bill they said.

You can read Clinton’s empty one percenter apology for the destruction of the Haitian economy here, if you have a stronger stomach than I. The memorable quote is this : “We Made a Devil’s Bargain”.

Within months of NAFTAs implementation, unable to sell their organic rice any longer, a reverse diaspora began with hundreds of thousands of starving Haitian people converging upon Port-au-Prince to build and inhabit yet another obscenely unecessary slum on this planet. Thanks Bill they said.

Of course you can see where this story is leading us. Formal census tallies counted the population of  Port-au-Prince at some 900,000 in 2009. However, that tally only reflects the “real” people that anyone actually cared about. Meanwhile the shacks and shanties that had arisen blanketing all the hills surrounding the amphitheater-like geography of Port-au-Prince had in fact increased the population to perhaps as much as 3.7 million. Nobody really seems to know, or care. On January 12th, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake occurred with an epicenter some 16 miles to the West of Port-au-Prince. The current revised death toll is a range of between 250,000 and 300,000 people. Nobody really seems to know, or care. Thanks Bill they said.

Since the earthquake the UN moved in to Haiti. Their biggest contribution to date appears to have been the introduction of a previously unknown to Haiti strain of Southeast Asian cholera. Seven thousand Haitians have perished over the past twelve months in this epidemic. An additional 500 hundred people are dying monthly, with no end in sight for the carnage in the forseeable future. Why? Nobody really seems to know or care. Insufficient resources perhaps? Thanks Bill they said. 

The BBC has done some excellent reporting on the cholera epidemic here, here, and here.

From the BBC and that third link provided above :

Almost 500,000 people – some 5% of the population – have been infected by cholera since the outbreak began in October 2010, according to the Haitian Ministry of Health.

I remember the photo ops of former president Clinton visiting  Haiti in the months after the earthquake, something or other to do with Sweat-Shops-R-Us job creation on behalf of transnational corporations. Meanwhile, yesterday I caught a replay of a portion of Thom Hartmann’s radio broadcast wherein he stated that he really didn’t think Clinton, or anyone else for that matter, intended any actual harm when they went about plotting and conniving and scheming to implement “Free Trade”. Thom……brother…….the least accusatory and abrasive thing I can say in reply is that you are a fucking idiot and a really big disappointment. Evil does exist in this world Thom, and at best you are a cowardly apologist.

Fuck you Bill, is what I say. Oh yeah,  and you too Thom.

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Robert Alexander Dumas

Robert Alexander Dumas

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