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Daniel Gérard Rouzier is another mistake by Martelly.

Rouzier’s father may have been an old Duvalierist who served in Duvalier’s cabinet, but it’s his dangerous economic ideologies that should alarm most Haitians. If Rouzier gets his way, Haiti will engage in the same devastating neoliberal economic policies that have already wrecked havoc in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Brazil, the only Latin American country that didn’t experience widespread poverty and skyrocketing urban crimes from the implementation of neoliberal economics starting back in the 1960s was Chile, and even then, the jobs that were produced in Chile lacked necessary social services & labor protection.

The no tariffs on imports that Rouzier has been advocating will further exacerbate Haiti’s stunted economic growth by allowing foreign imports to undermine Haiti’s own agricultural and industrial development. Every country tries to protect its own industry and development through various protectionist trade legislations, at least until its market is ready to compete freely in the global market. Haitian Politicians still refuse to protect the country’s wealth and develop its resources; agricultural & otherwise, and to stop the ‘racialized’ oligarchs within the country from funneling hundreds of millions of dollars abroad. When will these Haitian politicians confront the ravenous racialized oligarchs and foreign elite in Haiti and finally look out for the interests of all Haitians as opposed to just a few families hailing mostly from Germany, France, and Lebanon, Syria? Wouldn’t you think that the recent earthquake and its devastation would have at least created some type of sympathy, however small, in the heart of the blood-sucking ‘racialized’ elite?

The resurgence of Voodoo in mainstream haitian culture could potentially be a game changer.

The revival of Voodoo in mainstream haitian culture could be a sign that the stranglehold that Christianity has had on the country is rapidly diminishing. No longer confined to mere emollient display on the fringes, the religion of Voodoo has now reclaimed its rightful place in the collective psyche of the citizenry and haitian mainstream culture. Due to its insipidity, maladaptiveness for those of African ancestry, and its reliance on a hierarchical structure that spans the globe, Christian theology could never fully compete with the more colloquial customs and traditions of Voodoo.
Every society has ideas (values and norms) that spell out how its citizens ought to live. The more adaptive these customs are, the more likely that particular society will enjoy success relative to its global counterparts. Voodoo, as with all other religions, arose out of the collective experience of living in a social group, hence its religious practices and beliefs affirm a person’s place in society, enhance feelings of community, and give the practitioners a certain level of confidence. Although a third of the haitian population is reportedly of Catholic faith, Voodoo beliefs and practices were never fully abandoned. In fact, Haitians are known to resort to Voodoo whenever conventional methods can’t provide relief to a serious or life-threatening illness.

By losing their ancestral religion due to the trans-continental slave trade, Blacks around the globe have had the hardest time coping during the past 400 years. Although Voodoo had always been co-opted and hybridized with Christian theology in various forms in places like Haiti and Cuba, such hybrid adaptations never truly provided the type of collective strength and cohesiveness for Blacks that are so typical of the role of religions in the lives of its practitioners. And as much as Haitians tried their best to retain Voodoo practices in subtle rituals in tandem with the Christian Bible during slavery, any gain from it was at best marginal. Voodoo rituals were strictly prohibited then, and there was a great deal of propaganda waged against it. It wasn’t until 1987 that the haitian constitution officially recognized Voodoo, Aristide would later proclaim it a state religion.

In order to fully understand why displaced Blacks throughout the new world insisted on holding on to their former religious rituals and practices, the answer may be found in the new religious doctrines to which they were exposed. Christian identity has always been a loosely affiliated global group of churches and individuals devoted to a racialized theology that primarily encouraged the subjugation of Blacks and other non-whites. One of the central tenets stemming from that theology is the belief that North European whites are the direct descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, God’s chosen people. The KKK , for instance, even used Christianity and the teachings of Jesus to justify their hatred of Blacks. They quoted Jesus as saying to the Jews in John 10:24-27: “Ye are not of my sheep….My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
Slavery was also encouraged and condoned by the Christian church, and its main justification is to be found in Genesis 9: 25-27; “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem’.” This Genesis part of the Scriptures resonated with Christians primarily because they believed at the time that Canaan had settled in Africa and that his descendents had become black.
It is quite clear that it is impossible for Blacks to collectively thrive in such a pro-European and anti-Black religious atmosphere. Africans who were introduced to Christianity were hence exposed to a culture with customs and religious beliefs that were particularly suited to advance the collective interests of Northern Europeans, not the descendants of Africans. Voodoo, on the other hand, not only suited the spiritual and psychological needs of Blacks, it had also provided colloquial mechanisms to deal with everyday concerns such as anxiety and uncertainty that were handed down from one generation to the next. Its resurgence in Haiti, after four centuries in a hybridized form, may indeed be a game changer and may help foster the kind of deep collective purpose and national identity that are so desperately needed to sustain any long term prosperity and recovery.
The Voodoo pantheon is represented by a combination of remnants of African tribal religions and some elements of Catholic Christianity. It also includes deities, spirits, and ancestor veneration. Spirits fall into two categories; Rada, the calm, happy spirits, and Petro, the animated spirits often associated with black magic. For a detailed rundown on the religion of Voodoo, visit the website http://www.streetprophets.com/storyonly/2010/1/14/12374/8282

Martelly’s plan to tax money transfers is very bad for Haiti

Martelly’s plan to tax money transfers to Haiti is the single most destructive item on his agenda platform so far and sadly represents a continuation of the status quo whereby the elite still refuses to play by the rules . On the surface, the surcharge looks pretty innocuous. After all, it’s the big economic elephant in the room; an untapped goldmine that has been the most stable element of Haiti’s fragile economic infrastructure. And with its taxation being allocated toward the popular educational reform, it’s quite understandable why most of us would quickly agree to the proposal without giving it further consideration. But, if one looks deeper into the proposal, a couple of things start to become clearer; it’s not the Diaspora that’s going to feel the brunt of the tax, but rather the recipients of those money transfers. It’s pretty much akin to raising taxes on a single hard working mother with five kids, the children always end up feeling the brunt of the effect more. Similarly, when a hard working member of the Diaspora sends money to his family back in Haiti, that money helps those living in Haiti, and if taxed, it is those people who will feel the brunt of the effect of the surcharge, not the sender. Simply put, a $120 money transfer, if taxed $5 for example, will turn into a $115 remittance, hence less money for the receiver.
Moreover, such surcharge will certainly have a negative multiplier effect on the economy as consumption is likely to go down. The macro-economic indicators in Haiti have always shown remittances from abroad to play an integral role in the economic infrastructure of the country and have also created a spill over economic effect that has permeated every aspect of the country’s economy and daily life. When the financial crisis buffeted Haiti in the mid nineties, it was partly due to this money from abroad that Haiti didn’t suffer a full economic collapse.
Haiti continues to be beset by the same problems that have plagued it since its inception; those who possess the bulk of the resources refuse to abdicate some of the wealth in favor of their brethren. While it may be a universally practiced sin, one would think that a post earthquake Haiti would foster a different set of attitudes, albeit a patriotic one toward a country that has provided so many blessings to this small faction. By pushing Martelly to twist the arms of the Diaspora under the banner of Educational Reform in search of additional revenues, they have shown quite ostensibly that no amount of devastation will ever suffice to make them adopt a more Haiti-friendly posture, both geo-politically and economically. The sad truth is, it is the practice of capital flight, poor economic infrastructure, rampant corruption, and also political instability that have impeded economic progress in Haiti. As mentioned above, the rich in Haiti have greatly benefited from capital flight by funneling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of capital out of the country while reaping a hefty profit from the ensuing devaluation of the Haitian dollar as a result of their actions. These were the same people who pushed for de-regulation, privatization, and monetary policies during the Aristide presidency that have exacerbated Haiti’s economic woes even more. And now, with the poor in Haiti no longer being able to quench their thirst for easy capital, the elite have now set their sights on the Diaspora in a last ditch effort to abstain from having to abdicate some of their wealth toward the recovery of a country that they had never considered to be their own to begin with.

Is Sarah Palin using Haiti to raise money for her 2012 campaign?

Is Sarah Palin using Haiti to raise money for her 2012 campaign?
The politically humorous idea of a politician stealing candy from a baby is being sadly outdone by Sarah Palin and her evangelist support crew of pals Graham & Co. As inconceivable as it may sound, it turns out that US tax dollars are being funneled from the United States Agency for International Development to Billy Graham’s charities for use in Christian proselytizing. But that money, it seems, is going straight to the campaign coffers of aspiring presidential candidate Sarah Palin who, in an attempt to convey her sincerity, even went to Haiti last year as part of a so-called charity mission. Samaritan’s Purse, the charity organization that primarily sponsored Mrs. Palin trip to Haiti has teamed up with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association with apparently two things in mind; one is to take the country of Haiti back from voodoo, despair, and sin, and the other is to raise millions of dollars through the tax payer-funded USAID that sadly Haitians may never see. As disingenuous as Graham’s intentions are, they probably still would not raise eyebrows had it not been for the fact that Billy Graham is actively building Sarah Palin’s 2012 campaign.
The story of NGOs in Haiti is the saddest part of this whole recovery process, and unfortunately Sarah Palin is not the only one to actively seek to profit from the earthquake disaster that struck the country in 2010. Haiti has become a massively swelled teat on which NGOs profitably suckle, and much of the money that has been raised in Haiti’s name has not been spent. Haitian-owned firms have received less than 2% of all the contracts that have been awarded for the reconstruction effort. An audit by USAID’s Inspector General found that 70% of the cash awarded to the two largest U.S contractors was spent on equipment and materials (bought outside of Haiti), meaning just 8,000 Haitians a day were hired instead of the promised 25,000 a day.

OBama Has Killed Osama Bin Laden

By Socrate Simeon

Now that Obama has achieved what the Bush administration
couldn’t do in eight years by killing Osama Bin Laden, will the Republicans
finally give him some credit? Although Republicans often claim that security of
the US is their biggest political asset and strength, somehow Obama has managed
to be a more capable president when it comes to defense. The war in Iraq was
always seen as a big distraction that kept the previous administration from
concentrating a full concerted effort in the search and hunt for Osama bin
laden. Upon assuming office, Obama had, from day one, always targeted specific targets
in the war on terror that usually involved drone missile strikes mostly in the
border regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, it seemed like it was just a
matter of time before they would hit the biggest target. How will the Republicans,
Fox Network, Wall Street Journal, etc react to what certainly seems as a big
victory for a president whom they spent so many resources vilifying and demonizing.
And on the democratic side, will the democrats finally be able to rebuke the
republicans’ claims that they are the ones with a monopoly on defending the
country.

Socrate Simeon