Caribbean Political Economy

ALBA Advances Towards ‘Alternative Economic Model’, Rachael Boothroyd

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From 6 February 2012

The presidents discussed a series of themes relating to ALBA’s role within the regional economy and various foreign policy issues. The body also approved several declarations relating to global political concerns, including pronouncements on Syria and the current diplomatic altercation between the UK and Argentina with relation to the Falkland Islands….

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Agreements and Declarations at XI ALBA Summit

South American Cooperation with Haiti, Claudia Florentin

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First in a series that will examine South American cooperation with Haiti, post-earthquake. Claudia Florentin is ALC South American Editor.

This South American cooperation “attempts to diminish the dependency of developing countries in relation to the more developed, by strengthening the relationships between the former, and their national, regional and collective self-esteem…

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ALBA Countries to Develop Road Map for Haiti’s Reconstruction, TeleSur

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Webmaster’s note: the XI ALBA Summit held in Caracas February 4 (which was, as is customary, virtually blanked by the mainstream media) manifested the continuing vitality of this emerging bloc. Decisions were taken on the consolidation of an ALBA economic,   space and on an ALBA-Haiti reconstruction programme. Present at the Summit were the leaders of three CARICOM countries who are also ALBA members, and Haitian President Michel Martelly, who announced that his country was exploring the possibility of becoming a full member of ALBA.

Caracas 4 February 2012 (Telesur) The countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) are developing a roadmap to assist in the reconstruction of Haiti, prioritising health, education, energy, food production, infrastructure and training of qualified personnel…

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St Lucia, Suriname, declare interest in joining ALBA

Caribbean states join Mercosur in barring Falklands’ flagged vessels from their ports Merco Press

Haiti Two Years After, Joel Dreyfuss

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An accompanying note from Mariama Williams says “For the women, men and children still in tents and coping with long duree of aftereffects have been quite inspiring to me…You and your fellow Haitians are exempleries of resilience, strength and courage but mostly love and care.”

Beyond disappointment at the slow progress of reconstruction, many Haitians and Haitian Americans have begun to lose faith. We have begun to wonder if the sharp divisions of class and color in Haiti are an unavoidable obstacle to progress, and realize that they must be overcome for the poor Caribbean nation of 10 million to move forward…

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Haiti’s ‘dream house’ nightmare, Ayiti Kale Je

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Ayiti Kale Je (Haiti Grassroots Watch) is a collaboration of grassroots media organizations which focuses on monitoring the country’s reconstruction from the viewpoint of Haiti’s majority.

Cité Soleil, Dec. 14, 2011 – While over one million refugees suffered under tents following the January 12, 2010, earthquake, 128 newly constructed homes, finished in May, 2010, sat empty for 15 months. Today, the majority of these “social housing” units are occupied, but mostly by illegal squatters who broke in by smashing windows and doors…

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Haiti one year after the donor conference, Roger Annis

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Statements by the President of the UN Security Council, the Cuban Foreign Minister and the CARICOM Heads of Government deplore the broken promises of the ‘international community’ to the Hatian people.

View the Security Council debate and read CARICOM and Cuban statements

Haitian social organizations depict a record of failure and advocate an alternative construction, PAPDA

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Help give a voice to the Haitian people by circulating this statement widely

On the first anniversary of the conference of donors on the “Reconstruction of Haiti”, held at UN headquarters in New York in late March 2010, our representatives and representatives of some forty organizations and sectors in Haitian society, meeting in Port-au-Prince March 26, 2011, have reflected on the path followed by our country since this conference. A year after the promises of reconstruction with billions of U.S. dollars, we find that nothing significant has really been undertaken. No rupture was initiated with the approaches and practices that have, over the years, impoverished and rendered so vulnerable and the Republic of Haiti…

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Statement in PDF format Please circulate widely

French original with list of signatory organisations

Haiti One Year Later: The Failure of an Imperial Trusteeship, Alex Dupuy

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Alex Dupuy

Alex Dupuy

Alex Dupuy, a native of Haiti, is a professor of sociology at Wesleyan University and the author most recently of “The Prophet and Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Inter-national Community, and Haiti.” From the Stabroek News, January 10, 2011 (A shorter version first appeared in the Washington Post on Friday, January 7, 2011.)

The international community responded immediately and massively to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010…The Haitian population welcomed and was grateful for the humanitarian response and gesture of international solidarity. By contrast, today Haitians are increasingly impatient, discontented, and saying “they’ve had enough” with the United Nations, the international community, and the Haitian government for the lack of progress in rebuilding the economy and the lives shattered by the earthquake…

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Haiti–CARICOM Consultations Advance Capacity-Building Support, OSR

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From the Office of the CARICOM Special Representative on Haiti

The Government of Haiti and representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have agreed on project proposals designed to strengthen Haiti’s institutional and technical capacity in three priority areas: housing and settlement development; physical and environmental planning; and infrastructure development and coordination…

Text of Communique

Protest letter from Haitian members of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission to Co-Chairmen

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A letter from the 12 Haitian members of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission details their systematic marginalisation from information and decision-making in the affairs of the Commission. The letter was sent to a meeting of the Commssion held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on December 14, 2010 which was chaired by Bill Clinton. Co-chair Haitian Prime Minister Max Bellerive did not attend.

Text of Letter from Haitian IHRC members (PDF file)

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Massive irrgeularities found in Haitian elections CSME Network News

Haiti: The Dismissal Of Ricardo Seitenfus and The Fight Against Cholera, Fidel Castro

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On December 25, 2010, the Organization of American States announced the dismissal of its Special Representative in Haiti, the distinguished Brazilian diplomat, Ricardo Seitenfus. This dismissal followed the publication of an interview with Seitenfus by the Swiss Newspaper, Le Temps. In this commentary, the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, quotes extensively from the Seitenfus interview; and gives new information on the Cuban medical programme in Haiti and the fight against cholera.

The OAS Secretary General, decided, at the beginning of 2009, to appoint as his personal representative in Haiti a Brazilian intellectual, Ricardo Seitenfus who at that time was working in his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Seitenfus was enjoying well-deserved prestige in diplomatic and government circles in the Haitian capital because of the seriousness and openness with which he was dealing with the problems. In 1993 he had written a book called “Haiti: Sovereignty of the Dictators”. He visited Haiti for the first time that year…

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Haiti in the hands of the NGOs Christophe Wargny, Le Monde Diplomatique

The Real Heroes of the Haitian Earthquake Disaster, Nina Lakhani

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From the U.K. Independent, December 26, 2010

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…

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Brazil funds Cuban aid programme in Haiti with $80 million Cuba News

For a Caribbean Service Corps, Norman Girvan

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The controversy unleashed by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s statement on disaster relief for neighbouring Caribbean islands raises the larger question of appropriate modalities of assistance, and Caricom policy. This commentary proposes a Caribbean Service Corps,  to lend support to the rebuilding of the Haitian primary and secondary school system; and suggests that such a modality might be utilised for other,  similar events.

Read commentary,  ,  ,  ,  

The G20 Meeting and the Haitian Cholera Epidemic, Fidel Castro

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The Cuban leader explains the history of the G20, where over 160 nations are unrepresented, and comments that “Not a single word has been said about the cholera epidemics, a disease that for years affected many countries in South America and could spread throughout the Caribbean and other parts of our hemisphere.”

Read Fidel’s commentary

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What’s Happening in Haiti? Emiliano Mariscal

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The following is an English translation of an item that was published on the website of ALBA-TCP on Thursday 4, November and forwarded by a colleague. It appears to be a letter written by an Argentine doctor serving with the Cuban medical brigade in Haiti to,  his friends and family,  in response to their concerns,  about the cholera outbreak and the,  approach of tropical storm/hurricane Tomas. It relates how,  the Cuban medical brigade, working with the Haitian authorities, helped to detect,  the cholera outbreak, to provide early treatment,,  and to delay its spread to Port au Prince.,  Such examples of,  solidarity seem to be,  worth emulating in the light of the controversy that has broken out in CARICOM over conditions attached,  to relief assistance.

To my friends and family: These lines are meant to provide information on the health situation in Haiti, as a result of the concern of many friends who have written asking about conditions here. The first thing I can say is that we have a disease–cholera–which has not been reported in this country for over 100 years. Secondly, that it is one of the most dreaded diseases here, given the ideal conditions that exist for its persistence and spread…

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CAFRA Alert on Hurricane Tomas, Haiti and St Lucia

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The Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action CAFRA is telling of desperate attempts to secure Haitians as hurricane Tomas approaches,  ; and of the human and physical toll of the hurricane on the people of St Lucia.

Haiti 2010: Exploiting Disaster, Peter Hallward

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In the Afterword to his forthcoming book Damning the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment (Verso, 2010) Peter Hallward shows how “the factors that magnified the impact (of the January 2010 earthquake), and the responses it has solicited, are part and parcel of the fundamental conflict that has structured the last thirty years of Haitian history: the conflict between pí¨p la (the people, the poor) and members of the privileged elite, along with the armed forces and international collaborators who defend them.”

Click here for ‘Exploiting Disaster’ (PDF file)



Norway will pay for the purchase and transport of Cuban medical supplies to Haiti, where 855 Cuban physicians are providing services.

The Renaissance of Haiti: A Template for Caribbean Integration P.J. Patterson. Twelfth Annual Eric Williams Memorial Lecture, FIU, October 15 2010

Haitian Farmers Call For a Break with Neoliberalism, Grain

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Peasant organisations in Haiti are angry at the Haitian authorities for allowing multinational donors and corporations to take advantage of the post-earthquake reconstruction programme to deepen the country’s reliance on the outside world. They are calling instead for a radical programme of agricultural reconstruction, to rebuild the country’s ravaged peasantry and bring about food sovereignty…

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Haitian Aid: Questions for Caricom to Answer, Clement Payne Movement

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The Clement Payne Movement is requesting that the CARICOM Secretariat inform the Caribbean people whether the promised grant to the Haitan Government was ever made and if so, when it was made and how much money was donated…

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Haiti, CARICOM and the UWI: Rising to the Challenge, E. Nigel Harris

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Professor Nigel Harris is Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. In his Eric Williams Memorial Lecture delivered at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago on July 9, 2010; he speaks of the practical steps the UWI is taking in response to Haiti’s needs after the earthquake.

The catastrophic earthquake of January 12, 2010, despite its terrible immediate consequences, may prove to be the moment of greatest opportunity for Haiti. For the former Imperial powers of Europe and the USA, this is a moment of opportunity unequal to any other to redeem the past wrongs done to Haiti over the past two centuries. Indeed for our global community this is a time when a country so terribly misunderstood and misrepresented can be wrapped into the bosom of the world community with dignity and respect. This is a moment of no less importance for CARICOM, since that organisation can lead the world in bringing Haiti truly into the global fold…

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Video showing National Library of Haiti during the earthquake

2oo Haitian students for UWI St Augustine Campus Trinidad Guardian

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