Bush chides Haiti's president over Chavez ties

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Guysanto
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Bush chides Haiti's president over Chavez ties

Post by Guysanto » Wed May 09, 2007 9:35 am

Bush chides Haiti's president over Chavez ties, May 8, 2007
By Pablo Bachelet
McClatchy Newspapers
(MCT)

WASHINGTON - President Bush gently rebuked Haitian President Rene Preval on Tuesday for his growing friendship with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, noting that unlike Caracas, Washington delivers on the aid it promises, U.S. officials said.

Preval was on his first official visit to the United States since taking power one year ago, carrying a long shopping list that included better protection for undocumented Haitian migrants and more U.S. investments in his impoverished country.

Preval has brought a measure of stability to a nation with a long history of political convulsions and, at least in public, Bush was all praise for Preval.

``I thank you for having one of the toughest jobs in the world,'' Bush said after their White House meeting, ``and that is to bring prosperity and security to your country.''

The two also discussed the Haitian economy, security and drug trafficking, according to Bush. The host did not mention Venezuela, but one White House official said Chavez came up.

``They discussed Venezuela, and the discussion in part was a reminder that the United States actually delivers on its commitments,'' said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to comment more freely on the meeting.

Washington is Haiti's top foreign aid donor, providing about $200 million a year. But the independent-minded Preval was in Caracas last month attending a summit of leftist leaders hosted by Chavez. In a March visit to Haiti, Chavez called the United States ``the cruelest, most terrible, most cynical, most murderous empire that has existed.''

Chavez has promised vast amounts of aid to Haiti, including $57 million to rebuild airports, a cheap oil deal that could save the country up to $150 million and a new oil refinery.

Observers say that Preval is acting more out of self-interest than any anti-U.S. motivations, since Haiti needs all the help it can get.

``Preval is trying to find the sweet spot between Venezuela and the United States,'' said Daniel Erikson, a Haiti specialist at the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington.

But U.S. officials note that much of Venezuela's promised aid has yet to arrive, and they contrast this with the $700 million that Washington has provided Haiti since 2004.

Overall, the administration credits Preval with building a broad domestic coalition to heal the country's fractious politics. His delegation included the presidents of both Haitian chambers of Congress, as well as business and union leaders.

``He's cast a wide net,'' said Janet Sanderson, the U.S. ambassador to Haiti. ``He deserves high marks for that.''

Preval also met with members of the Congressional black caucus, his staunchest champions in Congress.

Reps. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat who heads the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and Kendrick Meek, the Florida Democrat also on the panel, are pushing for an expansion of special trade preferences for Haiti's textile sector. Meek also wants the administration to stop sending back undocumented migrants.

Raymond Joseph, Haiti's ambassador in Washington, says Haiti wants to extend the textile pact beyond the current three years and expand to include industries like auto parts and electronics.

There's talk of folding several Haiti migration initiatives into a broader immigration reform proposal, and Bush said he would take Haiti's special concerns into consideration.

``I assured him that I am working hard to get a comprehensive immigration bill passed out of the Congress this year,'' Bush said, ``And I think, Mr. President, with hard work and goodwill, we can get a bill that will satisfy your concerns.''

Tidodo
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Post by Tidodo » Wed May 09, 2007 10:53 am

[quote]Washington is Haiti's top foreign aid donor, providing about $200 million a year........

But U.S. officials note that much of Venezuela's promised aid has yet to arrive, and they contrast this with the $700 million that Washington has provided Haiti since 2004.[/quote]

Considering that Haiti has been going from bad to worse, as long as I can remember, it begs to question the value of this aid. Quantitatively, $200 million may appear significant, how much of it is economic aid? Qualitatively, how much of it goes back to the USA in the form of consultants' salary, subsidies to struggling industries and markets in the USA, interest payment on their own loans through international organizations, and military aid, just to name a few? When the USA gives aid, most of the times it is military. Development and economic aids are usually provided by private donors. Perhaps, instead of whining to Preval, Washington should use this opportunity to reevaluate the quality of the aid they provide to Haiti. "It is the economy, stupid!"

Did they ever complain about the aid from Cuba? If not, it is an admission that all these dollars they are waving at our faces are not comparable to the quality aid from Cuba. Could it be that Cuba is the top foreign aid donor now? Qualitatively and quantitatively, there may be no comparison!

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Guysanto
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Post by Guysanto » Wed May 09, 2007 3:04 pm

[quote]Did they ever complain about the aid from Cuba? If not, it is an admission that all these dollars they are waving at our faces are not comparable to the quality aid from Cuba. Could it be that Cuba is the top foreign aid donor now? Qualitatively and quantitatively, there may be no comparison![/quote]
Someone said that there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. I see claims of international generosity to Haiti in that light, for much the same reasons that you cited, Tidodo.

One has to measure it for the good that actually comes out of it, that makes a positive difference in people's lives. Not to deny the high level of administrative corruption in Haiti's civic and government affairs, I still think that "bad governance" is in the eye of the beholder (see: billions and billions of dollars vanishing without a trace from Iraq's economy under U.S. military occupation and administrative management of the "post-war" reconstruction; see: how the high priest of good governance, Paul Wolfowitz, managed a real "sweetheart" deal for his own sweetheart, after screwing millions of Iraqis of their livelihood). Need I mention Enron, etc? I don't think so, but mention must be made of one billion dollars "given" to Haiti by the U.S. to reform its judicial system. Never mind that the U.S. consultant chosen to oversee the judicial reforms was an ex-convict from the California penitentiary system. But much was made of that "one billion dollars" that somehow "Haiti" (???) was just... too incompetent or too uncaring to absorb for its own good. Never mind that most of the disbursements went right back to the U.S. economy. America loves the boomerang effect of giving. It adds to the urban legend of the U.S. government's foreign aid record situating it as the most generous on Earth, leaving a trail of blood in its wake.

Measured as a percentage of the GNP/GDP though, the U.S. ranks among the least generous of industrialized countries... unless you factor in somehow (everything has a price) the unending flow of missionary assistance, which may cause one to wonder what should be considered the ultimate objective: a reduction in the misery index or an increase in the weight of souls waiting to go through the gates of biblical heaven. In the here and now, I favor approaches to inter-fraternal assistance that can be evaluated, even if subjectively, in terms of benefits to public health (thank you, by the way, Paul Farmer!), agronomy, fishery, literacy, and all that good stuff that tends to make life less miserable for many. But when the aid is construed only in millions of dollars that are always deceivingly counted, with no measurable impact on the population other than the alarming rates of brain drain and desperation, then one has to wonder about the true meaning of foreign aid. Is it only a tool of dominance of one nation over another?

Quantitatively, there will always be comparisons because that's what economics majors must do to justify the sweetheart deals of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, those stalwarts of good governance of the world's resources. Qualitatively however, it is not easy to convince a starving woman that she is only expecting a bundle of joy.

Michel Nau
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Post by Michel Nau » Wed May 09, 2007 5:21 pm

TiDodo wrote: [quote]Did they ever complain about the aid from Cuba?
If not, it is an admission that all these dollars they are waving at our faces are not comparable to the quality aid from Cuba.
Could it be that Cuba is the top foreign aid donor now?
Qualitatively and quantitatively, there may be no comparison![/quote] TiDodo, the aid from Cuba is more an upper hand to the Haitians as far is concern people to people.
Most of the Cuban aid is manpower, doctors, engineers, agronomists etc.
If we want to put a value qualitative or quantitative, this kind of aid is priceless.
This is a "no string attached" type of aid although Cuba needs our membership vote and support during international issues.

At the contrary, the American aid to Haiti is quite different in term of diplomatic relation. They are not aiding us; they are sustaining the entire country.

Two third of the operating budget of the Haitian government is subsidized by foreign assistance, including President Preval and Vice President Alexis salary, and the entire government employees.

Guy, demanti'm nan sa ke mwen di la, si se manti ke map bay.

Asking where all these billion dollars in foreign aid to Haiti went to without analyzing how and when they came in through is an unfair assessment. The same for the Haitian Diaspora's billion of dollars.
Di ke blan bay pep ayisyen lajan nan min dwat, e li reprand li nan min goch, se yon avilisman a intelijan pep la e dirijan yo.
Bagay yo pa fasil konsa, min nou di li pou enmerde moun serye.

Pou zafe koripsyon an :
Pafwa le yon moun di yon Ayisyen:
Mon che, yon se yon volo!!!

Olye ke Ayisyen defand tet li kont akizasyon sa, li pito repond :
W menm tou, w se yon volo !!

Ki donk, diskisyon fini la menm, paske 4 je kontre verite deyo.

Le gen trop volo nan yon peyi, li tre difisil, e menm preske inposib pou konbat koripsyon. Sesi pa pou Ayiti selman, min pou anpil lot peyi tou.

Fok seta yon pinisyon primitiv e drastik pou yo ta pran kote ke yap koupe dwet e koupe min volo pou ke konkretman e fisikman, san pa gen manti ladan pou pep la e tout piblik la we ki yes ki volo yo.

Michel

Leoneljb
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Post by Leoneljb » Thu May 10, 2007 8:34 am

I think that I've mentioned this before. The only Countries that the US really help are Israel and Egypt (I dont know if the latter is receiving any help recently)...
I agree with Tidodo, Cuba is a true helper!
"Do not feed me a fish daily. Show me how to fish."
This is called Self-Dependency or Self-Sufficiency. Guess what? The US Govt wouldn't want that. For, they would want to bribe or put pressure whenever they feel like it.
This is not the case of "Ou sou do bEf, w'ap pale'l mal". It is a fact. American Interest and the New World Order where the US can control everyone especially Haiti. It will choose their Friends and enemies.
Leonel

Zanfanginen

Post by Zanfanginen » Thu May 10, 2007 12:23 pm

[quote]``They discussed Venezuela, and the discussion in part was a reminder that the United States actually delivers on its commitments,'' said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to comment more freely on the meeting.
[/quote]

Once again, the arrogance of President Bush and fellow croonies in full display.

Caroline_

its mind boggling

Post by Caroline_ » Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:14 am

I just read 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman' and 'Secret History of the American Empire' (john perkins) and am currently re-reading Paul Farmer's book, 'Uses of Haiti.'

I actually did most of this reading while IN Haiti, which was pretty mind boggling.

I don't even know where to start or what to say on this topic but I will say that I pray for everyone who has the courage to stand up and speak the truth... people like Sean Penn, Hugo Chavez, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Paul Farmer, Noam Chomsky... They're probably humanity's only hope.

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