On China and Haiti/Ayiti

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Empress Verite

On China and Haiti/Ayiti

Post by Empress Verite » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:00 pm

Sak Pase?

This is a great and revealing piece about the new trades being done by CAFTA countries like the DR that affects Haitians in the textile industry (right up my alley in terms of my dissertation. I advocate Hemp myself threads and organic cotton.)

Read on and it would be great if we could respond to this and sign the petitions that the author has going.
EV
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http://www.louisianaweekly.com/weekly/news/articlegate

China Undercuts Black Economies

By Harry C. Alford, NNPA Columnist
October 30, 2006 talkback

"Oh, the wolves are of another mind." It is very strange and downright sad how some of the best pieces of good legislation can be hijacked and used against the very people it is supposed to be benefiting. Not only that, those who think they are representing a certain group of people are the ones who actually pull the "trigger" or drop the "lever" upside their head.

Such is the case with the so-called "Africa Growth and Opportunity Act." It could have been such a beautiful event but it went the way of greed and advantage for China and those who do business with China. There was a loophole in this legislation that allow "third countries" to be used as substitutes for African countries when it came to textile production. China and sometimes India jumped right in with their processed cotton. As a result, you may buy clothes that say "Made in Kenya" or "Made in Nigeria" but the reality is the cotton was grown and processed in China. The textile industry in nations such as Nigeria and the cotton farmers from Kenya and other nations have been devastated. This nation through its so-called conscience has, in effect, laid the environment to bring economic devastation to villages and towns throughout Africa.

This third-party exemption was supposed to stop at the end of 2006. But, you know what, the same people who caused it to be, some members of the Congressional Black Caucus included, have surfaced again in an attempt to extend it. Why? As rap mogul P Diddy once proclaimed, "It's all about the Benjamins." Lobbyists representing China and companies that do business with China are slinging cash up on Capitol Hill, causing certain congressmen to do the craziest things. AGOA is supposed to be about Africa doing business with the United States and no third country interference or exploitation. Sadly, that hasn't happen.

In addition to doing the whammy on Africa again, the greedy have enlarged its appetite for Haiti. The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), like AGOA was to open the doors for economic development between the United States and Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. This time, they got it right in that no third country substitutions can be allowed. But the wolves thought hard and came up with an even sinister scheme. They are proposing to extend the exemption clause in AGOA but also make it applicable to Haiti.

Why Haiti? It's simple. They can cram China cotton into Haiti and block any textile business in the CAFTA nations. Keep in mind that millions of people of African descent live and work in CAFTA nations. The Dominican Republic, which shares an island with Haiti, is 60 percent Black. It is quickly developing textiles under CAFTA via business with the United States. It also employs many Haitians. When China gets its hooks into Haiti, there won't be anymore textile activity in the Dominican Republic or anywhere else in CAFTA. Like AGOA and Africa, they are going to devastate people of color. Meanwhile, Haiti will get some menial jobs but no business ownership or wealth creation. The clients of the lobbyists will continue to make big time profits at the expense of Americans and workers in the Diaspora. Haiti is getting set up and doesn't see it coming.

We are going to Capitol Hill this week with the Kenya Chamber of Commerce to expose the sad history on these actions and to express our dismay. We need to let those who want to hear the truth understand just what damage is being done and how real Black folk deserve a better deal. If it weren't for the love of money, quick sinister money, we would not have to do this. Sometimes I want to scream and cry at the same time. We have to go and find White folk who will be fair minded and step up to do the right thing. Black folks who should be in the vanguard of the opposition. Associations that claim to be focused on Africa are actually brain dead when it comes to economic empowerment and financial freedom. We will win this fight but it is going to take some serious calling out and unfortunate confrontation with people of my own color.

Ignorance is not bliss and someday we will be able to school our own to do the right thing. Please remember - there is nothing slimier than for-hire Negro lobbyists selling out their own people for a few crumbs off the table (or under it).

Harry C. Alford is the President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Email: president@nationalbcc.org

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

Useful article

Post by Ezili Danto » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:22 pm

Onè Empress Verite,

Thank you for this article.

It's illuminates an aspect that I frankly had no idea about even though our Washington folks have been pushing against some of the current bills in Congress that are not about Haitian ownership and wealth building, but further platforms to exploitation, dependency, or simply to undermine government through USAID-sort neocolonialism "aid" that never trickles down to those most in need but enriches the sweatshop-kingpin-middle-men.

This aspect of China's role needs further analyzes. There are many questions to be explore with this. I'd like to know how the current Haitian textile bill in front of Congress right now on Haiti, which has been shelved for two years, would be affected by Harry C. Alford's above-analysis of the misusage of CAFTA and Africa Growth and Opportunity Act's provisions. We know the role China has been playing in the Security Council with Haiti and in punishing Haiti for its relationship with Taiwan. But, the ins and outs of the current legislations are not my forte, but I do know our Network has come out against the HOPE legislation that supposedly would lower tariffs in certain sectors and promote greater U.S.-Haiti trade. Don't follow all the particulars because we have experts on such stuff who do. All I know is that when Stanley Lucas is supporting an act for Haiti, that pretty much means it won't be useful to the ordinary Haitians. (See, The International Aid Debacle: How to Get a Return on the Investment in Haiti By Stanley Lucas, August 10, 2006 ) But this side of matters explored by the above-article is important to know. Perhaps our folks do know it, but I didn't. At least now I know to ask these questions of those more knowleageable and working in this legislative arena. Thanks for the article. Men anpil chay pa lou.

Respè

ED

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

Haiti supports Taiwan at UN, China strenuously objects

Post by Ezili Danto » Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:36 pm

Rift with China puts U.N. aid to Haiti at risk

By Jacqueline Charles

Miami Herald

October 27, 2006

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/15859602.htm

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Foreign diplomats say they are feverishly working behind the scenes to mend a Haitian flap with China that could jeopardize the U.N. peacekeeping force deployed here.

The diplomats said China, which has veto power in the U.N. Security Council, is threatening to veto the renewal of the U.N. peacekeeping operations in Haiti when it comes up for a vote in February. China also has 130 police officers serving in Haiti as part of the U.N. mission.

The Haitian government sparked the threat when it unsuccessfully attempted in September to put a pro-Taiwan proposal on the U.N. General Assembly's agenda.

Haiti has long favored Taiwan in its struggle for recognition against Beijing, and Taiwan has provided massive financial aid for development and anti-poverty programs.

''It's a serious threat,'' said a foreign diplomat familiar with the incident. The diplomat asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the dispute.

The Chinese delegations at the United Nations and in Port-au-Prince declined comment on the issue.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice showed concern, calling Haitian President Renè Prèval to ask why his government would risk angering Beijing.

Prèval, who confirmed the phone call in an interview with The Miami Herald, said he plans to discuss the issue with China in hopes of mending fences. He added that Haiti believes that all problems between nations, including those between China and Taiwan, should be discussed at the United Nations.

''We told China, we will always have the same position we've always had. That position is . . . -- we are not saying we are going to take sides between Taiwan and China -- but let's discuss the problem,'' he said. ``If they are upset with us all the way up to preventing [the U.N. peacekeepers from renewing their mandate, then it is unfortunate.''

Prèval added that the United States, France and Canada -- key players in efforts to restore Haiti's stability following the 2004 ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide -- should also work to ease the tensions between Haiti and China.

While some diplomats say they don't believe China will use its veto, others are not willing to wait until February to find out. They plan to talk to both sides, telling the Chinese that no harm was done since the Haitian proposal on Taiwan was rejected and telling Prèval that regardless of Haiti's long running ties with Taiwan, he cannot afford such diplomatic blunders.

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Post by admin » Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:36 am

So, what is Haiti's place in the United Nations? Is it never doing anything that may upset one of the great powers?

[quote]U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice showed concern, calling Haitian President René Préval to ask why his government would risk angering Beijing.[/quote]
Does she have a hot line to President Préval or was the message relayed through Haiti's foreign minister? Is "the fear of angering Beijing" the main reason why the issue of human rights in China has receded to the background during the Bush administration? It appears now that the United States is aggressively pursuing its policy of appeasement of China, strong-arming "would-be independent" little republics to follow suit.

[quote]Préval, who confirmed the phone call in an interview with The Miami Herald,[/quote]
"Hello, Ti René... this is Condi calling. How are you doing, Mr. President? No no no no no, before you answer my rhetorical greeting, hear me out: what were you thinking about when you made your Taiwan proposal without consulting me first? I could have prevented you from making such a blunder. This is the sort of things that could cost you your presidency, you know. China could veto the renewal of the United Nations troops' stay in Haiti... and then, what would you do??? Are you ready for this? Don't think I am going to bail you out, Ti René. I have enough on my plate already. Now, President Bush wants me to give him piano lessons too. He has fairly passed his geography tests at this point and is ready to move on. So, Ti René, don't give me any grief. Imagine Haiti without the United Nation States' presence. Imagine Haiti without MINUSTHA! Now, good day, Mr. President (doesn't that sound nice, Ti René, and people think I am a b____, go figure!) It was nice talking to you, as usual."

[quote]He added that Haiti believes that all problems between nations, including those between China and Taiwan, should be discussed at the United Nations.[/quote]
Ha... do you think that President Préval has gotten the message? What "nations" is he talking about? Is Taiwan a nation? Has China agreed to recognize it as a nation? Has the United Nation States agreed to it?

[quote]''We told China, we will always have the same position we've always had. That position is . . . -- we are not saying we are going to take sides between Taiwan and China -- but let's discuss the problem,'' he said. ``If they are upset with us all the way up to preventing [the U.N. peacekeepers from renewing their mandate, then it is unfortunate.''[/quote]
Foli granmoun sa ap mennen ou lwen wi, Ti René!

[quote]They plan to talk to both sides, telling the Chinese that no harm was done since the Haitian proposal on Taiwan was rejected and telling Preval that regardless of Haiti's long running ties with Taiwan, he cannot afford such diplomatic blunders.[/quote]
There you go, Mr. Préval. Step in line.

Empress Verite

To Solve Haiti/Ayiti's Textile industry problem

Post by Empress Verite » Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:08 pm

Greetings all:

I know that many people are going to oppose this but some might want to read the following article and consider the implications. In fact, hemp can solve both the textile problem create jobs and give us autonomy and resolve the problem of homelessness because you can make bricks with it just like the Swazis do to build homes.

Read on those who dare:

Best,

EV
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http:/stopthedrugwar.org/chronical460/Swaziland_marijuana_growing_and hemp.

SWAZILAND: Illegal cannabis could become legal 'Swazi Gold'

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


© Bill Corcoran/IRIN

Members of Swaziland's anti-drug unit stand in the middle of a cannabis plantation, discovered during a search operation

HHOHHO, 30 Oct 2006 (IRIN) - A fundamental shift in Swaziland's attitude towards the cannabis plant, or hemp, the country's most lucrative cash crop, could be on the horizon. The government is set to allow small-scale production of hemp to see if it has the potential to become an economically viable crop.

"In hemp we have an alternative to cotton, which has let us down badly over the last few years. It has been because of marijuana that we have found it difficult to talk about hemp, but that is changing, and we are beginning to shape public opinion to its benefits," said Lufto Dlamini, the Swazi Minister for Enterprise and Employment.

"The government is considering a proposal to grow hemp, and a decision will be reached by the end of this month. But I expect it will be given the go-ahead to grow for research purposes, and if that proves successful then we will see," he told IRIN.

Falling global prices for sugar and cotton, Swaziland's traditional crops, have led to cannabis, or 'dagga' as it is known locally, becoming 'Swazi Gold' for many of the country's impoverished population, most of whom live on less than US$1 a day.

According to the government's Annual Vulnerability Monitoring Report 2005, cotton prices have fallen steadily over the past few years as a result of international competition and last year's price for cotton was about 33 percent lower than the previous year.

A similar fate has befallen the sugar industry. The European Union plans to slash its price to suppliers in African, Caribbean and Pacific Least Developing Countries by 37 percent from the start of 2007 to bring it in line with the global price, causing the profits of Swazi producers to shrink significantly.

------------------

http:/www.interafrica.org

SOUTH AFRICA-SWAZILAND: Marijuana - hope for the homeless

© InternAfrica

The cannabis, lime and water mixture is compressed into bricks

MBABANE, 3 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Marijuana grown in Swaziland could help house South Africa's homeless, according to an NGO working with residents in informal settlements.

In ancient times handfuls of cannabis, also known as hemp, were added to clay to strengthen bricks for building; more recently the practice has received a fresh impetus, but the hemp is now compressed into bricks and used for construction.

"With five years' experience in dealing with government and housing, and the bureaucracy in between, I can say I am expertly aware of the controversial nature of this project. However, there are homes built from this technology in England, Spain, France, Turkey, Australia, California and South Africa," Andre du Plessis, a project coordinator with the NGO, InternAfrica, told IRIN.

Swaziland has the highest cultivation of cannabis per capita in southern Africa, according to the Swaziland Council on Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol (COSAD). The authorities' efforts to destroy marijuana crops have failed to discourage Swazi peasant farmers from growing the plant and South African drug traffickers pay handsomely for Swaziland's marijuana, which is prized for its potency in Holland and other European destinations.

InternAfrica cites as motivation a report by the International Narcotics Control Board proposing alternative uses for marijuana to legitimise illegal crops.

"The controversy regarding cannabis is easily resolved when used industrially - the plant is harvested at the onset of autumn [1 March] before flowering and the creation of the drug content. Naturally, once the crop has been used industrially and is combined with lime, it cannot be smoked or used as a drug," du Plessis explained.

If Swazi authorities can be convinced that the local cannabis crop could become a legitimate source of building material, the project's proponents feel that hundreds of cannabis growers could benefit from a sustainable livelihood. Marijuana growing has become permanently entrenched in the hidden mountain valleys of the northern Hhohho Region above the capital, Mbabane.

COSAD has estimated that 70 percent of farmers in this region devote part or all of their time to marijuana cultivation.

"InternAfrica intends to set up one such project, and to replicate it in a controlled, government-sponsored, open and transparent [manner]," said du Plessis. The NGO is currently in talks with the Swazi government.

The ongoing decline of these major contributors to the agriculture sector, which is faltering as a whole, have led to widespread job losses and left many Swazis with no means of putting food on the table other than subsistence farming, including cannabis growing.

Swaziland's climate and soil are conducive to growing cannabis and the plant has been grown for many centuries, either for export or for use locally as a stimulant.

In the past four years an increasing number of entrepreneurs have suggested that the large-scale production of hemp would go a long way to counteracting poverty.

Dr Ben Dlamini, 70, a former education administrator in the Swazi Department of Education, was one of the first people to talk about the potential benefits of hemp production.

"The major emphasis on cannabis in Swaziland has always been on smoking it and getting a 'high', but if we were to grow hemp commercially it would solve a lot of problems. It can be used to manufacture fuels, textiles, healthy oils and lotions," he pointed out.

"People are getting the idea that hemp can be used for purposes other than smoking, but the process of understanding this is very slow."

Simon Mavimbela, 21, and Justice Dlamini, 26, have lived all their lives in Hhohho, in the north of the country, the main area for cultivating cannabis, where many people risk growing the illegal plant rather than other cash crops like maize or peanuts.

While both young men insisted that they did not grow cannabis themselves, they admitted that friends and members of their families had grown the plant for generations.

"People here will get around R80 [about US$11] for a 10kg bag of maize when they sell it at the market, but they will get R3,000 [about $405] for a 10kg bag of cannabis if they can sell it to someone who is going to take it outside of Swaziland," Dlamini explained.

"A person can grow 30 10kg bags in a year up in the hills here, and they use the money to buy cows, furniture, send their children to school. We are in a good situation because our fathers grew dagga, so we could afford to go to school, have clothes and other benefits."

According to Dlamini, the only difference between growing cannabis and any other crop is that they have to avoid detection by the police by locating the plantations in inaccessible areas.

"If they are lucky, people from South Africa come and give them the money to start up, and then come back and buy the cannabis after it has been harvested. They then take the stuff through holes in the boarder fence into South Africa. You have to be very careful, though, because the police are always around - people do all their crop-work early in the mornings, so that the police will not see what they are up to."

In 2005 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that the global illegal trade in cannabis was worth $142bn and listed Swaziland as one of the major producers in southern and eastern Africa.

Empress Verite

China Courts Africa

Post by Empress Verite » Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:22 pm

Greetings:

One last say about this Chinese "Courting" of African countries. Well, I just got through the New York Times piece and I am not surprised at all. With the world's fastest growing population they're gonna have to outsourced some of their population onto somewhere else. And what better than Africa with all of its natural resources and growing population.

The quote that got me the most is this one:

"Some African economists complain, too, that China wants to extract raw materials for industry and then sell manufactured goods back to Africa, a mercantilist pattern that failed to bring sustained growth in the past. "

I remember well how back in the early 1990s Abdou Djoff (sp?) the 2nd president of Senegal had let the Chinese fish in their ocean 24/7 nonstop. They brought their best equipment then too. I'm sure that they got a lot of fish out and goodness knows what else. Supposedly, they got to do this in exchange for the promise that they would build a soccer stadium for the Senegalese (who I guess were desperate to get into the sport that had put Cameroun on the map). Well, I still have not heard about the Senegalese team on the international scene (but these folks continue to do well in the music and dance category everywhere).

More importantly, fish is a staple in the Senegalese diet. Fish provides thees people with so many of the necessary nutrients needed like Iodine and so forth that a growing population needs. ( I am a vegan and I replace these nutrients with seaweed). What do you think that these people will do if their food supplies ever diminishes? Who will give them the necessary ingredients to fulfill their dietary needs? And how can we assess the damage done by this reap of the natural/raw material?

I'm sure that in a few years, many African countries will become dependent on China for food supplies. And the Chinese are letting folks in their own country starve to death because they live in the highlands not close to water supplies and so they have low food supplies. On top of allof that, the Chinese are notorious for fake goods. And recently that problem killed many infants and babies of the poor who could not afford the real formula and got substitutes that poisoned their children! And, Africa better watch it about letting the Chinese build and run factories in their backyards. The factories are slave plantations and serious injuries are extremely common and workers are not compensated at all.

My feeling is that the Chinese should concentrate on healing their own nation and in treating all of their citizens as equals in all industries. And then their friendship offer will be more credible and they would seem less predatory.

Give thanks. That's my piece.

EV

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

Examining one aspect China's role in Rwanda

Post by Ezili Danto » Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:56 pm

Your points are well taken Empress Verite

The Rwanda genocide was achieved in large part through the use of machetes made in China. Does anyone in China feel any regret or was the money made too soothing for remorse to erase?

Ezili Dantò

Empress Verite

I'm Not Surprised

Post by Empress Verite » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:28 am

Thank You Ezili:

I'm really not surprised at all. The poor Rwandans who were masacred often by friends and family members bear the scars of that trade agreement. I found out awhile ago that there were no gun factories or weapons manufacturers in Africa. In fact, most of the weapons have the US label on them and are often trafficked via "Israel". Just like all of the guns used by the Ethiopians to kill the Eritreans and the ones used by the Liberians to kill the poor and wretched awhile ago.

It's really too bad that folks are not outraged by that at all.

Best regards
EV

Leonel JB

Who is pulling the trigger?

Post by Leonel JB » Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:15 am

Ladies,

I understand your concerns, but, someone had to pull the trigger!

A company that is making machetes would not care to whom it would sell the goods, as long as the market is viable and good for its existence. It is also the same for Smith & Wesson. It doesn't matter who is buying the guns and ammunition.

Now, I wouldn't think that China or whoever is responsible. Only the ones who committed the crimes.

Capitalism = Money... It doesn't matter how it is made for some people! Cigarette Makers, Alcohol, Guns and Ammo Co. etc etc. How one is using the products is up to him/her. Lajan ap fèt no matter what.

The US is spending billions every year which could have been spent more wisely for a better world. Where hunger would have been eradicated. Where a lot of Third World diseases could have been wiped out (Malaria, TB and others).

But the big question is, what's in it for them??

Finalman, lè oun moun ap aji tankou sovaj, tiye frè-l ak sè-l paske yo diferan, mwen panse ke se pa zam nan ki fè-l. Fòk ou fè aksyon an pou ou gen rezilta final la.-

L'union fait la Force
Leonel

Empress Verite

Yeah Leonel

Post by Empress Verite » Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:45 pm

Yeah Leonel:

I hear where you're coming from but the gun companies have been found liable and so have the tobaco industry. The latter group routinely advertise to folks and seduce them into believing that smoking their killer substance is good and it will make them sexy and cool. The gun folks practically force feed the stuff to the poor people in the so-called third world. What capitalism does is that it EXPLOITS already existing problems such as ethnocentrism, colorism and self hatred which lead to civil war and mass murder.

Kenbe.
EV

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