<blockquote><p align=justify>The Nescafé Machine
It sits balefully in the corner of the restaurant, with dials labelled ‘coffee’, water’, ‘sugar’ and one or two other descriptors . When I asked the waitress for coffee, preferably ‘espresso’ she referred me to the machine. I put my cup underneath the spot marked coffee and turned the dial, expecting a flow of something that would be identifiable as coffee. What came out was about a teaspoon of powdered ersatz coffee. I had no choice, I turned the dial again for another teaspoonful and then the sugar dial and the water dial and having fabricated my cup of ‘coffee’, I went back to my seat and ingested it.
Most sinister of all, I thought, was the dial labelled ‘whitener’. There is no longer any euphemism; no more ‘creamer’ – fabricated from beans or petroleum or “corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated so
ybean oil, sodium caseinate(a milk derivative), dipotassium phosphate, monodiglycerides,sodium aluminsilicate, diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono and diglycerides artificial flavour and artificial colours”. I don’t use creamers or cosmetic whiteners or milk. But Nestlé has a place in my pantheon of the wicked because having exploited Jamaica and Jamaican dairy farmers for more than 60 years aand having bought out jamaica’s last big ice cream maker, they promptly shut down the factories, threw thousands of jamaicans out of work and moved to the Dominican Republic where there would be no troubles from unions or laws regulating decent treatment of workers and severance pay. Others doing similar moves included Goodyear, Reckitt and Colman, Carreras and that one-time paragon of Jamaican cleanliness, once called Soap and Edible Products, – SEPROD –transformers of the coconut into cooking oil, animal feed and cosmetics, now merely a distributor of stuff bought abroad.
Countries which used to feed and clo
the themselves now must borrow money to pay for food imported from the US. Jamaica's trade deficit is twice as high as as it earns from exports of all kinds. We now import sugar and water from the US and ice-cream from the Dominican republic and cigarettes from Trinidad.
This is called globalisation, and is said to be a boon to the developing world, according to people as wise as President Bush, Mr Tony Blair and the Prime Minister of jamaica Mr patterson. Meanwhile, people who should be engaged in production, in farming and in teaching, are busy firing guns imported from the United States at each other, to the horror of the US, which tells its nationals to beware of jamaica ! “Don't go there.”
THE BLESSINGS OF GLOBALISATION
The blessings of globalisation include strip mining the countryside, extracting millions of tons of Jamaican earth, dosing it with caustic soda and bombarding it with electric charges and exporting a white powder called alumina and a
green material called super profits. Jamaica gets to keep enormous holes in the ground and the red mud residue of the refining procress which is gently, invisibly, percolating down into the water table and gradually poisoning our water supplies.
But, not to worry, globalisation will mean that we will be able to buy water from Exxon and Shell as a cheap by product of their global warming experiment. If only we had forced the aluminum companies to leave a little bauxite to line the mined-out craters in our landscape, wee might have been able to store some of the flooding we can now confidently expect from fossil fueled hurricanes, which are now becoming more and more cost effective at slum clearance and electoral redistricting.
Progress, I tell you,it is wonderful!
Sadly, there are those who don’t want to aaccommodatethemselves to the inexorable crunch of development. In that famously independent little island, Anguilla, the government has decided to put a moratorium on large developme
nts. because such projects are threatening to overwhelm the island by swamping its labour force and population with imported manpower and womanpower, suffocating the culture of Anguilla and replacing it with Bush knows what.
. As I write this, we are flying over the southern coast of the Dominican Republic where there is evidence of rivers running loose, eroded hillsides and vast areas of unused land. I know that if we fly over the republic’s border with Haiti, even this unpromising landscape will make Haiti’s look like a desert.
Further west of course, lie Jamaica, where I am headed, and Cuba, a mythical country where every person is said to have a job and where every child, it is alleged, goes to school. This story is obviously invented to upset Americans and to spread disaffection and bad feelings among the Latin and Caribbean leaders meeting this weekend down Argentine way.
The last time the US supped with the latins was at the Organizations of American States special meeting in Fo
rt Lauderdale, Florida earlier this year, when Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State made it known that the United States wished to impose some new rules on its neighbours. The most important was one allowing the united states and whichever state felt able to be its ally, to invade any other state which the US did not consider to be behaving according to established democratic norms.
The Latins, uncharitable as usual, did not agree with this new dispensation, because as they saw it, it would allow the US to invade any other state with whom it did not happen to agree at any time.
THE LEVER OF THEIR INDEPENDENCE
Oddly, because of the racism built in to the Latin cultures, none of these states brought up the question of Haiti, which, more than any other factor, was the main lever of their own independence.
In the second decade of the nineteenth century, when Simon Bolivar saw a whole continent waiting to be liberated but found himself without the mea
ns to begin the job, it was to Haiti he turned, the first independent state in the western hemisphere after the United States.
At that time the haitians were determined to do all they could to assist the liberation of Latin America from the Spaniards, so they gave Bolivar arms, money and encouragement, sending him off to liberate Gran Colombia while asking Bolivar to liberate all slaves wherever he found them. Since many of Bolivar’s best generals were black that should have been easy, but the haitians reckoned without the spiteful selfishness of the United States which saw the ending of slavery as a direct threat to its own economic system.
And when the freed Spanish colonies came together with the US in the first Summit of the Americas in panama in 1824, the only independent state not represented there was the prime mover in their liberation– Haiti.
Haiti, being a black state, is quite frequently invisible to world statesmanship; since black is the absence of light in physics, the doct
rine of intelligent political design has never been able to discern the human rights of the Haitian people. This is ironic, since it was the haitians who first implemented the doctrine of the universal rights of man. The French and the American revolutions, which had preachedthat doctrine, maintained slavery for decades after they themselves were free.
This is more than a rhetorical statement. Marguerite Laurent, perhaps the most eloquent of the fighters for haitian freedom now writing, believes that the recolonisation of haiti is an essential fraction of the doctrine of globalisation.
"... , in Haiti, the imperialists have also found the formula for outsourcing wars so that the blood of their sons and daughters are not on the line.
A PRISON FOR CHILDREN
“The UN forces in Haiti, are made up of troops from the developing countries. These poor black and brown soldiers are now fighting the imperialists' wars for him in Haiti. Even the African Union's rej
ection of the re-colonization of Haiti is reported to have been neutralized with the sending, to Haiti, of African soldiers from the Francophone countries. Not surprising considering France's investment in Haiti's bicentennial coup d'etat. It was, after all, Francophone Africa that was used to stop the spread of Pan-Africanism after the independence movement, mainly through French expatriates like Houphouet Boigny and Leopold Cedar Senghor.”
In Marguerite Laurent’s opinion, the recolonisation of Haiti is not simply a political action, it is part of a programme to criminalise the people of Haiti and to control them by taking away all their rights:
“ …the scariest thing to happen to Haiti and Haitians this month, has gone unnoticed with these election terrors of the imperialists and their Haitian sycophants morbidly drawing attention away from the colonial realities of the matter.
“USAID has started its FIRST prison for children in Haiti.
“Yes, the systematic criminalisation of yo
ung Black males in Haiti, parallels their criminalisation in the U.S. There are some white towns in the US where the townspeople's sole income comes from the incarceration of young Black and brown men who make up the bulk of the prisoners. The imperialists' game plan for Haitian boys and men, is moving along well. By the time a puppet Haitian president, like Preval, Simeus or Bazin, is installed in Haiti on February, 2006, more prison centers will have to be built to contain the Haitian "criminal elements …”
Laurent argues that the RE-installation of former US Ambassador to Haiti, Timothy Carney, is a portent of things to come. Carney was the leader of the so-called Haitian Democracy Project, a fascist front organisation funded by the US Republican party which was responsible for the coordination of the coup d’etat against Aristide. This group paid and bribed a collection of Haitian ‘civil society” organisations to form an anti-Aristide bloc which though small and representing little more than its s
parse membership, was given yards of print and hours of television publicity in the run up to the so-called rebellion carried out by mercenary gangsters armed and uniformed by the United States.
Since that time the US/Canadian?French governing coalition has imprisoned without cause or due process, a constellation of Haitian popular leaders, from the former Prime Minister Yvon Neptun and Father Gerard Jean Juste, the leader of the Lavalas movement –( to the Haitian equivalent of jamaica’s Louise Bennett, a folklorist named Anne August – ”So Anne” .
While these representatives of Haitian politics and culture are in jail and unable to function, the tripartite coalition is proceeding with its sham election which is intended to provide a legitimate democratic face for the fascist gangsters who actually rule Haiti.
To the puppetmasters, it does not matter that most of the Haitian people are disfranchised and that the major political force in Haiti has been neutered, their money and influence
will provide solutions acceptable to the corrupt and spineless North Atlantic press.
What is planned for Haiti may be gauged by examining the US plan for a transition to democracy in Cuba detailed in a 423-page report prepared in May 2004 for Bush and signed by Colin Powell, then Secretary of State. It represents the official policy of the United States toward Cuba– http://www.state.gov/p/wha/rt/cuba/comm ... c12236.htm
Among the gems:
”The US Government and private organizations have determined that there may very well exist a severe case of malnutrition and lack of available supply and money to feed the Cuban people, or sectors of the Cuban people, to avoid massive sickness and disease."
"Should the food security system in Cuba deteriorate and malnutrition rates rise, children under five will be at particular risk”. (page 80)
Cuba’s education system, recognised by UNESCO, the World Bank and the UN as one of the best in the world will be destroyed in the interest of dem
ocracy and replaced by schools run by fundamentalist fanatics:
"[The United States must] Prepare to respond positively to a request from transition authorities to help keep schools open, even if teachers are paid with food aid or volunteers have to be temporarily imported, in order to keep children and teenagers off the streets during this potentially unstable period."
"The Offices of Non/Public Schools and Faith-Based Initiatives, US Department of Education, could serve as facilitating agencies in ensuring that the system recognizes private as well as public educational providers, and could:
a) "Facilitate the development of private, including faith-based, education.
b) "Ascertain which of the religious groups that had schools in Cuba have plans to reopen their schools.
c) "Assist in consideration of changing laws and regulations to permit private providers to operate and offer a full range of services, from short courses to degree programs."
It is clear that the transi
tion to democracy in Cuba involves the destruction of the entire Cuban culture and all the institutions of the Cuban state. It envisages a reduction to conditions of lawlessness, hunger, privation and social disruption.
If Cuba is to be treated in this way, the decapitation of democracy in Haiti may very well lead to much, much worse – to the hell that Marguerite Laurent envisages, because the Haitians, as we have seen, are not regarded as human by the United States, the Canadians and the French.
They will be easier to subdue than the Cubans. And no one will say a word.