Sunday, January 18, 2015

UNDP boss celebrates "progress" in Haiti

Sophie de Caen is the Canadian currently holding the post of Haiti Senior Country Director with the United Nations Development Programme. In other words, she is the de facto ruler of the country. She has a PR fluff-piece on view at Al Jazeera celebrating the progress made by the UN and the "International Community."

The article is most illuminating when one considers what has been left out of it.

Not a word about her MINUSTAH army of occupation, widely despised among the Haitian people.

Not a word about the cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by those supposed peacekeepers.

Not a word about the dysfunctional crony government that governs for the elite and is happy to maintain the status quo (i.e. grinding subsistence-level poverty for the 99%, in perpetuity).

Not a word about foreign "investors" like Donald Pierson who are prepared to sabotage development projects in order to extort hundreds of million of dollars out of the poorest people in the hemisphere.

Instead, in the rich tradition of idealistic Canadian do-gooderism, de Caen bemoans the fact that only 4% of parliamentarians are women.

There are of course all the usual invocations of liberal do-gooder jargon...

resilience agenda...  institutional capacity... governance systems... and of course, everybody's favourite, long term sustainable development.

Here is a radical proposal for Madame de Caen and the rest of the International Community.

Go home!

Leave Haiti to the Haitians. Let them develop their own culture, their own economy, their own country. Stop interfering with their elections. Stop removing elected officials who are not sufficiently deferential to Washington and Paris.

The only vision that the do-gooders have for Haiti is one of perpetual poverty and dependency. "Development" is code for handing resources to foreign conglomerates and making Haiti's poor the new bottom rung in the global sweatshop hierarchy.

Haiti deserves better.

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