Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Venezuela chairs committee on draconian anti-Haitian citizenship ruling

It has been four years since Haiti was struck by the January 12 earthquake of 2010. While many mainstream newspapers try to whitewash the worst failures of the international community’s reconstruction effort, the Center for Economic and Policy Research published a thorough, albeit disturbing list of figures outlining the troubled state of reconstruction in Haiti.

Many of these persistent problems are linked to the ongoing history of international intervention in Haiti, whereby the rights of international investors trample the self-determination, sovereignty, and emancipation of the Haitian people.

In contrast to the neocolonial actions of the United States, Canada, and others who have worked to undermine Haiti’s reconstruction, stands Venezuela—now one of Haiti’s key allies, and one who has broken from the anti-people reconstruction policies and aligned itself in solidarity with, rather than in domination to, the Haitian people.

Perhaps the most well known Venezuelan assistance to Haiti has come in the form of the low cost of oil that Venezuela’s PetroCaribe program has made available. During Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro’s first visit to Haiti in June 2013, Haitian President Michel Martelly discussed the impact of the funds generated by the PetroCaribe agreement: “I would like to say very loudly that PetroCaribe funds represent 94% of our investment funds, which means that the majority of what is being done in Haiti has been realized with PetroCaribe funds….Government buildings are being rebuilt, social housing is being built and we are talking about increasing national production, about continuing with the free tuition education program and alphabetization.”

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