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Focus on Haiti: Washington's Militarized Takeover

Focus on Haiti: Washington's Militarized Takeover
By Stephen Lendman

Haiti is no stranger to adversity and anguish - over 500 years of severe oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, unrepayable debt, and natural calamities from destructive hurricanes to a dozen magnitude 7.0 or greater Caribbean region earthquakes in the past 500 years. The last major one was in 1946 at 8.1 in the adjacent Dominican Republic, also striking Haiti. Earlier catastrophic ones were in 1751 and 1770, both devastating Port-au-Prince, and the 1842 one destroying Cap-Haitien in the north.

On September 25, 2008, Phoenix Delacroix quoted geologist Patrick Charles of Havana's Geological Institute saying:

"conditions are ripe for major seismic activity in Port-au-Prince. The inhabitants of the Haitian capital need to prepare themselves for an event which will inevitably occur."

Citing a real danger, he explained that the dangerous Enriquillo Fault Zone extends across Port-au-Prince, starting in Petionville, traversing the Southern Peninsula to Tiburon. Noting earlier tremors in the area, he said a larger earthquake usually follows, yet no precautions were taken, leaving Haitians vulnerable to what happened - vast destruction, perhaps hundreds of thousands dead, countless numbers seriously injured, and disease, depravation, and militarized occupation haunting survivors in the aftermath.

After Washington ousted President Jean-Betrand Aristide in February 2004, UN Blue Helmets (MINUSTAH) occupied Haiti as paramilitary enforcers. They still do, subordinate to around 20,000 US land and sea based troops, including Marines, Army 82nd Airborne paratroupers, Navy assault ships, and Coast Guard vessels offshore, a powerful force for indefinite occupation, severe repression, and ruthless exploitation for American interests - obstructing, not providing, humanitarian aid, and facilitating potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths from starvation, dehydration, disease, untreated wounds, trauma, and for some perhaps just giving up and expiring unnoticed, unreported, and uncared about by forces able to help.

It's an old story for Haitians, beleaguered for over 500 years and under America's thumb for nearly two centuries, unrecognized, embargoed, exploited, and slaughtered to assure their freedom is denied. Now again, but first some background.

Occupied Haiti

Cuba, China, Venezuela Send Immediate Assistance to Haiti

Cuba, China, Venezuela Send Immediate Assistance to Haiti
By Deirdre Griswold | Global Research | Submitted by Michael Munk |

As soon as the devastating earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, Cuban doctors began saving lives.

Years before this monumental disaster hit, Cuba had set up a medical mission in Haiti to provide health care in areas where there had been little or none; Cubans also were training Haitian medical workers in basic first aid. When the quake struck, these teams quickly went into emergency mode.

A relief plane from Venezuela was among the first to land in the stricken country, where normal services had ground to a halt. Venezuelan and Brazilian doctors soon joined the Cuban teams, who were accustomed to working in spartan conditions and had their own generators to power surgical equipment.

Other Cuban doctors who had been working in Haiti, but were in Cuba on vacation when the quake occurred, quickly returned. They were joined by additional Cuban surgeons experienced in working in difficult situations and Haitian doctors who had been training in Cuban medical schools in various specialties.

Within less than 24 hours, Cuban medical personnel in Haiti had already assisted hundreds of patients — a figure that grew to thousands by the weekend. Read more.

Haiti and China: A Tale of Two Earthquakes

Haiti and China: A Tale of Two Earthquakes
By Austin Ramzy | Yahoo! News | Submitted by Michael Munk |

Looking for parallels to Haiti's catastrophe, many point to China. In May 2008, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck the southwestern province of Sichuan, pancaking schoolhouses, buildings and homes and killing at least 68,000 people. But the ferocity of the tremor and a huge death toll may be the only parallels between the two quake-stricken nations.

I went back to Sichuan six months after the catastrophe and was amazed at the speed of physical and economic recovery. In Dujiangyan, the largest city in the quake zone, the rubble and the tent cities had disappeared. The jumble of debris was replaced by piles of new bricks, lumber and other construction materials. There was a building boom across the region, and dozens of temporary villages were erected to house the five million people rendered homeless by the quake. The prefab housing was made out of blue aluminum siding lined with styrofoam insulation. They had cement floors and were arranged in neat rows in flat spots at the bases of the mountains. Conditions weren't luxurious, but the camps were clean and the housing dry and fairly warm. Read more.

U.S. Prepares Guantanamo Bay For Possible Influx of Haitians

U.S. prepares Guantanamo Bay for possible influx of Haitians
By Laurie Ure | CNN

The U.S. military is gearing up for a possible influx of Haitians fleeing their earthquake-stricken country at an Army facility not widely known for its humanitarian missions: Guantanamo Bay.

Soldiers at the base have set up tents, beds and toilets, awaiting possible orders from the secretary of defense to proceed, according to Maj. Diana Haynie, a spokeswoman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay.

"There's no indication of any mass migration from Haiti," Haynie stressed. "We have not been told to conduct migrant operations."

But the base is getting ready "as a prudent measure," Haynie said, since "it takes some time to set things up."...

In addition, Gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of U.S. Southern Command, said the Navy has set up a "logistics field," an area to support bigger ships in the region. The military can now use that as a "lily pad" to fly supplies from ships docked at Guantanamo over to Haiti, he said.

"Guantanamo Bay proves its value as a strategic hub for the movement of supplies and personnel to the affected areas in Haiti," Haynie said. Read more.

It's the "New Haiti!"

It's the "New Haiti!"
By Michel Collins

The appointment of former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as key players in Haitian relief should cause the people of Haiti grave concern, if they weren't otherwise preoccupied with survival. These former presidents' records as pro-life advocates on the international scene is tarnished by real world outcomes.

During his eight years as president, Clinton was responsible for sanctions on Iraq that resulted in the deaths of 170,000 children under five. Former President George W. Bush exceeded that death toll by invading Iraq. That caused civil chaos and conflict among Iraqis leading to the deaths of over one million citizens in that tragic nation. When you see these two coming, their record speaks for itself. (Image)

What will happen in Haiti? What can the citizens of that nation expect? It's instructive to look at the post Katrina rescue effort with a focus on New Orleans as a prototype.

Congressional Candidate Favors Dropping Debt For Haiti and Other Impoverished Countries

Congressional Candidate Favors Dropping Debt For Haiti and Other Impoverished Countries

Marina del Rey, CA, January 20, 2010 -- Congressional Candidate Marcy Winograd (CA-36) applauds the Obama administration’s commitment to grant Haiti 100-million dollars in immediate support, and urged the President and Congress to do everything in their power to cancel Haiti’s remaining international debt.

“With a death toll expected to hit 200,000, a lack of clean running water and food, and hospitals in ruins, the last thing Haiti can afford right now is a high-interest loan payment that increases its debt burden,” says Winograd. “The history of Haiti is the history of colonization and exploitation by richer countries, so it is important for the U.S. and Europe to pay its debt to Haiti in the way of grants, rather than loans.”

In June, 2009, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund forgave Haiti 1.2 billion of its debt, erasing approximately two-thirds of Haiti’s debt, according to the Jubilee organization, a coalition of 75 religious and human rights groups.

Winograd urges congress members to co-sponsor Congresswoman Maxine Waters' bill, HR 4405, Jubilee Act for Debt Relief, which would relieve Haiti and additional countries of onerous interest payments on U.S. loans and international loans.

“Whereas my opponent, Jane Harman, failed to co-sponsor or vote for Congresswoman Waters’ previous debt-relief bill, I would urge others to champion such legislation,” says Winograd, adding, “interest payments can cost more than a nation’s annual expenditures on medicine.”

Congresswoman Waters' latest debt-relief bill was introduced with bi-partisan support in the House of Representatives. From southern California, Congresswoman Laura Richardson (CA-37/Long Beach) is listed as a co-sponsor. Jane Harman is not listed as a co-sponsor.

US Security Company Offers to Perform "High Threat Terminations" and to Confront "Worker Unrest" in Haiti

Monday 18 January 2010
by: Jeremy Scahill | Rebel Reports

We saw this type of Iraq-style disaster profiteering in New Orleans and you can expect to see a lot more of this in Haiti over the coming days, weeks and months. Private security companies are seeing big dollar signs in Haiti thanks in no small part to the media hype about “looters.” After Katrina, the number of private security companies registered (and unregistered) multiplied overnight. Banks, wealthy individuals, the US government all hired private security. I even encountered Israeli mercenaries operating an armed check-point outside of an elite gated community in New Orleans. They worked for a company called Instinctive Shooting International. (That is not a joke).

Defense Launches Online System To Coordinate Haiti Relief Efforts

Defense launches online system to coordinate Haiti relief efforts
By Bob Brewin | Next Gov | Jan. 15, 2010

As personnel representing hundreds of government and nongovernment agencies from around the world rush to the aid of earthquake-devastated Haiti, the Defense Information Systems Agency has launched a Web portal with multiple social networking tools to aid in coordinating their efforts.

On Monday, Jean Demay, DISA's technical manager for the agency's Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, happened to be at the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami preparing for a test of the system in a scenario that involved providing relief to Haiti in the wake of a hurricane. After the earthquake hit on Tuesday, Demay said SOUTHCOM decided to go live with the system. On Wednesday, DISA opened up its All Partners Access Network, supported by the Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, to any organization supporting Haiti relief efforts.

The information sharing project, developed with backing from both SOUTHCOM and the Defense Department's European Command, has been in development for three years. It is designed to facilitate multilateral collaboration between federal and nongovernmental agencies.

Demay said that since DISA set up a Haiti Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Community of Interest on APAN on Wednesday, almost 500 organizations and individuals have joined, including a range of Defense units and various nongovernmental organizations and relief groups. Read more.

US Humanitarian Aid Looks More Like US Invasion

US Humanitarian Aid Looks More Like US Invasion
By Glen Ford | Black Agenda Report

If everything the United States does appears to be related to its imperial mission, that's because it's true. The “U.S. policy of putting the military in charge of, not only disaster relief, but foreign assistance in general, is an outgrowth of the collapse of the Soviet Union.” The attitude is, “If they want American aid, they'll have to accept the U.S. military presence.”

“U.S. governments regard masses of Black people, first, as potential threats to security, and only second as fellow human beings deserving of assistance.”

It is understandable that many African Americans are making comparisons between the militarized character of the U.S. intervention in Haiti’s earthquake disaster and the federal government’s largely military response to the Katrina catastrophe in New Orleans, four and a half years ago. It is quite reasonable to conclude that the U.S. government is more concerned about law and order issues than in attending to the immediate needs of desperate disaster victims – especially when the victims are Black. History tells us that U.S. governments regard masses of Black people, first, as potential threats to security, and only second as fellow human beings deserving of assistance. Nevertheless, the heavy-handed militarization of U.S. disaster aid to Haiti should be seen in a larger context. As a matter of established American policy, the military has been assigned prime responsibility for U.S. foreign disaster relief, worldwide. Read more, listen to more commentary on this at Black Agenda Radio.

Breaking: Haiti Capital Hit By Earthquake Measuring 6.0

Breaking: Haiti Capital Hit By Earthquake Measuring 6.0 - According to ABC News Bulletin Banner - More Info Soon

Magnitude 6.1 Quake Strikes Devastated Haiti | Fox News

A strong earthquake struck Haiti on Wednesday morning, shaking buildings and sending screaming people running into the streets only eight days after the country's capital was devastated by a previous quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.1 magnitude quake hit at 6:03 a.m. (1103 GMT) about 35 miles northwest of the capital of Port-au-Prince. It struck at a depth of 13.7 miles but was located too far inland to generate any tidal waves in the Caribbean.

Wails of terror rose Wednesday from frightened survivors of the apocalyptic quake that struck eight days ago as people as people poured out of unstable buildings. Read more.

An Unwelcome Katrina Redux

By Cynthia McKinney

President Obama's response to the tragedy in Haiti has been robust in military deployment and puny in what the Haitians need most: food; first responders and their specialized equipment; doctors and medical facilities and equipment; and engineers, heavy equipment, and heavy movers. Sadly, President Obama is dispatching Presidents Bush and Clinton, and thousands of Marines and U.S. soldiers. By contrast, Cuba has over 400 doctors on the ground and is sending in more; Cubans, Argentinians, Icelanders, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and many others are already on the ground working--saving lives and treating the injured. Senegal has offered land to Haitians willing to relocate to Africa.

How Haiti Got Here

By Larry Rousseau

As the Haitian people slowly trail from graveyards to facing everyday challenges of survival and reconstruction, I wonder about the strategic interests of the Haitian nation. How did Haiti get to where it is today, where even without the earthquake the country was basically a basket case, trying desperately to climb out of lethargic if not paralytic crisis?

U.S. Air Force Drops 55,000 Pounds Of Food, Water Into Haiti

U.S. Air Force drops 55,000 pounds of food, water into Haiti
By Larry Shaughnessy | CNN

Bypassing the gridlock of Haiti's main airport and congestion of roadways in the earthquake-ravaged country, the U.S. military delivered badly needed food and water on Monday by parachute.

A C-17 cargo plane left Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina shortly after noon, and three hours later dropped 40 pallets -- or "bundles" as the Air Force refers to them as -- holding bottled water and Meals, Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, on a field just north of the Port-au-Prince airport in Haiti.

It was the first airdrop of humanitarian supplies by the U.S. military into Haiti since the deadly earthquake there nearly a week ago. Read more.

Offshore Clinic Treats Few Patients

Offshore Clinic Treats Few Patients
By Nicholas Casey | WSJ

ABOARD THE U.S.S. CARL VINSON--Seven earthquake victims from Haiti, including a newborn baby, were being treated Saturday evening in a state-of-the-art, 50-bed medical clinic aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson--the first non-American victims believed to be treated since the carrier's arrival Friday morning.

Lack of medical facilities and doctors for tens of thousands of injured people in the decimated Haitian capital is one of the major problems facing aid efforts in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake. U.S. Naval officials said earlier Saturday that the Vinson nevertheless didn't plan to take on care of earthquake victims, and was awaiting arrival of a ship with more operating rooms to arrive Sunday or Monday and a hospital ship to arrive a few days later on Thursday.

Lt. Cmdr. Ron Flanders, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy 4th Fleet, the headquarters responsible for naval actions in Haiti, said Saturday afternoon that the Vinson's primary mission is using its 19 helicopters to ferry supplies onshore. Using the carrier as a floating hospital, he said, "would completely change the mission of the carrier. That could potentially impact the [carrier's current] mission."...

Cmdr. Alfred Shwayhat, the senior medical officer who is an endocrinologist, said he had a plan to "treat 1,000 Haitians if necessary," when interviewed aboard the ship on Saturday. But he had received no orders to do so. "If the captain authorizes it, I will take anyone," he said. The Vinson's facility, he said, "exceeds anything in the civilian sector, bar none." Read more.

These Are The People Israel Is Trying to Destroy

These Are The People Israel Is Trying to Destroy

The people living in Gaza are barely surviving after the blitzkrieg of a year ago….. but whatever they have they are willing to share with the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Palestinians in Gaza set off for the Red Cross headquarters on Monday to offer donations and financial support for the victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake on Tuesday.

Relatives of Palestinian prisoners also participated in the drive, with many offering financial donations and goods including blankets and covers, as well as food and milk for children....

The Red Cross director was only able to accept financial donations as transferring goods out of the Strip is near impossible, Al-Khudary added. Read more.

US Security Company Offers to Perform "High Threat Terminations" and to Confront "Worker Unrest" in Haiti

US Security Company Offers to Perform "High Threat Terminations" and to Confront "Worker Unrest" in Haiti
Here we go: New Orleans 2.0
By Jeremy Scahill | Rebel Reports

We saw this type of Iraq-style disaster profiteering in New Orleans and you can expect to see a lot more of this in Haiti over the coming days, weeks and months. Private security companies are seeing big dollar signs in Haiti thanks in no small part to the media hype about “looters.” After Katrina, the number of private security companies registered (and unregistered) multiplied overnight. Banks, wealthy individuals, the US government all hired private security. I even encountered Israeli mercenaries operating an armed check-point outside of an elite gated community in New Orleans. They worked for a company called Instinctive Shooting International. (That is not a joke).
Now, it is kicking into full gear in Haiti. As we know, the member companies of the Orwellian-named mercenary trade association, the International Peace Operations Association, are offering their services in Haiti. But look for more stories like this one:

On January 15, a Florida based company called All Pro Legal Investigations registered the URL It is basically a copy of the company’s existing US website but is now targeted for business in Haiti, claiming the “purpose of this site is to act as a clearinghouse for information seekers on the state of security in Haiti.” Read more.

Medical Assistance Continues Arriving in Haiti from Cuba

Medical Assistance Continues Arriving in Haiti from Cuba | Cuban News Agency
Submitted by Michael Munk |

Cuban aircraft carrying tons of medical equipment and supplies as well as health specialists in emergency situations continue arriving in Port-au-Prince.

On Saturday, a team of 37 doctors and three additional surgical teams arrived in Haiti to reinforce the work of the island’s Henry Reeve medical brigade for emergency situations that is currently proving medical services in the Haitian capital.

The 37 doctors are Haitian graduates from the Caribbean School of Medicine in Santiago de Cuba who immediately began providing health care in parks, concentration points and shelters for people who lost their homes.

The specialists are providing primary health care and implementing preventive measures against infections while more complex cases are sent to hospitals.

More than 500 Haitian doctors have graduated in Cuba and 200 of them are currently working in their country and training to become specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine.

Cuba has had over 400 doctors stationed in most Haitian communities for years offering free medical services. Cuban doctors were first on the scene in Port-au-Prince, setting up a tent hospital to serve the wounded adjacent to the collapsed 700-bed national hospital. Cuban medical staff has done the same in small towns and communities near the Haitian capital.

US Accused of 'Occupying' Haiti As Troops Flood In

US accused of 'occupying' Haiti as troops flood in
France accused the US of "occupying" Haiti on Monday as thousands of American troops flooded into the country to take charge of aid efforts and security.
By Aislinn Laing and Tom Leonard |

The French minister in charge of humanitarian relief called on the UN to "clarify" the American role amid claims the military build up was hampering aid efforts.

Alain Joyandet admitted he had been involved in a scuffle with a US commander in the airport's control tower over the flight plan for a French evacuation flight.

"This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti," Mr Joyandet said.

Geneva-based charity Medecins Sans Frontieres backed his calls saying hundreds of lives were being put at risk as planes carrying vital medical supplies were being turned away by American air traffic controllers.

But US commanders insisted their forces' focus was on humanitarian work and last night agreed to prioritise aid arrivals to the airport over military flights, after the intervention of the UN.

The diplomatic row came amid heightened frustrations that hundreds of tons of aid was still not getting through. Charities reported violence was also worsening as desperate Haitians took matters into their own hands....

American military commanders have repeatedly stressed that they are not entering the country as an occupying force.

US soldiers in Port-au-Prince said they had been told to be discreet about how they carry their M4 assault rifles.

A paratrooper sergeant said they were authorised to use "deadly force" if they see anyone's life in danger but only as a "last resort". Read more.

Disaster Capitalism Headed to Haiti

Disaster Capitalism Headed to Haiti
By Stephen Lendman

In her book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," Naomi Klein explores the myth of free market democracy, explaining how neoliberalism dominates the world with America its main exponent exploiting security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, competing ideologies, tectonic political or economic shifts, and natural disasters to impose its will everywhere.

As a result, wars are waged, social services cut, public ones privatized, and freedom sacrificed when people are too distracted, cowed or in duress to object. Disaster capitalism is triumphant everywhere from post-Soviet Russia to post-apartheid South Africa, occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, Honduras before and after the US-instigated coup, post-tsunami Sri Lanka and Aceh, Indonesia, New Orleans post-Katrina, and now heading to Haiti full-throttle after its greatest ever catastrophe. The same scheme always repeats, exploiting people for profits, the prevailing neoliberal idea that "there is no alternative" so grab all you can.

On Her web site, Klein headlines a "Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again," then quotes the extremist Heritage Foundation saying:

"In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the US response to the tragic Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti's long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region."

Heritage notes "Things to Remember While Helping Haiti," itemized briefly below:

  • be bold and decisive;
  • mobilize US civilian and military capabilities "for short-term rescue and relief and long-term recovery and reform;"
  • US military forces should play an active role interdicting "cocaine to Haiti and Dominican Republic from the Venezuelan coast and counter ongoing efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to destabilize the island of Hispaniola;"
  • US Coast Guard vessels should stop Haitians from trying "to enter the US illegally;"
  • Congress should authorize "assistance, trade and reconstruction efforts;" and
  • US diplomacy should "counter the negative propaganda certain to emanate from the Castro-Chavez camp (to) demonstrate that the US's involvement in the Caribbean remains a powerful force for good in the Americas and around the globe."

CBS 60 Minutes: Haiti

Watch CBS News Videos Online

"Supplies Aren't Getting There"

Frustration Mounts Over Haiti Aid

Frustration mounts over Haiti aid | al Jazeera

Tensions are rising on the streets of Haiti as the bulk of earthquake survivors continue to go without food, medicine or proper shelter.

Aid organisations continued to struggle to reach them with supplies on Sunday, six nights after the devastating earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

A bottleneck at the capital's small airport – the main entry point for the massive assistance pledged by world leaders following the disaster – means little help has reached the many people waiting for help in makeshift camps on streets strewn with debris and decomposing bodies.

Airport bottleneck

Some aid agencies have complained about a lack of co-ordination at the Port-au-Prince airport, where the US military has taken over operations.

Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, (MSF) said an aircraft carrying a mobile hospital was denied permission to land at the airport on Saturday and diverted to neighbouring Dominican Republic, where it would take a further 24 hours to deliver supplies by road.

"Priority must be given immediately to planes carrying lifesaving equipment and medical personnel," MSF said in a statement. Read more.

The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?

The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?
By Michel Chossudovsky | Global Research

Haiti has a longstanding history of US military intervention and occupation going back to the beginning of the 20th Century. US interventionism has contributed to the destruction of Haiti's national economy and the impoverishment of its population.

The devastating earthquake is presented to World public opinion as the sole cause of the country's predicament.

A country has been destroyed, its infrastructure demolished. Its people precipitated into abysmal poverty and despair.

Haiti's history, its colonial past have been erased.

The US military has come to the rescue of an impoverished Nation. What is its Mandate?

Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?

The main actors in America's "humanitarian operation" are the Department of Defense, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)....

The military component of the US mission, however, tends to overshadow the civilian functions of rescuing a desperate and impoverished population. The overall humanitarian operation is not being led by civilian governmental agencies such as FEMA or USAID, but by the Pentagon.

The dominant decision making role has been entrusted to US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).

A massive deployment of military hardware and personnel is contemplated. Read more.

What Bush Did to Haiti

By David Swanson

If a group of dedicated scholars, attorneys, journalists, and activists had tried to generate a comprehensive list of impeachable offenses committed by George W. Bush as president, and only 35 of them had been introduced into Congress, one of the many discarded ones, in rough and overly detailed form, might have read something like this:

Aid Plane Turned Away From Haiti Airport, Says Medical Charity

Aid plane turned away from Haiti airport, says medical charity
Médecins sans Frontières cargo plane carrying inflatable hospital blocked from landing at Port-au-Prince airport
By Mark Tran |

A medical group today said one of its planes was turned away from Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, despite guarantees given by the UN and the US defence department.

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) received no explanation as to why the cargo plane carrying an inflatable surgical hospital was blocked from landing yesterday and re-routed to Samana, in the Dominican Republic.

All material from the cargo is now being sent by truck from Samana, but this has added a 24-hour delay. A second MSF plane is on its way and scheduled to land today in Port- au-Prince at around 10am local time (3pm GMT) with additional lifesaving medical material and the rest of the equipment for the hospital.

If this plane is also rerouted the installation of the hospital will be further delayed, in a situation where thousands of wounded are still in need of life-saving treatment, the group said.

"Priority must be given immediately to planes carrying life-saving equipment and medical personnel," a spokesperson said.

The inflatable hospital includes two operating theatres, an intensive care unit, 100-bed capacity, an emergency room and all the necessary equipment needed for sterilising material.

MSF teams are working around the clock in five hospitals in Port-au-Prince, but only two operating threatres are fully functional, while a third has been improvised for minor surgery due to the massive influx of wounded.

MSF doctors say they have never seen so many serious injuries as those sustained by victims of Haiti's earthquake. Read more.

No, Mister! You Cannot Share My Pain!

No, Mister! You Cannot Share My Pain!
By John Maxwell | Jamaican Observer

If you shared my pain you would not continue to make me suffer, to torture me, to deny me my dignity and my rights, especially my rights to self-determination and self-expression.

Six years ago you sent your Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to perform an action illegal under the laws of your country, my country and of the international community of nations.

It was an act so outrageous, so bestially vile and wicked that your journalists and news agencies, your diplomats and politicians to this day cannot bring themselves to truthfully describe or own up to the crime that was committed when US Ambassador James Foley, a career diplomat, arrived at the house of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide with a bunch of CIA thugs and US Marines to kidnap the president of Haiti and his wife.

The Aristides were stowed aboard a CIA plane normally used for 'renditions' of suspected terrorists to the worldwide US gulag of dungeons and torture chambers.

The plane, on which the Aristides are listed as "cargo", flew to Antigua - an hour away - and remained on the ground in Antigua while Colin Powell's State Department and the CIA tried to blackmail and bribe various African countries to accept ("give asylum to") the kidnapped president and his wife. Read more.

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