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"Pioneer" camp director Svetlana and Dr. Yuriy in discussion on April 14, 2015. Photo by Roger Annis.
More on the political situation in Ukraine
By Roger Annis
Important achievements in earthquake rehabilitation were achieved with the public health initiatives taken by Haiti's Ministry of Public Health in cooperation with large international missions and many smaller, vital health care projects. The contributions of Cuba and Partners In Health stood out.
For more on Haiti, click HERE.
By Travis Ross and Roger Annis
Papa Doc with Baby Doc.
For more on Haiti, click HERE.
By Roger Annis
October 8, 2014 -- Truthout, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- Jean-Claude Duvalier, the tyrant who ruled Haiti from 1971 to 1986, has died in Haiti at the age of 63. His death provides a moment for political reflection by the Haitian people, especially in view of the reality that so much of Duvalier's harsh political legacy remains alive and well in the island country.
A UN Security Council foreign military occupation has entered its 11th year. It serves to bolster much of the authoritarian Duvalier legacy, which has always, at its heart, been about excluding the Haitian people from governing their own country.
French troops in Mali.
By Roger Annis
February 6, 2013 – A Socialist in Canada, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- ”France is in Mali for the long haul.” That’s the headline of the France daily Le Monde on February 4. The newspaper’s front page, as well as pages 2 and 3, were devoted to a discussion over "what next" for France and the world in Mali.
The views of the newspaper’s editors are explained in a front page editorial. (The editorial translated into English is below.) Describing in the politest of terms France’s historic role in Africa as a slave and colonial power, and summarising the political situation in Mali and west Africa as a “struggle against narco-Islamists”, the newspaper argues for a long-term, Haiti-style tutelage of Mali.
Cuba-trained medical student examines Peruvian child, Lima, Peru, December 2010. Photo by Don Fitz.
By Don Fitz
December 8, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Furious though it may be, the current debate over health care in the US is largely irrelevant to charting a path for the poor countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Islands. That is because the US squanders perhaps 10 to 20 times what is needed for a good, affordable medical system. The waste is far more than the 30% overhead by private insurance companies. It includes an enormous amount of over-treatment, making the poor sicker by refusing them treatment, exorbitant over-pricing of medications and medical procedures, creation of illnesses, exposure to contagion through over-hospitalisation, and disease-focused instead of prevention-focused research.
Poor countries simply cannot afford such a health system. Well over 100 countries are looking to the example of Cuba, which has the same 78-year life expectancy of the US while spending 4% per person annually of what the US does.
Farmers in Haiti. Photo by Elizabeth Whelan.
By Roger Annis
November 10, 2012 -- Rabble, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Roger Annis's permission -- Hurricane Sandy struck another heavy blow to Haiti on October 23, 24, 2012. At least 54 people died and dozens more are missing. Several tens of thousands of people were flooded out of their homes or earthquake survivor camps.
There are some 370,000 people stuck in appalling conditions in the camps while hundreds of thousands more have gone back to damaged homes or whatever other inadequate shelter they can find.
Most media reports focused almost entirely on the storm's impact on the United States, while mostly ignoring its severe consequences in the Caribbean.
Media reports, and doesn’t report, on Sandy in Haiti
Dr Jorge Balseiro Estevez, of the Henry Reeve Cuban Internationalist Medical Brigade, interviewed by Roger Annis
October 30, 2011 -- Canada Haiti Action Network -- Dr Jorge Balseiro Estevez is director of the University Hospital of Psychiatry in the city of Camaguey, Cuba. He is a specialist in psychiatry and health administration and auxiliary professor of medical sciences at the university. He is a member of the Henry Reeve Cuban Internationalist Medical Brigade and a director of the brigade’s field hospital in the city of Leogâne, Haiti. Leogane was the epicentre of the earthquake of January 12, 2010.
Estevez was invited to Canada on a speaking tour to some 15 cities across Canada in October and November 2011. The tour was organised by the Canadian Network on Cuba and its local affiliates, with sponsorship from a broad range of trade unions, health professionals and Haiti solidarity groups.
Roger Annis of the Canada Haiti Action Network sat down with Estevez on October 30 in Vancouver for an interview about the Cuban medical mission’s accomplishments in Haiti and the challenges that lie ahead.
Cuban and Cuba-trained Haitian doctors at work in Haiti.
July 26, 2011 -- Canada Haiti Action Network -- Three Canadian solidarity activists conducted a 10-day fact-finding and solidarity mission to Haiti from June 20 to 30, 2011. The delegation, organised by Haiti Solidarity BC, the Vancouver affiliate of the Canada Haiti Action Network, travelled throughout the earthquake zone, including Port-au-Prince, Léogâne and Jacmel.
We visited neighbourhoods, camps of displaced people, medical centres and human rights and social organisations there to gain an overview of the most pressing needs in Haiti. During some of our visits and interviews, we were joined by other Canadians working on aid projects.
January 9, 2011 -- Socialist Voice -- Of all the commentaries and interviews coinciding with the anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake, none are likely to exceed in significance the interview granted by Organization of American States representative to Haiti, Ricardo Seitenfus, to the Swiss daily Le Temps on December 20, 2010.
The critique he delivered to the newspaper is especially significant for Latin America and the Caribbean because Seitenfus is Brazilian. Sensitivity is running high in the region over the evident failure of the international relief effort led by the big powers – the United States, Canada and Europe – whose interventionist policies had already done so much harm to Haiti before this latest catastrophe.
By Nina Lakhani
Castro's doctors and nurses are the backbone of the fight against cholera
December 26, 2010 -- The Independent -- They are the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America's doorstep which Barack Obama pledged a monumental US humanitarian mission to alleviate. Except these heroes are from [the United States'] arch-enemy Cuba, whose doctors and nurses have put US efforts to shame.
A medical brigade of 1200 Cubans is operating all over earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti, as part of Fidel Castro's international medical mission which has won the socialist state many friends, but little international recognition.
* * *
STOP PRESS: New Henry Reeve Brigade arrives in Haiti
By Juan Diego Nusa Peñalver
The popular Fanmi Lavalas party was excluded from the November 28 Haitian elections.
The following article appeared on the op-ed page of the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation daily newspaper, on December 1, 2010. Kevin Edmonds is a freelance journalist and graduate student at McMaster University’s Globalization Institute. Roger Annis is a coordinator of the Canada Haiti Action Network.
* * *
By Roger Annis and Kevin Edmonds
December 1, 2010 -- Those who counselled against holding a national election in Haiti in the midst of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis will take no comfort in the debacle it became. Our thoughts rest squarely with the tens of thousands of people afflicted with cholera, and the hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims still without shelter, clean water and hope. How much suffering could have been alleviated with the tens of million of dollars spent on a wasted electoral exercise?
By the Canada Haiti Action Network
November 12, 2010 -- The Canada Haiti Action Network (CHAN) is once again expressing its grave concerns about exclusionary elections in Haiti. It joins with the many Haitians as well as human rights organisations in Haiti and abroad in condemning these elections as serving the interests of Haiti's wealthy elite and the foreign powers that have dominated Haiti's past and present.
With Peter Hallward's permission, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is making available the Afterword to the 2010 paperback edition of Hallward's Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment (Verso, 2010), published in November. Readers can download the essay HERE, or read it on screen below.
Links' readers are urged to purchase Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment. Click here to do so.
* * *
By Peter Hallward
By Isabeau Doucet
October 28, 2010 -- Pambazuka News -- "Nothing! Nothing! We’ve seen nothing!", chanted the crowd of internally displaced people (IDP). They were pursuing former US president Bill Clinton from his photo-op in their squalid camp on his way to the third Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) meeting in downtown Port-au-Prince on October 6, 2010.
The crowd protesting Clinton was from the IDP camp on the golf course of the former Pétionville Club, a bourgeois enclave created by US marines when they first occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Ironically, the camp is considered one of the capital’s best, thanks to the attention brought to it by actor Sean Penn.
Supporters of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa celebrate his return following defeat of the attempted coup.
By Paul Kellogg
October 26, 2010 -- Polecon.net -- It is not difficult to see that the events of September 30, in the Latin American country of Ecuador, amounted to an attempted right-wing coup d’état. Mass mobilisations in the streets and plazas of Quito (the capital) and other cities – in conjunction with action by sections of the armed forces which stayed loyal to the government – stopped the coup before the day was out. But those few hours highlighted, again, the deep dangers facing those fighting for progressive change in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Remarkably, the first task is to re-assert that in fact a coup attempt took place. In the wake of the failure of the coup, commentator after commentator was trying to minimise what happened. Peruvian “libertarian” Álvaro Vargas Llosa – darling of the World Economic Forum and outspoken critic of Che Guevara and the current governments of Bolivia and Venezuela – insists that it was not a coup just an “ill-advised, violent protest by the police against a law that cut their benefits”.
Earthquake damage in Christchurch. Although similar in magnitude to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed 250,000, nobody died in the September 5, 2010, New Zealand quake.
By Reihana Mohideen, Manila
September 8, 2010 -- Comparisons must be made between the impact of the September 5 earthquake on Christchurch, New Zealand, and the quake that hit Haiti in January. The nature of a global system that maintains these inequalities should be exposed over and over again. In Haiti – with a population of around 9 million – some 250,000 people died in the earthquake and (according to government figures) 200,000 were injured and 1 million were made homeless. Some eight months later disaster still grips peoples lives. Fortunately, but in a staggering contrast, no lives were lost in New Zealand, although the earthquake was of a similar -- but slightly more powerful --- magnitude (7 on the Richter scale).
CRIME activists fool the media with a fake announcement that France would finally pay its 17 billion euro historic debt.
By Derrick O'Keefe
March 1, 2010
How was the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund formed, and how connected is the HERF to ordinary people in Haiti?
The Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF) was formed shortly after the February 29, 2004, coup e'tat as an offshoot of our partner organisation Haiti Action Committee (both based in the San Franscisco Bay Area), which does political advocacy and consciousness raising about Haiti and has long-term relationships with several grassroots leaders in the Lavalas movement that represents the vast majority of Haiti's population.
By Regan Boychuk
January 26, 2010 -- Haitians’ incredible plight has always been difficult to fully appreciate. Then the earthquake struck: hundreds of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands more hurt, a million homeless, and two million in need of food. It defies imagination.
And according to a journalist just returned from Haiti, even the heart-rending footage we’ve seen here on television fails to “portray the magnitude of the tragedy that has happened – and the degree to which the Haitian people are suffering. When looking at images from the disaster,” writes Steven Edwards, “we need to multiply by ten times our reaction of horror – only doing that can give you a true picture of what is going on in a place that has become hell not far from our shores.”[i]