Friday, July 30, 2010

Haiti Gears Up for Polls - Again, Sans Lavalas

By Wadner Pierre
published by IPS
Photo by Wadner Pierre
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jul 30, 2010 (IPS) - After weeks of delays, Haitian President René Préval confirmed this month that presidential and legislative elections will take place on Nov. 28. The U.N. and Western donor nations are pledging millions of dollars in support of the polls, but with at least 1.5 million people still homeless from the January earthquake, questions loom over how to ensure voter participation.

In the last round of senatorial elections before the earthquake, less than three percent of the electorate participated. Fanmi Lavalas, widely seen as the most popular political party in the country, was excluded from the election on technical grounds, along with some other parties. Now, the party has again been banned from participating in the November polls.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Noam Chomsky: US role in Haiti destruction

HAITI: Private Contractors 'Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot' - IPS

HAITI: Private Contractors 'Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot' - IPS
By Anthony Fenton

VANCOUVER, Canada, Feb 19, 2010 (IPS) - Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging "shock doctrine" for earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a "Haiti summit" which aims to bring together "leading officials" for "private consultations with attending contractors and investors" in Miami, Florida.

U.S.: Do Armed Contractors Belong in War Zones? - IPS

U.S.: Do Armed Contractors Belong in War Zones? - IPS

WASHINGTON, Jun 16, 2010 (IPS) - Should private contractors like Blackwater be allowed to continue to provide armed security for convoys, diplomatic and other personnel, and military bases and other facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq? A bipartisan U.S. Congressional commission will spend two days cross-examining 14 witnesses from academia, government and the companies themselves to come up with an answer.

"Some security tasks are so closely tied to government responsibilities, so mission-critical, or so risky that they shouldn't be contracted out at all," says Christopher Shays, a former Republican member of Congress from Connecticut.

Saturday and Sunday Market in Sonoma County

Wadner Pierre
It was an unbelievable feeling for me when I went to the Santa Rosa Saturday market and Sebastopol Sunday market. As an island man, and a man who is from a country where the informal business represents 90 percent of the national market, I couldn’t imagine that there are some places in the US like Sebastopal and Santa Rosa where people can buy organic foods without needing to go to a super market. It was huge and incredible for me the first time I visited the market.
Thanks to my friend filmmaker, Michael who is currently working on a movie project about food in which I work as one of the actors. For that, I had to meet growers and sellers of organic foods, just to know how they grow their healthy foods, and to share with them my experiences with the Haitian farmers. I have met some good and friendly growers and sellers of organic foods since the beginning of this project. I also visited one field that belongs to one well-known famous salad grower in Sebastopol. I spent a couple of days with him and I watered the crops twice, I remember. Les is his name.

A Black Monday, Gonaives Underwater

Wadner Pierre
 Faced by two hurricanes, Gustav and Hanna, and a tropical storm Fay for at least three weeks, Haiti was the hardest hit country in the Caribbean countries in the American continent. The three tropical storms devastated the country from north to south and east to west. More than 1000 people died and more than 800,000 are hopeless, living without shelters, but that does not make sense. Gonaives has the important death and hopeless number.
Gonaives the third largest city of Haiti is located in the northern Haiti at 153 kilometers from the Capital, which is Port-au-Prince with a population of more than 300, 000. Four years ago, in 2004, Gonaives was hit by the hurricane Jeanne. Gonaives faced another devastating hurricane from Sunday night to the morning of Monday.

My Weekend in Mendocino County, Northern California

Wadner Pierre
Mendocino County is located in the north coast of the U.S state California. In 2000, its population was 86, 625. Mendocino County has for its seat Ukiah. Mendocino was created in 1850. Due to an initially low population, it was under administration of Sonoma County government until 1859. The county is noted for its distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, Redwood forests, wine production and liberal views on marijuana. The county contains several of the original Spanish land grants of Alta California including the Sanel Rancho in Hopland, and the Yokayo Rancho that forms the majority of the Ukiah Valley.
The county derives its name from Cape Mendocino, which was probably named in honor of Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, 1535–1542 (who sent the Juan Cabrillo Expedition to this coast in 1542), or Lorenzo Suárez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583. Mendocino is the adjectival form of the family name of Mendoza.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Tremor for Haiti's Aid Industry

First published on

The earthquake was only the latest disaster to capsize the country's already fragile local aid economy. Now outside organizations are threatening to overwhelm it entirely.
On the second floor of a modest white house on a rutted road in Cap Haitien, 20 or so workers are busy at their workstations, churning out upwards of 3 tons of peanut butter (mamba in Creole) per month. But this is no ordinary peanut butter. It's Medika Mamba, a thick paste used to combat childhood malnutrition. It requires no cooking, refrigeration, or rehydration, and it can be administered at home. It is homemade Haitian in a way that most products are not these days: It uses local workers and peanuts from local farmers, and it rehabilitates Haitian children. In other words, it was the ideal thing to have around in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake.