Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti: A Visit from Two American Presidents

By Jessica Desvarieux, Time Magazine Haiti’s earthquake-shattered Presidential Palace seemed a fitting, if not historically poignant, backdrop for former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s first joint visit to Haiti. Both men played pivotal roles in the Caribbean nation’s crumbling politics and economy. Clinton returned democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power in 1994 after a military coup had ousted him; a decade later, the Bush Administration flew Aristide out of Haiti and into exile. (See pictures from Haiti’s devastating earthquake.) Still, homeless earthquake survivor Joanne St. Leger, 30, is happy to see both Clinton and Bush in Haiti and trusts they will help make a difference. “We wouldn’t find anything if it wasn’t for foreigners,” says St. Leger. “We’ve been here for three months outside this Presidential Palace, and [Haitian President René] Préval has never come to see […]

Frustrations await Bush, Clinton visit to Haiti

By JONATHAN M. KATZ, The Associated Press PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — One restored a Haitian president to power; the other flew him back out again. Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are visiting Haiti on Monday, reminding the country of its tumultuous recent past just as frustration over an uneven earthquake relief effort is bringing politics back to the surface. The ex-presidents are spearheading U.S. fundraising in response to the Jan. 12 earthquake. Tapped by President Barack Obama for the role, they are making the one-day visit to assess recovery needs. Charged memories of their policies toward the impoverished Caribbean nation are already mixing with frustration over deplorable living conditions among the 1.3 million homeless quake survivors. Supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide have scheduled protests for Monday – demanding the return of their exiled leader and pleading […]

Haiti’s next disaster

Miami Herald Editorial OUR OPINION: Displaced Haitians desperately need better shelter When former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush make their first joint visit to Haiti this week, they will find another major disaster in the making. More than two months after the massive earthquake that claimed at least 230,000 lives, U.N. experts say that some 1.3 million people are still living a perilous existence in makeshift camps as the season of torrential rains fast approaches. The camps are stark evidence that despite the best efforts of disaster relief agencies and the international community, Haiti remains in a state of near-collapse and desperately in need of leadership on the ground. The government last week issued a useful plan for long-term recovery, which contained many good elements but was sorely lacking in crucial aspects. President René Préval’s vision of a […]

Bush, Clinton to make joint visit to Haiti

By TODD J. GILLMAN / The Dallas Morning News WASHINGTON – Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will visit Haiti together Monday, their first joint visit to the disaster zone. The ex-presidents teamed up to promote relief efforts three months ago at the White House. At the request of President Barack Obama, they created the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to collect donations and provide assurance to donors that funds will be well-spent. “Presidents Clinton and Bush will meet with Haitians, the government of Haiti and others providing assistance to earthquake survivors, with the goal of further establishing long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts,” the Clinton Foundation announced Thursday. This will be Bush’s first visit to Haiti since the magnitude-7.0 quake hit Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12. Clinton has visited in his capacity as United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti since […]

Help emigrants aid Haiti

DATE: January 14, 2010 SOURCE: The Tampa Tribune TEXT: The United States, Haiti’s major benefactor and trading partner, is responding quickly to the disastrous earthquake that hit on Tuesday. Public and private contributions will be substantial. Yet there is something more the United States should do and it’s politically difficult: grant temporary protected status to Haitians living here illegally. Former President George Bush refused to do it, and President Barack Obama has dodged the issue, saying it should be part of “a broader conversation about immigration.” Time has run out. Haiti has suffered a disaster of unprecedented proportions. Estimates of the dead – and injured lacking medical care – are horrifying. An estimated 30,000 Haitians, many of them in Florida, are facing deportation from the United States back to a place where they cannot find work and likely cannot […]

In Honduras and Haiti, the US Rules by Proxy

By Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report The Barack Obama presidency was supposed to signal a new era in U.S. foreign policy, including in Latin America, which had turned decisively against George Bush’s blustering, bullying and coup-making. What has emerged under Obama is not a reversal of historic U.S. imperial policies in the Americas, but a cosmetic adjustment.President Obama uses far less warlike language than his predecessor, but he deploys every trick and deceit in the book to maintain U.S. dominance in the region. And like all bullies who have had their noses bloodied, he tries to create fear in the hemisphere by picking on the smaller countries. For most of the 20th century, Haiti and Honduras were de facto colonies of the United States. Haiti was occupied by the U.S. military for nearly 20 years, between 1915 and 1934. Honduras […]

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