Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Haitians protesting MINUSTAH presence in Cap Haitian fired upon, called "political"

"The way the events unfolded suggests that these incidents were politically motivated, aimed at creating a climate of insecurity on the eve of elections" MINUSTAH said in a statement, calling the population to remain vigilant and not being manipulated by enemies of stability and democracy." Read the article

Read the above again. This is an official statement by a ruling army in a country where 1.3 million citizens have no papers and live in crude tens, ten months after a major earthquake. A protest against the presence of peacekeepers who may have brought the cholera epidemic to Haiti is spun to look like a paid demonstration by the "enemies of stability and democracy". They aimed to create a climate of insecurity? They needn't work so hard! Whenever Haitians take to the street to protest the UN mission in Haiti, PR flacks work overtime to assure the mostly indifferent world that these are either paid operatives (presumably of Aristide, that troublemaker) or dangerous thugs trying to stop the good work of the UN. Firing into a crowd of protesters at breast height would seem to be the rules of engagement for MINUSTAH. It is interesting how any time people come to object to how their country is being run that they are paid malcontents interfering in the smooth administration of Haiti. Smooth? Stable? Democracy? Do these words have any meaning for UN officials? There is no democracy in Haiti! Holding an election does not mean there is freedom! There is an epidemic in the country that has killed 900 that was predicted by many months ago. Money pledged by the developed world is held up in congresses and escrow accounts. The Red Cross is getting into the business of natio-building - something it knows nothing about. 

To dismiss the protests of a group of Haitians peacefully assembled to tell the UN that they are failing at their job is the worst kind of spin. It makes it apparent that Haitians are not the target of any of the UN's communications - these messages are meant for the international community. There is no such thing as a legitimate protest in the eyes of MINUSTAH. Someone needs to educate these peacekeepers from such thriving democracies as Nepal and Jordan how peaceful protests work.

2 comments:

  1. The Red Cross is training people at the grassroots level to do first aid, find and share safe evacuation routes in time of disaster, sending text messages about water safety and incoming storms, handing out clean water, setting up more hospital beds for cholera victims, and so on. What are you talking about... nation building? It's a fundamentally grassroots organization with a grassroots mission.

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  2. The two are not fundamentally opposed. The ARC has stated that they have a three to five year reconstruction program for Haiti, which is why the relief money that has been raised so far has not all been spent for the purpose it was donated - earthquake relief.

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