25, January 2010 Pat Robertson and Haiti
It is a pity that Pat Robertson has chosen to sign a pact with the devil by continuing his diatribe on gays, women’s rights, the separation of church and state – and more recently Haiti’s earthquake victims on its ‘un-Christian’ past. Even New York Times conservative columnist, David Brooks blamed Haitians for being “progress resistant.”
Brooks and Robertson would do well to reflect on France and the US’s sordid historical roles in Haiti. First the French ran Haiti as a slave colony robbing the land of its rich sources of coffee, sugar and tobacco. In an incredible cruel twist of colonial exploitation, the French demanded reparations from an impoverished ‘free’Haiti after its forces were expelled in 1804.
The US invaded Haiti in 1916 and continued the legacy of ‘colonial exploitation’ by appointing unpopular proxy dictators ‘president for life’ François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, followed by his son Jean-Claude Duvalier. Both rulers acquiesced to US demands to privatize its state run industries and establish sweat shops to provide US corporations with cheap imports.
It is puzzling why Obama appointed former President Clinton and President Bush to undertake the earthquake relief efforts when both were instrumental in undermining Haiti’s democracy.
It now behooves us help Haitians rebuild their devastated nation. As a start, let us demand that the democratically elected exiled leader, President Aristide, be allowed to return to his country. Finally, Haiti’s long term debt of $880 million should be forgiven.