Leave politics out of Humanitarian Aid

2010-02-02 12:20

THE remarkable achievement of hauling out 134 lives from the rubble

of the devastating Haiti earthquake merits acclaim for the humanitarian

organisations that responded to the disaster.

The heroic feat of saving each single valuable life has been

splashed across the world’s media, bringing occasional cheer to a tragic event

that resulted in the death of an estimated 200,000 people.

However, a darker side to providing aid to the destitute by relief

organisations and countries has emerged. There have been accusations that

countries seek to exploit this catastrophe to promote a hidden agenda.

The USA and France have been guilty of impoverishing Haiti,

extorting billions of dollars for 200 years from the first independent Black

country of former slaves.

As was their wont, the Western world supported the brutal Haitian

dictatorships of “Papa” and “Baby” Doc Duvalier, who murdered thousands of human

rights activists.

It is a pity that the USA, Israel and their allies bullied other

relief agencies by commandeering the airport and palace at a time when the

priority was to have been to alleviate the immense suffering of the victims.

A state of emergency was declared, imposing martial law conditions

that were enforced by the US military. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had

demanded the imposition of the emergency decree during her visit to Haiti on

Saturday.

“The decree would give the government an enormous amount of

authority, which in practice they would delegate to us,” Clinton declared.

Analysts predict that the Haitian emergency decree will give the US

military a legal pretext for the suppression of the entire population.

“We need a safe and secure environment to be successful,” said

General Ken Keen of the US Southern Command, which oversees the Haiti operation.

Keen warned of “increasing incidents of security . . . we are going

to have to deal with it as we go forward”.

Relief flights from China, Italy, Brazil and numerous aid

organizations have also been diverted.

The Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders both reported their

flights had been forced to land in the Dominican Republic, which shares the

island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

The overland route adds eight or nine hours to relief delivery, the

Red Cross said.

Doctors Without Borders reported its surgeons were unable to help

the sick and dying for 48 hours, on account of the delay.

Lest we forget, the first humanitarian aid arrived from Cuba and

Venezuela.

Dr Firoz Osman

Secretary-General,

Media Review Network

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