SAKS Radio Director Issues Collective's Statement

link to full statement:


Thanks to Greg Chamberlain for forwarding this Public Declaration by progressive civil society organizations in Haiti. 

It represents a strong current of thought among left-leaning Haitians who are both grieving and mobilizing, but are also deeply concerned on a political level, by the widely perceived failure to date of the Preval government to speak out to the Haitian people and the world -- to lead, as they see it; by the US military focus on 'security' vs. food aid in the immediate days after the earthquake -- and the continued US military control of logistics in the humanitarian response; and their concerns about global discussions related to 'rebuilding Haiti' that they feel reflect a neoliberal economic agenda of globalization and not a national agenda developed by Haitians for Haitians. - AC


The emergency aid effort we are involved in is alternative in character and we expect to advocate a method of work which will denounce the traditional practices in the field of humanitarian aid which do not respect the dignity of the victims and which contribute to the reinforcement of dependency. We are advocating a humanitarian effort that is appropriate to our reality, respectful of our culture and our
environment, and which does not undermine the forms of economic solidarity that have been put in place over the decades by the grassroots organizations with which we work....

...Massive humanitarian aid is indispensable today, given the scale of the disaster, but it should be deployed in terms of a different vision of the reconstruction process. It should connect with a break from the paradigms that dominate the traditional circuits of international aid. We would hope to see the emergence of international brigades working together with our organizations in the struggle to carry out agrarian reform and an integrated urban land reform programme, the struggle against illiteracy and for reforestation, and for the construction of new modern, decentralised and universal systems of education and public health.

We must also declare our anger and indignation at the exploitation of the situation in Haiti to justify a new invasion by 20,000 U.S. Marines. We condemn what threatens to become a new military occupation by U.S. troops, the third in our history. It is clearly part of a strategy to remilitarise the Caribbean Basin in the context of the imperialist response to the growing rebellion of the peoples of our
continent against neo-liberal globalization. And it exists also within a framework of pre-emptive warfare designed to confront the eventual social explosion of a people crushed by poverty and facing despair. We condemn the model imposed by the U.S. government and the military response to a tragic humanitarian crisis. The occupation of the Toussaint Louverture international airport and other elements of the national infrastructure has deprived the Haitian people of part of the contribution made by Caricom, by Venezuela, and by some European countries. We condemn this conduct, and refuse absolutely to allow our country to become another military base.

As leaders of the organizations and platform who have set this process in motion, we are writing to share our initial analysis of the situation. We are certain, and you have already shown this to be true, that you will continue to support our work and our struggles in the framework of the construction of an alternative from which our country can rise again from this terrible catastrophe and struggle to break free of the cycle of dependency.

For the Coordinating Committee:
Sony Estéus Director of SAKS