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#93: Good (?) News from Haiti: Driver replies to Gill

From: Tom F. Driver <tfd3@columbia.edu>

Mark Gill asks:

> Are we to assume that the USA and the World Bank, the IMF, the
> Inter-America Development Bank, the Import- Bank, et. al have some set
> of goals to prevent Haiti from from development?

What's at issue is the KIND of development.  Those institutions have a view 
of development for Haiti (and other poor countries) that doesn't actually help 
them very much and works out to the advantage of the donor nations and the 
more developed societies.  

> Is Mr. Driver saying, in effect, that US companies, along with those
> from Canada, Italy and Japan, persuade their respective governments to
> pressure Haiti to not develop or grow food or produce cotton for cloth,
> for example?

I don't know about Canada, Italy, and Japan, but the US policy is no
secret.  It's been written about by Development Gap, the (alas now
defunct) Washington Office on Haiti, and others.  See also HAITI AND THE
NEW WORLD ORDER, by Alex Dupuy.  In 1997, officials of USAID in Haiti
explained (rather vehemently) to me and others visiting them that Haiti
could not and should not grow its own food but only cash crops for

> If Mr. Driver's statements are supported by facts, then should we not
> shout "collusion", and begin a campaign by sending letters to
> Representatives and Senators in the US and sending letters to the
> governments, open letters, of the other countries who export to Haiti?
> Should we not do the same to the "global financial institutions" that
> are part of the collusion?

I and many others have been shouting "collusion" for many years, only to
have Greg Chamberlain and others accuse us of being "conspiracy
theorists."  We do urge sending letters to Congress and protesting the
policies of the US Department of State, the National Security Council,
and the international financial institutions.  Concerned organizations
that could use support include Witness for Peace, The Washington Office
on Latin America, Pax Christi, Grassroots International, Voices for
Haiti, and more.

Tom F. Driver
Member, Haiti Task Force
Witness for Peace