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#1712: Karshan to Gill on RICE issue (fwd)


<< Miami rice is not the result of some nefarious US policy, made in the dark
 in some hidden room in Washington... >>

To the contrary, the export of rice from the US to Haiti was a carefully 
planned affair.  USAID continued to subsidize a rice company which was 
blacklisted from the USAID (see NYT reference in the Rice reports by the 
Washington Office on Haiti) because of fraudulent activities in Yemen.  I 
later found out that they also handled business unethically in Jamaica as 
well.  Buying another rice company to operate under their name, this rice 
company continued its dirty work -- getting the rights to operate in a 
country from a party who doesn't have the legitimate right to grant their 
import.  This is what they did in Jamaica and they benefited in Haiti under 
the coup d'etat by gaining the rights from then de facto Prime Minister Marc 

I met with the US Dept of Commerce folks in DC during the coup d'etat and 
when I noticed that the flow of rice going into Haiti was well beyond the 
capacity of Haiti to consume, they told me off the record that the rice was 
typically exported to Haiti as part of a money-laundering scheme.  

Surprise, surprise, when the US troops went in they raided depots under the 
control of Michael Francois and found enormous quantities of rice.  

This same American rice company then turned around to the small farmers in 
California and insisted on buying rice at a reduced rate claiming losses in 
revenues despite being part of a money laundering scheme, despite USAID 
subsidies, and despite claiming losses on their returns.  

I went to USAID to talk with them about the export of rice to Haiti and they 
refused to talk to me.  I read the original articles in the New York Times 
about that rice company's dealings in Yemen.  The NYT devoted a full page to 
it and made it a 2-part article.  They portrayed that company as so devious 
and had defrauded USAID.  

Oh, additionally, I did visit the Rice Association in Virginia and found out 
that it is a highly secretive association housed in a plush office,  Other 
than a small pamphlet which did contain information on that particular rice 
company I was researching, no information was available there.  

Who profited from these deals?  Certainly not the Haitian people.

Anyway, you can read about the rice dealings in the reports produced by the 
Washington Office on Haiti at the time and are still available on their