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#3441: Eyes of the Heart... (fwd)


Letters written for the poor: Aristide on Haiti's fears of          
globalizing markets  By ASHA SONDHI  Earth Times News Service 

Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of
Globalization By Jean-Bertrand Aristide Common Courage Press           
Monroe, Maine 80 pages $12.00 hardcover

If you haven't already, chances are you know someone who has quit his
job, and ventured to Silicon Valley to try his luck at an internet
start-up. It's the internet Revolution, the gold rush of the 21st
century--and it has transformed the Jones' as we know them into
overnight millionaires. Greed. Globalization. Stock options. Success?

 Not necessarily, says Jean Bertrand Aristide. In "Eyes of the Heart,"
Aristide, former  President of Haiti tells the other side of the story,
about the casualties of  globalization--the poor. Aristide says that
while many countries are "accumulating wealth with breathtaking       
speed and never looking back," many poor countries are "sinking deeper
into  economic misery."Told with anecdotes, personal commentaries, and
hard statistics, Aristide shows that not everyone has profited from the
new, global economy. In fact, "for poor countries, trade is not so free,
or so fair," says Aristide. Haiti is not against free trade, but       
Haitians fear the global markets will annihilate their markets, says
Aristide.What happens to poor countries, such as Haiti, when they engage
in free trade? In  1986, cheaper rice from the United States flooded the
Haitian market. The result? Haiti's farmers could not compete, explains
Aristide. By 1996, Haiti was importing 196,000 tons of rice, and
domestic rice production became negligible. In "Eyes of the
Heart,"Aristide expresses his wonder at how the average Haitian      
survives on less than $250 a year, where there is no welfare, and where
the cost of  schooling often exceeds family's incomes.  The former
priest and president says it is a crisis "that the only measure of value
is profit, the only measure of human progress is economic growth." He
adds that "a poverty of spirit" has "made a religion of the market. "He
calls 'Eyes of the Heart' his letter written for the poor--the often
overlooked victims of globalization.Aristide was elected president of
Haiti in 1990 and marked the end of a 30 year  dictatorship. He went
into exile during a coup in 1991. With the help of the UN, he returned
in 1994 and completed his presidential term. Today, he continues to work
with the Aristide Foundation for Democracy and Lafanmi Selavi, an
organization for street children. For further information see: