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a689: Re: a505: Haiti-Rice Scandal (fwd)

From: kevin pina <kpinbox@hotmail.com>

"It's an unfair trading practice, and illegal," said Chamber of Commerce
President Maurice Lafortune, adding that the cheap rice threatens to force
importers and rice farmers out of business.

This is the real point of this so-called "rice scandal". The few families
that have traditionally profited off monopolies importing rice into Haiti
have never fretted about local rice farmers. They are the ones who have long
controlled the market importing cheap rice into Haiti forcing peasant
farmers out of business. Most of their profits never benefit the country as
they are deposited into off-shore accounts and never reinvested into Haiti.
This is the major contributing factor to Haiti's lopsided trade imbalance
with an estimated 80% of income generated by imports while exports account
for a mere 20% or less.

It would certainly be wrong if a few politicos used this opportunity to
benefit personally from an attempt to break the monopolies of the few
families who control the rice import economy.  At the same time, for the
President of the Chamber of Commerce and others to accuse the government of
putting rice farmers out of business is opportunistic and flies in the face
of the facts and history.

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