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News Politics

Haiti: 1 Year Later

A lot can happen in one year. For instance, in one year a baby takes its first steps and its first teeth begins to sprout.

Similarly, in Haiti, a lot has happened in one year, but not for the better. One year later after the January 12th earthquake killed an estimated 250,000 and left 1 million Haitians living in tent cities, cholera has been allegedly introduced to the country by the UN’s Nepalese troops to have killed an estimated 3,300 and affected another 120,000. One year later and more than half of the international dollars pledged for Haiti’s rebuilding has yet to be delivered supposedly because much of the rubble left from the earthquake’s aftermath is still unmoved, and the rebuilding can’t start until the debris is removed. One year later and political instability seems to be like a disease crippling the country, and what’s supposed to be the country’s efforts towards electing the next leader of the country is turning to be a circus of elections violence and reported corruption. One year later and the country’s former dictator, Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, has unexpectedly returned to the country after being in exile for 25 years.

One year later, one thing is for sure: all eyes are still on Haiti and the cameras haven’t left as was predicted, but mainly because the Haiti story just keeps getting even more juicy. But what I wish the cameras would show is the other 90% of the country, because Port au Prince is just the capital and not the entire country. What the cameras would see is that life goes on in Haiti, and that while 1 million are living in tent cities, the other 9 million is living life as they knew it pre-January 12, 2010.


What the real story would reveal is that while all the hoopla has been on Duvalier’s mysterious return to Haiti since Sunday night (January 16th), the people are calling for a return of Haiti’s first Democratically elected President, Jean Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted in a U.S.-orchestrated coup in 2004 and forced into exile in South Africa, even though such ‘kidnapping’ has always been denied by the U.S.

On March 1, 2004, US Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), along with Aristide family friend Randall Robinson, reported Aristide had told them that he had been forced to resign and had been abducted from the country by the United States and that he had been held hostage by an armed military guard (http://www.democracynow.org/2004/3/1/rep_maxine_waters_aristide_says_i).

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York expressed similar words, saying “As a matter of fact, he was very apprehensive for his life. They made it clear that he had to go now or he would be killed.” (http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/americas/03/01/aristide.claim/)

A 2005 Wikileaks cable documents the US government “insistence that all efforts must be made to keep Aristide from returning to Haiti or influencing the political process.”

Needless to say, everything that has ever happened with Haiti has always been strategic regardless of who the current puppet master is. Likewise, it’s very strategic (and suspicious) that Baby Doc would return at such a time especially with Haiti’s impeding elections and would even be allowed to return back to Haitiby the international community. In the same way, Haiti’s progress post-earthquake is also very strategic, and what awaits the other side of the curtain once some type of rebuilding is actually completed- that’s also pretty strategic.

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News

Making the “Haiti is Me” Video



Slogan: Haiti is Me (Ayiti se Mwen in Creole)

Haiti is Me is a grass roots viral marketing campaign aimed at raising an in-depth awareness of the devastation in post earthquake Haiti. Similar to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, this disaster has left Haiti in ruins and ongoing rebuilding efforts are urgent. Our objectives are to better comprehend the magnitude of this catastrophe and set into motion the long term reconstruction and restoration of the country and its people through raised awareness, fundraising, strategic partnerships, volunteerism, and educating the next generation of Haitian leaders.

During this campaign we aim to accomplish the following:

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Campus Life

FAMU Sends Aid Team to Haiti

Florida A&M University will become the first HBCU to send a team to Haiti, when a group leaves this week on behalf of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Henry Lewis, dean of the college, will be traveling to Haiti along with three or four pharmacy faculty members and two nurse practitioners from the School of Nursing. The team intends to provide medication, medical supplies and pharmaceutical care services for earthquake victims in Haiti.

Due to liability concerns, senior doctoral pharmacy students are unable to take the trip. The team will set up three tents with computers and generators and help assist with the other clinics in passing out prescriptions.

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News

Secretary Napolitano Announces Humanitarian Policy for Haitian Orphans



WASHINGTON — Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, today announced a humanitarian parole policy allowing orphaned children from Haiti to enter the United States temporarily on an individual basis to ensure that they receive the care they need—as part of the U.S. government’s ongoing support of international recovery efforts after last week’s earthquake.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to help reunite families in Haiti during this very difficult time,” said Secretary Napolitano. “While we remain focused on family reunification in Haiti, authorizing the use of humanitarian parole for orphans who are eligible for adoption in the United States will allow them to receive the care they need here.”

Humanitarian parole into the United States may be granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security to bring otherwise inadmissible individuals into the country on account of urgent humanitarian reasons or other emergencies. The humanitarian parole policy announced by Secretary Napolitano today will be applied on a case-by-case basis to the following children:

Children who have been legally confirmed as orphans eligible for intercountry adoption by the Government of Haiti and are being adopted by U.S. citizens.

Children who have been previously identified by an adoption service provider or facilitator as eligible for intercountry adoption and have been matched to U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents.

More information about humanitarian parole and TPS is available at http://www.uscis.gov/ or by calling USCIS toll-free at (800) 375-5283. DHS encourages U.S. citizens with pending adoption cases in Haiti to send us detailed information about their cases to HaitianAdoptions@dhs.gov.

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Campus Life

Howard University Student-Athletes Rally to Aid Haiti

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Howard University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will hold a campaign during the Howard vs. Florida A&M basketball game this Saturday, January 23 at 2pm. The event will raise funds to assist the Embassy of Haiti in shipping the much needed donations from their recent relief drive to the earthquake ravished island.

SAAC President Gazelle d’ Artois, HU student-athletes and the Intercollegiate Athletics staff will collect $1.00 from each attendee at the Howard vs. Florida A&M basketball game, Saturday, January 23, 2010. The first 1,000 to make a donation will receive a “HU Supports Haiti” tee shirt.

Representatives from the Embassy of Haiti and The Haitian-American Professional Association are expected to deliver a message during halftime. The money will be donated to the Howard University Relief Fund.

Please come out to the game and support this important drive as we join the global effort to make a difference in the lives those adversely affected by the devastating earthquake.

howard

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Campus Life

Florida A&M University Establishes Haiti Relief Fund

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons has formed a Haiti Relief Planning Committee to coordinate the university’s effort to provide assistance to Haiti and to FAMU students, faculty and staff whose families were impacted by the disaster.

FAMU will focus on supporting indigenous organizations or those with a local presence such as Doctors Without Borders.

Ammons has asked that the committee with ensure that the money donated for this relief effort aid those who are truly in need and provide necessities and medical supplies for the victims.

“As an institution of higher learning with “Excellence with Caring” as our motto, we cannot sit idly by while our neighbors are suffering,” said Ammons. “We must assist in the humanitarian effort and also make sure that we have systems in place to meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff who may be affected in some way by the disaster.”

FAMU held a meeting January 15 in Lee Hall Auditorium to talk with students who are from Haiti to see how the university can help.

To learn more about the FAMU/Haiti Relief Effort Fund, visit www.famu.edu/haitirelief. Additionally, donations can be mailed to the FAMU Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 6562, Tallahassee, Florida 32314. The memo line should read “Haiti Relief.”

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News

Wyclef defends his Integrity vs Foundation Accusations



The Smoking Gun released the organization’s Internal Revenue Service records and called into question $410,000 the foundation spent on rent, product services, and the singer’s appearance at benefit concert. The Smoking Gun writes:

Internal Revenue Service records show the group has a lackluster history of accounting for its finances, and that the organization has paid the performer and his business partner at least $410,000 for rent, production services, and Jean’s appearance at a benefit concert. Though the Wyclef Jean Foundation, which does business as Yele Haiti Foundation, was incorporated 12 years ago–and has been active since that time–the group only first filed tax returns in August 2009….

…The recording studio also was paid $100,000 in 2006 for the “musical performance services of Wyclef Jean at a benefit concert.”

In response to these allegations, Jean has posted a video to YouTube to address his critics.

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