World Bank won't forgive Haiti debt

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Guysanto
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World Bank won't forgive Haiti debt

Post by Guysanto » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:20 am

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/10/23/ ... 224805575/

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Haiti will not receive relief from its international debts despite suffering from two months of deadly storms, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said.

Zoellick was in Haiti for a three-day tour of the battered Caribbean nation where almost 800 people were killed in recent hurricanes and flooding, Haitian radio reported Thursday.

The bank president told officials in Haiti that despite their request, the World Bank would not forgive its portion of the $1.7 billion Haiti owes foreign creditors.

The hemisphere's poorest country pays about $1 million a week in foreign debt, the report said.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Post by Guysanto » Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:26 pm

[quote]Racism and Poverty
John Maxwell

The people of Haiti are as poor as human beings can be.

According to the statisticians of the World Bank and others who speculate about how many Anglos can dance on the head of a peon, Haiti may either be the second, third or fourth poorest country in the world.

In Haiti's case, statistics are irrelevant.

When large numbers of people are reduced to eating dirt – earth, clay – it is impossible to imagine poverty any more absolute, any more desperate, any more inhuman and degrading.

The chairman of the World Bank visited Haiti this past week. This man, Robert Zoellick, is an expert finance-capitalist, a former partner in the investment bankers Goldman Sachs, whose 22,000 ‘traders” last year averaged bonuses of more than $600,000 each.

Goldman Sachs paid out over &18 billion in bonuses to its traders last year, about 50% more than the GDP of Haiti's 8 million people.

The chairman of Goldman took home more than $70 million and his lieutenants – as Zoellick once was – $40 million or more, each.

It should be clear that someone like Robert Zoellick is likely to be totally bemused by Haiti when his entertainment allowance could probably feed the entire population for a day or two. It is not hard to understand that Mr Zoellick cannot understand why Haiti needs debt relief.

Haiti is now forced by the World Bank and its bloodsucking siblings like the IMF, to pay more than $1 million a week to satisfy debts incurred by the Duvaliers and the post-Duvalier tyrannies. Haiti must repay this debt to prove its fitness for ‘help' from the Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFI).

One million dollars a week would feed everybody in Haiti even if only at a very basic level – at least they would not have to eat earth patties. Instead the Haitians export this money to pay the salaries of such as Zoellick

But Zoellick doesn't see it that way. According to the World Bank's website the bank is in the business of eradicating poverty. At the rate it does that in Haiti the Bank, I estimate, will be in the poverty eradication business for another 18,000 years.

The reason Haiti is in its present state is pretty simple. Canada, the United States and France, all of whom consider themselves civilised nations, colluded in the overthrow of the democratic government of Haiti four years ago. They did this for several excellent reasons:

• Haiti 200 years ago defeated the world's then major powers, France (twice) Britain and Spain, to establish its independence and to abolish plantation slavery. This was unforgivable.

• Despite being bombed, strafed and occupied by the United States early in the past century, and despite the American endowment of a tyrannical and brutal Haitian army designed to keep the natives in their place, the Haitians insisted on re-establishing their independence. Having overthrown the Duvaliers and their successors, the Haitians proceeded to elect as president a little black parish priest who had become their hero by defying the forces of evil and tyranny.

• The new president of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide refused to sell out (privatise) the few assets owned by the government (the public utilities mainly);

• Aristide also insisted that France owed Haiti more than $25 billion in repayment of blood money extorted from Haiti in the 19th century, as alleged compensation for France's loss of its richest colony and to allow Haiti to gain admission to world trade;

• Aristide threatened the hegemony of a largely expatriate ruling class of so-called ‘elites' whose American connections allowed them to continue the parasitic exploitation and economic strip mining of Haiti following the American occupation.

• Haiti, like Cuba, is believed to have in its exclusive economic zone, huge submarine oil reserves, greater than the present reserves of the United States

• Haiti would make a superb base from which to attack Cuba.

The American attitude to Haiti was historically based on American disapproval of a free black state just off the coast of their slave-based plantation economy. This attitude was pithily expressed in Thomas Jefferson's idea that a black man was equivalent to three fifths of a white man. It was further apotheosized by Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan who expostulated to Wilson: “Imagine! Niggers speaking French!”

The Haitians clearly did not know their place. In February 2004, Mr John McCain's International Republican Institute, assisted by Secretary of State Colin Powell, USAID and the CIA, kidnapped Aristide and his wife and transported them to the Central African Republic as ‘cargo' in a plane normally used to ‘render' terrorists for torture outsourced by the US to Egypt, Morocco and Uzbekistan.

Before Mr Zoellick went to Haiti last week, the World Bank announced that Mr. Zoellick's visit would “emphasize the Bank's strong support for the country.” Mr. Zoellick added: "Haiti must be given a chance. The international community needs to step up to the challenge and support the efforts of the Haitian government and its people."

“If Robert Zoellick wants to give Haiti a chance, he should start by unconditionally cancelling Haiti's debt,” says Brian Concannon of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. “Instead the World Bank- which was established to fight poverty- continues to insist on debt payments when Haitians are starving to death and literally mired in mud.”

“After four hurricanes in a month and an escalating food crisis it is outrageous that Haiti is being told it must wait six more months for debt relief,” said Neil Watkins, National Coordinator of Jubilee USA Network.

“Haiti's debt is both onerous and odious”, added Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners In Health. “The payments are literally killing people, as every dollar sent to Washington is a dollar Haiti could spend on healthcare, nutrition and feeding programs, desperately needed infrastructure and clean water. Half of the loans were given to the Duvaliers and other dictatorships, and spent on Presidential luxuries, not development programs for the poor. Mr. Zoellick should step up and support the Haitian government by cancelling the debt now.”

“Unconditional debt cancellation is the first step in addressing the humanitarian crisis in Haiti,” according to Nicole Lee, Executive Director of TransAfrica Forum. “There is also an urgent need for U.S. policy towards Haiti to shift from entrenching the country in future debt to supporting sustainable, domestic solutions for development.”

The above quotations are taken from an appeal by the organisations represented above.

Further comment is superfluous.

Copyright © 2008 John Maxwell
jankunnu@gmail.com[/quote]

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Post by Guysanto » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:34 am

For immediate release
30 October 2008

Zoellick ‘misled' storm-struck Haitians over debt cancellation

Call for World Bank chief to explain claim that $500m Haitian debt already cancelled – weeks after relief delayed by six months


Haitian and international civil society groups have today written to World Bank President Robert Zoellick asking him to clarify ‘misleading' remarks about debt cancellation made on a visit to storm-ravaged Haiti last week. [1]

Zoellick is reported to have told journalists in Port-au-Prince that Haiti's $1.7 billion debt was “half-forgiven” and promised “the rest of the debt” could soon be cancelled. [2] He was also reported to have stated that $500 million of Haitian debt had already been cancelled. [3]

In fact, none of Haiti's debt stock has yet been cancelled by the World Bank, and in recent weeks the World Bank has delayed debt cancellation for Haiti by six months. This comes as the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes described the four hurricanes that have struck the country as the “worst disaster in the last 100 years” to strike Haiti. [4]

The campaigners point out that:

o Haiti's total external debt stands at $1.7 billion, compared to $1.36 billion in 2005, when it was told it was eligible for the World Bank and IMF's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries debt relief initiative (HIPC). [5]

o Under HIPC and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative that follows completion of HIPC, as well as an associated agreement by the Inter-American Development Bank, Haiti stands to receive approximately $1.2 billion of debt cancellation, but only when it reaches HIPC ‘Completion Point'.

o At the World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Washington earlier this month, Haiti's expected Completion Point date was put back from ‘last quarter 2008' to ‘first half 2009' – a delay of six months. [6]

o The only debt relief Haiti has so far received under the HIPC scheme has been limited relief on its debt service payments since entering the scheme in 2006 – estimated by the IMF as $19.8 million. [7] However, no debt stock is actually forgiven under HIPC until a country reaches Completion Point. Haiti's budgeted debt service payments in 2008 have continued to be more than $1 million every week.

o Some $400 million to $500 million of Haiti's debt will not be cancelled under HIPC even when the country reaches Completion Point because they are not covered by the cut-off dates for the scheme. World Bank debts are only cancelled up to the end of 2003 and IMF debts up to the end of 2004.

Nick Dearden, Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, said:
“It's already a scandal that the World Bank has put back Haiti's debt relief by six months when it's facing its worst humanitarian disaster in a century. But for the Bank's President to come to the country and apparently mislead the Haitian people that money has been made available to help them is unforgivable. Zoellick should be pressuring World Bank shareholders to cancel Haiti's illegitimate debts immediately – instead he's giving distressingly inaccurate reassurances that help is on its way.”

Charles Arthur, Co-ordinator of the Haiti Support Group, said:
“The fact that the President of the World Bank apparently doesn't understand how his own debt relief scheme works speaks volumes about how well the World Bank is tackling the international debt crisis. What's worse, even if it does finally complete the process, Haiti will still owe around US$500 million and will still face hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt service payments every week. As Zoellick says, the country is at a tipping point, and it urgently needs all the funds it can get.”

The call for a clarification from Zoellick comes as the United Nations reports that only 40% of the $107 million called for in its flash appeal for Haiti has been pledged – let alone delivered. [8]

ENDS

Contact:
Jonathan Stevenson, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, +44 (0)20 7324 4726, +44 (0)7818 651124
Neil Watkins, Jubilee USA Network, +1 202 421 1023
Dan Beeton, CEPR, +1-202-239-1460
Andrew Marx, Partners in Health, +1-617-432-5256

Notes for editors

[1] For the full letter, see http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/media.

[2] Zoellick is reported to have said in Port-au-Prince on Monday that “We have forgiven half of Haiti's debt under programs that have been created with donors” and “If the process stays on track, there should be forgiveness of the rest of the debt by sometime, maybe, in the middle of next year." ‘Storm-hit Haiti could be debt-free by mid-2009: World Bank chief', AFP, 23 October 2008, http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jH_ ... o8ZH_2qQiQ

[3] “Haiti's total debt stands at 1.69 billion dollars, of which more than 500 million dollars has been forgiven, Zoellick told reporters at Port-au-Prince airport before his departure. But he stressed that some conditions still have to be met -- including transparency, battling corruption and good economic governance.” (AFP)

[4] http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?N ... =hurricane

[5] Update: CEPR, Debt Cancellation for Haiti: No Reason for Further Delays, Mark Weisbrot and Luis Sandoval, forthcoming, quoting figures from IMF and Haiti's Ministry of Economy and Finance.

[6] See Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative: Status of Implementation report, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, 12 September 2008.

[7] IDA/IMF 2006, Haiti: Enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries - Decision Point Document, IMF Country Report No. 06/440, November 2006, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr ... r06440.pdf.

[8] http://www.undispatch.com/archives/2008 ... ricain.php


___________________________________________________________

Sent by the Haiti Support Group - A British solidarity organisation supporting the Haitian people's struggle for participatory democracy, human rights and equitable development - www.haitisupport.gn.apc.org

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Post by Guysanto » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:39 am

A lot of contradicting information. Confusing to say the least.

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Post by Guysanto » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:05 pm

P-au-P, 03 nov. 08 [AlterPresse] --- Des réseaux sociaux internationaux et des organisations étrangères intervenant en Haiti s'inscrivent en faux contre les récentes déclarations du président du Groupe de la Banque Mondiale, Robert B. Zoellick, affirmant que la moitié de la dette d'Haiti a déjà été annulée.

Ces mouvements sociaux ont, dans une correspondance à Zoellick, demandé au patron de la Banque Mondiale de clarifier sa déclaration par rapport à la dette externe d'Haiti estimée aujourd'hui à plus de 1.7 milliard de dollars, contre 1.36 milliard en 2005.

« La moitié de la dette, soit plus de 500 millions de dollars, a déjà été annulée. Le processus est enclenché pour éliminer l'autre partie. Je suis certain que cela va arriver bientôt », a déclaré Robert Zoellick qui a récemment visité Haiti.

Aucune partie de la dette externe d'Haiti n'a en fait été annulée par la Banque Mondiale, selon ces secteurs internationaux.

Les signataires de la lettre sont : Center for Economic and Policy Research, Haiti Advocacy Platform Ireland-UK, Haiti Support Group, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Jubilee USA Network et Partners in Health.

Ces organisations avancent que la Banque Mondiale a, au contraire, retardé pour six mois le processus d'annulation de cette dette, prévue pour le dernier trimestre de 2008.

Ce processus a été reporté au premier semestre de 2009, soit un retard de six mois, suivant les résolutions adoptées à la dernière assemblée annuelle, déroulée à Washington du 10 au 13 octobre dernier.

« C'est déjà un scandale lorsque la Banque mondiale a reporté pour six mois le processus d'allégement de la dette d'Haiti, un pays confronté à la pire catastrophe humanitaire » des dernières années, estime Nick Dearden, directeur de ''Jubilee Debt Campaign UK''.

Nick Dearden pense que Robert Zoellick a menti au peuple haitien quand il a informé qu'une partie de la dette d'Haiti a été annulée.

Le pays se retrouve à un moment critique, et « il a besoin en toute urgence de fonds », indique pour sa part Charles Arthur de ''Haiti Support Group'', paraphrasant le président de la Banque Mondiale.

Haiti devrait recevoir une annulation de l'ordre de 1.2 milliard de dollars de sa dette en vertu de l'Initiative visant l'effacement de la dette des « Pays pauvres très endettés » (PPTE), selon ces secteurs sociaux. [do apr 03/11/2008 09:00]


___________________________________________________________

Sent by the Haiti Support Group - A British solidarity organisation supporting the Haitian people's struggle for participatory democracy, human rights and equitable development - www.haitisupport.gn.apc.org

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Kote moun yo?

Post by jafrikayiti » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:50 am

Is there a President in Haiti?


Is there a Parliament in Haiti?

Kote moun yo?

Are there men and women with courage and decency in this country to finally do the right thing:

1) Declare Haiti to be in a state of EMERGENCY - therefore...

2) DEBT payments are to stop immediately

3) Investment in the nation's infrastructure to begin on a priority basis


How can it not be obvious, that Haiti cannot afford to be financing the WOrld Bank and its associate blood suckers international to the tune of $1 million a week !!!!!

When there is not even one good General Hospital on the 27 750 KM2 of the country

When there is a whole school system to rebuild from scratch


When there is a road network to build.

When the farmers cannot espect the basics they deserve and need from there State to produce food for the nation.


It is criminal for the Haitian government to be so coward in its discussion with the former colonial powers (who now like to be called international community - to hide their RESPONSIBILITY in the mess nations like Haiti are living).

I Know the French assassinated Thomas Sankara when he stood up and unilaterally declared the obvious - that Africa should not be financing its former torturers - through upside down "debt".

France has stolen at gun point over 40 billion dollars from Haiti from 1825 to 1947 - with U.S. complicity - Who in the so-called "World Bank" is seeking payment of that debt back to Haiti?

President René Préval needs to stop travelling and start stading for the rights of the Haitian people.

We, in the Haitian diaspora need to get our act together and stop being giddy and satisfied with symbolic gestures like the nomination of Michaelle Jean as Governor General of Canada or a vbrother or a sister getting a good position here or there. It is time we get serious and start advocating for what truly matters at a national scale.

It makes no difference if a thousand of us get "good jobs" and "make it" when we leave our mothers and fathers, our children and our very selves vulnerable to the next rain fall, the next school collapse, the next boat that capsizes.

The Wretched of the Earth is not our natural destiny.

How many Barack Obamas died in the rubbles of that school in Petion-Ville yesterday?


Hom many Nelson Mandelas? How many Phillip Emeagwalis will never become the scientist, the geniuses they were meant to be.

I am sick and tired of the cowardice displayed by the Haitian leaders. It is not only shameful, it is criminal. 150 million African women and men, did not die in the middle passage, on the deadly torture fields called plantation, on the battlefield against the bullets of the British, Spanish, French enslavers....so that today we would become stupid adults who are happy to wine and dine in Francofony orgies - as if valsing on a slave ship while our people's screams fall to death ears.


The bones of these children shall never rest in peace until we assume the responsibility that is OURS to ensure these tragedies stop to occur.


The so-called "World" bank has nothing to forgive. It is up to us to garner the courage to decide we are no longer throwing our meager resources to them imperialist thieves!

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Post by Guysanto » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:09 am

Jaf, I agree 100% with your call.

The only thing is, I truly want to know, what would be the short-term and long-term consequences of Haiti's announcing that it will put on hold its debt repayment schedule if the World Bank does not take this debt immediately off of its books.

Any student of History knows that the G7 owes much more to Haiti than Haiti owes them. The truly hilarious thing is when the G7/World Bank and other regional and international financial institutions proclaim that they want nothing less than the elimination of hunger and poverty in the world.

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