State Department Warns: Be Careful Overseas

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Guysanto
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State Department Warns: Be Careful Overseas

Post by Guysanto » Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:10 pm

Mar 30, 2007 7:10 am US/Mountain

State Department Warns: Be Careful Overseas

(AP) WASHINGTON As if you needed reminding: It's dangerous out there. And if your parents' warnings that the world is full of malevolent people and mishap-prone places didn't stick, the State Department is ready to fill the void.

From the spectacular to the mundane, while terrorism grabs headlines, most problems faced by Americans abroad have nothing to do with al-Qaida but rather cutthroat con artists, corrupt officers and dismal drivers.

The colorful quirks of foreign lands, be they unscrupulous cabaret girls in Cyprus or the arbitrary enforcement of unwritten laws in Laos, are laid bare each year in safety and security reports compiled by State Department analysts for every country on Earth.

The department puts them online, mainly for employees of U.S. firms doing business abroad but are available to anyone. According to this year's updates:

• "Driving in Qatar is (like) participating in an extreme sport."

• "Police involvement in criminal activity is both legendary and true in Mexico."

• "Be aware of drink prices" in Croatia's gentlemen's clubs, where tourists can "unknowingly run up exorbitant bar bills, sometimes in the thousands of dollars."

These little publicized assessments venture beyond the bland, carefully worded travel advice the State Department is normally known for, and are often downright undiplomatic.

The Mexican Embassy in Washington, for example, objected to the characterization of police corruption, calling it an "unfortunate cliche." "Things are changing in Mexico for the good," spokesman Rafael Laveaga maintained.

But unflattering descriptions of countries are not uncommon.

"The tragedy of Haiti is that Haitians have become great leaders in every profession and in every country, with the exception of Haiti," says the report for the impoverished Caribbean nation, warning that trained personnel are lacking to respond to any emergency.

In deadpan fashion, another report praises Maltese authorities at the expense of the Mediterranean island's closest neighbor. "Despite Malta's geographic proximity to Italy, organized crime is almost nonexistent," it says.

Although deadly, the Mafia, along with natural disasters and terrorists, should be the least of your worries outside the United States.

Automobile accidents cause the biggest portion of non-natural, non-combat deaths of Americans abroad, accounting for nearly a third of the more than 2,000 cases reported to the State Department between 2004 and 2006.

Thus, the department's Overseas Security Advisory Council places heavy emphasis on local motoring mores in the reports.

In the oil-rich Gulf nation of Qatar, the population of fewer than 900,000 racks up an astounding 70,000 traffic accidents per year, its report says.

"Drivers often maneuver erratically and at high speed, demonstrate little road discipline or courtesy, fail to turn on their headlights during hours of darkness or inclement weather, and do not use seat belts," it says.

Sound bad? Well, it may be worse in Tunisia.

"Among their many traits, local drivers rarely use lanes designated for turns, often cut across multiple lanes of traffic, rarely look before changing lanes, do not yield the right of way when merging, commonly run through red lights without stopping, and generally drive oblivious to other vehicles on the road," the Tunisia report says.

"Driving in Egypt," meanwhile, "can be a harrowing experience and not for the faint-hearted," the analysts opine.

In the historic center of the French city of Strasbourg, cars face nonmoving threats as "vehicle arson has come into vogue here with an unofficial New Year's Eve competition" among vandals wrecking numerous autos each December 31, the report for France says.

After accidents, assaults, suicides and drownings are the next leading causes of U.S. civilian deaths overseas, according to the State Department. Terrorist attacks claim far fewer American lives, it says.

Yet there are perhaps less well-known dangers lurking beyond U.S. borders.

Even the staid environs and clockwork efficiency of Switzerland can be risky, the analysts say.

"Being surrounded by the majestic, snow-covered Alps, combined with a pervasive sense of orderliness, it is understandable that travelers might forget that the city of Geneva and the adjacent cantons are not immune from crime," the report on Swiss security says.

Elsewhere, the lacing of drinks with date-rape drugs is common, but even without such adulteration, visits to watering holes far from home can be perilous, the reports say.

The U.S. embassy in Cyprus has ordered staff to avoid "cabaret girls," or "artistes," who work with unscrupulous bar owners to overcharge patrons in search of female companionship, the analysts say.

They add that the usually diligent Cypriot police are generally unsympathetic to victims.

But at least Cyprus has capable and respected law enforcement officers.

In nearby Greece, "police have limited ability to deter criminals" and "receive little support from the Greek government and even less respect from the Greek population," the analysts say.

In Laos, authorities may simply make up the rules, the analysts say, noting that "while the country does have published laws forming the basis of its law enforcement mechanism, the population is also beholden to unpublished laws and proclamations."

Closer to home, Mexico is not a place to rely on the local constabulary, they say.

"Reporting crime is an archaic, exhausting process in Mexico, and is widely perceived to be a waste of time."


© 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Post by Guysanto » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:36 pm

[quote]The tragedy of Haiti is that Haitians have become great leaders in every profession and in every country, with the exception of Haiti[/quote]

Yo di bouch granmoun santi, men pawòl ki soti nan bouch li bon. Mwen pa di pwovèb sa pou mwen jistifye jijman State Department lan non. Men se pou m di tou senpman ke se pa paske State Department di li ki fè pa kab gen verite nan sa yo di la. Byen ke nou fin abitye ak kalite manti moun sa yo abitye bay...

Sa nou panse sou jijman yo fè a? Ki pa verite oswa manti gen ladan?

Tell us how you see the statement. Is it: factual? insulting? a compliment?

What great Haitian leaders come to mind, in Haiti and abroad, that we and our children should KNOW ABOUT, or put another way that it would benefit us not to be ignorant of? Understand that I am not talking of great historical figures like Dessalines, Toussaint, Boukman, Makandal, etc. I am particularly interested in the fields of science and technology, engineering, health and medical research, economic development, agronomy, electronics, communications, computers and so forth, starting from the Applied Sciences to the more theoretical ones, and then leading to Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities? Who are the great Haitian leaders of today?

Haitians mostly hear about their political and historical Leaders. But the U.S. State Department statement clearly recognizes that Haitians have become great leaders in every profession and in every country... Let's go beyond the real or perceived insult and ask ourselves: Who are the Haitian Leaders of the 21st century?

If anyone should know them, the Haitian Community ought to be the first! Tell me what you think or which ones you know about. Please respond.

Michel Nau
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:38 pm

Who are the great Haitian leaders of today?

Post by Michel Nau » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:58 am

Guy wrote: [quote]Haitians mostly hear about their Political and Historical Leaders. But the U.S. State Department statement clearly recognizes that Haitians have become great leaders in every profession and in every country (except ...) [/quote] What the State Department said is purely biblical if I am not mistaken.
Nulle n'est prophète dans son pays!

It's easier for someone to excel in a foreign country than back home especially if someone is from a third world country where technology is rare and must be imported. Most of the people who made it in America are from a foreign country, and most of them start from nothing.

Guy wrote: [quote]I am particularly interested in the fields of science and technology, engineering, health and medical research, economic development, agronomy, electronics/communications/computers and so forth, starting from the Applied Sciences to the more theoretical ones, and then leading to Social Sciences, Arts (Literature, Music, Film, Visual, ...) and Humanities?[/quote] You probably forgot the notion of leadership!
These nerds may be intelligent, have tenure at an Ivy League schools, but they may be lacking of leadership charisma.

Manigat, Deronceray, Bazin are probably smart folks, but they lack of leadership charisma.

Aristide like it or not, Lula from Brazil, Chavez, Castro etc.. are leaders because they have followers, they have a vision on how to run an organization, a country.

Guy wrote: [quote]Who are the great Haitian leaders of today? [/quote] If you are looking for black applied scientists, economists, doctors etc… you may probably want to change the name of your site from Ann Pale to Jets, Ebony, or essence magazines.

You and your wife Guy, are leaders in your home by providing food, shelter and a good education to your children.
You and your wife are leaders in your community, your church, etc..
You don't have to cash the equity on your house, your pension, your mutual funds etc, and move to Haiti, form a political party, and run for president, and saying to the local that you have the solution to their problems.
Big mistake!!!
A lot of us did it and failed!!
Because,

« Nulle n'est prophète dans son pays! »

Michel

Tidodo
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Post by Tidodo » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:50 am

Michel,

[quote]If you are looking for black applied scientists, economists, doctors etc… you may probably want to change the name of your site from Ann Pale to Jets, Ebony, or essence magazines.

You and your wife Guy, are leaders in your home by providing food, shelter and a good education to your children.
You and your wife are leaders in your community, your church, etc..
You don't have to cash the equity on your house, your pension, your mutual funds etc, and move to Haiti, form a political party, and run for president, and saying to the local that you have the solution to their problems.
Big mistake!!!
A lot of us did it and failed!! [/quote]

Guy's question is a fair one I am also interested in. It is broader than the arena of Haitian politics and also the narrow one of personal responsibilities towards our family and our immediate community. Perhaps, we need to make a good effort at providing answers. You all can help. Here are a few names I have heard:

Panel MARK When I was in high school, my teacher used to talk a lot about him. Does anyone know his accomplishments?

Wyclef JEAN Certainly, Wyclef does not need introduction. He has well represented Haiti and in my opinion is a great Haitian leader even though I could not care less for hip hop music.

Michele MONTAS I believe Montas is well representing Haiti currently. We could also include Jean Dominique, except that he lived mostly in Haiti despite his exiled time.

Dumarsais SIMEUS There is no question that Simeus is a great leader in business that Haitians both inside and outside Haiti should try to emulate. We need people who understand the business world and who can create jobs and wealth. Our country needs resources and jobs.

Emmanuel SANON I had the pleasure of meeting Manno Sanon. His example, as a leader, is now being followed by the young footballers in the Haitian National teams (over and less than 17 years old). I empathize with its current suffering with cancer.

Antoine IZMERY This one may be controversial. But, I was struck by his courage and the example he can be for Haitians from arab descent. Here is a guy, who was a successful businessman in Haiti and comes from a successful business family, that despite the traditional enclave his ancestors and peers in Haiti normally confined themselves into, went out to embrace the cause of the less prvileged in the country.

Claudette WERLEIGH I hope I wrote her name right. Ms. Werleigh is a Haitian who has been honored by senior management positions at various international organizations outside of Haiti, just to name these few accomplishments. I don't know a lot about her, but I believe any time a Haitian is successful outside of Haiti, it is an honor for our country. She is someone that young Haitians should try to emulate.

There are plenty of other people I have not mentioned because I can't remember their names yet, including that young actress on one of the TV series (perhaps Law & Order or something similar). But, I encourage others to come with names. This is a great exercise.

Michel Nau
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:38 pm

Post by Michel Nau » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:32 am

Fok nou pa konfond selebrite avek lide.
Se 2 bagay diferan.

Lide pou mwen se papa mwen Gerard Nau,
Granpe mwen Maurice Nau,
Granme mwen Germaine Saurel Nau,
Gran mon onkle mwen pa alyans Leon Laleau.

Tout profese lekol mwen Met Guiteau, e met Camille kay fre FIC Petion Ville.
Met Abellard, Met Vendris, Ti Roger Jean e Wisvick Jean, met Oriol nan lekol College St. Pierre.
Gran lide mwen anko met Pinsson nan lekol Adventist Dikini.
Diedonne Fardin, nan lekol Rene Philoteque

Dokte de pov Henry Wallon Senior de Petion Ville ki tap gueri malere e abitan gratis.
Ti Michel Pierre tet blanch ki te antrene football e atletik mwen ki minnin les Python de Petion Ville champion.

Pere Athur Volel nan lakou St Jean Bosco. Pe Salesien sa se yon lide, yon Bondye pou nou tout ki tap grandi nan lakou Petion Ville.

Mwen chaje ak lot lide toujou.
Lide mwen yo pa selebrite, non yo pap fe list gwo magazine, min yo se lide nan ke mwen.

Michel


Michel

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