Haiti: fertile land seized for new sweatshop zone

Weekly News Update

07/11/2011

Residents of Caracol, a village in Haiti’s Northeast department, say they were never consulted or even warned about plans to build a huge new “free trade zone” (FTZ, a complex of assembly plants) on land where many of them have been farming for some 20 years. “It’s the most fertile area we have at Caracol,” resident Renel Pierre told journalist Sylvestre Fils Dorcilus. “It’s inconceivable and unacceptable that the government could choose this part of the land to set up an industrial park.”

The Parc industriel du Nord (Northern Industrial Park, PIN) is a joint project of the US government, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB, or BID in French and Spanish) and South Korea’s leading apparel manufacturer, Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd. Together, they are putting some $300 million into the FTZ, which promoters claim will generate 20,000 jobs in the short term and 65,000 jobs over time. The Haitian government provided the land, which it says is state property; the administration of former president René Préval (1996-2001 and 2006-2011) promised to compensate the peasants who have been using it. Continue reading

Background on “Western powers grab for Libya”

21 March 2010. A World to Win News Service. *The Western powers now
bombarding Libya like to pretend that their so-called humanitarian
intervention is something new in the world. It would be something new and
amazing if the US and Europe were fighting to liberate an oppressed people,
but that’s not what’s happening.
What has now been rebranded as ”humanitarian intervention” is just as old
as what apologists for nineteenth-century colonialism called the ”white
man’s burden”. And it is no more new than the invasions of Afghanistan and
Iraq, similarly touted as acts taken to rid the people of tyrants, which in
fact just brought those peoples even more misery and on top of that foreign
occupation.
Our indictment of the Western powers rests on two main arguments based on
evidence whose truth would be difficult to deny: what these powers have done
in the past, from the late nineteenth century through now, and why they have
decided to respond to the Arab spring by singling out Libya for attack.
Taken together, an examination of these two questions demonstrates that the
West’s current actions represent not a break with their colonial past but a
continuity. Continue reading