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Le Monde du Sud// Elsie news

Le Monde du Sud// Elsie news

Haïti, les Caraïbes, l'Amérique Latine et le reste du monde. Histoire, politique, agriculture, arts et lettres.

“Pauvre Riche Haïti”: Comment les impérialistes et l'oligarchie locale ont cherché à détruire l'agriculture haïtienne. (en anglais)

Publié par siel sur 3 Avril 2021, 20:12pm


Si les Haïtiens progressistes étaient un peu plus concernés par le présent et le futur de leur pays, ils s'intéresseraient à l'économie. Car, comme dit l'adage " Follow the money" - suivez la trace de l'argent pour comprendre la politique.

Et dans le cas présent pour comprendre les intérêts en jeu et pourquoi JOVENEL représente la parfaite monture, le parfait cheval de Troie pour faire pénétrer les entreprises internationales qui veulent s'accaparer des terres et des métaux dans le sous-sol haïtien. Et donc pourquoi ils le soutiennent et défendent son projet de Constitution ( qui a de fortes chances d'avoir été écrit sous leur dictée)

D'où les questions posées en préliminaires par l'auteur. Haïti est-il un pays pauvre ou un pays appauvri ? Ou bien, peut-être est-elle  riche de manière  insoupçonnée ? Est-ce que ses différents amis en Occident ne sont réellement pas intéressés par le pays ? Alors pourquoi les USA et les pays européens apparaissent si zélés  et empressés à propos de " la chose haïtienne" ?

Does the oft-repeated refrain that “Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere” explain anything? Is it a poor country or an impoverished country? Or perhaps it is unsuspectedly rich? Are its indifferent friends in the West really not interested in the country? Why then do the United States and European countries seem to be so zealous about the “Haitian thing”? In a series of notes and based on fieldwork carried out in four departments of the country, we will focus on understanding the “poor rich Haiti” and some of the initiatives of what has been called its “reconstruction” since 2010. We will discuss the economic interests of Western powers, expressed through initiatives such as industrial parks, mining operations, enclave tourism ventures, land grabbing and agricultural free zones.


1-" But it is in the northeast region of this “poor rich” country that the power enjoyed by the current de facto president, Jovenel Moïse, has been amassed. He has made this territory his personal fiefdom. His modus operandi has been land grabbing and the true foundation of his power, his economic alliances with transnational capital, both legal and extralegal.

For this, we will travel to the heart of the communities affected by what, after the devastating earthquake of 2010, has become known as the “Reconstruction of Haiti”. In this first note, we will talk – paraphrasing Eduardo Galeano – about the “Banana King” Jovenel Moïse and his numerous agricultural courtiers. But first, let’s take a look at the situation of the rural areas and the local peasantry."

2- A cautious detour with a good local guide allowed us to enter the lands of Agritrans S.A., the company of de facto president Jovenel Moïse, which became famous for its involvement in one of the largest embezzlements of public funds in the country’s history, amounting to a quarter of the national GDP. This was confirmed by Senate investigations – before its closure in January 2020 – and by the Supreme Audit Court, before its reduction, by presidential decree, to nothing more than a mere consultative body.

The inhabitants of the Limonade and Terrier-Rouge area, in the North-East Department, are in awe of all things related to this fabled expanse of land. And for those who feel neither fear nor respect, there are armed guards to remind them. They told us to stop and threatened to shoot as soon as the motorbike we were traveling on around their perimeter on National Route 6 slowed down. Unable to film or photograph the accesses, we had to clandestinely enter the estate through some twisted wire fences on the side of a canal. Surprisingly, a barren plain then spread out before us. Whether because of the environmental damage resulting from intensive production without crop rotation, or perhaps because the tenure of these lands today serves more the assertion of local power than the process of real accumulation, we saw not even a trace of a cultivated field. Today, Agritrans S.A. is a huge, uncultivated estate, surrounded by crowds of peasants who cannot even get access to a “handkerchief of land”, as the locals eloquently put it.

The “Nourribio” project was set up here in 2013, on the land of the man who would later become the country’s president. The 1,000 hectares in front of us were donated for a project that envisaged the intensive production of bananas, mainly for export to Western countries. It also took the form of a free zone, exempt from taxes and other charges. The land for its establishment was expropriated from 3,000 peasants and granted in concession for a renewable term of 25 years. The aforementioned promises of employment fell far short of expectations: only 200 people were being employed, according to information from 2014. And the people who lost land? The small amount of their compensation was spent on the basic necessities of everyday life. With no land to work or produce, their “beneficiaries” soon found themselves unemployed, expelled to the capital, expelled abroad, or reduced to starvation, if not a combination of all of the above.

According to the specialist Georges Eddy Lucien, in the face of the banana production crisis in the French overseas departments (Guadeloupe and Martinique), “the Northeast – of Haiti – appears in the eyes of investors and international institutions as an ideal alternative territory, where production costs (labor, available land) are much lower…”. The impoverishment of Haitian workers has meant that the wages of an agricultural worker can be 25 times lower – 25 times! Not to mention if we compare it with the average wages of a Frenchman or a North American.

History is a boomerang. The first shipment of Agritrans bananas arrived at the port of Antwerp in Belgium in 2015. The same port that flourished during the slave trade and during the reign of Leopold II. A century ago, thousands of kilos of ivory and rubber, the product of slave exploitation in the Belgian Congo, arrived there. Today, it is bananas from Haiti, produced by one of the most impoverished workforces on the planet.

3- USAID appears, in fact, as the de facto civil authority in these territories, and its projects are constantly growing and multiplying, as indicated by the numerous signs on the roadsides. According to an anonymous Cuban engineer, the US mega-cooperation organization operates through loans and projects, indebting the state and the communities, in order to guarantee control of strategic areas for their water and mineral resources.

It matters little, following Eduardo Galeano’s metaphor, whether the monarch is King Banana, Queen Stevia or King Manufacture. Haiti continues to be determined by the blessings of nature and the curses of those who dominate history. We will continue, in the next note, to unravel the mysteries of this “poor rich country” which, in the international division of labor, has been subjected to the task of exporting poverty and importing humanitarian aid. We will talk about the export processing zones and the bizarre project to turn Haiti into the “Taiwan of America”.

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