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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-10 03:49 PM
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UN to apologize for troops on Haitian university campus
Source: CNN

UN to apologize for troops on Haitian university campus
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 25, 2010 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- The United Nations planned to issue an apology Tuesday for peacekeeping troops breaching a Port-au-Prince university during an anti-government protest that turned violent.

David Wimhurst, spokesman for the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, told CNN that U.N. troops fired rubber bullets and used pepper spray Monday to quell a demonstration by students angry at what they said was government inaction in the aftermath of the massive January 12 earthquake.

He said the apology was being issued to the University of Haiti for U.N. soldiers entering its grounds.

The protest later escalated and spilled over into the nearby Champs de Mars plaza, where thousands of homeless Haitians have been living in congested makeshift tents.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-10 03:58 PM
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1.  Monsanto's Poison Pills for Haiti
Posted: May 24, 2010 12:47 PM
Monsanto's Poison Pills for Haiti

Monsanto: Haiti's "New Earthquake"

"A new earthquake" is what Haitian peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be dumping 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds on Haiti, seeds doused with highly toxic fungicides such as thiram, known to be extremely dangerous to farm workers. Hybrid seeds, like GMO seeds (in contrast to Creole heirloom or organic seeds) require lots of water, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides. In addition, if a small farmer tries to save hybrid seeds after harvest, hybrid seeds usually do not "breed true" or grow very well in the second season, forcing the now-indentured peasant to buy seeds from Monsanto or one of the other hybrid/GMO seed monopolies in perpetuity. Monsanto wanted initially to dump GMO seeds on Haiti, but even the corrupt Haitian government knew that this would spark a rebellion, so Monsanto cleverly decided to dump hybrid seeds instead. The Haitian small farmers organization has committed to burning Monsanto's seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation's presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.

Since gaining their independence from France more than 200 years ago in a bloody slave uprising, Haitian farmers have wisely protected their seeds and nurtured native crop varieties. They know that true food security is maintained by farmers who save, trade and breed indigenous seeds using traditional organic methods.

As Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP), wrote earlier this year, "We need to establish seed banks and have silos where we can store our Creole seeds. Local, organic seeds are the basis of food sovereignty. It's urgent that Haitians buy local seeds. ... What's the danger we face today? It's that food aid from USAID and others is getting dumped in the country."

Monsanto's seeds will be distributed by the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) WINNER program. USAID is a tax-payer funded agency that promotes the United States' interests abroad. It is run by Dr. Rajiv Shah, an Obama appointee that the Organic Consumers Association opposed because of his work with the explicitly pro-GMO Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation works closely with Monsanto.


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-10 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Haiti's State Phone Company Finally Privatized
Haiti's State Phone Company Finally Privatized
Written by Herv Jean Michel
Tuesday, 18 May 2010 19:07
Source: Haiti Liberte

The Haitian government sold a 60% share of the country's national telephone company, Teleco, this month to the Military Telecom Company, known as Viettel, a subsidiary of the Vietnamese Army, based in Hanoi. Teleco now no longer belongs to the Haitian people. The new private company which owns all of Haiti's land-lines will be called Natcom.

Teleco was the crown jewel of Haiti's state enterprises, but was sold for the fire-sale price of $59 million.

On April 29 Viettel directors were in Port-au-Prince where the deal, reached days before the Jan. 12 earthquake, was consummated. Representing the Haitian government at the signing ceremony were Haitian officials like Yves Bastien of the Council for the Modernization of Public Enterprises (CMEP), Charles Castel, the Governor of Haiti's Central Bank (BRH), and Michel Prsum, Teleco's director.

"Teleco sustained permanent attacks, its network was sabotaged on several occasions, and the situation was not sustainable," Castel said in a statement after signing away the company. (In past years, Teleco union leaders have charged that President Ren Prval's government has deliberately undermined efforts to modernize equipment and improve service in the company to force its privatization.)

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