the IMF, shylock of Haiti

Imagine poor families, say in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, find themselves on the street because of a fire. without insurance, these families must count on the solidarity to get by. Now comes a shylock offering these families "emergency loans" accompanied by severe conditions and high interest rates. What would you say ? No doubt you would be outraged. Yet this is what the IMF has done in Haiti.

In the emergency aid program that announced, the IMF is only continuing the same kind of policies that have made Haiti a very precarious area, even before the earthquake. With great pomp, the IMF announced a new loan 100 million to Haiti. Haiti desperately needs this loan, but it was done in a program with conditionality.

The conditionality of aid is the principle of "good governance" that the loans provided by the IMF and the World Bank are based on conditions set by donors, conditions that must obviously be respected by the borrower. The loans provided by the IMF typically have more severe conditions than loans from the World Bank, because the IMF acts as an emergency lender, while the WB provided funding for long-term projects. IMF assistance, it's like when you go to the bank to make a debt consolidation: interest rates will be high and the repayment terms are severe.

The online newspaper The Nation Indeed reports that militants for debt cancellation have explained that the conditions of the new aid pledged by the IMF include electricity rate hikes, a public sector wage freeze and measures "anti-inflationary", a dear economists euphemistically to refer to wage control, and this in a country where wages are among the lowest in the world. In a word, IMF jumps on a country desperate to impose structural adjustment measures widely known to be disastrous.

Story of a shackled country
Haiti's vulnerability to natural disasters and famine, endemic poverty, Deforestation and the glaring lack of infrastructure are not accidental phenomena. To say that Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere ignores the causes of poverty: Haiti has been put in this situation by France, United States, Canada, – Briefly rich Western nations – and the IMF and World Bank.

for Haiti, So this is the story that repeats. Since its heroic struggle for independence (obtained by 1804) and the abolition of slavery, mainly conducted against France, but also against other colonial powers of the time that had conspired against the new republic, Haiti was engulfed imperial powers. from 1825, the new Haitian state had to borrow significantly with France, it requires under military threat compensation for losses suffered by white planters following the abolition of slavery. This extremely large debt, representing up 80% of estimated GDP of Haiti in the nineteenth century, has been repaid in full 1972 !

After Duvalier dictatorship, the election of Aristide and the military coup Cédras, the military junta began to implement the new policies of the "Washington consensus", name given to all of impoverishment policies advocated by international institutions active in development aid. Aristide's return to power with US military intervention, in 1994, was accompanied by the obligation, therefor, follow the budgetary austerity policies advocated by the IMF and WB.

A catastrophic example of these policies has been the liberalization of the rice market in the years 1990. Following the liberalization of this market, rice imports from the US have gradually replaced the local production of rice, Haitians leaving farmers without income and increasing dependence Haitian vis-à-vis international markets.

In the same period, international aid has invaded Haiti, to the point where nearly 80% services normally provided by the government from NGOs, and that they often have larger budgets for departments that correspond to them. This omnipresence of international NGOs used to better control the Haitian government. for example, in the late 1990, Aristide decided to slightly increase the minimum wage under popular pressure. Result: international aid, mainly US, dries up.

That's what it is, the conditionality of aid: oblige "recipients" of aid to open their markets to the dumping of lender countries, with the consequent destabilization of local economies. Forcing the "beneficiaries" to become - or stay - the country of cheap labor and exploited labor, without possibility of increasing the meager salaries. Finally, instrumentalization of NGOs allows the creation of a kind of parallel government.

But the Haitian situation will get worse in the years 2000. When Aristide won the parliamentary and presidential elections 2001, Organizations of civil society is a pseudo loose against him - in fact representatives of the industrial bourgeoisie - which constitute "democratic opposition" and undermine the credibility of the government in place by repeated accusations of election fraud relayed by US organizations help and support for the "democratization". These repeated accusations, and a former guerrilla torturers Duvalier, probably financed by the CIA, end up causing Aristide's departure and the invasion of Haiti by Canada, the US and France 2004. (see here for more details)

Aristide, undermined by corruption, weakened by its docility towards the policies of the IMF and WB, will then enjoy popular support that would have been necessary to confront both the guerrillas and its own bourgeoisie. The US then installed Latortue, a former international official, who obediently apply the policies dictated by the Washington Consensus to the electoral victory of Rene Preval, Aristide dolphin, which will continue the same policy of obedience to the Western powers.

The debt problem
In 2008, a ratio of Center for International Policy showed that 2003, Haiti spent $54,7 million for its debt service, while total international aid for health care, education and other services was only $39,21 millions. In other words, Haiti, a country devastated by poverty, continued to see his wealth be extracted from the country and directed abroad.

The Haitian debt totals $891 millions, almost all contracted after 2004, So after the coup that ousted Aristide and put Latortue in power. It represents a staggering sum for a country ruined, plagued by disasters repeatedly, and is strangled by the big powers that hold it in a state of dependence and poverty revolting.

The attitude of Shylock IMF Haiti vis-à-vis part of an international process that allows capital to maintain certain "peripheral" areas under the control of the rich and powerful countries, who use it as a disposable reservoir labor cheap, and as dumping ground of their agricultural surplus, in defiance of the living conditions of local people. for Haiti, the only real hope for change is the abolition of this unjust system.

PS: Another dégueulasserie: Gildan left Haiti because of the earthquake.

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