The world's attention is directed towards the devastation and destruction of Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world hit by a horrific earthquake. It's focused not only our attention to the human toll, but the shame for which we in the U.S. share responsibility.
The US – destroyer of the Haitian economy
Food First, a US NGO in a report identified US policies as directly responsible for the destruction of Haiti’s indigenous food production. Moreover, the Clinton administration demanded that the main condition for the removal of the military junta which had deposed Aristide’s government in 1991 was the acceptance of US-imposed conditions which included,
"[The] eliminat[ion] [of] the jobs of half its civil servants, massively privatize public services, dramatically slash tariffs and import restrictions, get rid of price and foreign exchange controls, grant "emergency" aid to the export sector, reinforce an "open foreign investment policy," create special corporate courts where "judges are more aware of the implications of their decisions for economic efficiency," rewrite its corporate laws, limit the scope of state activity and regulation and diminish the power of the executive branch in favor of the traditionally more conservative Parliament."
The Food First article continues,
"In 1994 USAID claimed it was feeding upwards of 70,000 Haitians per day. It insists U.S. food aid is not competing with Haitian production because the food provided is not grown in Haiti. But Haitian and U.S. researchers have concluded what Food First has argued for years-that U.S. food aid is undermining local production. Massive increases in U.S. food aid drove down the prices of Haitian agricultural goods in local markets. Rice production dropped 35 percent in 1991-1992. The U.S. owned Rice Corporation of Haiti's parent company has a virtual monopoly on rice imports to Haiti."