It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Haiti Wikileaks: Biased Analysis of Cables Advances Political Agendas By Stanley Lucas

Earlier this week, published two articles analyzing thousands of US cables about Haiti.  The Nation announces that it is partnering with Haiti Liberte, managed by American Kim Ives, to release a series of cables, which would no doubt be enlightening.  But what they have done is publish two articles --  “The Petrocaribe Files” and “Let Them Live on $3 a Day” – with biased analysis of the cables and no links to the cables.  Everyone will recall that the New York Times released their reporting on the cables, but also released redacted copies of the actual cables.

In the article on Petrocaribe, which is the only article available online, the authors paint a picture of the US bullying the Haitian government into accepting bad oil deals that only profited US oil giants driving President Preval into the arms of Venezuela.  Their only evidence in support of that claim is that the US oil companies refused a summons from President Preval to come and discuss purchasing oil from the Haitian government, and the US oil companies ignored a request for detailed information on their operations.  They claim that both of those actions along with a series of tough talk by the Ambassador were an effort to undermine the Haitian deal with the Venezuelans, which had incredibly favorable terms that would benefit the Haitian people.

We do not know exactly what the influence of the US government was, but one would assume that they advocated on behalf of US companies.  That is what government do after all.  And, they were probably tough about it.  But failing the produce the documents deprives fair minded Haitians from being able to read the documents and come to their own conclusions.

But let’s also take a look at the facts that were omitted from the authors’ analysis.  They contend that President Preval used state oil profits to invest in education, healthcare and infrastructure.  Really?  Where is the proof of that?  Haitians have seen virtually no improvement in any of these areas, but it is clear that Preval and his cronies in the Groupe de Bourdon saw an improvement in their off-shore bank accounts.    Click on picture to enlarge

In addition $463 million dollars of the Petrocaribe funds “disappeared” under Preval, and is suspected to have been embezzled by Preval and his network in INITE and the business cartel.  These seem to have been important facts that were left out, but are an important part of the dynamics of Haitian political for the past 40 years under Preval, Aristide and Duvalier.  This is what we been as Haitian trying to change for decades.      Click on picture to enlarge