From Volume 38, Issue 40 of EIR Online, Published October 14, 2011
Africa News Digest

Nigerian Daily Nails Obama for Leaving Haiti to Rot

Oct. 3 (EIRNS)— Obama's "disregard for Blacks recognizes no territorial limits.... Nowhere is this more tragic but well concealed than in Haiti," wrote Brian Browne, columnist for the Lagos, Nigeria daily The Nation, in his column yesterday. His article was entitled "The Real Pirates of the Caribbean."

Before getting to Haiti, Browne wrote, we must detour through Washington, where, in his recent lecture to the Congressional Black Caucus ("stop complainin'"), Obama "exploits the age-old canard of Blacks being a listless, murmuring brood who spend their day lying about half-in, half-out of bed.... This is the mainstream conservative image of the Black man and America's first Black President used it against his own people, not because it is true, but because it is the accepted stereotype that proves his bona fides to those who most line his campaign coffers.... President Obama is more subtle, but as manipulative in the use of derogatory biases and symbols as the Southern politicians who 50-60 years ago won elections by striking fear in the White electorate about the 'Black menace.'"

Browne quips that when it comes to Black people, Obama has fashioned his own corollary to President John F. Kennedy's famous line: "Ask not what your Black President can do for you, but ask what you can do for him."

And what does all of this have to do with the Caribbean? "Plenty, his disregard for Blacks recognizes no territorial limits. What transpires in domestic affairs has its foreign policy mirror. Nowhere is this more tragic but well concealed than in Haiti."

Even before the earthquake, when the Haitian Parliament passed a minimum wage law in May 2009, "raising the legal wage from roughly 20 cents an hour to 70 cents, the Obama Administration put the hard shoulder to the Haitian President to veto the measure because it would cut into the profits of textile contractors exploiting the cheap labor. The Obama Administration did not want a Haitian textile worker to earn a paltry five dollars a day because that might temporarily reduce these companies' profit margins."

Browne points out that Haiti is largely in the same condition that it was in the week after the earthquake, receiving ever less humanitarian aid as time goes on.

Although Browne does not say so, while Haiti is being neglected, vast oil finds under the Great Antilles where Haiti is located, have attracted the interest of U.S. corporate and financial elites, who want to capture that resource—another example of the "pirates" to which he referred—and consider it to be to their advantage to have a weak Haitian government with which to deal.

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