New blogs

Leherensuge was replaced in October 2010 by two new blogs: For what they were... we are and For what we are... they will be. Check them out.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bread and rice revolutions have started.

Hungry masses have attempted to seize the Presidential palace in Haiti (read more). They have failed by the moment but the situation is untenable anyhow.

Ironically, Haiti is occupied by a multinational force since the USA and France decided that they did not want popular (and rather socialist) premier Aristide to stay in power anymore, in 2004. They sold it as a "peackeeping mission" but was the typical colonialist intervention in the line of those of Roosevelt one hundred years before. These forces have done nothing to alleviate the poverty and lack of prospects of the most impoverished country of America and to that it's been added the brutally rising staple food prices everywhere, fuelled by speculation basically.

The rioters, that have been demonstrating and plundering around Haitian cities these last days at the cry of "We are hungry!"

Revolters retreated only under heavy fire from UN troops.

Haiti's wealth is concentrated in some 1% of affluent families while the vast majority of people lives in the most abject poverty. In 1990 the last brutal dictatorship was ousted by a popular revolution that placed fromer priest Bertrand Aristide as new President. The revolution was soon followed by another coup. Aristide returned in 1994 supported by US President Bill Clinton who had vowed to do so in his campaign. But as soon as the conservatives took power in Washington again, they started plotting against him, causing some obscure conflicts with mafious bands that were used as pretext for the joint US-French intervention: they kidnapped Aristide and sent him to Central Africa.

Since then the country has been under an occupation force under the pretext of the UN. The 2006 elections gave massive victory to a former Aristide ally: René Preval. While this helped somewhat to restore political stability after the colonialist coup, the real deep socio-economical problems of the country have been unadressed for these last years and now they seem to come back as surge that may oust not just the President but also the UN force, that has already become a target of the rioters.

Haiti is not the only nation that is suffering major unrest related to food prices but the tension is still building up. In the next months and years, as the deep structural global economic crisis becomes more and more evident everywhere we will see more and more conflicts caused by such matters and many governments toppled by the revolters one way or another, while agricultural lands are seized and companies nationalized in an effort to save something from the market-generated chaos.

As someone I know used to sign with: it has already begun.

No comments: