Haiti: They Don’t Have Food? Give Them Carnival

Haitian prisoners
Haitian prisoners in the overcrowded prison

In 2012, the Maafa is a penal colony in U.S.-occupied Haiti – the national penitentiary. This image expresses a reality reminiscent of chained Africans in the hull of a slave ship bound for the Carolinas.

In Haiti, prisoners without human rights are guarded by the world arbiters on human rights, the United Nations. This is how prisoners are treated.

Many have never been convicted of a crime and are indefinitely detained in such conditions without a hearing or sentencing – some since the 2004 U.S. regime change coup d’état in Haiti. Forgotten and abandoned.

On Feb. 29, 2004, there were fewer than 3,000 prisoners in Haiti as a whole. Most had seen a judge and were convicted of a crime.

Today there are over 8,700 prisoners in Haiti. Most are indefinitely detained without conviction.

Marie Antoinette said, “Oh no, they don’t have food or clean water, they’re evicted from their homes, massacred to make way for the Clinton-Obama tourist bonanza? No worries. Give them the U.S.-selected President Michel Martelly – Carnival King.

“It’s all good: Washington swings with the Carnival King of Haiti. Illusion is reality – justice a triviality.”

President Bill Clinton’s foundation, now that he is the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, is building more prisons, one superstructure on the way to Mirebalais. That investment is not made to liberate those men wrongfully accused, just to warehouse more, living in cruel and horrific circumstances. The carnival plays on.

Obama is president, and Bill Clinton runs Haiti through the U.N. Sean Penn and Paul Farmer bring heroic help dependency with Farmer’s partner at the World Bank and strongman Farmer pushing through financing of short term vaccines for dying Haitians to digest in empty hunger-ravaged stomachs. The same U.N. that denies help to cholera victims hired Farmer as their deputy special envoy.

According to Haiti’s 1987 Constitution, Section H, Article 36-5: “The right to own property does not extend to the coasts, springs, rivers, water courses, mines and quarries. They are part of the State’s public domain.”

Now Haitians in the Diaspora helped approve a rewrite of the Constitution to legally provide Haiti’s lands, mines, oceans and mineral wealth to Clinton’s foreign corporatocracy. The carnival plays on.

The Diaspora is taxed in order to give free schooling, while school opening has been postponed. Not the carnivals though.

Who remembers the abandoned Black men in this photo, indefinitely detained, or even those who are convicted but living in these inhumane and cruel conditions? The Middle Passage reinstituted. Obama is president; Haiti is occupied by the U.S. behind U.N. guns. What time is it?


Ezili Danto, award winning playwright, performance poet, dancer, actor and activist attorney born in Port au Prince, Haiti, founded and chairs the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN), supporting and working cooperatively with Haitian freedom fighters and grassroots organizations promoting the civil, human and cultural rights of Haitians at home and abroad. Visit her at www.ezilidanto.com or www.open.salon.com/blog/ezili_danto.