Friday, 31 March 2006

Human Rights Watch (HRW): Downplaying the human rights abuses of U.S. allies, while often exaggerating the abuses of official (or unofficial) enemies

Joe Emersberger has written a splendidly documented article comparing Human Rights Watches (HRW) coverage of the 2004 coup with it's coverage of the 1991 coup and it's recent coverage of Venezuela. See his Znet Article
Human Rights Watch and Haiti. For another interesting Haiti-Venezuela comparison see Fenton's February 06' narcosphere entry Haiti and Venezuela in the NED's Sights.

Emersberger writes, "In the first two years after the 1991 coup HRW's reports dedicated roughly 50,000 words to the situation in Haiti. That does not include a 136 page book they published during that period entitled "Silencing a People: The Destruction of Civil Society in Haiti". But two years after the 2004 coup HRW allotted a trifling 9000 words to Haiti - less then had been written in the first two months after the coup of 1991. [7]"

Fenton qoutes NED program officer Fabiola Cordova , ""What happened in Venezuela had been happening in Haiti for a long time. The opposition party had been boycotting elections for a long time, because they kept saying 'well we don't have the minimal conditions for running a competitive process, or participating in a competitive process,' but they kind of withdrew from this and by doing this they kind of consolidated Aristide's power, and they also weakened their own organizations. I mean, I think one of the main problems in Haiti has been a very weak opposition, a very fragmented opposition with no platform, unwilling to come together and form some sort of coalition by ideology or program or know, Aristide really had 70% of the popular support and then the 120 other parties had the thirty per cent split in one hundred and twenty different ways, which is basically impossible to compete [with].""

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

A Talk on the Labor Parallel in Haiti at the University of Californa, Los Angeles (UCLA)

I will be giving a talk on the failure of international labor institutions to address and investigate labor abuse under the interim government of Gerald Latortue in Haiti, 2004-2006. I will also discuss their support for unions that aggitated for the overthrow of the elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The talk will be held at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) this Friday (March 10, 2006) in the Ackerman Union (AU) 2408 from 10:30am to 12:30pm as part of the Globalization and Labor Workshop B. The other talk in the workshop by B.S. Rao, Osmania University of Hyderabad, India, will examine the role of globalization on coal mining unions in India. Both talks will be part of the 32nd Annual Southwest Labor Studies Association Conference (SWLSA). My newly documented research will be in a forthcoming article. For more information see