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25906: Iverson (reply) Re: "Aristide diverted millions" (fwd)
From: Jens Iverson <email@example.com>
The UCREF report alleging that "Aristide diverted millions" was
written at the behest of a regime which has every interest in
producing a biased report. It cannot be independently confirmed and
is admitted, even by supporters, to be poorly written.
But let us assume the report is accurate. What does it indicate?
According to the CIA World Factbook, the annual expenditures of the
Haitian government are estimated at $529.6 million.
report alleges $21 million of unaccounted for funds over a three year
period. This is under 1.4% of the estimated expenditures based on
1.4%. That is extremely low. Perhaps the current regime should
propose that Aristide's Administration should win an award for good
It gets better. Some of that money is alleged to have gone into
charities to help the poor. If some misallocated funds did not go to
help the poor, it is entirely possible that money was improperly
allocated under Aristide's administration without his knowledge. He
did, after all, inherit an extremely corrupt government as the
country's first properly elected President. Given all this, a
headline which states "Aristide diverted millions" is perhaps
Haiti is a poor country, and every dollar lost to corruption is a
terrible waste. But one has to ask, is this the best the supporters
of the current regime can do? Would an investigation of the current
regime perhaps be more fruitful? It, after all, is enjoying far more
foreign aid than the Aristide Administration ever did, despite coming
to power through violent means. It, after all, is silencing
opposition figures and potential whistleblowers with illegal
incarceration, including religious leaders such as Father Jean-Juste
and legislators such as former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune.
The larger question is not answered by a number, as revealing as
numbers can be. The larger question is whether the international
community will swallow whole unverified allegations if it makes the
international community feel better about its support of the violent
overthrow of the Aristide Administration. I suggest a more productive
course would be to focus on the current regime.