Haiti Through the Lens of Wikileaks

By Chris Yee
[senior culture writer] 

Kim Ives, an editor at Haitian weekly newspaper Haiti Liberté, spoke yesterday at the public forum:
Haiti Through the Lens of Wikileaks, organized by Haiti Solidarity BC. The event was held at Simon Fraser University’s
Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver.

Ives was the lead writer and editor of a series of articles published by Haiti Liberté and The Nation
magazine in 2011 that were based on leaked U.S. diplomatic cables on Haiti from 2003 until 2010. The
documents were given to the two publications by Wikileaks.

At yesterday’s forum, Ives discussed the context behind these articles, particularly the situation in Haiti
after the major earthquake that tore through the country on Jan. 12, 2010.

Tying Haiti’s current situation into its history of coups and foreign exploitation, Ives not only described
the inadequate recovery efforts in the country, but also characterized the UN mission sent there
ostensibly as peacekeepers as, instead, a de facto “military occupation” serving the interests of the U.S.
and local elites.

Ives concluded his talk by saying, “Haiti needs help. They need assistance, but it needs to be
respectful assistance… assistance that respects sovereignty.” He charged non governmental organizations operating in Haiti with
effectively “siphoning off” development funds earmarked for the Haitian government.

“They need direct aid, government-to-government, people-to-people aid,” he said.


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