Thursday, July 14, 2011

  • Dr. Paul Farmer on Haiti After the Earthquake: “How Can We Do a Better Job of Cleaning Up This Mess?”


    Eighteen months ago this week, Haiti was devastated by an earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people, injured hundreds of thousands, and left more than one million homeless. At the time of the earthquake, Haiti was already the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, and now it is still struggling to recover. We spend the hour with Dr. Paul Farmer, who has been working in Haiti for nearly three decades, and since 2009 has served as the U.N. deputy special envoy for Haiti working under former President Bill Clinton. More than 20 years ago, Dr. Farmer helped found the charity Partners in Health to provide free medical care in central Haiti, and now provides aid to nine additional countries around the world. He is the author of several books on Haiti and just published a new book titled "Haiti After the Earthquake." [includes rush transcript]

  • Dr. Paul Farmer on How U.S.-Backed Destabilization Undermines Haitian Democracy — and Public Health


    Dr. Paul Farmer, who was worked in Haiti for nearly three decades and now serves as the the U.N. deputy special envoy for Haiti, discusses how U.S.-backed coups and neoliberal programs have not only subverted Haiti’s democracy, but also seriously weakened its public health. Dr. Farmer addresses the U.S. influence in Haiti in the context of recent WikiLeaks disclosures of classified U.S. diplomatic cables that documented the United States supported recent elections, despite the exclusion of Haiti’s most popular political group, the Famni Lavalas. The cables also documented that the United States advocated behind the scenes to block an effort to raise the minimum wage in Haiti. [includes rush transcript]

  • Dr. Paul Farmer on Bill Clinton’s Apology for Devastating Haitian Rice Farming: "A Great Relief"


    Shortly after becoming the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, former President Bill Clinton publicly apologized for forcing Haiti to drop tariffs on imported subsidized U.S. rice during his time in office. The policy wiped out Haitian rice farming, seriously damaged Haiti’s ability to be self-sufficient, and contributed to Haiti’s forced urbanization that likely increased the earthquake toll. Dr. Paul Farmer, who serves as Clinton’s deputy in Haiti, says, "I felt a sense of great relief just at hearing him say that. I feel grateful for it as an American." [includes rush transcript]

  • Dr. Paul Farmer Responds to New Exposé Finding Clinton Foundation Provided Shoddy, Toxic Shelters


    Dr. Paul Farmer addresses a new report in The Nation magazine that alleges shelters funded by the Clinton Foundation turned out to be a series of trailers beset with problems including mold, shoddy construction and, in one case, worrying levels of formaldehyde. The trailers were built by the same company, Clayton Homes, that is currently being sued in U.S. for providing formaldehyde-laced trailers for residents displaced after Hurricane Katrina. Democracy Now! recently spoke to the authors of the investigation, Isabel Macdonald and Isabeau Doucet, who called on the Clinton Foundation to respond to their findings. [includes rush transcript]

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