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Haiti. Life in Empire's Shadow

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Haiti. Life in Empire's Shadow

The root cause of many of Haiti’s problems can be laid at the feet of the U.S. Now, can it do anything to help?
Marines in Haiti in 1994. DoD photo.

The U.S. State Department has been working hard to get Americans out of Haiti. The island nation’s government is in shambles and gangs run much of the urban center of Port-au-Prince. Haitians have struggled for hundreds of years at the hands of gangs, brutal authoritarian dictators, and colonial rule. One of its biggest problems has always been its nearest Imperial neighbor: America.

On this episode of Angry Planet, we get America’s side of the story. Keith Mines is the Vice President for Latin America at U.S. Institute of Peace. If you’ve never heard of the USIP, you aren’t alone. As Mines says in the show, it is bad at branding. Part of a Congressional initiative from 1984, the USIP was founded to pursue peaceful resolutions to worldwide conflict.

Mines has a storied career of government service. He’s worked for the State Department and been all across the world. His unique point of view gives listeners a window into the mind of a member of the U.S. political establishment. Mines has a deep knowledge of Haiti and a deeper understanding of how badly America has screwed up its efforts to help.

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