Book Review: "We Have Dared to Be Free" by Dr. Dady Chery

Erdbeben-Katastrophe auf Haiti. Landkarte [Abdruck nur mit Honorar, Namensnennung und Belegexemplar Henning Riediger Tannenhof 117c 22397 Hamburg Tel. 040/6080742 E-Mail: Steuer-Nr. 09/160/58306 USt.-IdNr. DE 118420134 Bankverbindung: Hamburger Sparkasse BLZ 200 505 50 Konto-Nr. 1299/475663 IBAN DE 27 2005 0550 1299 475663 BIC HASPDEHH]

“It is imperative to choose one’s weapons well.” ~ Dr. Dady Cherry

By Catherine Austin Fitts

The story of Haiti is important and rarely told. Lead by the brilliant and charismatic Toussaint L’Ouverture, Haiti’s slave armies achieved in 1798 the first and only successful slave rebellion. Haiti’s rebellion contributed to the French selling Louisiana and withdrawing from North America. It is also contributed to the end of slavery in the United States. After Haiti’s army of former slaves defeated the French, then the English and finally the Spanish armies and established a successful government and free agricultural economy, Haiti became a sobering reminder to American business and political interests of the risks of slavery.

As a result of multiple efforts at occupation and subjugation by US and other national and corporate interests, Haiti has continued to struggle to maintain its independence for more than two centuries.  The latest onslaught began with the earthquake of January 2010 that lead to invasion and occupation by US and UN forces and the establishment of a various governmental structures that engineered low cost access to local natural resources and labor for foreign and corporate interests.  Haiti is not the first country to be targeted by the forces of “disaster capitalism.” It may, however, be the ugliest example to date of this particularly virulent form of economic harvesting.

I remember reading in May 2009 that Bill Clinton had been appointed a UN Special Envoy to Haiti. I said to myself, “Uh-oh, the US is going to hit Haiti.” Whether narcotics trafficking at Mena, Arkansas or mortgage fraud and a private prison boom to engineer the gentrification of communities in the District of Columbia and throughout America, I had gotten quite a taste of the Clintons approach to economic development. When Clinton started raising billions tax-exempt after the Haitian earthquake, I knew this was going to be big: privatizations, gold, oil and gas, cheap labor, resort developments. The shopping list would be long.

Recently, books such as Clinton Cash allege that a great deal of money raised by the Clinton Foundation to provide relief to Haiti never made it to Haiti. In the interests of learning more I read We Have Dared to be Free: Haiti’s Struggle Against Occupation by Dr. Dady Chery.

Dr. Chery is Haitian, born and raised, and lives in the United States. Her training is in the biological sciences. Scientific training has served her well in writing the story of the current invasion of Haiti, the unnecessary death and hardship of its people and the expropriation of its resources. It takes great discipline to observe and document the lawlessness of the forces destroying the people and land that one loves. Dr. Chery’s training may be in science, however, she also understands economics and does a good job of helping the reader follow the money.

Rather than invade a country and take what we want, we have created an extraordinary new process where we do the same thing, if not worse, under the guise of “helping.” Helping to support people in a disaster, helping to bring democracy, helping to bring modern health care, helping to study and preserve ecology. The extraordinary lack of productivity evidenced by the “soft revolution” that we now use to invade, dismantle, harvest and control places is driven by the extraordinary expense of making this all look like we are doing good.

Dr. Chery has chosen her weapons well – a fearless intellect and a passion for the truth can and do overcome the media hype that surrounds the lawlessness and genocide visited upon Haiti.  My pastor in Washington used to say, “If we can face it, God can fix it.” By helping us face the truth of what is happening in Haiti and our fundamental refusal to respect individual or national sovereignty, Dr. Chery has made a significant contribution to our understanding of who and what we are.