Sunday, April 13, 2008

Unrest in Haiti

Saturday's ouster of Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis of Haiti does not bode well for the future of Bush administration-style capitalism in the Western Hemisphere. Alexis was voted out by Haiti's senate over his handling of the economy after more than a week of riots over food prices in the long-troubled Caribbean nation, which has been protected by U.N. peacekeeping troops since 2004. The senate vote came shortly after President Rene Preval announced a deal with businesses to cut the price of rice by more than 15 percent to $41 for a 50-pound bag. Most Haitians earn less than $2 a day. Preval said he would ask parliament to pick a new prime minister, according to the Reuters international news service. Preval said Haiti could not cut taxes on food because the revenue was needed for longterm projects to create jobs and boost agriculture.Sen. Youri Latortue, a leader of Saturday's vote, said Alexis had failed to stimulate food production, fight crime or impose a deadline for U.N. troops to leave, Reuters said. None of this should come as any surprise to the Bush administration, which already has poor relations with Venezuela and many other South American countries over U.S. economic policies.

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