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I See No Evidence of a Government Presence Here

by RICHARD MORSE

Note: CounterPunch contributor RICHARD MORSE runs the Oloffson Hotel in Port-au-Prince Haiti and leads the Haitian band RAM. He has been issueing updates on the situation in Haiti via Twitter since the quake.

Monday January 18, 2010.

I’m being buffered by all the journalists. Spending time in the kitchen and trying to take care of logistical issues. Getting the word out.

Inspite of my no interview policy I went to Carrefour Feuille on foot with a CBS team. The smell of bodies is prevalent @ Gerard Church.

After St Gerard Church we went to Carrefour Feuille. There were three dump trucks marked CNE doing nothing. No international presence.

A journalist receiving a ride from a UN vehicle was dropped off at Canape Vert. “We are prohibited from taking to the Oloffson”!

The Oloffson is a “RED ZONE” How can the UN help the people of Carrefour Feuille, if they are prohibited from coming to the neighborhood?

If the UN can’t help poor people, then what are they doing in Haiti!

I have no intentions of leaving Port au Prince in the near or distant future. This is where I live with my family

A lot of media people are here. I felt I ought to try and keep tweeting nevertheless. Perhaps I have a different perspective…

A friend of mine owns a gas station. Another friend also brought some gas. I have 10 gallons for the moment.

Gas stations want police security before they open their pumps. I have only seen four uniformed policemen since the earthquake.

The UN has odd politics about where they go and what they do. They ignored the corruption during both elections last year…

I went to the so called Red Zone on foot with the CBS crew so they could get a close up look at the destruction; smell the bodies.

If the UN can’t go to where THE PEOPLE need their help then what are they doing here?

If the UN can’t gain the trust of the Haitians after four years then what are they doing here? Carrefour Feuille is a zone of destruction.

The fact that I haven’t seen an international presence in this area tell me that others are following the lead of the UN.

The UN is not permitted in this neighborhood. I have so many journalist here they sleep on the lawn. None of them are armed! Safe?

Violence is at as minimum considering the current state of desperation, hunger, thirst, lack of medical attention.

People here need medical attention. They die when they don’t get it. Military/Civillian isn’t the issue. Medical supplies & Dr’s!

Some journalists may be spreading out and heading out of the city to get a look at other areas. I’m very concerned about Jacmel and Leogane.

Blocking roads with bodies is what it sometimes takes to get help, They’re not doing it 4 aesthetic reasons.

No one is going to attack Dr’s that are trying to help. I can get you anywhere you need to be…safely

UN is not staying out of my neighborhood 4 reasons of security. It’s just some kind of warped politics.

There was more proactive searching for bodies under crumpled buildings at first. It takes equipment and know-how to get to a body

I haven’t heard news from Ti Gouave yet.

The streets are now Haiti’s livingroom, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, meeting room…

AT&T seems to be working to call back and forth between the States and here

I know a Green Zone hotel where there were massive demonstrations on the grounds, a general was shot and the owner was kidnapped!

Folks from the CINEINSTITUTE are here on RAMhaiti. Tweet and I will retweet

People are trying to grasp the spiritual implications of such a massive earthquake. Is it JUSTICE?

There is a huge mass grave to the north of PauP called TiTanyen. They used to bury people there during times of repression.

A lot of rumors about different bands and so far it seems that many of the rumors aren’t true. I seem to have died several times…

I don’t sense a government presence in all of this. I probably should be listening to local radio.. We all have our faults…

Sacre Coeur Hospital in Milot (northern Haiti near Cap Haitian) needs patients.They have rooms and are able to help.

My family and I are fine. Sometimes we stress a bit & snap at each other but we’re basically doing ok.

There’s a big marche @ the town of Titanyen; the burial areas are just south of the town;If u say Titanyen people think graves.

I haven’t been following what the media has been saying. Repeat: I don’t sense any government presence

I’m told that the busses leaving PauP are crowded. Mass migration begins. First to the provinces…then where?

It’s difficult to bring in supplies to the PauP airport. I’m told people are flying to the DR and driving across the border.

We don’t get dead body stench at the hotel; there aren’t dead bodies here. St Gerard Church/Carrefour Feuille are both bad

If you have no home, no job, no income, then your future looks bleak. Who’s going to be calling the shots now?

I believe American military personnel have taken over the airport here.

The BBC says 200,000 dead in PauP…

I don’t know what the details of the rescue efforts are. I don’t know how long someone can survive buried in the rubble

The Hotel Oloffson looks like a refugee camp fo journalists. So many people working and sleeping in the yard. I’m taken aback. I’ve never seen this.

I’ve heard about a lot of aid being allocated to Haiti in the past but I can’t say it’s always had the specified results.

Daniel Morel has great pics at corbisimages.com;other great photographers in
Town.

Don’t get me in trouble.I get in enough trouble with my opinions as is!!

I believe this is being treated as a military operatio which is perhaps why certain planes aren’t permitted to land @ PauP airport.

RICHARD MORSE runs the Oloffson Hotel Port-au-Prince Haiti and leads the Haitian band RAM.

 

 

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RICHARD MORSE runs the Oloffson Hotel Port-au-Prince Haiti and the leads the Haitian band RAM.

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