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Employees demand Haiti's pensions director be fired but Martelly keeps him

By Thomas Péralte, Haiti Liberte, April 9, 2014

Since Mar. 25, employees at the National Office for Old Age Insurance (ONA) have been protesting to demand the dismissal of the agency’s Director General, Bernard Degraff. This state agency, which manages the pensions for employees of public and private companies in Haiti, handles a lot of money, or rather mishandles it, the ONA employees charge.

After the quake, luxury hotels rise above Haiti's homeless

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Despite an outpouring of aid after the devastation of Port-au-Prince, it’s the same old story for many of the city’s poor. 

By Lisa Armstrong, Takepart.com, April 11, 2014 

Richard François felt relief and a sliver of hope the day he moved his family into the house a few minutes from the homeless camp in the Champs de Mars, one of Port-au-Prince’s main public squares, where they’d been living. It was just a single room, but safer and more solid than the tarp-and-wood structure they’d called home for two years, after their house collapsed in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated the city. François’ wife, Johanne, had given birth to their daughter on the street two days after the earthquake; he’d cut the umbilical cord himself, using a razor blade. The family had endured days with no food, and nights of terror as bandits and rapists roamed the camp, and storms that ripped their tarp roof away, leaving them soaked. 

Update: Four articles on the current situation in Venezuela

The “Cubanization” of U.S. Policy Towards Venezuela 

By Jake Johnston, Center for Economic & Policy Research, 26 March 2014 

Venezuelan opposition politicians and their allies in the U.S. frequently decry Cuba’s alleged influence on the Venezuelan government. Ironically however, there seems to be an important and growing nexus between the Venezuelan opposition and the anti-Cuba lobby in the U.S. Cuban-American lawmakers recently introduced sanctions legislation targeting Venezuelan officials that appears to be designed to push U.S. policy toward Venezuela in the same direction as policy toward Cuba.

Haiti government reshuffles, lawmakers take critical elections step

By Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 14 April, 2014

As part of a political deal to help build confidence in upcoming elections, Haiti announced a cabinet reshuffle Wednesday — at least the fifth since President Michel Martelly’s May 2011 inauguration. 

The changes include several new faces in the government, and the return of a familiar one: Former Minister of Economy and Finance Marie-Carmelle Jean-Marie will return to the job a year after she abruptly resigned amid frustrations over how the country’s shoestring finances were being handled. 

Venezuela: A Call for Peace

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By Nocholas Maduro, New York Times OP-ED, April 1, 2014

CARACAS, Venezuela — THE recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.

Fanmi Lavalas Calls for the Resignation of Lamothe, but Not of Martelly

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By Thomas Péralte, Haiti Liberté, March 29, 2014

On Sat., Mar. 29, 2014, the anniversary of the 1987 Haitian Constitution, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and Haiti’s second largest city, Cap-Haïtien, to demand the unconditional departure of President Michel Joseph Martelly, despite a strange reticence from the Lavalas Family party’s Executive Committee.

Drought in Haiti ravages crops for farmers

By Trenton Daniels, Associated Press, 28 March, 2014

BOMBARDOPOLIS, Haiti -- Jean-Romain Beltinor plunged a hoe into the rocky dirt on his parched hillside to prepare for planting seeds he does not have. After months of drought in northwest Haiti, the subsistence farmer struggles to find food for his 13 children. To earn a little money, he must turn to work that only makes things worse, cutting what little wood remains for charcoal.