Monday, January 18, 2010

LPP Update...

Haiti earthquake AP

More US troops, UN peacekeepers expected for Haiti

AP – 54 mins ago Troops, doctors and aid workers flowed into Haiti on Monday even while hundreds of thousands of quake victims struggled to find a cup or water or a handful of food. Full Story »

More U.S. Troops, U.N. Peacekeepers Flow Into Haiti

Monday, January 18, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti —  Troops, doctors and aid workers flowed into Haiti on Monday even while hundreds of thousands of quake victims struggled to find a cup or water or a handful of food.
European nations pledged more than a half-billion dollars, with $474 million in emergency and long-term aid coming from the European Union alone and $132 million promised by member states.
But Haitians had more immediate worries.
"We don't need military aid. What we need is food and shelter," one young man yelled at U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his visit to the city Sunday. "We are dying," a woman told him.
Haitian riot police meanwhile fired tear gas to disperse crowds of looters in the city's downtown as several nearby shops burned.
LIVESHOTS: Click here to get the up-to-date coverage from Fox reporters at's LIVE blog.
"We've been ordered not to shoot at people unless completely necessary," said Pierre Roger, a Haitian police officer who spoke as yet another crowd of looters ran by. "We're too little, and these people are too desperate."
The U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, acknowledged Monday that "the security situation is obviously not perfect," but told NBC television that new troops scheduled to arrive during the day are meant to back up Haitian police and U.N. personnel, not replace them.
A reliable death toll may be weeks away, but the Pan American Health Organization estimates 50,000 to 100,000 died in Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude quake. Haitian officials believe the number is higher. Many survivors have lost their homes and many others live outside for fear unstable buildings could collapse in aftershocks.

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On the streets, people were still dying, pregnant women were giving birth and the injured were showing up in wheelbarrows and on people's backs at hurriedly erected field hospitals.
Water began to reach more people around the capital and while fights broke out elsewhere, people formed lines to get supplies handed out by soldiers at a golf course. Still, with a blocked city port and relief groups claiming the U.S.-run airport is being poorly managed, food and medicine are scarce. Anger mounted hourly over the slow pace of the assistance.
"White guys, get the hell out!" some survivors shouted in the city's Bel-Air slum, apparently frustrated at the sight of foreigners who were not delivering help.
At a destroyed nursing home, 71-year-old Jacqueline Thermiti said she could hold on for another day. "Then if the foreigners don't come (with aid), "it will be up to baby Jesus."
Five days after the magnitude-7.0 quake struck, more survivors were freed from under piles of concrete and debris.
Rescuers pulled a 30-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman from what had been the fourth floor of a now-collapsed supermarket on Sunday. Officials said they had survived for so long by eating food trapped along with them.
"She's responding, she's with it. So she's in very good shape for somebody who's been basically trapped for five days," said Capt. Joseph Zahralban, a South Florida rescue team leader.
Emergency teams said they were still hopeful of finding more survivors in the damaged store.
U.S. crews with search dogs also rescued a 16-year-old Dominican girl trapped for five days in a three-story hotel that crumbled in downtown Port-au-Prince.
At the U.N. headquarters destroyed in the quake, rescuers lifted a Danish staff member alive from the ruins, just 15 minutes after Secretary-General Ban visited the site where U.N. mission chief Hedi Annabi and at least 39 other staff members were killed.
U.N. spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said it was possible people could survive until Monday, adding to the 70 lives saved by 1,700 rescue workers since Tuesday's quake,
"There are still people living" in collapsed buildings, she told The Associated Press. "Hope continues."
On top of the European Union's pledge, Britain announced it would triple its commitment to $32.7 million and France said it was willing for forgive Haiti's $55.7 million debt, as well as promising $14.4 million to the U.N. fund for Haiti.
"The impact of this earthquake is magnified because it has hit a country that was already desperately poor and historically volatile," said British Development Secretary Douglas Alexander.
Norway, a country of only 4.8 million, said it would increase aid to Haiti to $17.7 million.
The U.N. World Food Program expected to reach more than 60,000 people Sunday, up from 40,000 on Saturday, spokesman David Orr said — but U.N. officials said they need to reach about 2 million daily deliveries.
The Geneva-based Doctors Without Borders said bluntly: "There is little sign of significant aid distribution."
The aid group complained of skewed priorities and a supply bottleneck at the U.S.-controlled airport. Doctors Without Borders spokesman Jason Cone said the U.S. military needed "to be clear on its prioritization of medical supplies and equipment."
The on-the-ground U.S. commander in Haiti, Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, acknowledged the bottleneck at the airport with a single runway and little space for parked planes. "We're working aggressively to open up other ways to get in here," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Part of that will be fixing Port-au-Prince's harbor, rendered useless for incoming aid because of quake damage. The White House said Sunday that the U.S. Coast Guard ship Oak would use heavy cranes and other equipment to make the port functional.
France was among the countries irritated that one of its aid planes had been turned back, but Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner urged governments not to squabble over the problem, telling France-Info radio that "people always want it to be their plane ... that lands."
Keen said some 2,000 Marines were set to join 1,000 U.S. troops on the ground and U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said he planned to ask the Security Council to temporarily increase his force of about 7,000 military peacekeepers and 2,100 international police in Haiti.
Former President Bill Clinton, the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, was scheduled to visit the country and meet with President Rene Preval.

Contractor Jailed in Cuba Was Aiding Religious Groups, U.S. Says

Published: January 12, 2010
WASHINGTON — The United States contractor detained in Cuba last month and accused of being a spy is a 60-year-old social worker from the Washington suburbs who had gone to Cuba to provide communications equipment to Jewish nonprofit organizations, according to American officials.
In postings on the Internet, the contractor, Alan P. Gross — whose identify had not previously been made public — said he had more than 20 years’ experience in development work around the world. One of his Internet networking sites said he had been a volunteer field organizer for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
American officials say that Mr. Gross had gone to Cuba as part of a United States government program and was providing encouragement and financial assistance to religious nonprofit groups. The officials acknowledge that Mr. Gross entered Cuba without the proper visa, though they contend that he was not involved in any activities that posed a violent threat to the Cuban government. And they flatly dispute any allegations that he is a spy.
The Cuban government, however, has characterized his work as a threat to national security.
In the United States, where Cuba continues to fire political passions, Mr. Gross’s detention has become the source of new tensions between Washington and Havana, and it threatens to ignite more debate on Capitol Hill about how the Obama administration ought to proceed in its Cuba policy.
Specifically, the case has raised questions about whether the administration should continue a Bush administration practice of sending development workers to conduct the kind of semicovert operations that landed Mr. Gross in jail.
Mr. Gross has visited Cuba several times, delivering computer and satellite equipment to three Jewish community groups, according to people with knowledge of his work.
In December, they said, he was on a follow-up trip for Development Alternatives Inc., a contractor working with the United States Agency for International Development. The people who know about his work, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the matter, said Mr. Gross was sent to research how the groups were making use of the equipment he had previously distributed to them.
“His work in Cuba was focused on facilitating communications among people in a nonviolent, nondissident religious organization,” DAI said in a statement.
Details about Mr. Gross and his work in Cuba slowly began to emerge this week. Mr. Gross studied social work at the University of Maryland and the Virginia Commonwealth University, and he had a long career as an international development worker that took him to at least 50 countries.
In 2001, he started a company called Joint Business Development Center, whose Web site says it has “supported Internet connectivity in locations where there was little or no access,” including Iraq, Afghanistan, Armenia and Kuwait. Records show his company earned less than $70,000 last year.
One friend, Howard Feinberg, said, “The Alan I know is someone who is concerned only about helping improve the human condition, not meddling in people’s politics.”
President Obama came to office promising a new era of engagement with Cuba. But after lifting some restrictions on travel and remittances, he has been reluctant to take further steps, citing continuing reports of human rights abuses in Cuba. Some Cuba experts have said that Mr. Gross’s arrest may harden Mr. Obama’s stance.
Cuba, meanwhile, said the episode signaled that Mr. Obama was just as committed to overthrowing the government as his predecessor was.
Havana has used Mr. Gross’s arrest as an opportunity to raise an old grievance: America’s long prison terms for five Cuban agents convicted of spying on Cuban exile organizations. Havana maintains that the agents were in the United States to prevent terrorist acts against Cuba and has called on the Obama administration to release them.
As for Mr. Gross, Cuba has said little. The government has not formally charged him with a crime. Cuban authorities have provided the United States almost no information, nor have they made any demands.
As a result, Washington and many American experts on Cuba have been left speculating about Havana’s intentions.
“The Cuban regime is obviously looking for some kind of U.S. concession, callously using the contractor as a bargaining chip,” said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Some American officials said they suspected that Cuba aimed to shine light on A.I.D.’s undercover Cuba programs, whose financing has grown in the past decade from about $5 million to over $45 million a year and have a history of mismanagement.
Senator John Kerry, chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, has called for a comprehensive review of the A.I.D. programs.
Representative Bill Delahunt, Democrat of Massachusetts, meanwhile, asked whether there might be other ways to provide information to nongovernmental groups. “If we want to have influence on the island, what makes sense?” he said.
Others say that sometimes covert actions are necessary.
“This is the kind of thing we do all over the world when we are trying to reach people their governments don’t want us to reach,” said an aide to a Democratic senator. “It’s naïve to think that if we asked Cuba for permission, we’d get it.”
Ginger Thompson reported from Washington, and Marc Lacey from Mexico City.
S:New York Times

What the left really fears about Chile’s new president

As George posted last night, the victory by conservative candidate Sebastian Piñera in Chile's presidential election yesterday indicates that the country has turned away from the leftists/socialist ideology that has dominated for the past two decades. This monumental change in mood by South America's strongest economy has sent chills down the spines of both the leftist media and the leftist elite throughout the continent and the world.
Many on the left (especially the media) attempted to equate a vote for Piñera as a vote for Pinochet and an eventual return of a right-wing dictatorship in Chile. This ridiculous extrapolation, however, was not the real fear the left was feeling. Their real fear is that South America's strongest and most stable country will now be led by a strong, outspoken leader who is apparently not willing to turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by other leftist leaders in Latin America.
A perfect example of this fear is illustrated by this Canadian Press article published right after Piñera was named the winner. Note the dismay in the writer's tone as even in victory, he continues to associate the candidate with Pinochet.
Billionaire president-elect's criticism of Latin leftists could complicate Chile's diplomacy
By Michael Warren (CP)
SANTIAGO, Chile — Billionaire and now President-elect Sebastian Pinera invoked the calls to service of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama as he challenged Chileans to come together to improve their country.
The conservative businessman, who won Sunday's election by a 52-48 per cent margin over former President Eduardo Frei, vowed to appoint the "best, most prepared, most honest and most dedicated" people to help transform Chile "into the best country in the world."
But Pinera's long and rousing victory speech made no mention of foreign policy, and given his recent comments about Chile's neighbours, he may find unity on a continent dominated by leftist governments very hard to achieve.
Pinera's election victory Sunday night ends two decades of uninterrupted rule by a centre-left coalition, and returns to power the same political parties that provided civic support for Augusto Pinochet's brutal 1973-1990 dictatorship.
That legacy alone is bound to complicate relations with Argentina, whose leader has made prosecuting human rights violators a centerpiece of her presidency, and Uruguay, which just elected a former leftist guerrilla as its president.
Even after losing the election, the left will continue to beat the long-dead Pinochet horse; without any other argument to offer, they really have no choice. As I mentioned before, however, the left is well aware that there is no danger of Piñera becoming a dictator--the real danger they see and fear is that Piñera is not a loyal, card-carrying member of the leftist elite. Because of this, they fear he will say and do things that expose the vile mechanics behind Latin America's leftist movements and leaders.
At about the halfway point of the article, we see clearly what is really bothering the left.
Pinera has criticized Latin American populism as a failed approach, and in last week's presidential debate, he called Cuba a "dictatorship," said Venezuela is "not a democracy" and vowed never to concede land nor sea that belongs to Chile.
"This tone is clearly going to become an obstacle to building good relations with Bolivia, and certainly with Venezuela," said Marcelo Mella, a political scientist at the University of Santiago. "It seems to me that nationalistic and chauvinistic declarations won't help generate a good climate for resolving conflicts."
Can you imagine that? A South American leader calling the Cuban dictatorship a... (GASP) a dictatorship! And if that was not enough to cause knots in the bellies of the most enlightened elitists, he goes on to say that he will protect the sovereignty of Chile and refuse to concede what is rightfully theirs to tin pot dictators looking to steal some resources from their neighbors.
An interesting side-note is the quote from the political scientist at the University of Santiago. It seems he is very concerned about the "nationalistic and chauvinistic declarations" made by Piñera and believes they may hinder relations with Bolivia and Venezuela. It seems he believes that Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez have earned their right to be nationalistic, chauvinistic, and incendiary as they steal everything they can get their hands on. I guess being a dues-paying member in good standing of the leftist/elitist club has its benefits.
It is going to be fun to watch the Latin American summits coming up with Chile's new president. The left will definitely drag out the dead Pinochet horse and beat it some more, but the real fun will be watching their wailing and gnashing of teeth.
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Medics liken Haiti to a war-ravaged zone

Some indication of the challenges facing the Cuban medical team in Haiti appears in a message to Havana from the leader of that team, quoted by Fidel Castro in his latest reflection on Saturday.
• The team has performed "multiple amputations" but "the operations must be done practically in public. It's the image that comes to you when you think of war."
• "The Delmas-33 hospital is already working. It has three operating rooms with power generators, consulting areas, etc. It is absolutely full" of patients. [The field hospital is situated next to the damaged University Hospital.]
• "Twelve Chilean doctors have joined us, one of them an anesthesiologist. There are also eight Venezuelan doctors and nine Spanish nuns. We're expecting 18 Spaniards to join us any minute now. [...] They lacked emergency resources, which hadn't arrived, so they decided to join us and start to work immediately."
(fot2) • Thirty-two Haitian doctors living in Cuba were sent from Havana "directly to Carrefour, a place that is totally devastated. Three Cuban surgical teams arrived [Friday]."
• "We are manning the following medical installations in Port-au-Prince: La Renaissance Hospital, Social Security Hospital and De la Paz Hospital. [...] Four CDIs [Integral Diagnosis Centers] are already functioning."
For Castro's article, in English, click here. [UPDATE: The Huffington Post has an article about the Cuban mercy mission to Haiti. Click here to read it.]
Posted by Renato Perez at 10:44 AM in Current Affairs, The Americas
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Houston now exports to Havana, Santiago

A French shipping company has been authorized by Washington to provide weekly cargo transport from Houston to Cuba, The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.
(map2) The Marseilles-based CMA CGM Group, a container line, has begun to carry food, medical supplies and other products to Havana and Santiago de Cuba, via Kingston, Jamaica.
The company received a U.S. government license through October 2011 to move cargo to Cuba from the United States.
For Cuba, the new shipping route means faster delivery of products, The Chronicle says. Instead of waiting weeks or months for goods from other continents, Texas goods can arrive in Cuba much sooner.
Prior to this new route, Texas producers seeking regular service had to haul their Cuba-bound products to Florida ports. That added costs and delays. Or companies had to charter an entire vessel for the occasional shipment to Cuba.
“When a marketplace opens up, everybody wants to get into the action,” said Port of Houston Chairman Jim Edmonds. “Cuba is attractive to us from the standpoint of its proximity.”
“What we're witnessing is the important first step” to increased exports to Cuba, Jeff Moseley, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, told The Chronicle.
To read the entire article, click here.
Posted by Renato Perez at 08:21 AM in Economy & Trade, U.S.-Cuba relations
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S:Cuban Colada

Members Praise Google Decision on China

Monday, January 18, 2010
U.S. Congressmen Chris Smith of New Jersey, Frank Wolf of Virginia, Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan and Bob Inglis of South Carolina, joined officials from Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, and former Chinese political prisoners Harry Wu and Wei Jingsheng at a press conference last week to praise Google for taking bold measures to end its dealings with the Chinese regime that enabled it to spy on the Chinese people.

They also called on House leaders to finally vote on the Global Online Freedom Act ("GOFA"), a bipartisan bill that passed multiple House Committees in the previous Congress but was not brought up for a floor vote.

Google has now endorsed the GOFA bill, HR 2271.

"Google sent a thrill of encouragement through the hearts of millions of Chinese human rights activists and political and religious dissidents—including, no doubt, many sitting in jail right now for the 'crime' of peacefully expressing their religious beliefs or political opinions on the Internet," said Smith. "Google deserves to be praised for this decision. It is a blow against the cynical silence of so many, including the Obama administration, about the Chinese government's human rights abuses—a blast of honesty and courage from which we can all draw inspiration."

"Google has taken a principled stand, reminiscent of the companies that pulled out of apartheid South Africa and fascist Germany," Wolfe said. "The Chinese government now faces the prospect of either loosening their restrictions on the Internet or angering millions of their own people who use the Google search engine. This courageous step by one American company has far-reaching implications. They found that the Gmail accounts of literally dozens of brave human rights advocates seem to have been routinely accessed. This is unconscionable, but unsurprising given China's long history of cracking down on free speech, human rights and religious freedom. China is increasingly bold in their human rights abuses."

The provisions of the GOFA bill include:

• Prohibits US companies from disclosing to foreign officials of an “Internet Restricting Country” information that personally identifies a particular user except for “legitimate foreign law enforcement purposes;”

• Creates a private right of action for individuals aggrieved by the disclosure of such personal identification to file suit in any US district court;

• Prohibits US Internet service providers from blocking online content of US government or US-government financed sites;

• Establishes a new inter-agency office within the State Department charged with developing and implementing a global strategy to combat state-sponsored Internet jamming by repressive countries;

• Requires the new Office of Global Internet Freedom to monitor filtered terms; and to work with Internet companies and the non-profit sector to develop a voluntary code of minimum corporate standards related to Internet freedom;

• Requires Internet companies to disclose to the new Office of Global Internet Freedom the terms they filter and the parameters they must meet in order to do business in Internet Restricting Countries;

• Requires the President to submit to Congress an annual report designating as an “Internet Restricting Country” any nation that systematically and substantially restrict Internet freedom;

• Establishes civil penalties for businesses (up to $2 million) and individuals (up to $100,000) for violations of the new requirements;

• Mandates a government feasibility study to determine what type of restrictions and safeguards should be imposed on the export of computer equipment which could be used in an Internet Restricting Country to restrict Internet freedom.

It's time to pass the Global Online Freedom Act. S. Capitol Hill Cubans

U.S. Suspends Haitian Deportations as Florida Prepares for Migration From Quake Zone

Friday, January 15, 2010
By Ed Barnes

When Haiti’s economy and political system imploded in 1992, thousands of Haitians decided their country was no longer habitable and boarded small boats for the perilous journey to the United States, often to Florida.
The situation in Haiti is far worse now, after Tuesday's devastating earthquake created an unimaginable crisis in an already poverty-stricken country.
But no one is sure if a new migration will occur. As of Thursday night, military sources say that no fleeing boats had been detected. But they are not sure how long that will last, especially as the security situation deteriorates.
At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security announced Friday that it was suspending deportations of illegal immigrants from Haiti, changing them to "temporary protected status."
"In a way, it's sort of a time out for Haitians in the United States, who can begin to work, can get authorization to work and have some resources then to send back to Haiti," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said. She estimated one million to two million Haitians live illegally in the United States.
In Florida, which bore the brunt of the last wave of mass Haitian immigration, state officials are reviewing contingency plans and assessing resources out of concern that Haitians may once again flee in large numbers in the near future.
Mike Stone, spokesman for the state’s Division of Emergency Services, said that Florida was deeply involved in looking at what might happen and “was ready to deal with mass migration, as we have in the past.”
He said that there have been no changes in policy concerning migration so far. The old rules, which call for a swift return of migrant Haitians, still apply. Asked if there had been any discussions of temporary settlements while the situation in Haiti stabilized, he said “no.”
SLIDESHOW: Devastation in Haiti

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Samuel Bartholomew of the Haitian Center of New York said it was too early to predict migration.
“Haiti is getting help now. The world must help rebuild Port-au-Prince and build new towns around it to stop the flow of people to the city,” he said. As long as that happens, he said, it was likely that Haitians would stay put.
Joel R. Charny, president of Refugees International, agrees that any refugee flow will depend on how effective the relief effort turns out to be, but he adds he doesn’t expect the numbers to be massive, at least in the beginning.
“People are in shock now. Survival is the priority. When that changes to asking whether life in Haiti is viable, that is when we are likely to see refugees,” he said.
But the logistics of getting out and the military presence in the waters off Haiti, he said, promises to keep the numbers down. That could change, he said, “if the administration extends temporary protected status to people trying to come here. Then the numbers would be larger.”
The last influx took months of preparation as refugees who wanted to leave scoured the coast for boats or had craft built for the journey. Usually one or two leaders collected groups that wanted to share the trip and the costs, hid the boats while the final plans were made and sought the help of fisherman to captain the boat in uncertain waters. Most of the boats were small but could be crammed with over 100 people. Once the migration began, it was overwhelming.
On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security activated Operation Safe Return, under which the Coast Guard will “continue its migrant interdiction mission in the vicinity of Haiti with a focus on safety of life at sea,” Matthew Chandler, a department spokesman, said.
The U.S military also is considering using the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba to house any Haitians picked up fleeing their county. In the 1990s, the base held hundreds of Haitians picked up by Coast Guard cutters before they reached Florida. It was there that asylum hearings were held to determine if they could be sent on to the United States or were to be returned to Haiti. Today, the base’s Migrant Operations Center only has room for only 400 refugees.
Laura Howe, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, summed it up simply: “The folks in Haiti are going to go somewhere. We are just not sure yet when and where they will go,” she said.

Minuto a minuto del seísmo en Haití: "Los heridos se desangran en las calles"

14:16 "La situación es dramática y potencialmente explosiva", asegura Fran Sevilla, enviado especial de RNE en Haití, quien asegura que la desesperación de la población amenaza con provocar un estallido social.
"No hay una distribución de agua y alimentos de forma visible, lo que genera una situación de gran frustración entre los haitianos y supone, además, una amenaza a la seguridad", explica.
EE.UU. concretará a lo largo de hoy el despliegue de 10.000 marines que, todavía, no han salido del aeropuerto de Puerto Príncipe.
13:58 La UE se compromete a destinar 122 millones de euros en ayuda humanitaria urgente a Haití, y a dedicar otros 107 millones para la reconstrucción y rehabilitación rápida del país caribeño. Además, otros 200 millones de euros están disponibles en el presupuesto de la Comisión Europea para la reconstrucción a medio y largo plazo.
13:52 "Los milagros existen, por eso los equipos de rescate trabajan incansablemente", afirma Cristina Sánchez, enviada especial de RNE en Haití, quien recuerda que ayer todavía se encontró a gente con vida bajo los escombros.
"En general, los haitianos están resignados. Cuando intentan recuperarse de un desastre les sobreviene otro. Unos rezan, otros buscan a sus familiares entre los restos de lo que un día fue su hogar, y algunos comienzan a concentrarse en el aeropuerto de Puerto Príncipe en busca de trabajo", explica.
13:46 La embajada española se ha puesto en contacto con diez monjas españolas residentes en Haití, que se encuentran bien, por lo que prácticamente la totalidad de españoles en Haití están localizados. La funcionaria de la UE, Pilar Juárez Boal, y la subinspectora de policía, Rosa Crespo Bial, permanecen en paradero desconocido.
13:29 "Los heridos se desangran en las calles" explica Almudena Ariza, enviada especial de TVE en Haití, quien asegura que la falta de atención médica ante los "miles de heridos" ha convertido la ciudad de Puerto Príncipe en un hospital de campaña.
"Hay miles de personas viviendo en la vía pública sin alimentos y sin medicinas. La gente está realmente desesperada", añade.
Además, la inseguridad se ha apoderado de la capital haitiana y la policía intenta, sin éxito, controlar a las bandas de asaltantes que campan a sus anchas por las calles.
  • Almudena Ariza: "Los heridos se desangran en las calles"

13:17 Cerca de 105.000 raciones de ayuda alimentaria se han repartido entre la población haitiana desde que se produjera el terremoto el pasado miércoles, según ha informado el Programa Mundial de Alimentos. Sin embargo, los periodistas de RTVE que se encuentran en Haití aseguran que la ayuda no llega a las miles de personas que sobreviven sin nada en las calles de la capital.
12:56  La falta de material médico sobre el terreno, principalmente antibióticos y antisépticos, está obligando a los médicos que atienden a las víctimas del terremoto de Haití a practicar cientos de amputaciones que en otras circunstancias no serían necesarias, según Médicos del Mundo.
12:10 "Ahora es el momento de meterse la mano en el bolsillo y ayudar", ha subrayado el presidente brasileño, Lula da Silva, quien ha pedido a la comunidad internacional que transforme la sensibilidad en dinero para ayudar a Haití. "Hay países que pueden dar más" y no lo hacen, se ha quejado Lula, aunque sin dar nombres.
11.23 La Organización Internacional para las Migraciones quiere establecer un campamento temporal con capacidad para 100.000 personas sin hogar por el terremoto, pero aún no se ha decido el lugar en el que instalarlo, según la ONU.
11:13 "La atención sanitaria y la distribución de agua son las prioridades" en Haití, según ha afirmado el jefe de Operaciones de Cruz Roja, Alberto de Castro en TVE, quien ha rechazado que haya un alto riesgo de epidemias.
Castro también ha explicado que su equipo no ha podido salir a la calle en algunos momentos debido a la inseguridad que existe en Puerto Príncipe.
11:02 La presidencia española propone que la UE envíe a Haití excedentes de productos agrícolas para atender a las víctimas del terremoto.
10:58  La escasez de gasolina en Haití se hace cada vez más acuciante y constituye un obstáculo para las operaciones de ayuda humanitaria en las zonas del desastre.
10:51 La jefa de la diplomacia de la UE, Catherine Ashton, considera que Haití necesita más coordinación antes que "ayuda militar"  y ha abogado por asistir en la tarea del transporte de alimentos o trabajos de ingeniería para reparar las comunicaciones.
10:48 Francia ha decidido donar diez millones de euros a la ONU en respuesta a su solicitud de ayuda de emergencia a Haití, según ha confirmado el ministro francés de Exteriores.
10:44 Los hospitales de la frontera dominicana están desbordados debido a la gran cantidad de víctimas del terremoto que huyen de Haití y buscan asilo y asistencia sanitaria en República Domincana. Ante la falta de suministros médicos especializados, equipos y médicos, muchos heridos están siendo derivados a hospitales de otras ciudades.
10:31 El ministro del Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, califica como "remotísimas" las esperanzas de encontrar con vida a la subinspectora de Policía Rosa Crespo Biel, desaparecida tras el terremoto de Haití. La agente forma parte de los cerca de 40 miembros de la Policía y la Guardia Civil desplazados en el país caribeño en el marco de la misión internacional de Naciones Unidas.
10:24 "Nos encontramos ante una situación sanitaria dantesca y brutal. Jamás había visto nada igual", explica Fernando Prados, responsable de la misión del SAMUR en Haití, quien ha vivido otras situaciones de emergencia como la del tsunami en Sumatra en 2004.
"Jamás había visto patologías tan brutalmente graves en un volumen de pacientes tan enorme y con muy poca capacidad de atención", ha asegurado Prados.
10:17 El secretario de Estado de Cooperación francés, Alain Joyandet, quiere que la ONU precise el papel de EE.UU. en la ayuda humanitaria a Haití, porque "no se trata de ocupar el país, sino de ayudarle a que recobre la vida".
10:08  El ministro de Asuntos Exteriores, Miguel Angel  Moratinos, espera que la "angustia" de la familia de la funcionaria española Pilar Juárez se pueda "resolver cuanto antes" y ha reiterado que su Ministerio ha "lamentado el error" después de que el Gobierno comprobara que el cadáver hallado el sábado en la sede de Naciones Unidas no era el de Juárez.
"Se hace todo lo que se puede en estas circunstancias siempre  difíciles", ha asegurdo Moratinos.
10:02 Los Veintisiete podrían aprobar una ayuda económica superior a los 100 millones de euros destinada a las labores de reconstrucción a largo y medio plazo en Haití. Además, la UE estudiará la petición que ha hecho Naciones Unidas a través de España de enviar una misión para contribuir a la reconstrucción del país tras el terremoto.
09:38 El equipo de bomberos de la Junta de Castilla y León ha tenido que abandonar el rescate de una niña de 14 años, atrapada por los escombros y por el el cadáver de su madre, debido a la inseguridad que vive la capital Haitiana.
Cuando estaban a punto de liberar a la niña se ha producido un tiroteo y los cascos azules que les escoltaban les han dicho: "O se muere la niña o morís vosotros". Y han tenido que abandonar el rescate. "Ha sido frustrante, terrible y muy duro. No me lo creía", ha explicado el bombero Paco Rivas en RNE.
  • El bombero que ha tenido que abandonar a una niña a medio rescatar en Haití: "Ha sido terrible"

09:13 El propietario de nacionalidad alemana del Hotel Montana, en Puerto Príncipe, ha sido rescatado con vida después de pasar cuatro días entre los escombros. Unas 200 personas permanecen todavía atrapadas bajo las ruinas de este hotel de lujo.
09:06  "El caos y el pillaje siguen reinando en Puerto Príncipe", relata Almudena Ariza, la enviada especial de TVE a Haití. Por un lado, los haitianos están desesperados porque el acceso a la ayuda humanitaria es limitado, y por otro, la inseguridad se ha adueñado de la capital, en parte debido a que miles de presos se han fugado de la principal cárcel de Puerto Príncipe y están vagando por las calles.
08:54 "Estoy destrozado. Yo ya había asumido que mi mujer se había muerto", ha declarado el marido de la española Pilar Juárez, que había sido dada por muerta debido a una identificación errónea.
José Valverde se pregunta angustiado que "si ya han terminado de desescombrar los edificios que se han caído y no hay más cadáveres y ahí no ha aparecido Pilar, ¿dónde está Pilar?"

08:14:  La vicepresidenta del Gobierno, María Teresa Fernández de  la Vega, y la secretaria de Estado de Cooperación Internacional, Soraya Rodríguez, se reunirán este lunes en Santo Domingo con el presidente de la República Dominicana, Leonel Fernández, para analizar la recuperación de Haití.
07:22 Los ministros de UE celebran una reunión extraordinaria para concretar la ayuda a Haití
06.40 El ex presidente Bill Clinton viaja a Haití para impulsar la entrega de ayuda humanitaria y reunirse con el presidente René Préval, mientras EE.UU. prepara la llegada este lunes de 7.500 militares, que se sumarán a los 5.800 ya desplazados al país.
05.36 El primer camión de ayuda llega al campamento de Challe, donde permanecen 10.000 haitianos. Se quejan porque es la primera ración de comida que les llega, una dieta que consiste en galletitas saladas. "¿Esto es todo?", pregunta un padre junto a sus tres hijas.
04.52 El Gobierno de Haití decreta 30 días de luto nacional. Además ha establecido el estado de emergencia hasta finales de enero.
04.15 A la ONU le preocupa la seguridad de su personal ante los violentos saqueos y las peleas por conseguir comida en las calles de Puerto Príncipe, algo que ralentiza aun más el reparto de ayuda.
03.58 Al menos 250.000 personas han resultado heridas y 1.500.000 han perdido sus casas, según un nuevo balance del Gobierno haitiano difundido por el Secretario de Estado para la Alfabetización, Carol Joseph, quien además ha señalado que ya hay 70.000 cadáveres en fosas comunes.
02.40 Crece la violencia y la desesperación en Puerto Príncipe por la ausencia de víveres, que no llegan a muchos puntos de la ciudad. "Nunca anunciamos el lugar donde vamos a repartir la comida para evitar tumultos", explica un trabajador de la ONU. "Para nosotros una distribución exitosa de alimentos y agua es aquella en la que nadie sufre daños", añade.
01.28 La familia de Pilar Juárez, la segoviana desaparecida en Haití que ha sido dada por muerta por una identificación erronea, pide al Gobierno que la búsqueda de Pilar y del resto de españoles no solo se haga en Haití, sino también en Santo Domingo y en todos los hospitales de los países a los que están llegando cuerpos.
01.00 El pillaje y los saqueos vuelven a producirse en la tarde del domingo en el centro de Puerto Príncipe ante la impotencia de la policía haitiana.
Cientos de jóvenes, muchos armados con barras de hierro o madera y algunos con cuchillos, han asaltado varios almacenes, ninguno de ellos de comestibles, situados en una de las principales avenidas del centro de la ciudad, donde se encuentra el 'Marché de Fer'.
00.54 El presidente de Haití, René Preval, cifra en 3.000 el número de presos huidos de la cárcel de Puerto Príncipe. Además ha señalado que 2.000 policías figuran entre las víctimas.
00.39 Los países que envían su ayuda a Haití se reunirán en Montreal (Canadá), el 25 de enero, según acaba de anunciar el primer ministro haitiano, Jean-Max Bellerive, y la secretaria de Estado estadounidense, Hillary Clinton.
00.32 Ya se han enterrado en fosas comunes 70.000 cadáveres de la tragedia, según fuentes del Gobierno haitiano. Además se ha decretado el estado de emergencia hasta finales de enero.
00.10. Al menos una persona ha fallecido este domingo por los disparos efectuados por policías haitianos que intentaban dispersar a un grupo de saqueadores en un mercado de Puerto Príncipe, según el diario británico The Daily Telegraph. La información, recogida por la agencia Europa Press, añade que el fallecido, de unos 30 años, fue rápidamente despojado de su mochila por otro de los ladrones.
00.05. Este lunes a mediodía partirá desde la base aérea de Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid) un nuevo avión con 15 toneladas de ayuda humanitaria a Haití, según Exteriores. Con este nuevo envío y el que paralelamente se estará fletando desde Panamá con ayuda del Gobierno de El Salvador, son ya 13 los vuelos humanitarios que el Gobierno español ha fletado desde que dio comienzo el operativo de ayuda humanitaria española.
23.50. Los cadáveres del matrimonio de María Jesús Plaza e Yves Baltroni, que siguen siendo las únicas víctimas españolas, serán repatriados desde Santo Domingo en un avión fletado por el Gobierno "lo antes posible".
23.06. El ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores ha reconocido que se ha producido un error en la identificación del cadáver de Pilar Juárez. Al parecer, el cuerpo localizado no pertenece a la funcionaria de la Unión Europea. La familia ha recibido la noticia con indignación, pero también con esperanza.
23.04. El presidente de EEUU, Barack Obama, ha firmado una orden ejecutiva que autoriza el uso de las reservas de las Fuerzas Armadas para apoyar la misión humanitaria en Haití, según ha informado la Casa Blanca.
22.55. Se cumplen cinco días desde que la tierra tembló en Haití y destruyó gran parte de la capital Puerto Príncipe. Así te hemos contado los días anteriores de la tragedia.
 NOTA: La hora en Haití son seis horas menos que la hora peninsular española.

 ANÁLISIS: El doble juego del Ejecutivo

18 Enero 10 - T. Martos
- ¿A qué se deben los últimos giros de la política de Zapatero respecto a Cuba?
–El Gobierno mantiene un doble juego por miedo a perder los pocos apoyos exteriores con los que cuenta. Por un lado afirma que hay que ser «exigentes» con Cuba, para tener contentos a los miembros de la UE, y por otro, defiende que hay que modificar la política de la UE respecto a la isla y abrirse al diálogo, para no enemistarse con los Castro.

- El régimen cubano impidió la entrada en la isla del eurodiputado socialista, Luis Yáñez. ¿Qué consecuencias ha tenido este incidente?

–Ninguna. Pese a que, en un primer momento, el Ejecutivo español se mostró enfadado por lo ocurrido, horas después calificó de mero «error» el episodio. La respuesta tibia de Zapatero y Moratinos no sorprendió.
- Ahora reconoce que la política de represión de Cuba con los presos políticos se ha
endurecido. ¿Por qué?

–La defensa de los derechos humanos es uno de los principios en los que se fundamenta la política común de la UE, que lleva años denunciando la situación de los presos de conciencia en la isla. Es de obligado cumplimiento para el nuevo presidente de turno de la UE reconocer que el problema existe. Eso sí, lo hace a través de un documento interno del Congreso para evitar un encontronazo con  sus «amigos»: ya sean los Castro, ya sea Chávez.