In 2011, Wikileaks published bombshell reports showing that the U.S. began to use all channels, diplomatic and otherwise, to stop a minimum wage increase in Haiti. At that time, Think Progress reported on how U.S. operatives went into overdrive to prevent a movement to increase wages for people living in one of the poorest countries on the planet:
In 2009, the Haitian parliament unanimously passed a measure that would hike the Haitian minimum wage to $5 a day. Yet much as the United States government mobilized to protect Big Oil’s profits a few years earlier, American diplomats immediately protested the hike in wages.
Contractors for large American clothing firms like Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, and Levi’s began protesting the increase in the minimum wage, aggressively lobbying the parliament and the populist Haitian president, René Préval, to reverse course. They were soon joined by American diplomats who began to lobby the Haitian government as well, arguing that it would be too costly for textile manufacturers.
Now, an article published by Counterpunch goes even further, describing the attack on living wages, as well as discussing the role of some key officials played in keeping Haiti impoverished:
Two years later, WikiLeaks provided me and two colleagues with a window into that machine: 1,918 secret diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Haiti.
The cables proved beyond any doubt what had seemed obvious. Behind the scenes, American officials had mounted a full-scale assault on the minimum wage increase, financing studies against it and pressuring the president to oppose it.
The article also calls into question the source of the cholera outbreak in Haiti. When you put it all together, it’s not hard to understand why the U.S. government doesn’t want to ever see Wikileaks founder Julian Assange set free.
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