Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reference: The bitter taste of sugar, Bangkok Post, November 29, 2007

The article cites the documentary, "The Price of Sugar" to conclude that Haitians working in sugar plantations across the porous border in the other half of the divided island are being exploited by the forces of globalisation because they are working in severe conditions without health care or adequate compensation (The bitter taste of sugar, Bangkok Post, November 29, 2007). It is long on gee-whiz and short on history. The exploitation of of Africans as slaves and then Asians as indentured workers by the sugar industry peaked in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries when the British Empire was busy cornering the market for sugar. That monopoly was broken a long time ago and the industry is now well distributed mostly among poor countries and is not controlled by large multinational or transnational firms. The plight of the Haitians is a poverty issue and not a globalisation issue.

Cha-am Jamal

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