For the United Nations World Food Program, it was a moment of satisfaction: the U.N.'s flagship relief agency announced on its Web site on March 19 that two gleaming passenger ships had docked in ravaged Port au Prince harbor.
What the Web site announcement did not disclose was that the vessels were intended to house not homeless Haitian refugees, but employees of the U.N. itself. Nor did it publicize the cost of leasing the ships: $112,500 a day. Nor did it mention that one of the vessels is owned by a company closely linked to the government of Venezuelan strongman President Hugo Chavez.
Another thing not mentioned: Even U.N. staffers regularly refer to one of the ships as “the Love Boat.”