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Author Topic: Haiti
solarpower
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posted 04 May 2005 10:49 AM      Profile for solarpower   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
sorry, this is a month old but only just saw it:

Update on Haiti for the UN Security Council

Special Briefing
8 April 2005
INTRODUCTION


The Security Council will be arriving in Haiti at a time of deep turmoil for the year-old political transition. The volatile security climate and high level of violence in the capital, the continuing presence of armed ex-military rebels in the countryside, the lack of tangible movement towards political dialogue and reconciliation, and the absence of socio-economic progress indicate the transition is failing. Urgent steps need to be taken to reverse this trend and to establish a stable political climate for the elections well before they take place.

The increasingly negative role played by the transitional government, backed by key sectors of the Haitian society, raise serious questions about its capacity to fulfil basic state functions. The absence of response to mounting allegations of human rights violations by the Haitian National Police (HNP), a partisan justice ministry, widespread corruption, armed urban gangs and mixed signals towards the disarmament of the former Haitian armed forces, the ex-FAd'H constitute serious obstacles to the success of the UN peacekeeping mission. No one expected the transitional government to solve the deep-rooted causes of the Haitian crisis, but widespread disappointment over the lack of progress, especially with regard to human rights abuses, is further destabilizing the country. Units of the Haitian National Police repeatedly have engaged in arbitrary use of force and summary executions with no effective investigation or prosecution of those responsible.

The slow deployment of the military and police elements of MINUSTAH, as well as the human rights monitors,[1] leaves inadequate resources for the SRSG to carry out the mandate of Resolution 1542, even if there had been full cooperation from the transitional government. The absence of that cooperation is reflected in the transitional government's conduct over the last twelve months.[2] As a result, serious questions have to be raised as to the ability of the peacekeeping force to assure citizen safety, public security, and respect for the rule of law. The weakness and lack of credibility of the transitional government, its partisan actions, and its confrontational stance toward MINUSTAH also raise questions regarding its capacity to manage the transition through the electoral period. Without stronger international responsibility for critical elements of security and stability, the Haitian transitional government is unlikely to move beyond the narrow partisan and sectoral interests which have too often characterised its actions.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] Only 7413 of the 8322 authorised police and military have been deployed, and only one of the 19 authorised international human rights monitors was deployed as of January 2005.
[2] The non inclusion of key articles of the new electoral law (backed particularly by MINUSTAH), the reluctance to adopt an effective plan for the demobilization and disarmament of the former military – exemplified by the delay in even naming a national disarmament commission until 3 February 2005, the continued illegal detention of key Lavalas leaders, the inclusion of uncertified personnel into the HNP before and after Aristide’s departure and the absence of effective internal police control mechanisms reflect government refusal to accept MINUSTAH recommendations.

[ 04 May 2005: Message edited by: solarpower ]


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sgm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5468

posted 30 May 2005 05:38 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada is going to be hosting an international conference on Haiti in June:

quote:

May 30 2005

Press Release - Foreign Affairs Canada

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll today announced that the Montreal International Conference on Haiti will take place on June 16 and 17, 2005.

[snip]

The Montreal International Conference on Haiti, organized by the Government of Canada in conjunction with the Government of Haiti, will bring together senior officials from Haiti’s international partners. During the meeting, participants will discuss the situation in Haiti; the procedural requirements for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) under the new Security Council resolution, which will be voted on by May 31; the progress of the electoral process; the eventual establishment of an international elections observation mission; and the implementation of the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF).


Link.

Harvard Law School's Human Rights Program released a report in March on the human rights situation in Haiti (grim) and on MINUSTAH's failures:

quote:
Charged to train and reform the Haitian National Police, MINUSTAH instead has provided unquestioning support to police operations that have resulted in warrantless arrests and detentions, unintended civilian casualties and deliberate extrajudicial killings. Rather than heeding its directive to protect civilians from imminent violence, MINUSTAH has instead inflicted stray bullets on them. Disarmament is at the core of MINUSTAH's security and stabilization duties, but MINUSTAH's disarmament work thus far has transpired only in conference rooms. In consequence, Haiti is ruled by guns and terror, not law.
You can find the full report here: link.

I may be wrong, but as far as I can tell, this Harvard report received no major media coverage in Canada.


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sgm
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posted 05 June 2005 10:06 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The death toll in Haiti continues to rise:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) -- As many as 25 people were killed in police raids on Friday and Saturday in the slums of Haiti's capital after the government said it would get tougher on gangs, morgue workers and witnesses said.

Clerks at the morgue in the General Hospital said they had taken in 17 bodies on Saturday and three bodies on Friday after the raids in Bel-Air and other Port-au-Prince slums, centers of support for ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

A Reuters journalist also saw five other bodies in two different areas of Bel-Air.

Residents said the dead were shot by police and accused police of setting slum homes on fire.

[snip]

At least 740 people have been killed in criminal and political violence in Haiti since September. A French diplomat was shot to death this week while driving in the capital.

"The police arrived, they started shooting. There were other people shooting too, but they managed to flee," said Ronald Macillon, a Bel-Air resident. "The police killed a lot of people and set several homes on fire," Macillon said.

Several other witnesses gave similar accounts.

A spokesman for U.N. troops in Bel-Air, Col. Carlos Barcelos, told Reuters the Brazilian contingent based in that slum did not take part directly in the raids, but put up checkpoints and secured the outside perimeter.

The Central Director for the Administrative Police, Renan Etienne, told Reuters he could not say how many people were killed or comment on allegations police set homes on fire, as he had not yet received police reports.


CNN Link.

A recent ZNet article on Haiti is here.

Yves Engler's recent story for rabble.ca is here.


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sgm
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posted 16 June 2005 02:48 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Haiti's ustice minister is set to resign:

quote:

[Justice Minister] Gousse's decision came a few days after a group of Democratic U.S. lawmakers wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and urged her to press for Gousse's departure. They said Haiti's justice system was so politicized against Aristide supporters that it was "a sham."

Many believe Gousse's resignation could make way for former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune's release from jail. Neptune, who served under Aristide, has been jailed for nearly a year on charges he called politically motivated.

He was accused of planning what Aristide opponents called a massacre in the village of La Scierie St. Marc north of Port-au-Prince in February 2004. Neptune has denied the allegations and a U.N. human rights investigator said the deaths resulted from confrontations between armed pro- and anti-Aristide groups during the revolt that drove Aristide into exile.

Critics said Gousse, who is a member of the anti-Aristide political opposition Group of 184, was responsible for the arrests and arbitrary detention of hundreds of members and supporters of Aristide's Lavalas Family party.


More here.


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Rufus Polson
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posted 16 June 2005 03:58 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Even as they start to pull back a little bit, the slant and whitewashing is disgusting. Right from the little words--"revolt" my ass! CIA-sponsored, UN-abetted coup is more like it.
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sgm
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posted 17 June 2005 08:00 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada hosts closed-door meeting on Haiti:

quote:

The Canadian government is restricting its June 16-17 international conference on Haiti to senior officials from countries involved with reconstruction in the Caribbean nation, keeping the media and other interested parties out. Fulfilling a promise he made in March 2005 at the Cayenne meeting in French Guyana, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew, together with International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll, is hosting this closed conference of working sessions in Montreal this week with the aim of reviewing the current situation in Haiti, and preparing for elections currently slated for October.

At the press conference after the closed-door meeting, Pettigrew was splashed with paint by a protester:

quote:

MONTREAL, June 17 (Reuters) - A protester disrupted a news conference at the conclusion of an international conference on elections in Haiti on Friday, when he splattered Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew with what appeared to be red paint.

Pettigrew's hands and clothes were covered with paint and he was forced to leave the conference as security guards wrestled the young male protester out of the room.

The two-day Montreal conference had concluded with an agreement on providing international assistance for Haiti to hold presidential, legislative and municipal elections in October and November.

Elections Canada, which runs federal and provincial elections in Canada, has been chosen to oversee an election observer mission to the Caribbean county.

While the conference was going on at a downtown hotel, protesters, who appeared to be supporters of ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, chanted anti-Canadian slogans outside.

Since Aristide's departure from Haiti in 2004, the impoverished country of 8 million has been plagued by political and criminal violence that has killed at least 770 people.


Self-evidently, opposing our policy in Haiti makes the demonstrators 'anti-Canadian.' It's also important that the protestors 'appeared to be' supporters of Aristide: no reporter could take the time to actually ask them who or what they supported or opposed. Judging by superficial appearances is the appropriate course to prevent the public from actually hearing the substance of the protesters' concerns in their own voices.

The doctrinal constraints are functioning correctly: all is well in the mainstream Canadian media.

[ 17 June 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


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Fidel
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posted 18 June 2005 08:23 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The CIA needs time to roundup and murder socialists and instill sufficient fear in the populace before Haitian's can be trusted with free elections.

Haiti's Weather forecast: U.S. colonialism


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sgm
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posted 18 June 2005 11:23 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Speaking of the elections, singer and activist Annette Auguste, jailed for months without charges, is calling for a boycott of the vote:

quote:

PORT AU PRINCE - I am Annette Auguste, who has been unjustly imprisoned and held without charges since May 10, 2004. U.S. Marines arrested me in a violent invasion of my home causing harm to my family. To this date there is no reason for my imprisonment other than my support for the duly elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Although Amnesty International has been cowardly in using the term, I am among the thousands of political prisoners rotting away in Haitian jails today. There is no other explanation for my imprisonment as I have never been convicted of a crime or allowed my day in court to challenge any allegations brought against me.

[snip]

The elections they are planning to cover all of the human rights abuses they have committed against Lavalas will not pass. They want to show to the world that the coup of Feb. 29 was justified; I call upon all democracy loving Haitians to not register for this vote. If you must accept their bribe of a new national identity card to register then take it. But when the day comes to vote stay home. Show them that we are a proud nation that believes in democracy. We already voted and spent our energy on a government that represented the majority of the poor in Haiti. We will never give into to extortion and kidnapping. We will remain strong and resolved to return the constitutional government. When it is darkest we will shine the light.

The international community has given us no choice by their acceptance of human rights violations by the police and their killings in the popular neighborhoods. We have no choice but to die or not vote in the next elections. This is all they have left us.


More here.


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solarpower
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posted 19 June 2005 06:42 AM      Profile for solarpower   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pettigrew will not being laying charges.
I guess that makes any media coverage of this issue unnecessary. Situtation normal.

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Wilf Day
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posted 19 June 2005 01:44 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by solarpower:
Pettigrew will not being laying charges.

Link? I would be very concerned if charges are laid or not laid in Montreal based on whether a federal minister wishes it. The last I heard, charges are laid by the police, with advice from provincial justice officials if needed, not by the victim.

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solarpower
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posted 19 June 2005 07:04 PM      Profile for solarpower   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No link
I heard it at 5 a.m. on TV. hmm, CBC Newsworld (a little early, not positive which station I was watching).
The broadcaster clearly said Pierre Pettigrew isn't laying charges.
Looks like I got suckered by political speak and media speak. If it's not up to him, he wouldn't be.
I really need to learn those foreign languages.

(Still thinking the government won't want the media coverage though)


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sgm
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posted 20 June 2005 04:16 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maclean's is reporting that two charges have been dropped; Engler still faces the 'disturbing the peace' charge.

quote:

Engler was initially charged with assault with a weapon, attacking a police officer, and disturbing the peace but the first two charges were subsequently dropped.

Engler is to appear before a judge Aug. 8 on the remaining charge.


Link.


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Hawkins
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posted 07 July 2005 12:23 AM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does anyone have information about what is going on right now?

The UN Peacekeepers have just "raided" a slum likely killing a gang leader and others with the "link to former President Aristide".

This is coming from the BBC article. I don't think it would help to repeat it since they have been complicit in reporting lies before.


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thwap
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posted 09 July 2005 12:32 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hawkins,

No, sorry. I read the same BBC report as you, i'd imagine. I'll be going through some more Haiti-focussed websites tonight or tomorrow.


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sgm
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posted 16 July 2005 11:41 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Reports that the July 6th raid on the Cite Soleil neighbourhood killed far more than the 5 'gunmen' mentioned by UN forces have been around since shortly after the raid.

Now, the MSM appears to be catching up:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, July 14 (Reuters) - Opposition groups and residents of two Port-au-Prince slums say dozens of innocent people were killed during anti-gang raids by U.N troops and Haitian police last week, but U.N. and police officials denied the accusations.

The Lawyers Committee for Individual Rights, a group known as CARLI and regarded as one of the most independent rights groups operating in Haiti, said U.N. peacekeepers and Haitian police killed unarmed residents, including children and elders, in the slums of Bel-Air and Cite Soleil, strongholds of supporters of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

"We have credible information that U.N. troops, accompanied by Haitian police, killed an undetermined number of unarmed residents of Cite Soleil, including several babies and women," Renan Hedouville, the head of CARLI, told Reuters this week.

[snip]

Aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said it treated more than two dozen people that day, including a pregnant woman who survived surgery but lost her baby.

[snip]

A U.N. military spokesman, Col. Elouafi Boulbars, said U.N. troops killed five "criminals" during the operation. But after those bodies were taken away, a Reuters TV crew filmed seven other bodies of people killed during the operation, including those of two one-year-old baby boys and a woman in her 60s.

[snip]

The same day, residents in another slum, Bel-Air, blamed Haitian police officers wearing black uniforms for the killing of 12 people.

At least 18 other people were reported killed last Friday in similar circumstances in the same slum. A Reuters correspondent saw several of the bodies.


More details in the full story.

[ 16 July 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 16 July 2005 10:35 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And now, this:

[quote]
Port-au-Prince — A U.S.-backed advisory council that oversees Haiti's interim government recommended Saturday that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's political party be barred from upcoming elections, accusing the party of encouraging violence.

The seven-member Council of Sages, which picked the interim government, accused Aristide's Lavalas Family Party of promoting violence, including the slaying of a well-known Haitian journalist whose body was found with signs of torture Monday.

“Political groups who identify themselves with the Lavalas Family Party, and particularly with Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, continue to promote and tolerate violence,” the council said.

[snip]

Lavalas is Haiti's most organized political force, with much of its support coming from sprawling slums in Port-au-Prince. Aristide was ousted in a bloody, three-week rebellion in February 2004.

[snip]

U.N. peacekeepers have intensified offensives against armed pro- and anti- Aristide gangs, who dominate parts of the capital's slums.

Lavalas leader Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, a Roman Catholic priest who is considering running for president, said the interim government feared Aristide supporters would win the elections.

“They are scared of us,” Rev. Jean-Juste said. “They are afraid we are going to win.”
[quote]

Globe Link.


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Hawkins
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posted 18 July 2005 02:15 AM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Of course they would be scared of the party that they took out that won the last election handily. What did they expect to happen? "Oh new gunmen have convinced us that we voted wrong!" Such logic is fantastic especially when the government was voted in, in part for kicking those gunmen out of power.
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thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'
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posted 23 July 2005 03:07 AM      Profile for thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Brian Concannon, on the future elections in Haiti:
quote:
5% of the eligible voters have registered, with only a few weeks left before registration closes on August 9. The registration center Mr. Insulza inaugurated was about the 105th opened since April 25th, out of an announced 424 (the last election, run by an elected government in 2000, had upwards of 12,000 centers). The registration center shortage, like most shortages in Haiti, hits the poor hardest: there are no centers in or near Cité Soleil, the crowded seaside slum that supports the ousted President Aristide, but there are three in Pétionville, the opulent hillside suburb that forms the Interim Government's base. There are four in the whole Central Plateau, a large region with few good roads.

quote:
Haitian voters have seen enough electoral charades to recognize one, and they call the upcoming votes a "selection." They connect the dots from the arrests of political dissidents to the scarce and gerrymandered registration centers, and see a return to the days when a fraction of the citizenry chose the likes of "Papa Doc" Francois Duvalier from a list of approved candidates.

Brian Concannon, counterpunch

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sgm
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posted 25 July 2005 12:56 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The above-mentioned Fr. Jean-Juste, a sharp critic of the current Haitian government, has been arrested in connection with the murder of a journalist.

Here's a clip from the Globe and Mail's 'phone-it-in' coverage of this ongoing story:

quote:

Port-au-Prince, Haiti — A priest allied to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been arrested in connection with the killing of a prominent journalist, his lawyer said Friday.

The Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste was questioned by the judge and sent to the Central Prison and told he would be charged in connection with the death of Jacques Roche, said Bill Quigley, the priest's American defence attorney.

[snip]

The priest has emerged as a leader of Mr. Aristide's Lavalas Family party, which has been accused by the interim government of stoking violence to push for the return of the former president, who was ousted following a bloody rebellion in 2004.

Rev. Jean-Juste denied any involvement in the death of Mr. Roche, whose body was found in the street five days after he was abducted in the capital in a slaying that the government blamed on armed supporters of Aristide.



From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hawkins
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posted 25 July 2005 01:15 AM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So are we sending election observers to this election as well? Too dangerous? That's convienent.
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Hawkins
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posted 25 July 2005 01:19 AM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
More than 700 people have been killed since in Haiti since September. Most of the violence in Haiti is blamed on well-armed street gangs loyal to Aristide. But Aristide supporters allege their members have been the victims of killings and other atrocities at the hands of Haiti's police.

This is just rich.

Aristide's supporters in the slums are "well armed". Do these writers know about the demographics of the last election? Or are we supposed to pretend that the Lavalas party is the Ba'athists of Haiti?


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M. Spector
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posted 25 July 2005 02:06 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
This is the fourth time agents of the coup government jailed the priest, most recently after he was attacked at Roche's funeral, in the presence of police, by anti-Aristide attendees who accused him of participating in the murder.

Jean-Juste's longest arrest took place last year. As Reuters reported in a recent article, "Jean-Juste was taken from his church last October while he was feeding street children and was jailed for nearly seven weeks. His imprisonment rallied to his side human rights groups, including Amnesty International". Source



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 25 July 2005 07:27 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the Toronto Star:

quote:

Recently the Council of Sages, the Western-backed body that has overseen Haiti's political affairs since the February 2004 ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, made a startling recommendation. Blaming the exiled Aristide and his Lavalas party for continuing "to promote and tolerate violence," the council urged the interim regime that it appointed to "disqualify the Lavalas Family Party from the electoral process."

The council needn't worry. International intervention, in which Canada has played a major role, has all but assured that it will be next to impossible for the country's largest political party to run freely in the scheduled fall elections.

[snip]

Aristide-led governments were also marred with some credible allegations of corruption and human rights abuses. But the fact remains that no other political party "comes close to the support enjoyed by the Fanmi Lavalas," as Gallup found in a March 2002 poll, one of the last to widely survey Haitian public opinion.

What is not clear is why popular sentiment is being suppressed with Canada's support. While none of Haiti's Caribbean neighbours has recognized the installed regime, the Liberal government has showered it with diplomatic ties, $180 million in aid, and lofty public apologia. At a June 17 press conference, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew rejected a question about Haitian police abuses, declaring his belief that "the Haitian police is doing its very best in extremely difficult circumstances."

[snip]

Some Haitians will certainly be heartened by Pettigrew's interest in their democratic future. Prominent bureaucrats and ex-military police chiefs come to mind. Residents of Cité Soleil, however, and the many other poor Haitians struggling for their basic democratic rights, will likely have a far different reaction.


Aaron Mate's Star piece is one of the few I've seen in the msm that dares to question Canada's role in Haiti. I hope more follow: this story deserves more attention.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hawkins
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posted 25 July 2005 09:19 PM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That is probably the first main stream media article I have read that actually appears to have "balance" to it.
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thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'
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posted 27 July 2005 05:17 AM      Profile for thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 27 July 2005: Message edited by: thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry' ]


From: Kitchener, Ontario | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'
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posted 27 July 2005 05:20 AM      Profile for thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
With top lavalas politicians in prison (Neptune, So Ann) Fraph death squads integrated into the police and this:
quote:
The fall elections planned for Haiti are the fruit of that investment, designed to give those opposition parties the platform they have always desired, free of competition from the 900 pound gorilla, Lavalas – but, just to cover the bet, free of potential Lavalas voters as well. Just this week, a diplomatic source told Agence Haitienne Presse that the international community was prepared to accept a Haitian election with only 200,000 to 300,000 voters, or less than 7 percent of the electorate.

If the 'international community'(i.e. the council of sages) has enough gall to call for Lavalas' banishment from the elections, I suppose Canada et. al could support an election with 7% (and guess which 7) voting...
But can they really get away with this??!
Seriously, I want to know.
The quote above is from the San Fransico Bay Guardian

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thwap
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posted 27 July 2005 07:18 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sadly, it seems probable that they will get away with it.

Look at the very occasional coverage this is getting. Verbatim repetitions of Haiti's "government" statements of Lavalas's criminality.

This is disgusting.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 27 July 2005 06:41 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure this will reproduce effectively:

quote:
Your Help Needed for Haitian Priest and Activist

"The searches at the airport, the visits to the police stations, the mandate to appear before a criminal judge yesterday, and now this. It is all part of the effort to silence my voice for democracy."
– Father Gérard Jean-Juste, after his arrest last week

Father Gérard Jean-Juste, a tireless advocate for human rights and for the poor, was arrested and jailed on Thursday, July 21, 2005. He is being held in solitary confinement at the Haitian National Penitentiary.

For a week leading up to his arrest, Father Jean-Juste was questioned by authorities accusing him of a range of sweeping politically motivated charges. His real offense: continuing to speak out against human rights violations in Haiti.

This is not the first time Father Jean-Juste has been arrested for his legitimate, peaceful activities: in October 2004, he was arrested while running a soup kitchen for his church and imprisoned for seven weeks.

Since February 2004, when former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted by an armed rebellion, Haiti has been plagued by violence and political instability. Courageous activists like Father Jean-Juste offer hope of a brighter future for Haiti.

Please help Human Rights First press for the release of Father Jean-Juste and an end to the persecution of human rights defenders in Haiti.

Learn more about the case of Father Gérard Jean-Juste>>

Take Action


Click Here to Take Action



From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 27 July 2005 06:43 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmmn. No.

Well, I think what you do is go to humanrightsfirst.org and see if you can find the right action.

[Sorry: had to cut the URL because it keeps identifying me.]

[ 27 July 2005: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mimeguy
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posted 30 July 2005 06:27 PM      Profile for mimeguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In theory the concept of barring a political party is bizarre and wrong of course. The whole nature of a democracy is to allow competing philosophies to vie for the people's approval and eventual election to handle and govern their affairs for a pre-determined time frame when it will come up for review in another set of elections.

However this is not the situation in Haiti. This was a planned coup d'etat designed for regime change. It was not just designed to eliminate Aristide but Lavalas as a whole. Too much money has been invested by the perpetrators to allow the whole thing to collapse now. Allowing Lavalas to participate in the elections would defeat the whole purpose of the coup. In my brief conversation with a former Lavalas politician he told me he believed that if Lavalas is allowed into the elections they will win with a commanding majority. The Canadian, U.S., French and Haitian politicians, business elite, who orchestrated the coup and facilitated its aftermath simply cannot allow this to happen. Lavalas must, in their eyes, simply be either eliminated or seriously wounded as a political force. This is the reason behind the obvious campaign to discredit Lavalas as a whole and on a more sinister and evil level to murder its members. Abuses by Lavalas members gain alot of publicity outside of Haiti and the human rights abuses by the interim government are played down, covered up or simply denied. But don't kid yourselves. There is alot of violence perpetrated in the name of Lavalas and it isn't all Government setups. Neither side has clean hands and this was true before the coup.

If it is still true that Guy Phillipe is running as a candidate then this to me is the greater failure and insult. He is a criminal and guilty of past and present crimes against humanity. If this election was truly about regime change and the beginning of a new Haiti then anyone who served in any previous administration should be banned. A new clean slate of candidates should be running from all political spectrums. This is a naive concept on my part I realize but I believe it to be true.

I'm sure it must be agreed, no matter where your passions fall, that all of Lavalas is not corrupt. I say this of course without authority of complete knowledge but simply a belief that a movement for change such as Lavalas was in its beginnings could not have lost all its good men and women. Lavalas needs to be democratically purged within itself by its own members but not eliminated. In an ideal, functioning justice system the violent element within all parties could be brought to justice. Haiti doesn't have one that I can see. The scales of what pass for justice in Haiti clearly tilt in favour of the Interim government.

I don't know how many levels of government there are between the national level and the local level. Perhaps it is better for Lavalas to concede this temporary defeat, should it come to pass, and willingly not participate in the elections. To allow the waters of change, that gave rise to its name as a political movement, to recede to the local level and build for when the tide changes direction again.

Haiti's liberation is not lost. Its freedom is inevitable.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
mimeguy
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posted 30 July 2005 07:09 PM      Profile for mimeguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Haiti is a grand experiment. The initial motivations from the Ottawa Initiative was to find a model to test the theory that the United Nations could invade, occupy, and rebuild a country. The problem is that there are no real 'failed' states which could be used to test this theory out. African countries such as Nigeria and Zimbabwe would be out of the question and besides they were now too much in the spotlight. Eastern Europe? Forget it. South America? No. Too much history that people here remember and likewise with Central America. This model had to be a country that few people would even think about or even know about let alone care about. Haiti was in ruins even before the coup. Aristide's and Lavalas' corruption was beginning to show itself clearly and very little progress was being made. Canada, France and the US seized upon Haiti and decided to make it the example whether it was a failed state or not. They termed it so and cut aid in order to create a further crisis. The coup was being planned long before 2004 and in fact a coup was attempted in 2003 but failed before it could start. Canada and France simply allowed elements within the US to finance and facilitate the coup with the promise to move in when needed under the guise of peace keeping and stabilization.
The glaring difference between May 2004 when I was first there and May 2005 is that the US,Canada, and France had no trouble securing the capitol and controlling Cite Soleil and other slums. In fact the US had control of most of the city and single handedly had it stabilized. They were of course carrying out missions on behalf of the coup participants and the transitional government. We could and did walk around freely in Cite Soleil in 2004 with very little concern for personal safety. The people I spoke with told me that gang members had fled or had been killed and that things were becoming peaceful. Some openly welcomed the presence of foreign military. Yet when this smaller stabilization force gave way to a larger UN Minustah force things unraveled in a hurry. Brazil is lobbying for a permanent seat on the Security Council and Haiti is the proving ground. But they don't want to mix it up and have large casualties so they chose to interpret the UN mandate as thinly as possible. They ceased patroling the streets as often and simply abandoned large sections of Cite Soleil and instead settled for outposts on the main roads instead where they sat doing largely nothing throughout the day either waiting for nightfall or fending off attacks. In 2004 there were soldiers everywhere, everyday in Cite Soleil. (Not only patrolling but participating in recovery and humanitarian projects.) In May 2005 there were none except in these main outposts. The UN performs mission raids instead at night. They allowed the gang warfare to resume which I think was the plan all along. To create more chaos to justify the elimination of Lavalas. They scaled back and in the case of Cite Soleil in particular eliminated their participation in humanitarian projects. The Brazilians, Jordanians, and Chinese are more brutal and have no regard for civilian safety. They have killed more civilians than gang members in a large ratio.
Now Canada is in a situation where they have to deny the existence of Human Rights abuses. We talked with an RCMP officer who told us that he was glad that he was leaving after nine months because they were accomplishing nothing. He was tired of training people who wanted to become police officers just so that they could get bribes to feed their families. The police force is not paid sufficient wages to even adequately feed and educate their families. To admit the existence of these falicies and abuses would be admitting that this was a huge cynical experiment that serves only corporate interests.
As my Lavalas politician acquaintance told me, "The UN presence in Haiti has nothing to do with the problems of Haiti."
Paul Martin and the Liberal Government have crossed a dangerous line and do not have the courage to step back. Jack Layton and the NDP have been the biggest disappointment. He has done virtually nothing to bring this to light. Alexa Macdonough has more like a receptionist filing press releases every so often. This needs to be pursued with the same vigour as the Sponsorship scandal which by comparison is a simple 'break and enter' when placed beside the horrific actions being performed in the name of Democracy and Nation building in Haiti.

So Sayeth Steve


From: Ontario | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hawkins
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posted 30 July 2005 09:48 PM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The comparison of Haiti to Ukraine of just over a year ago will be a stark reminder of how this government really stands beside democracy.

In the European sphere Canada spent its election observers to make sure democracy was safe. In our own (limited) sphere we allow the over throw of democracy, train those who intend of creating injustice, and support internationally the suppression of the poor (including the use of UN peacekeepers).

The fact that the house from all parts is virtually silent is extremely disheartening. I worked on the campaign for secretary minister of CIDA, Paddy Torsney last election and met with her earlier this year. I asked her what Canadian money was doing going to support a coup d'etat in Haiti and what Canadian police officers were doing training police who later attacked and killed portestors. her response was "We had peacekeepers in Haiti but not anymore, I am unaware that we had money going to the police, that would be through the justice ministry, I'll get my secretary to research it for you." Partly my fault for not following up (I am afraid of writing an overtly nasty letter considering the Liberal party affiliation), but I got no response back. And I doubt little is being done.

It is sickening to think not only to think of the complete complacency of the government but the absolute lack of any serious uproar over this complete violation of democracy.

It is quite possible there is no solution in sight or possible for an uncorrupt, peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future of Haiti but to participate in actions that make it significantly worse. (Not that I don't think a peaceful uncorrupt democracy is impossible or even unlikely merely to counter the inane media spin).


From: Burlington Ont | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Betray My Secrets
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posted 31 July 2005 05:42 AM      Profile for Betray My Secrets     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Anybody successfully eliminating a Duvalierist in the most painful way possible will have all their sins forgiven and be given eternal life in Heaven with God and with Lord and Saviour Leung Kwok-hung. (Note: Duvalierists are not considered human beings.)

[ 31 July 2005: Message edited by: Betray My Secrets ]


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sgm
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posted 01 August 2005 03:16 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Globe's Maria Jimenez has a rather one-sided piece on Haiti in today's paper.

Among the notable omissions: Jimenez mentions the murder of journalist Jacques Roche, but not the fact that the person charged with the crime--Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste--has been named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Unsubstantiated allegations have been made against Jean-Juste before, apparently. His arrest may have more to do with his prominence as a Lavalas spokesman than anything else.

Also, Jimenez mentions the 6 July raid as an instance of MINUSTAH's 'showing its muscle,' but mentions only the 'six armed gang leaders' officials claim were killed. Unmentioned are reports by Reuters and Medecins Sans Frontiers of further casualties, including those among unarmed civilians.

She concludes thus:

quote:

Many observers believe the current violence is an attempt by gangs loyal to Mr. Aristide to destabilize the country and prevent municipal, legislative and presidential elections from going ahead this fall. Many in Haiti's slums remain loyal to the deposed leader.

"There is incontrovertible evidence that Aristide supporters are responsible for the lion's share of violence in Port-au-Prince," said James Morrell, a member of the Washington-based independent research group Haiti Democracy Project. "This is not amorphous violence but a campaign to seize power."

He, too, is frustrated by the lack of international attention on what he describes as a looming crisis. Mr. Morrell says there has been an exodus to Miami and Canada of Haitian business people who have been targeted by kidnappers. "Haiti is significantly worse off now than it was a year ago. The chaos is terrible, but the fact that it isn't being perpetrated by the government but by the remnants of the previous government is actually an advance."

He believes the maturation of Haitian civil society and its involvement in the political process give hope for the country's future.


To present James Morrell and the Haiti Democracy Project as 'independent' 'observers' of the situation in Haiti is simply not credible. The HDP's ties to pro-coup, Anti-Artistide interests are numerous and strong, and have been evident since its 2002 founding, according to this article.

Of course, the Globe's committment to fair reporting on this issue is revealed by Jimenez' willingness to report Morrell's assertion without providing (or even asking for?) any evidence of it.

On another note, I spent some time over the last few days reading some evidence given by Coderre and Pettigrew to a 14 June meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee. You can find the transcript here: Link.

I noticed that both Pettigrew and Coderre came close to accusing those raising questions about the problems in Haiti of playing into the hands of 'propagandists' who don't want elections or who 'oppose democracy.' Pretty silly.

I also noticed that, according to his own and Pettigrew's statements, Coderre seems to have been working rather closely with Roger Noriega, one-time US ambassador to the OAS (who spoke at the 2002 launch of the Haiti Democracy Project, by the way, promising to bring democratic elections to Haiti); a former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs; and, it almost goes without saying, a long-time vocal opponent of Aristide.

(Coderre twice mentions a trip with Noriega and other envoys to express 'solidarity' with the LaTortue government, and Pettigrew mentions Coderre's having talked to Noriega as well.)

During the Reagan administration, Noriega was also a key state department figure responsible for implementing US anti-Communist policy in Latin America (i.e. support for the Contras' campaign of violence).

Noriega has apparently just resigned his Hemispheric Affairs Post, so perhaps his successor will set a different tone, but in the meantime I'm wondering how much influence Noriega's attitudes have had on Coderre, Pettigrew and our policy on Haiti.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hawkins
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posted 01 August 2005 11:25 PM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Funny - the vast majority of supporters of George Washington conducted violent acts... Not saying one: that Aristide's supporters are the main source of violence; two: The population is as divided in numerical terms as the American civil war; three: Aristide is anything like George Washington.

Just pointing out to the rightwing that violence has preceeded democracy in what the right would consider a fair process (namely that of the US independence) and accept what has come from those actions of violence.

I personally do not condone the violence but if the poor masses are rising up against the wealthy foreign backers... That is their choice and they have the right not to be labelled anti democratic because they are taking up arms for a return to democracy which was stolen from them (or the possible beginnings of a democracy).


From: Burlington Ont | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 10 August 2005 12:55 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One set of elections has been postponed:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Local elections scheduled for this fall will be postponed until after legislative and presidential elections, Haitian officials said Tuesday.

The electoral council decided to postpone the Oct. 9 local elections until late December so that the nation could better prepare for the November legislative and presidential elections, said interim Chief of Cabinet Michel Brunache.


Guardian Link.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 10 August 2005 03:51 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
banana republic rule #1: The CIA needs time to round up leftists before holding mock elections.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 11 August 2005 02:27 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yet more killings:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Police stormed a volatile slum in the capital Wednesday in an attack on well-armed gangs that witnesses said left at least five people dead - including a pregnant woman and a teenage boy.

The witnesses said the police, some of them masked, fired indiscriminately during the operation in the Bel-Air slum. Police then stood by as men in civilian clothes attacked suspected gang members loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.


Guardian Link.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 August 2005 08:37 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks again, sgm and all. Just to say that I'm reading along (and feeling bad).
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 11 August 2005 03:19 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
banana republic rule #1: The CIA needs time to round up leftists before holding mock elections.

Fidel, this story indicates they're rounding at least one of them up from the Dominican Republic next door:

quote:

Like hundreds - some say thousands - of other supporters of President Jean Bertrand Aristide, Paul Raymond fled for his life soon after the democratically elected president was forced out of Haiti. Raymond had been living with his family in the Dominican Republic since March 2004, but was picked up July 21 by Dominican and FBI officers, handed over to Haitian police and U.N. officers and hauled off to a Port-au-Prince jail.

That's where he was interviewed by human rights worker Doug Spalding, a Northern California high school science teacher, who just returned from his third trip to Haiti since Aristide's ouster in February 2004. Spalding goes to the island-nation to bear witness to the plight of the Haitian people living under the unelected rule. His special concern is the more-than-1, 000 political prisoners crowded into unsanitary, sweltering jails, most never having been charged with a crime.
[quote]

Link.

The new Haitian justice minister did call yesterday for the release of many of Haiti's unjustly imprisoned:

[quote]
Justice Minister Henri Dorlean said it was unacceptable for judges and prosecutors to use their powers to keep people in jail in violation of the law and urged police and judges to make sure those who are punished are real criminals.

"Depriving people of their freedom is a serious matter and keeping people in jail for months and months without trying them is a serious and unacceptable violation of their human rights," Dorlean told Reuters in an interview.


Here's hoping the call leads to some action. That would be some good news to offset all the bad news that makes me, like skdadl, quite sad for the people there.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 13 August 2005 06:20 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
Fidel, this story indicates they're rounding at least one of them up from the Dominican Republic next door:

I don't know a lot about Haiti. I visited the DR in 1991. Someone pointed out to me that there were many Haitian refugees there in DR escaping poverty. I thought at the time I'd never seen such outwardly beautiful people with their chocolate brown skin and the most striking blue eyes I'd ever seen. Wonderful wonderful people.

The right has been rigging elections and assassinating leftists around Central and South America for so long now that it's become old habit. They negotiate with leftists while hatching plans to eliminate them from the political landscape. Union leaders, socialists, newspaper editors, priests, nuns, kids: they're all fair game for right-wing death squads, skooled and lobotomized by the SOA and the rest of the evil-doing, army of darkness. Real people and the real market will always strive to be free.

Viva la revolucion!

[ 13 August 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 13 August 2005 08:48 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Raymond had been living with his family in the Dominican Republic since March 2004, but was picked up July 21 by Dominican and FBI officers, handed over to Haitian police and U.N. officers and hauled off to a Port-au-Prince jail.

Gawd. That means that the Dominican Republic is allowing the FBI to operate openly in that country -- wow. And the DR is actively aiding the U.S. and Haiti in returning political refugees to Haiti.

I had no idea things were that bad politically in the DR. Until now, of the DR I mainly knew that it produces great baseball players. But it sounds as though they are entirely dependent on U.S.ian good will as well.

The division of that island is such a strange thing. I don't know the history well enough to understand why one end should prosper so, the other sink to such perpetual unhappiness.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 14 August 2005 09:52 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The division of that island is such a strange thing. I don't know the history well enough to understand why one end should prosper so, the other sink to such perpetual unhappiness.

Chomsky speculated that it might have to do with hierarchies of racism: ie., the people of the Dominican Republic being mostly brown while the people of Haiti are mostly black.

The Haitians also had that crippling indemnity to pay to France (Haitians compensating French slave owners for stealing themselves from them by winning their freedom), ... the dislocations from the long US marine occupation of Haiti, ... and the impact of the Duvalier kleptocracy. They bled the country white.

Though I once asked that same question of a guy from the Dominican Republic, and he just gave me a rueful smile.* Perhaps we shouldn't overestimate the quality of life in the Dominican Republic.

(*A very tall guy who worked beside me as a temporary general labourer at a textile mill.)


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 14 August 2005 03:30 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A Delaurentis has or had a large home not too far from Santo Domingo. A couple of ex-Blue Jays ball players grew up near San Pedro.

I remember the tour of the cane fields that didn't happen that day. Our bus drove up to an entrance to a long dirt road along the fields. I wondered why they needed half a dozen guys or so just to stand guard at a gate. There would be no sugar cane samples that day as everyone was out in the fields.

The tour bus guide, a young black man, said that people in DR are poor but don't starve. The countryside is so lush and green that starving is almost not an option. A fight brokeout between a pedestrian crossing the street and someone else who was disagreeable. We crossed the Ozama River, and the tour guide pointed down toward the river to the corrugated tin shantys along the banks and "some of the poorest people in the world", he said.

At the casino, an American-ish looking chap sat on a stool all night long playing blackjack. He started with an umbrella drink and a black suitcase full of US dinero. This guy, with his fancy clothes and black shades, had the worst luck I'd ever seen. He did the same thing for a couple of nights in a row that I observed. I'm sure he was laundering drug money for someone.

Oh ya, I'll never forget Pedro, the hotel worker, asking me and friends if we needed any drugs. Our hair was a bit long in those days, and I suppose we looked like we were in the market for it. We were tempted, but I can remember saying to friends, man, we sure as fuck don't want to end up in jail down here.

[ 14 August 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 18 August 2005 04:54 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A Haitian-American CEO has announced that he is running for the presidency of Haiti.

Unfortunately, he faces some obstacles:

quote:

But the hurdles ahead are many. Siméus has no political experience, no name recognition and no party in Haiti. Then, there are the worsening problems of the hemisphere's poorest nation: gang violence, kidnappings and other crime now are such that it is unclear whether the elections will take place this fall.

Even if the vote goes ahead, under the current interpretation of the Haitian constitution, Siméus would be ineligible to run. Article 135 states a presidential candidate must "be a native-born Haitian and never have renounced Haitian nationality," and have resided in the country for five consecutive years before the election.

Siméus, 65, has taken U.S. citizenship and has been living in the USA for 44 years. But he dismisses potential constitutional barriers. "I don't have anything to overcome in terms of the constitution or getting on the ballot. I never renounced my citizenship," he said. "I have been fortunate to have other homes and other citizenships, but I never gave up my Haitian ones."


Despite the questionable legality of his run, and the lack of any democratic credentials of any kind, the 'independent' Washington-based Haiti Democracy Project is backing him:

quote:

"What a contender!" says James Morrell, director of the Haiti Democracy Project in Washington. "Here is the richest and most successful Haitian around — running to lead a country where nothing works. ... Here is evidence of someone who can get things done."

The exclamation point on this, er, ejaculation, is there because Morrell was taken completely by surprise by the news, of course, and not because he's enthusiastically shilling for this member of Jeb Bush's Haiti Task Force who will, if elected, 'get things done' to the United States' liking, no doubt.

The only thing I'm waiting for now is Denis Coderre's interpretation of this development as 'progress.'

Read it and weep.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
KingMob
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posted 18 August 2005 05:28 PM      Profile for KingMob     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A bit more on the hati democracy project...

quote:
In the report the Haiti Democracy Project’s executive director James R. Morrel along with other members of the "fact-finding" delegation, including three former U.S. Ambassadors, conclude that, “Monitoring the election will likely be easier with polling stations reduced to six hundred or so from the twelve thousand of previous elections”. The report also mentions the “utility of a voter registration card”. Both of these measures will work to exclude large swaths of the Haitian population from the upcoming vote and allow the interim government of Gerard Latortue and the former military to better censor the role of Lavalas and the poor. 95% of all the polling stations used in previous elections will be excluded in the upcoming election.

http://tinyurl.com/a4d5a


From: Syntho-Womb 5, Planet Scumdogia. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 24 August 2005 05:27 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

All indicators suggest a fiasco for the scheduled fall elections in Haiti. The International Crisis Group (ICG) observed that 18 months after former President Jean Bertrand Aristide was forced out of the country, Haiti remains insecure and volatile. On the part of much of the population ICG saw "disenchantment, apathy and ignorance about the electoral process." Rightfully so, this reputable Geneva-based organization concluded it is essential and urgent that those conditions be reversed.

[snip]

So, could authentic elections be held in today's Haiti? The answer is linked to the willingness of powerful countries like Canada to let Haitians control their destiny and determine the political fate of their leaders.


More from Embassy online.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 27 August 2005 09:59 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Newsday is reporting on a massacre at a soccer field in Haiti, in which the Haitian National Police appear to have been involved:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- The crowd applauded when camouflaged and black-hooded police officers entered a packed soccer match in the hillside slum of Martissant on Saturday afternoon a week ago. They assumed the officers were there to provide security.

Suddenly, the officers ordered the 6,000 spectators to the ground of the walled, dirt field. Gunshots rang out and people began to run for the only exit. Police began firing wantonly, witnesses said, and outside, civilians armed with machetes and more police officers attacked those trying to flee the chaos.

Some people were shot and killed by police, according to witnesses and family members; others were hacked to pieces by the machete-wielding civilians.

[snip]

"These killings set a dangerous precedent," Sosin said. "How can you explain police accompanied by individuals armed with machetes massacring spectators at a soccer match with UN troops standing by literally across the street? This event needs to serve as a wake-up call for the international community, which for more than a year has failed to respond to grave violations of human rights in Haiti."

The United Nations has a permanent station across from the soccer field, but it is unclear if officers were there that day. UN human rights officials say they are investigating the killings.


More here.

[ 27 August 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hugo the Liberator
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posted 28 August 2005 02:35 PM      Profile for Hugo the Liberator        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Stuff like this excites Paul Martin, Jacques Chirac, and Dumb Chimp.

[ 28 August 2005: Message edited by: Hugo the Liberator ]


From: Caracas | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 28 August 2005 04:48 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sounds like Pinochet taking orders from Langley all over again. Oh well, at least Haiti's the freest trading nation in the Carribe now.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 06 September 2005 01:52 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The UN mission chief is confirming that nine people were killed in the soccer stadium massacre mentioned above.

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (UPI) -- Nine Haitians were killed in a raid on a soccer stadium by gun- and machete-wielding men, some wearing police uniforms, Haitian radio reported Friday.

The killings, said U.N. officials in Haiti, occurred last month in the poor Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Martissant.

'These planned and targeted murders were committed by a group of people dressed in the clothes of the Haitian police and by civilians in the presence of police officers,' said the head of the U.N. mission in Haiti Juan Gabriel Valdes.


Link.

Also, the Lavalas party appears poised to name jailed priest Gerard Jean-Juste (held since late July in poor conditions and possibly still without charges) as its presidential candidate:

quote:

The party of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide Monday named a jailed Roman Catholic priest as its candidate for Haiti's president in elections this fall.

Meanwhile, Haiti's electoral commission said that presidential and legislative elections will take place on Nov. 20 scheduled instead of earlier in the month to give voters more time to register.

Aristide's Lavalas Family party said it would register the Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste as its standard bearer next week, apparently ending a heated internal feud over whether to participate in elections — the first since the bloody February 2004 uprising that helped topple Aristide.

"Even if he is in jail, we will register him," Rene Monplaisir, a Lavalas leader in the pro-Aristide slum of Cite Soleil, told cheering supporters in an assembly hall in Port-au-Prince, the capital.


Link.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 06 September 2005 02:08 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I notice the UN guy doesn't explain the UN security force's poor response to a massacre right across the street from its own headquarters.
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sgm
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posted 11 September 2005 08:46 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Two journalists arrested in Haiti:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A Haitian and American journalist were detained Friday by police searching the church of a jailed priest who is considered a potential presidential candidate.

Kevin Pina of the United States was detained after filming the police as they searched the church of the Rev. Jean-Juste. Jean Ristil, a Haitian who was working for The Associated Press, was detained as he tried to photograph the arrest.

Both men were taken to the police station, where Judge Jean Peres Paul ordered them held on suspicion of "disrespect to a magistrate" and resisting arrest.


Link.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 11 September 2005 10:25 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Urgent Action Alert

quote:
Please sound the alarm. We all know that UN soldiers arrested Father Jean Juste. We know that the Haitian police are under the supervision of the UN soldiers in Haiti. More importantly, we know that the grassroots in Haiti, with their leadership dead, in prison or in exile, have declared the people of Haiti, of Site Soley, Bel Air, Cap Haitien, St. Marc, and throughout Haiti, will only go to these sham elections if the killings and arbitrary arrests stop, the political prisoners released, Latortue government resigns and the people in exile return. Obviously, the Coup D’etat contingent can’t allow Father Jean Juste out of prison, and certainly the UN have shown how cheap Black Haitian life is.

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M. Spector
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posted 11 September 2005 10:30 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The circumstances of this arrest remain unclear. However, media reports that I have seen suggest that it took place while the two journalists were covering a raid by masked officers of the Police National Haiti (PNH) on the presbytery of the church of Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste. It would appear that the police officers, overseen and trained by Canadian and UN police and administrative staff under MINUSTAH, were uncomfortable with the presence of an internationally-recognized journalist as they carried out their church raid. As a result, Pina and Ristil were arrested, and are today in a Haitian prison. Source

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sgm
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posted 12 September 2005 08:09 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Associated Press is reporting the release of the two jailed journalists:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A judge Monday ordered the release of a Haitian and an American journalist who were arrested as they covered a police search of the church of a jailed priest who is a potential presidential candidate.

Kevin Pina was reporting for a U.S. radio program and Haitian Jean Ristil was working for The Associated Press. They were freed without being charged after spending the weekend in jail by the judge who had ordered their arrest at the church of the Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste.


Link.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 14 September 2005 05:27 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Lavalas party has been prevented from registering jailed priest Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste as its candidate:

quote:

The party of ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been barred from registering a jailed Catholic priest as its presidential candidate.

Gerard Jean-Juste was arrested two months ago on suspicion of involvement in the murder of journalist Jacques Roche. He denies the accusations.

The Lavalas Family party said it would challenge the ban in court and warned it could boycott the November poll.

The party's participation is seen as key because of its widespread support.

Mr Aristide - who is in exile since being ousted in 2004 - still has many supporters, particularly in the poorer areas of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Hundreds of his supporters tried to march to the electoral council on Tuesday, to back Mr Jean-Juste's candidacy, but were stopped by UN peacekeepers and Haitian police.


Nice to see the UN peacekeepers out, though. Too bad they weren't on hand during the shootings at the soccer stadium.

BBC Link.

[ 14 September 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 14 September 2005 07:10 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
Nice to see the UN peacekeepers out, though.
I hope that was sarcastic.

Using the UN so-called peacekeepers to break up pro-Aristide demonstrations is not exactly what I'd call "nice."


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thwap
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posted 14 September 2005 08:17 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm pretty sure it was sarcastic.
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sgm
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posted 15 September 2005 03:21 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, it was an attempt at irony: I was trying to juxtapose the UN peacekeepers' unexplained absence from the scene of the soccer stadium killings with their presence at the pro-Lavalas rally-that-wasn't.

Obviously, the MINUSTAH forces have an ability to turn out when they wish (e.g. to block the rally); to me, this only makes it harder to understand their absence from a large public event, officially sponsored by USAID, and taking place in the immediate vicinity of their post (i.e. the soccer match). As thwap mentions above, the UN commander hasn't explained that absence, either.

Perhaps my point wasn't clear, but I'm far from a cheerleader for Canadian/American/French policy in Haiti.

In fact, speaking of demonstrations, I find it disturbing that part of Canada's recent foreign policy statement (on development) contains an image of a large demonstration in Port-au-Prince with the caption, 'Thousands of Haitians march through the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand justice.' It's impossible to be sure, but it's quite likely these people were demonstrating against some aspect of the policy Canada currently is supporting in Haiti (perhaps they were calling for Aristide's return, for example). Yet, there is their image, in our foreign policy document, co-opted by the Canadian government to maintain a feel-good illusion that masks what's really been happening in Haiti.


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thwap
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posted 15 September 2005 08:21 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
sgm,

That's disgusting, the co-opting of that image. Then again, the Canadian government co-opted the actual words though, "justice" "democracy" "human rights" etc.

We have corporate zombies inflicting their brain-dead ideas about "justice" and "democracy" on the people of Haiti. Plus, mere corporate greedheads torturing people for no reason.


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sgm
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posted 15 September 2005 09:06 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
AP is reporting that Dumarsais Simeus, the American businessman mentioned previously in this thread, has officially joined the presidential race in Haiti.

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - A crowded presidential field grew more diverse Thursday as a wealthy U.S. businessman registered his candidacy for the first election since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted from power following a violent rebellion in February 2004.

Dumarsais Simeus, who is the owner of a Texas-based food processing company but was born in Haiti, registered on the final day to become a presidential candidate - joining a field that includes a leader of the rebellion that ousted Aristide and a wide range of former government officials.

``I am deeply grateful to the people of Haiti for the enormous outpouring of support, goodwill and love we have received,'' said the 65-year-old multimillionaire, who has said he wants to use his business savvy to help resurrect the economy of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

``In all that I have done, I have always been successful. I'm a perpetual winner, and I will win these elections,'' Simeus said.

The Nov. 20 election will be the country's first since Aristide was forced from power, and more than two dozen candidates have registered to replace him. Additional hopefuls were expected to emerge by the end of Thursday, the deadline to register with the Provisional Electoral Council. Candidates were also registering for legislative seats.

Most of the registered candidates so far are officials from past regimes. The Provisional Electoral Council has barred the candidacy of the Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, a prominent figure in Aristide's Lavalas Family party, because he is in prison and can't register in person.

Those who have registered to run for president include former President Leslie Manigat, who was ousted by the army in 1988 after five months in power; Evans Paul, a former mayor of Port-au-Prince who was arrested and tortured several times under former dictatorships; and former Sen. Paul Denis, who headed a committee investigating corruption in Aristide's government.

The list also featured Guy Philippe, a former soldier who helped lead the rebellion that toppled Aristide; Hubert Deronceray, a minister in the Jean-Claude Duvalier dictatorship who has run for the presidency four times; and Marc Bazin, who served as prime minister after Aristide was ousted the first time, in 1991.


No mention in this story of the constitutional barriers to Simeus' candidacy, mentioned in the post above--these have apparently been overlooked.

Meanwhile, of course, the prime Lavalas candidate, Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, a 'prisoner of conscience' according to Amnesty International, has had his inability to register in person (because he is jailed on dubious grounds) treated as a reason to keep him from registering his candidacy.

Link.

[ 15 September 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 18 September 2005 01:07 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You have to register to read the whole thing, but this Miami Herald story contains some interesting--if depressing--information about the upcoming elections in Haiti:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE - U.N. and Haitian electoral officials say that mounting reports of fraud and a lack of transparency could undermine the legitimacy of elections in November and the hopes of restoring democracy in this troubled nation.

''The stage is being set for something horribly wrong to happen,'' said Patrick Féquiere, a member of the government's Provisional Electoral Council who regularly criticizes his colleagues.

United Nations officials are more cautious in their statements but echo his concerns about a lack of transparency while critical jobs deep in the electoral bureaucracy go to people who might rig the results of the presidential and legislative elections.

[snip]

Not allowed to register so far has been the Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste, a Catholic priest and well known Haitian rights activist when he lived in Miami who seems to be the Lavalas favorite. Election officials say he must register in person -- but he's in jail, under investigation for the murder of a journalistHe says his detention is political.

Rosemond Pradel, the Election Council's director general, said it will not block Lavalas from running, and has invited all types of Haitian and international organizations to observe the electoral process. ''Everything we do is by the rules,'' he said. ``People have complained that we are too transparent.''

Féquiere disagrees.

''There is a definite conspiracy by a group of council members to control the institution by planting their own people inside,'' said Féquiere, a businessman who represents several minority parties on the council. ``Most of the corruption does not take place in the central office. It's out there in the field.''

[snip]

According to officials involved in the preparations, U.N. representatives had to pressure the council to give Lavalas, which fell into disarray following Aristide's departure, time to gather the 5,000 signatures required to register for the elections.

Several Lavalas leaders recently declared their presidential candidate would be Jean-Juste, deemed a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Lavalas leaders see his imprisonment, as well as that of untold numbers of other Aristide supporters, as blatant political persecution and many are urging members to boycott the elections until they are released.

But other Lavalas leaders are preparing for the ballot, fearing that they will suffer further if their voice is not heard at election time.


I'm guessing Lavalas' falling into disarray was not unrelated to the imprisonment of the 'untold numbers' of Aristide supporters.

[ 18 September 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'
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posted 18 September 2005 08:03 AM      Profile for thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
re: Miami Herald registration- you can get that article and more info on haiti through the Canada Haiti Action email list.
[email protected]

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sgm
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posted 22 September 2005 05:36 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
After over a year of imprisonment, and worldwide criticism of his treatment, Yvon Neptune has been formally charged with masterminding a massacre:
quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Sept 20 (Reuters) - An investigative judge has formally charged Haiti's jailed former prime minister, Yvon Neptune, with masterminding the killings of political opponents last year, radio reports said on Tuesday.

Neptune, who served under ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has been held for more than a year on suspicion of involvement in the killings of up to 50 people near St. Marc, about 60 miles (96 km) north of Port-au-Prince, on Feb. 11, 2004. He has said his arrest was politically motivated.


Meanwhile, Paul Martin has been chiding Caribbean leaders for abandoning Haiti because they refuse to accept the legitimacy of the US-French-Canadian backed unconstitutional government of Gerard La Tortue:

quote:

“Certainly, the Canadian Prime Minister did make his position clear to us in terms of how he felt,” said [Antigua's PM] Spencer. “Of course, we disagreed. We told him that we never really abandoned Haiti but did a number of things within our competence and which we felt we could have done under the circumstances. We are not prepared to accept that a government should be removed from office by unconstitutional means. As a matter of principle, Caricom could not entreat with the Latortue interim administration. We have done a number of things with respect to seeking to restore constitutionality to Haiti. That’s the area in which we feel we can be of tremendous help.”

Finally, Justin Podur is down in Haiti, listeningto Quebec MP Denis Coderre, and Annette 'So-Ann' Auguste, imprisoned since May 10, 2004.


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thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'
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posted 23 September 2005 10:06 PM      Profile for thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
1. Re: Yvonne Neptune, see Kevin Skerrits 'Faking genocide in Haiti'on Znet
2. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti has their site back up, or if you haven't been there yet do so!

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thwap
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posted 28 September 2005 04:29 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good Counterpunch Article
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mary123
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posted 29 September 2005 03:43 AM      Profile for mary123     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Haiti:the torture continues.

Gary Younge reports on the trade in child sex slavery under the colonial masters in Haiti, as they are sent to the Dominican Republic to seek money:

quote:

There is a thriving trade in Haitian children in the Dominican Republic, where they are mostly used for domestic service, agricultural work or prostitution. Eight-year-old Jesus Josef was one of them. Numbed by a mixture of trauma and shyness, this small boy with huge eyes cannot recall how he left his three brothers and mother in Haiti and ended up doing domestic work for a Dominican family in Barahona, 120 miles from the capital, Santo Domingo.

Jesus sits quietly as Father Pedro Ruquoy, who runs a refuge near Barahona, tells how he escaped from the family and ran away to a local hospice. When he arrived his neck was twisted from carrying heavy loads on his shoulder and the marks on his slender torso suggested ill-treatment. The Dominican family found out where he was and came to the hospice demanding either his return or 10,000 pesos for the loss. "They used him as a slave," says Mr Ruquoy. "And they tortured him."

...

But even as Haitians are reviled, they are also needed for their cheap labour. The manner in which the children arrive varies. Some are kidnapped but most often their parents not only know, but actually pay "busones" or scouts to ensure their safe passage in the hope that they will have a better life.

"Half of all Haitians struggle to eat even once a day," says Helen Spraos, Christian Aid's Haiti representative. "It doesn't take much to push people over the brink. If the rains fail or someone falls ill, they have to sell what little they have - perhaps a pig or a goat - to buy medicines. Eventually they have to sell their land. Once they reach rock bottom, the one way they can provide for their children is by sending them to live in the cities or in the Dominican Republic. There at least they may be fed and have some prospects for making a living."



From: ~~Canada - still God's greatest creation on the face of the earth~~ | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 29 September 2005 07:53 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
U.S. Pulls the Strings in Haiti
quote:
Laden with heavy security, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a quick visit to Haiti on Tuesday. Her mission: to reassure Haiti's interim government that the United States wants the elections to go forward in November, and to see to it that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide does not return to Haiti.

Once again, the US is manipulating Haiti.

On February 29, 2004, the United States had forcibly removed President Aristide from Haiti, then maintained that he voluntarily resigned. President Aristide had been elected with 80 percent of the vote. True to form, the Bush administration, which claims to love democracy, engineered a coup d'etat and removed a democratically-elected leader of another country.

The Aristides are now in South Africa, which granted them asylum. On August 31, President Aristide issued a statement, cautioning that free and fair elections could not take place in Haiti until the thousands of Lavalas [the pro-Aristide party comprised mostly of Haiti's poor] who are in jail and in exile are free to return home, the repression that has already killed over 10,000 people ends immediately, and national dialogue begins.

[snip]

I asked Mildred Aristide, the President's wife, what role the UN has played in Haiti's problems. She told me: "Before the coup in February 2004 - up until that very day - the constitutional government requested assistance from the UN to help defend Haitians from the murderous band of former soldiers, drug dealers, and thugs who were set on destabilizing the country and killing innocent people."

How did the UN respond? It "stood by and allowed a democratically elected President, along with nearly 7,000 elected officials, to be removed from office," Mrs. Aristide said. Only then, she added, did the UN vote to send an intervention force to Haiti.

"Credible reports of UN complicity in human rights abuses have surfaced," Mrs. Aristide noted. "The UN has been forced to investigate allegations. The Haitian Police distribute machetes to hooded attachés, gun down innocent demonstrators, systematically raid poor slums, disappear prisoners turned over to them by the UN - all under the official sanction of the UN which voted to exercise control over the police."

Referring to the police and the UN, Mrs. Aristide said, "The people of Haiti who are under siege are hard pressed to see any distinction among their repressors." Both Haiti's police and the UN force are enabled by United States political and economic clout.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 01 October 2005 02:26 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
VOA is reporting that the November 20th elections ay be delayed:

quote:

An election official in Haiti says the country may have to postpone elections scheduled for November.

Patrick Fequiere says authorities need more time to prepare ballots, distribute voter identification cards and set up polling places.


Link here.

Also, Justin Podur's latest article from Haiti is here.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 01 October 2005 02:43 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
Two journalists arrested in Haiti:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A Haitian and American journalist were detained Friday by police searching the church of a jailed priest who is considered a potential presidential candidate.

Kevin Pina of the United States was detained after filming the police as they searched the church of the Rev. Jean-Juste. Jean Ristil, a Haitian who was working for The Associated Press, was detained as he tried to photograph the arrest.


Kevin Pina's account of his arrest and detention


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thwap
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posted 04 October 2005 06:07 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Commentary from NDP on Haiti:

(This is part of a letter I received from the NDP about their stand on Haiti.)

quote:
I assure you that the entire federal NDP Caucus shares your interest to have true democracy restored in Haiti. Indeed, we have raised this issue in the past; including concerns about the circumstances surrounding President Aristide's departure, that Canada may have been a party to "Haiti’s regime change", and, have demanded that the Foreign Affairs Committee table the minutes concerning the "Ottawa Initiative on Haiti". Also, the NDP joined CARICOM in calling for an independent "inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the removal of Aristide."

New Democrats want Canada to be involved with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations to help end Haiti's state of turmoil. The transitional government of Haiti must be challenged to protect the rights of Haitians and to govern in an open, transparent and democratic fashion.

NDP Foreign Affairs critic Alexa McDonough called for a response to the numerous reports of human rights violations taking place in Haiti. She said, “Canada has a presence in that country. Accordingly, we have a moral obligation to investigate these reported violations and ensure that we are accomplishing our intended goals of peace-building and capacity building in that country.” On April 11, Ms. McDonough further challenged the federal government about its silence in the face of repeated demands from observers in Haiti and aid organizations that Canada account for how CIDA funding is being spent in Haiti, and whether Canada’s police training and logistical support is enhancing Haiti’s ability to actually protect its citizens. Please see attached copies of Ms. McDonough’s releases covering these issues.


[ 04 October 2005: Message edited by: thwap ]


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sgm
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posted 11 October 2005 05:49 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Aaron Mate has a list of reported police killings of civilians in Haiti.

The Washington Times is carrying a story on the problems in Haiti as well. The title, 'Haiti Stumbles Despite Support from US, UN' reflects a pro-US bias, but the story nevertheless contain some interesting facts that tend to undercut the claim of 'support.'

quote:

In contrast to Iraq, "regime change" in Haiti has been a broadly multilateral effort, with France and Canada sending troops to join U.S. Marines after Mr. Aristide's departure, and Brazil helping lead the U.N. peacekeeping force, enlisted from more than 40 nations.

But the United States has played a central role, from arming the national police force to financing the elections, and Congress this year has budgeted $407 million, more than twice as much as any other donor or lender.

Washington has helped rebuild Haiti's run-down police force, providing trucks, equipment and guns. Making an exception to the 14-year-old arms embargo on Haiti, the Bush administration provided 2,600 weapons to the police last year and has since approved a sale of $1.9 million worth of pistols, rifles and tear gas to the Haitian government.

[snip]

"This interim government would have fallen without the United States," said Leslie Voltaire, a Cabinet member under Mr. Aristide who was part of a three-member commission that helped form the interim government in March last year.

"The United States has subcontracted Brazil for security and Canada for economic development. But they're all reporting to Washington. The final decisions are made there," Mr. Voltaire said.


The story, furthermore, quotes Voltaire's criticism of the US position towards political prisoners in Haiti:

quote:

Although the United States has been a strong supporter of the interim government, American officials have gone out of their way to express concern about the imprisonment of two Aristide allies, former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and the Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste.

Considered "a prisoner of conscience" by Amnesty International, Father Jean-Juste, a Catholic priest, was prevented from running for president in the elections by not being allowed to go to the election council to register his candidacy. He was chosen by Lavalas, Haiti's most powerful political force.

During her visit to Haiti, Miss Rice told Mr. Latortue, "Justice has to come in a timely fashion, and it should not be the case that anyone can interpret that there is some kind of political motive here."

At the same time, the United States has tried to undercut Father Jean-Juste's support through the Office of Transition Initiatives in USAID that is known as "the Special Forces" of development aid.

'Legitimacy' prevented

One of OTI's aims is to reduce participation in demonstrations supporting Father Jean-Juste. The OTI Web site said the office organized a summer camp for young people in the priest's neighborhood, helping prevent a Lavalas "demonstration from being larger and giving greater legitimacy to the protesters."

"The United States is speaking out of both sides of its mouth," Mr. Voltaire said.

"On the one hand," he said, "Condoleezza Rice is lamenting the imprisonment of Jean-Juste and Neptune, but then nothing happens. He remains in jail. With the world looking on, she capitulates in front of this weak government that the United States itself has installed."


While Jean-Juste has been prevented from running for president, the way has been cleared for Dumarsais Simeus, a Haitian-born Texas businessman and ally of Jeb Bush, to run for president of Haiti, according to this story.

I'm left a bit confused by the Simeus development, as I had understood the issue was not only one of citizenship (renounced or not), but also residency, since the Haitian constitution has a residency requirement that Simeus would appear not to have met. Perhaps a more detailed story will clear things up later on.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 11 October 2005 06:34 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What's to be confused about? The rules apply when the masters want them to.
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M. Spector
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posted 13 October 2005 12:43 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Should progressives be supporting the restoration of Aristide?

Pierre Beaudet says no.

Joe Emersberger says yes.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. says yes.

Tom Reeves says yes.

Yifat Susskind says yes.

Marie Kennedy and Chris Tilly say no.

[ 13 October 2005: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 13 October 2005 04:12 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As a general rule with the CIA, it takes a little time before leftist opposition can be jailed or murdered and potential voters subdued enough to hold free and fair elections.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 14 October 2005 11:57 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rufus Polson:
What's to be confused about? The rules apply when the masters want them to.

I wonder how they'll react to this development. It turns out Mr. Simeus may be be off the list once again:

quote:

Haiti's interim government has announced that the nation's Supreme Court will no longer have the ability to overrule election officials.

The decision came Thursday, two days after the nation's highest court ruled a Haitian-American businessman could run for office.

Election authorities had previously told Haitian-born Dumarsais Simeus that he was not eligible to run because he holds U.S. citizenship.

Also Thursday, Haiti's government announced a committee would be created to review the nationalities of all candidates running for the presidency.


Link.

Here's the make-up of the panel:

quote:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP): A panel will decide if candidates meet Haiti's citizenship rules to run for office, Prime Minister Gerard Latortue announced Thursday.

The commission, comprising the ministers of foreign affairs, justice and interior, will settle citizenship matters before a presidential and parliamentary vote set for December, he said.

"It will help the Provisional Electoral Council verify the nationality of the candidates," he told reporters.


Link.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
rabble-rouser
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posted 15 October 2005 05:45 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A lot of the Globe's 'coverage' of the Haiti story has been relegated to the online ghetto, where fewer people are likely to see it. The last major story in the print edition was Maria Jimenez' biased August 1st article (see above).

Yesterday's online edition carried this AP story:

quote:

Port-au-Prince — The U.N. human rights chief in Haiti on Friday described the rights situation in the hemisphere's poorest nation as “catastrophic.”

Thierry Fagart, who heads a team of about 30 human rights monitors, said there had been multiple and grave violations of human rights by police and as well as private citizens.

His assessment comes just weeks ahead of Haiti's first presidential and legislative elections since the February 2004 ouster of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

[snip]

The U.N. has not been able to establish an overall death toll since the 7,600-strong peacekeeping mission arrived in Haiti in June 2004, Mr. Fagart said. But other rights groups say that over 1,500 people have died in political violence during the past year.

There also is a “fundamental problem” with the justice system, which barely functions, Mr. Fagart said, adding that the situation in the overcrowded prisons was “appalling.”

[snip]

But a U.N. investigation into one of these killings — which took place last August at a soccer stadium in the impoverished Martissant neighbourhood of the capital — illustrated a case of successful co-operation with Haitian police, Mr. Fagart said.

Earlier this week, Haitian National Police chief Mario Andresol said 15 officers had been detained and would be prosecuted for their suspected role in the Martissant killing.

Mr. Andresol said at least six people were hacked to death or shot by police and vigilantes in the event, though human rights groups have put the death toll at 10.


People who have been following what's been happening down in Haiti didn't need this report from the human rights chief to tell us how bad the situation is, of course: in their essentials, many of these facts have been known for a long time, as they certainly have been to the Globe's editorial board.

Bold defenders of human rights that they are, then, the Globe's editorialists could not help but respond to the ongoing catastrophe in Haiti by strongly criticizing the 'massive violations of human rights' in ... Cuba.

Last Saturday, the Globe published an editorial (sub-only, sorry) slamming Cuba for imprisoning 75 people identified as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International, as well as for other abuses listed in an Amnesty report, including 'short-term detentions, interrogations, summonses, threats, intimidation, eviction, loss of employment, restrictions on travel, house searches or physical or verbal acts of aggression.'

The occasion for taking this courageous stand was a speech by the Cuban foreign minister before the Economic Club of Toronto, in which he invited more Canadian investment in the Cuban economy. Despite the minister's enticing invitation, the human rights heroes' commitment to honesty compelled them to bring up 'the pesky question of human rights' in Cuba. Clearly, the appearance of this Cuban minister before lunching Toronto investors was an event Canada's national newspaper could not ignore; hundreds of thousands of Canadians were waiting to see how the Globe would respond to the minister's speech: nothing less than an editorial directly addressing the 'pesky question' of human rights in Cuba would do.

Still, one wonders how many more Haitians must be denied the vote, imprisoned without trial, attacked by police, or even killed before the question of their human rights rises to a sufficient level of 'peskiness' to catch the attention of the human rights guardians on the Globe's editorial board.

[ 15 October 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 19 October 2005 05:43 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
L-o-o-o-n-g Counterpunch article about Haiti and it's entire history.

A good summation.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'
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posted 21 October 2005 06:28 AM      Profile for thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ben Melancon, of the narcosphere comments on the latest Reed Lindsay article Melancon Lindsay
and some criticisms of the process by Brian Concannon andIra Kurzban
Note: it is only fair to Reed Lindsay and that I point out he has his own account at Narconews and pointed out in response to criticisms of an earlier article that
not everything written under a reporter’s name was necessarily written by that reporter

[ 24 October 2005: Message edited by: thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry' ]


From: Kitchener, Ontario | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 22 October 2005 02:26 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
New book from Fernwood Publishing:

Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority by Anthony Fenton and Yves Engler.

"In both their writings and activism, Yves Engler and Anthony Fenton have done some of the most important work in exposing Canada's shameful role in Haiti." - Naomi Klein.

"Yves and Anthony's book is a crucial weapon in understanding, and acting, on the paternalistic and neo-colonial role the Canadian government, and its NGO allies, plays in Haiti." - Jaggi Singh

Reviews:

Vive le Canada

Vue Weekly

Socialist Voice

Hour.ca

The Peak (SFU)

McGill Daily

Speaking tour:

Yves Engler in Guelph Oct. 25


Jack Layton has a copy. Does Michaëlle Jean?

[ 22 October 2005: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 22 October 2005 02:37 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
M. Spector, I've just started reading Fenton and Engler too. It is the current project of the babble book club -- we're giving everyone until 28 October to finish reading. At some point we should connect that discussion thread to this one.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 23 October 2005 02:27 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fenton and Engler visited Regina last Tuesday evening as part of their national book tour. They spoke for a bit, and then showed Kevin Pina's film 'Haiti: The Untold Story.'

About 25-30 people showed up for the film and discussion.

Thanks for the word about the book club, skdadl--I didn't know about it.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
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posted 23 October 2005 07:17 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
sgm, I'm over halfway through now, and I can barely contain myself. My anger over Canadian involvement, especially the involvement of Canadian NGOs -- and some of that comes very close to home, as in Alternatives, eg. It looks very much to me as though the U.S. and the French simply outsourced this one murderous colonial project to Canada -- it's our size, y'know?

The book is more a pamphlet than a book -- and there's nothing wrong with that, in the great tradition of pamphleteering -- we could think of this as Canada's J'accuse, actually, given how far through the system not only of government but of NGOs the corruption has spread.

It is definitely making me think of Michaelle Jean's appointment in a different way.

Anyway, I'll finish and then I may just start to write to the book-club discussion, linking here.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 23 October 2005 07:33 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here are the links to the two other related babble threads:

the discussion of Pierre Beaudet's article in rabble features; and

the book club thread, where discussion of the book hasn't actually started yet.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 25 October 2005 02:50 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I watched the Pettigrew-Rice press conference this morning, during which Pettigrew announced the two had discussed Haiti.

Pettigrew expressed satisfaction that violence is decreasing in Haiti, and urged elections before the end of the year so that a 'legitimate president' can be in place to make the 'hard choices' that face Haiti. Rice said nothing about Haiti (nor, of course, did any reporters ask any questions about the subject).

To review: Pettigrew's rosy assessment of the situation in Haiti comes not two weeks after a top UN official declared the human rights situation in Haiti 'catastrophic,' and just days after the most military operation in Port au Prince which captured seven 'bandits.' (It will be a surprise if there were no civilians injured in this operation, as there have been in past ones.) A Jordainian soldier, moreover, was killed by gunfire yesterday.

Despite these pesky facts, things are looking up from Pierre Pettigrew's standpoint, as he awaits the 'legitimate president' who can make the 'hard choices.' For those 'hard choices' to look legitimate, Pettigrew and Rice need the elections to happen, so happen they probably will, despite flaws that will likely turn out to be more serious than the ones that tainted Aristide's election in the eyes of Washington, France and Ottawa.

So offensive was that election to their democratic principles that they froze aid to Haiti, choking the economy and contributing to the very disorder they deplored under Aristide. (The EU recently turned the aid tap back on, though, because things are much more democratic and stable now.)

Quite a performance from Pierre Pettigrew.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
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posted 25 October 2005 03:00 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The notion of elections must seem just a touch radical to Secretary Rice.

From my reading of Fenton and Engler, the problem with elections for all the colonial intruders is that all those ... people! ... will vote in them.

In a way, mentioning elections and Haiti together was fairly radical of Pettigrew, no, sgm? Which is a measure of just how bad things are.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'
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posted 29 October 2005 04:11 AM      Profile for thebabblerformerlyknownas'larry'     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jared Ferrie has a good summary of the coup and its' consequences here. Since it is a summary it won't have too much new information to regular readers of this thread but it is still worth reading.
From the article here's Canada's scathing indictment of Haiti's judicial system:
quote:
When asked about Canada's ability to lobby for the release of political prisoners, Greenwell responded, "Given the weakness of Haiti's judicial system in this regard, Canada is working to help define priorities that would lead to significant improvements."
Even the U.S. seems to be somewhat better Re: Jean Juste and Neptune.
The Canadian government has given 100 000 to the former NCHR (Haiti).which has provided the spurious evidence to back up the continued imprisonment without trial of former P.M. Neptune,and has been the 'human rights' group responsible for deciding whether former death squad members are fit to join the Haitian Police.

From: Kitchener, Ontario | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 06 November 2005 01:32 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pan-Canadian Week of Action to Condemn Sham Elections in Haiti
November 12-20, 2005
STOP RIGGING ELECTIONS AGAINST HAITI’S POOR MAJORITY!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS - RESTORE HAITI’S SOVEREIGNTY NOW!

October 15, 2005 - The Canada Haiti Action Network invites all supporters to join us in a Pan-Canadian Week of Action to demonstrate the growing opposition to Canada’s disastrous policies in Haiti. With a launch on Parliament Hill in Ottawa at 1pm on November 12, Haiti solidarity organizers in at least six different cities (Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver) will be holding demonstrations and other activities called to condemn the Canada-backed sham elections in Haiti.

We are demanding that the Government of Canada:
* Withdraw the support of Elections Canada and all other bodies from any elections held under current conditions of repression, which include hundreds of political prisoners, police killings and terror, and the exclusion of the poor from participation;
* Demand the immediate release of Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Father Gérard Jean-Juste, former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, the folksinger Annette “Sò Ann” Auguste, and all other political prisoners;
* Discontinue all RCMP training and logistical support for the human rights-abusing Haitian National Police, and withdraw all Canadian logistical support for the UN “peacekeeping” mission-turned repression operation;
* Announce Canada’s support for the position of the governments of the Caribbean community countries (CARICOM) and the African Union, both of which are demanding an investigation into the circumstances of President Aristide’s removal;
* Withdraw and withhold recognition of Haiti’s coup government until President Aristide is returned to oversee the holding of fair elections without repression.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 06 November 2005 08:56 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As that schedule fills in, M. Spector, we should post it in the Activism forum as well.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5468

posted 08 November 2005 06:15 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The LaTortue government is suing Aristide:
quote:

Haiti's interim government has filed a civil lawsuit accusing former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of embezzling tens of millions of dollars of public funds.

It also plans to pursue a criminal prosecution.

Aristide's attorney called the accusations baseless and his allies branded the government's action a "political lynching".


This longer version of the story includes a quote from La Tortue himself which makes it pretty clear what the purpose of these charges--yet unproven, of course--really is:

quote:
Latortue said the report [on which the charges were based] helped shed light on the extent of corruption under the deposed regime.

"Previously, the population ignored how corrupt the men and women were," Latortue said. "Now that their names are being published, I hope we are not going to see them in the government institutions in the future."

The report did not establish any evidence of personal enrichment by Aristide or his alleged accomplices, and did not say what the funds were used for or where the money went.


The report and charges will serve to 'educate' the Haitian public; merely by having your name published in the report, according to La Tortue, you should be excluded from future participation in government.

I don't know if Aristide or his associates are guilty of this embezzlement or not; I do know that the 'La Tortue rule' of barring people from government because they're accused of corruption is not one the Liberals are likely to impose on Canada anytime soon.

Finally, a La Tortue-appointed election oversight panel has disbanded without ever doing any work, signalling more troubles for the upcoming 'elections':

quote:
The members of a high-level committee set up to improve the organisation of the forthcoming elections in Haiti have resigned, local media reports say.
The panel was set up by the interim prime minister, Gerard Latortue, because of concerns about the work of the Provisional Electoral Council.

But the head of the committee, Christian Rousseau, said that it had received no political support.

Poor organisation has resulted in the elections being delayed twice already.


These elections are shaping up to be a trainwreck or, in the newspeak of the US State Department, 'the "most comprehensive, transparent, and fraud-free ever conducted" in the history of the Caribbean nation.'

[ 08 November 2005: Message edited by: sgm to change my point about Liberals and corruption.]

[ 08 November 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
rabble-rouser
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posted 09 November 2005 11:32 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fourteen Haitian police officers charged with crimes in connection with the August 20 soccer stadium massacre:
quote:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Nov 8, 2005 — Fourteen police officers will face charges for their alleged involvement in the slayings of at least 11 civilians at a soccer game, Haiti's police chief said Tuesday.

The officers will be charged with murder or complicity to commit murder, said police chief Mario Andresol.

Witnesses claimed police were seeking gang members aligned with ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide when they stormed the soccer stadium in a poor Port-au-Prince neighborhood on Aug. 20. Other police and civilians surrounded the stadium, shooting or hacking people with machetes as they tried to flee, the witnesses said.



From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 09 November 2005 03:28 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm amazed.
If they're convicted--and for that matter, if very many witnesses dare to come forward and testify--I will be still more amazed.

From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
sgm
rabble-rouser
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posted 17 November 2005 06:05 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
According to Paul Martin, Christmas elections in Canada are a Bad Idea.

No citizen wants one; only power-hungry opposition parties would think of foisting such unwanted Christmas elections on the Canadian people.

Given the Prime Minister's principled stand against Christmas elections, we will no doubt soon hear him protest French and American attempts to force a Christmas campaign upon the people of Haiti.

After all, if a Canadian Christmas election can be dismissed out-of-hand on the grounds of mere inconvenience to the voter, then surely a forced Haitian election over the Christmas holidays would be all the more inappropriate, since Haitian voters face not only inconvenience, but also far more serious problems, like ongoing police violence, inadequate election preparations, daily shifting candidate lists, lengthy imprisonment of key political leaders, etc.

Therefore, given the Canadian aversion to Christmas elections and the serious problems with Haiti's electoral preparations, Paul Martin will surely have no choice but to criticize the following development:

quote:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Under withering U.S. and French pressure to put a new government in office by Feb. 7, Haitian officials have tentatively agreed to postpone presidential and legislative elections until two days after Christmas, foreign advisers said.

Prime Minister Gerard Latortue was expected to announce the decision Thursday, although there was still some debate about the date, given that many Haitians will be visiting families far from their designated polling places at the time.

If the decision stands, it could significantly diminish voter turnout and threaten the legitimacy of the new government to replace President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted in a violent revolt last year.

Yet preparations for the elections have been so beset by controversy and mismanagement that Dec. 27 is virtually the only date by which the balloting can be held and still have time for a run-off on Jan. 31, if no candidates win more than 50 percent of the vote.


Now, I realize it is pure coincidence that CIDA announced further funding for Haiti's electoral process on the same day we learned of American and French pressure to force ill-prepared and dubious elections on Haitians over the Christmas season.

Therefore, since there's no chance at all that Canada is cooperating with France and the USA here in forcing premature elections, I look forward to seeing CIDA reconsider its plans, after having taken into account the situation in Haiti, as well as Paul Martin's absolute, principled Canadian opposition to Christmas elections as Bad Things that Hurt Good People.

As surely as we know the mainstream Canadian media will notice this contradiction and comment on it, we know that Canada can't be seen to force on Haitians what we consider unacceptable for ourselves.

After all, that would be wrong.

[ 17 November 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 November 2005 11:21 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
As surely as we know the mainstream Canadian media will notice this contradiction and comment on it, we know that Canada can't be seen to force on Haitians what we consider unacceptable for ourselves.

After all, that would be wrong.


Slam dunk, sgm.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 09 December 2005 11:47 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
More pre-election confusion in Haiti:
quote:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - Haiti's interim government fired all five Supreme Court justices on Friday, a day after the court unanimously ruled for the second time a Haitian-born U.S. millionaire could run for president.

The justices were fired in an executive order signed by U.S.-backed interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue and Justice Minister Henri Dorlean. The order did not give a reason for dismissing the justices, several of whom were appointed by ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The government, which immediately appointed five new justices, had criticized the court's decision ordering election authorities to put candidate Dumarsais Simeus on the ballot for the January 8 presidential election.

Election officials appointed by the interim government had said Simeus was ineligible because he had obtained U.S. citizenship and Haitian law bars foreign nationals from running. Simeus, who runs a Texas food processing company, said he never renounced his Haitian citizenship and the Supreme Court ruled him eligible for the ballot.



Link.

From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
KevinS
recent-rabble-rouser
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posted 12 December 2005 05:40 PM      Profile for KevinS     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Canada Haiti Action Network has just launched a Special Appeal in an open letter to Jack Layton, to try to get the detention of Father Jean-Juste and other political prisoners condemned during the televised leaders debates this week.

Anyone interested in supporting this appeal can email a message of support to Layton at [email protected], and if you could copy it to Alexa McDonough ([email protected]) and CHAN ([email protected]) that would be greatly appreciated.

Many of us will be watching closely when foreign policy is raised during the debate, to see how each leader handles Canada's ugly new role in the world.

The opening paragraph of the special appeal is attached below. The entire text, signed by 10 Haiti solidarity activists from across the country, is readable at: www.canadahaitiaction.ca

- Kevin Skerrett
Canada Haiti Action Network

OPEN LETTER SPECIAL APPEAL TO JACK LAYTON:
Please Demand the Immediate and Unconditional Release of Father Jean-Juste!

From: Canada Haiti Action Network

Dear Jack,

On behalf of the 11 local groups that form the Canada Haiti Action Network, we submit this letter as a Special Appeal to you as NDP leader to use a few seconds of your time during the upcoming televised leaders debates to condemn the detention of hundreds of political prisoners in Haiti, and specifically to demand the immediate release of potential presidential candidate Father Gérard Jean-Juste.

...


From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
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posted 12 December 2005 07:19 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes! It's time to make Haiti an election issue.

Come on, Jack; show the country you have a spine!

quote:
[From the appeal:]

We recognize that you and your party may not entirely share our view that Canada's Haiti policy has been a complete disaster, and that the Government of Canada should withdraw Canadian support from the Interim Government of Haiti - the RCMP training of the rights-abusing Haitian police, the Elections Canada monitoring mission overseeing a deeply flawed election, and diplomatic recognition. We hope that with further dialogue about the gravity of the situation in Haiti, we may come to a common understanding of this larger picture. However, in the short term, we feel that the NDP must join the voices condemning the detention of political prisoners in Haiti - and Father Jean-Juste's detention in particular - during this campaign.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
sgm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5468

posted 19 December 2005 10:31 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Haitian elections delayed yet again:
quote:
Haiti's election dates have now been reset for the fourth time in the last five months. The Interim Government of Haiti (IGH) will now miss the February 7, 2005 deadline for transferring power that it had promised to meet for 21 months.

Voting registration stretched past the August deadline into October, because registration facilities were not installed in poor urban and rural areas. An international outcry pushed the CEP to expand the opportunities to register, and eventually about 3.5 million people reportedly registered, out of an estimated pool of 4.2 million eligible citizens. The latest schedule calls for a first round of Presidential and legislative elections on January 8, a runoff election on February 15, and local elections on March 5. Several remaining hurdles make reaching this goal unlikely, including distributing electoral cards, printing the ballots, recruiting and training electoral officials and establishing enough voting centers. The electoral cards pose a particular challenge.


Link.


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