Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Accident in St. Marc: MINUSTAH continues to sow mourning

by Yves Pierre-Louis (Haiti Liberte)

In Saint-Marc, Dieudaline Jérôme, a 13-year-old schoolgirl, was killed on Fri., Jan. 25, 2013 by a vehicle driven by soldiers of the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH), as the foreign forces occupying Haiti are called. At around 8 a.m., a Nissan Patrol SUV with UN license plate 24499 struck the motorcycle carrying Dieudaline to school. The motorcycle driver was seriously injured, while Dieudaline, who was sitting on the back, was mortally wounded. Although she was urgently transported to the hospital, she could not be saved.
            The tragic death of this young girl has once again stirred the anger of Haitians against the presence of UN forces on Haitian territory. The population of Saint-Marc took to the streets to demand the departure of “peacekeepers,” throwing stones at their base and vehicles and paralyzing all activities in the town.

With Cabinet Reshuffle and Proposal to Trim Senate Terms, Martelly Regime Veers Hard Right

by Thomas Péralte  (Haiti Liberte)                                         
President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe reshuffled their cabinet last week for the third time in nine months. The new cabinet comprises 23 ministers and 10 secretaries of state. The previous government of President René Préval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive was less bloated but more effective with only 18 ministers and just a few secretaries of state.

World Bank and IMF Forecasts Follow Predictable Pattern for Haiti, Venezuela

by Arthur Phillips and Stephan Lefebvre    (CEPR Americas Blog)

The World Bank has joined the “doom and gloom” chorus on Venezuela’s economy. And in Haiti, the Washington-based institution again appears overly optimistic.

On Tuesday, January 15, the World Bank released its latest global economic forecast, which projects 2013 global GDP growth at 3.4%, up 0.4% from its preliminary estimate for 2012 and down a half a percentage point from its previous forecast in June. The Bank emphasized that the low rates were largely a result of sluggish growth in the U.S. and Europe. As for Latin America and the Caribbean, the regional predicted growth for 2013 is listed at 3.6%, up more than half a point from the estimated figure for 2012.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Phoenix Project: Controversial Garbage-Powered Plant Faces Uncertain Future

by Haiti Grassroots Watch (Haiti Liberte)

For more than two years, teams of U.S. and Haitian businesspeople have been working on massive public-private business deal: a factory that would transform garbage from the capital into electricity, a resource so rare in Haiti, only 30% of the population has access.

            But the Phoenix Project involves a technology potentially so dangerous that it has been outlawed in some cities and countries. It would also commit Haiti to a 30-year contract.

            The project emerged following the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. U.S. businesspeople said they came up with the idea because they wanted to take part in the reconstruction but “do more than make a profit.”

Unrest in St. Marc

by Tony Savino (Haiti Liberte)

Haitian police in St. Marc grabbed and severely beat a popular teacher from a street band slowly winding along Route Nationale #1 on Sunday night, Jan. 20. The police did not like that the rara procession, a traditional practice in the days before Carnaval, was blocking traffic and reportedly grabbed the teacher at random and beat him up. As one local business owner commented, "the cops messed with the wrong person this time, because the teacher is a mild-mannered gentleman who is well-known and respected in the community."

A Review of Haiti’s New Dictatorship: Sovereignty vs. Intervention

by Isabeau Doucet (Haiti Liberte)

During the build up to and aftermath of the 2004 overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s popular priest-turned-president, the Haitian and international press reported two conflicting narratives. Even in the left-wing media office of ZNet, where Justin Podur was an editor, stories filed from Haiti just “didn’t add up.”

            “One is a story about a leader becoming a dictator and getting overthrown, leaving a basket-case country in a basket-case condition. The second is the story of a popular movement being thwarted in its struggle for democracy and development and ending with a new dictatorship imposed upon it,” writes Podur, Associate Professor in environmental studies at Toronto’s York University, in his new book, Haiti’s New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

IJDH’s Take on Recent Délille Probe

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

Brian Concannon is a founder and director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). He has had a ring-side seat to legal affairs in Haiti for almost two decades, acting as a UN Human Rights Officer, helping to prosecute human rights crimes in Haiti following the 1991-1994 coup d’état, representing former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune before the  Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and presently acting as a lead lawyer in the suit of 5,000 Haitian cholera victims against the United Nations.

            In an interview with Haïti Liberté, Concannon said that he views Port-au-Prince District Attorney Lucmane Délille’s recent opening of an investigation of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide “in the context of a long history of baseless complaints against Aristide.”

Lavalas Masses Rise up Against Aristide’s Political Persecution

by Isabelle Papillon (Haiti Liberte)

When Lucmane Délille, Port-au-Prince’s district attorney, summoned former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to appear before him on Wednesday, Jan. 9 to answer patently frivolous complaints, it caused a great awakening of the Lavalas masses, greatly alarming those in Haiti and abroad who thought it was time to behead Aristide’s party, the Lavalas Family.

            Indeed, tensions ran high that day when thousands of Aristide’s supporters massed outside the courthouse where Aristide was summoned to appear before Délille at 10 a.m.. Similar outpourings took place in Haiti’s major cities like Cap Haïtien, Gonaïves, and Jérémie. However, when the prosecutor saw the crowds, he decided, at the urging of Aristide’s lawyers, to go meet with the former head of state at his home in Tabarre, on the northern outskirts of the capital.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Three Years after Haiti Earthquake: Hundreds of Thousands Homeless Despite Billions Funneled to NGOs, Contractors, and Internationals

by Bill Quigley and Amber Ramanauskas  (Haiti Liberte)

Despite billions in aid which were supposed to go to the Haitian people, hundreds of thousands are still homeless, living in shanty tent camps as the effects from the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake remain.

            According to Oxfam International, the earthquake killed 250,000 people and injured another 300,000.  Some 360,000 Haitians are still displaced and living hand to mouth in 496 tent camps across the country according to the International Organization of Migration.  Most eat only one meal a day. 

Tumultuous Year Ahead in Haiti: Martelly Regime Presents Aristide a Warrant, Duvalier a Diplomatic Passport

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)
When former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier returned to Haiti on Jan. 16, 2011, a state prosecutor visited him two days later about the many crimes against humanity his regime committed from 1971 to 1986 as well as the over $500 million he and his cronies are documented as pilfering from Haiti’s treasury. But after neo-Duvalierist President Michel Martelly’s government came to power in May 2011 via a Washington-engineered illegal election two months earlier, Haiti’s investigation of Duvalier all but stopped. In January 2012, a Martelly-aligned judge dismissed the multiple massive human rights charges against him.

Letter to Mark Tran of the UK Guardian

Dear Mark Tran:
You wrote of Haiti that
About 6% of the population have been infected [with cholera] and more than 7,500 people have died – a higher toll than the political instability that brought the peacekeepers to Haiti in 2004.”

It was a US led coup that brought MINUSTAH to Haiti. Referring to the coup as “political instability” obscures that crucial fact.

US troops flew Haiti’s democratically elected government, Jean Bertrand Aristide, out of Haiti while Canadian troops guarded Haiti’s international airport. The US and its allies easily brushed off calls made by CARICOM and the African Union, among others, for the UN to formally investigate Aristide's claim that he was kidnapped.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Make a donation to Haiti by reading and speaking up about it

by Joe Emersberger

Please donate the time required to read the books about Haiti that I discuss below, at least one of them, and then speak up about what you learn.

An impressive, and growing, body of work explains how the "international community" (the USA and a handful of allies) worked with the Haitian elite to make a murderous and very successful assault on Haitian democracy as the twenty-first century began. It is an assault that continues today as the generosity that millions of people around the world displayed towards Haitians after an earthquake has been scandalously wasted and even used to bolster the Haitian and foreign elites who run Haiti. Peter Hallward's "Damming the Flood" thoroughly refutes the lies that were sold, and are still sold, about the "international community's" role in Haiti since 2000. Unfortunately, Hallward's book was written before the 2010 earthquake that killed perhaps as many as 250,000 Haitians, and before Wikileaks' release of US embassy cables. Thankfully, two new books about Haiti - Justin Podur's "Haiti's New Dictatorship" and Jeb Sprague "Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti" - update and greatly expand on Hallward’s work.

Please Donate to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund

And Support WIkiLeaks

As well as