Monday, August 21, 2017

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine Présente!

  THIS AUGUST 12 MARKS TEN YEARS SINCE THE KIDNAPPING AND DISAPPEARING OF HAITIAN REVOLUTIONARY LOVINSKY PIERRE-ANTOINE


On the eve of Bwa Kay Iman (Bois Caïman, Aug. 14), and on International Youth Day (Aug. 12), we dedicate this forthcoming issue of Haiti Solidarity to this remarkable, powerful brother.  Father, husband, friend, psychologist, human rights activist, Lavalas leader—Lovinsky loved his people, and they love him.  Not a year has gone by that he hasn’t been sorely missed.

    On July 28, 2007, just three years into the 2004 coup and the 92-year anniversary of the first US occupation of Haiti of 1915-1934, a crowd of protestors and witnesses watched Lovinsky lead a demonstration in front of UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince.  We listened to his speech, in which he made the connection between the current occupation and the first US occupation. Lovinsky invoked the Haitian revolutionaries, like Charlemagne Péralte, who fought to end the 1915 invasion, and he said that that legacy of revolutionary struggle lives on in the people today. He said the people would always fight to uproot neo-colonialism and exploitation—they would always fight for their freedom. Two weeks after this speech, Lovinsky was kidnapped.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Protestation des chauffeurs de taxi-moto !

Haïti Liberté

Plusieurs centaines de chauffeurs de taxi-moto ont manifesté dans les rues de la capitale le lundi 7 Aout 2017 pour dénoncer non seulement les magistrats des communes, mais également l’exploitation dont ils sont victimes de la part des dirigeants de l’Etat haïtien.

Les chauffeurs réagissent contre une note signée du Secrétaire d’état à la Sécurité Publique, stipulant que « Du 31 juillet au 8 Août tous les chauffeurs de taxis moto de la zone métropolitaine sont invités à retirer leurs casques et gilets de secours dans les différentes mairies de la capitale dans le cadre du processus d’identification lancé par les autorités du pays ».


Les chauffeurs accusent les magistrats, en leur demandant de mieux prendre soin de l’état de la ville jonchée de fatras, et de réclamer de la bourgeoisie import-export de s’acquitter de leurs taxes qui ne sont jamais payées.

Selon les exigences du gouvernement chaque chauffeur doit enregistrer sa moto à la mairie de sa commune et payer 1 750 gourdes. En retour il recevra un gilet et un casque. Pour récupérer ces équipements le chauffeur doit fournir les documents suivants : les papiers d’enregistrement de la moto, la carte d’assurance, les originaux des papiers de la moto, permis de conduire du chauffeur, pièce d’identification du propriétaire de la moto et 2 photos d’identité.

Il est indiqué, poursuit cette note, qu’après la date du 8 Août, tous les chauffeurs de motos retrouvés sans casques et gilets subiront les sanctions prévues par la loi.

Canadian military to construct refugee camp as hundreds of Haitians flee US


Canada’s armed forces announced Wednesday that soldiers are constructing a camp near the Canada-US border in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec to house asylum seekers.
Tents to house up to 500 people are being erected in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, close to a border crossing where up to 300 refugee claimants—most of them Haitians—are arriving daily. Although the majority of troops engaged in putting up the shelters will return to their barracks afterward, a CBC report has suggested that an unknown number will remain on-site to help with security.
The influx has been triggered by US President Donald Trump’s vicious clampdown on immigrants. In May, he vowed not to renew beyond January 2018 the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) accorded to Haitians following the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Newsletter from UNIFA, the University of the Aristide Foundation

UNIFA (University of the Aristide Foundation) needs your help to complete construction of its Diagnostic & Primary Care Center.  Please DONATE today!
As the 2016-17 academic year draws to a close, here is an update of another year of challenges and progress achieved through the hard work of our professors, students, support staff, academic leadership, Board of Administration and you, Friends of UNIFA.  

See here for a full update on UniFA.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Haiti: Stop the Repression. No impunity. NO NEW ARMY.


The people of Haiti need our solidarity in the face of the increasing violence of the fraudulently imposed government of Jovenel Moise.

Last Thursday July 14, 2017, in Petionville, Haiti, near Port-au-Prince, a young book vendor was shot to death by a police officer in front of horrified witnesses. The police used tear gas and batons against a crowd outraged by the murder and the quick, forcible removal of the body in a perceived attempt at a cover up. This is the latest of recent extra-judicial killings by the Haitian police and paramilitary forces.

The brutal killing occurred as the occupation government of Jovenel Moise, installed in the fraudulent elections of November 2016, is pushing to restore the brutal and corrupt Haitian military, which was disbanded by then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1995. Moise has stated that he wants the Army back within two years. Haitians remember the US-supported bloody rampage by former members of this army that claimed thousands of lives during the period of the 2004 coup d'etat against the elected government. The US/UN forces and occupation governments subsequently integrated many of these killers into the Haitian police and government paramilitary units.   

This announcement takes place at a volatile moment in Haitian society. The Haitian police and other government paramilitary forces, accompanied by UN occupation forces, have carried out criminal attacks against protesting teachers, students, factory workers, market women, street vendors and others who are victims of government extortion, theft of land, money and merchandise.

Monday, July 17, 2017

As UN occupation force steps down, Rightwing Haitian government to revive state's repressive force

teleSUR

The army was disbanded in 1995 following a bloody period of military rule that resulted from the U.S.-backed removal of President Aristide in 1991

It has been over twenty years since the Haitian armed forces were dissolved, and replaced by a continuous United Nations security force presence on the island, but now the Haitian government has initiated the process to reform its armed forces as the UN mission is scheduled to leave the country later this year.

The government is looking to recruit approximately 500 soldiers to serve as border patrol, security, and natural disaster relief, in addition to supplementing the civilian police force of 15,000 officers.

The United Nations Security Council announced in April that it would be withdrawing its “blue helmet” security forces from the island, leaving a group of Brazilian army soldiers in Haiti until October, when UN security operations in Haiti are set to end officially.

Some politicians have hoped the move will also provide jobs for young Haitians. The positions are open to both men and women between the ages of 18 and 25. Others, however, are more wary of the move, fearing the potential for politicization.

The Haitian military has its origins in the Haitian Revolution that overthrew French colonial rule, but the revolutionary army was dissolved shortly after by mandate of the occupying United States Marine Corp forces. Since then, the army has come in and out of existence, often being heavily politicized during oppressive governments such as that of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier who sidelined the army in favor of private militias.

The most recent iteration of the Haitian armed forces was disbanded in 1995 following several years of military-junta rule after a U.S.-backed military coupremoved popular democratically elected President Aristide, a priest, and liberation theologian.

According to Harvard University academic and writer Paul Farmer, "Declassified records now make it clear that the CIA and other US groups helped to create and fund a paramilitary group called FRAPH, which rose to prominence after a military coup that ousted Aristide in September 1991... For the next three years, Haiti was run by military-civilian juntas as ruthless as the Duvaliers."

Over 4,000 people are beleived to have been killed in the few years following 1991.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

As Haitians Picket Outside Courtroom: Guy Philippe Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison

By: Kim Ives - Haiti Liberte

Following a plea deal struck in April, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga on Jun. 21 in Miami sentenced former Haitian soldier, police officer, paramilitary leader, presidential candidate, and Senator-elect Guy Philippe, 49, to 108 months in U.S. Federal prison for laundering up to $3.5 million in drug money between 1999 and 2003.

If he had gone to trial and been convicted of the other two charges against him for drug trafficking and “Engaging in Transactions Derived from Unlawful Activity,” Philippe could have been sent to jail for life. Instead, those charges were dropped, and, as recommended by prosecutors, he received the minimum sentence allowed in a plea bargain on the remaining charge of money laundering. With good conduct, he could get out of jail in seven and a half years, or 2024. Judge Altonaga said that Philippe would be on probation for three years after serving his sentence but will almost surely be deported back to Haiti.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cholera Victims to Protest as UN Security Council Lands in Haiti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston): media@ijdh.org, +1-617-652-0876
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince): brian@ijdh.org, +509-3701-9879
Cholera Victims to Protest as UN Security Council Lands in Haiti
Call on UN to Deliver on Promised Response by MINUSTAH Withdrawal
Atavist Test 8Wednesday, June 21, Boston, Port-au-Prince—Haitian cholera victims and their advocates called on the UN Security Council to deliver on the promise of a new, victim-centered approach to cholera during its visit to Haiti this week, by meeting directly with victims and committing to funding the $400 million initiative before MINUSTAH –the peacekeeping mission that caused the cholera epidemic—pulls out in October.
“The UN’s apology and promises were promising in December,“ said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) that has led the fight for justice for cholera victims. “But seven months later, with only a pittance raised for the so-called ‘New Approach’ and not a single promised consultation with the cholera victims, they look like empty public relations gestures. It is time for the UN to deliver.”

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Honoring Haiti’s Mothers and the late Father Gérard Jean-Juste

By: Aristide Foundation for Democracy



UNIFA medical student assists doctor during Mobile Ciinic held on Haiti’s Mother’s Day weekend at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy.
Please join us in honoring Haiti’s mothers! 
In solidarity with Haiti’s Mother’s Day, and in memory of the late Father Gérard Jean-Juste, a Mobile Clinic was held at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy this past weekend. Medical and nursing students from UNIFA, the University of the Aristide Foundation, assisted doctors in performing medical exams for the hundreds of women seeking medical care that day. Father Gérard Jean-Juste, who died eight years ago on May 27, 2009, courageously dedicated his life fighting for human rights and social justice on behalf of Haiti’s poor and refugees. 
Haitian mothers are like all mothers everywhere. They want their children to be healthy, go to school, grow up and have jobs and happy, healthy families of their own. In sum, they want their children to thrive and have dignity and respect in their society. 
These are, after all, human rights as embodied in Haiti’s Constitution, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the United Nations Millennium Declaration (Sept. 2000) that states in its section on Freedom that 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

World Ignores Violence of Opposition in Venezuela


Haiti will never accept the electoral coup d’etat

SF Bay View -- Dave Welsh

Some of the “cast” of a dramatic evening, gathered around the woman who should be president of Haiti, Dr. Maryse Narcisse, are, from left, musicians and Vukani Muwethu choir members Phavia Kujichagulia, Thomas McKennie, Dr. Narcisse, Anne and Jim McWilliams, and Val Serrant, whose magic drum is in the good hands of Dr. Narcisse. Thomas, Anne and Jim are members of the world-renowned choir. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
Oakland – Five hundred people packed an Oakland church to welcome Dr. Maryse Narcisse, presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The event kicked off a week-long speaking tour of California that took her to Scripps College in Los Angeles County, the UCLA School of Public Health and the National Lawyers Guild annual dinner in San Francisco.
“The U.S., U.N. and other so-called ‘Friends of Haiti’ brought about the electoral coup d’etat,” said Dr. Narcisse. “The election of 2015 was thrown out because of widespread election fraud. Then the re-run in 2016 was stolen again.
“But Nou Pap Obeyi (We will not Obey) – this is a slogan our people believe in, because Haitians, who overthrew French colonialism and slavery in 1804, will never accept foreign domination.”
Two Black women who go far above and beyond the line of duty to make politics work for the people are Dr. Maryse Narcisse, Lavalas candidate for president of Haiti, and Jovanka Beckles, former vice mayor and current city councilwoman in Richmond, Calif., the Bay Area’s most progressive city. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

Famni Lavalas supports workers' demands

By: Haiti Libre

Friday, Roosevelt Bellevue, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, confirmed that the installation of the new members of the Superior Salaries Council (CSS), originally scheduled last Thursday, will take place on Monday 5 June due to delays in the submission of candidacies.

It must be said that several trade union officials denounced the formula used by the government, which obliges each sector represented in the CSS to submit two members per seats, among which the Government will make the final choice.

Minister Bellevue said that after the publication of the appointment order the new members of the CSS will have 10 days to submit their report around the adjustment of base salaries in the various sectors. He also announced the establishment of a Commission to deal with workers' complaints, stating that negotiations are under way with the employers to promote the reinstatement of workers who have been unjustly dismissed.

Also that same day at a press conference, Maryse Narcisse, the Coordinator of Fanmi Lavalas denounced the arbitrary revocation and police brutality against protesting workers and officially provide support from Famni Lavalas to workers and teachers who are demanding better wages.

Meanwhile, pressure rises in the streets, a new peaceful march is announced by teachers' unions on Monday, while health workers announce that they will go on strike in a week at the latest.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Caribbean, ALBA Nations Defeat Anti-Venezuela Motion at OAS


teleSUR

Caracas has repeatedly accused the OAS and its chief Luis Almagro of promoting intervention and destabilization in Venezuela.

The OAS has suspended its meeting called to discuss the political and economic situation in Venezuela, with the interventionist motion led by the U.S. failing to muster the required majority to pass.

The Caribbean community played a vital role in defeating the anti-Venezuela motion, calling for further discussions and another meeting, which is yet to be set.

Shortly after the meeting, Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez stated that the "interventionist bloc in the OAS continue to be defeated by the honorable states of the region," announcing that she herself will attend the OAS general meeting set for June 19-21, in Cancun, Mexico with the support of the people of Central America, the Caribbean, ALBA nations and all of Latin America.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Constellation of individuals & groups supporting the FLRN paramilitary insurgency in Haiti, 2000-2004

By: Jeb Sprague-Silgado  -- HaitiAnalysis


            Readers of my 2012 book Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti will have learned about a number of individuals involved in supporting the 2000-2004 paramilitary insurgency that targeted the country.  Below I have put together a compendium listing the different sectors and important individuals backing this violence.   A constellation of actors supported the FLRN paramilitaries (Front pour la libération et la reconstruction nationales) in the events leading up to the 2004 coup d’etat. Some of these groups were made up of just a handful of individuals. Others contained hundreds of individuals that lent support at one time or another. To elaborate upon this more clearly I have broken up these sectors into ten subgroups as follows:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Paltry Six Month Renewal of Haitians’ TPS Suggests It May Be the Last

by Steve Forester (Haiti Liberte)



On May 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for some 50,000 Haitians living in the United States for only six months rather than the usual, appropriate 18 months.

            The wording of DHS Secretary John F. Kelly’s announcement sent very mixed signals and omitted extremely significant facts. It stressed that this is likely the last extension and that TPS holders should “attain travel documents” for return to Haiti. Very inaccurately, it also asserted that conditions in Haiti have greatly improved.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Comparing Venezuela’s Media with Our Own

By: Joe Emersberger - teleSUR

The international media's coverage of Venezuela comes down to caricatures that have been spread by Venezuela's opposition.

A reporter from one of the largest international media outlets contacted me recently because she was considering doing a story about how Venezuela’s TV networks have covered the protests that have raged since April 4. The quote I gave her (who knows if any of it will be used or if the story is ever written) stated the following:

The protests and the leading opposition leaders’ take on the protests are being extensively covered on the largest private networks: Venevision, Televen, Globovision. If people abroad sampled Venezuela’s TV media directly, as opposing to judging it by what is said about it by the international media and some big NGOs, they’d be shocked to find the opposition constantly denouncing the government and even making very thinly veiled appeals to the military to oust Maduro.

There are valid free speech concerns raised by the censoring of foreign outlets in Venezuela. However, there are also grave free speech concerns raised by the international media’s lopsidedly hostile coverage of Venezuela for the past 15 years. It speaks volumes about that coverage that Bernie Sanders’ campaign, for example, would call Hugo Chavez a “dead communist dictator.” That could never have happened if there had been remotely balanced coverage over the past 15 years.

One of the big NGOs I had in mind, Human Rights Watch (HRW), inadvertently illustrated my point about the international media's coverage by listing a deluge of newspaper editorials from around the word on its website that all reinforce the U.S. government/HRW view on Venezuela. The international media's coverage of Venezuela comes down to caricatures that have been spread by Venezuela's opposition. The editorials HRW listed have titles like “Maduro’s dictatorship,” “Maduro’s Venezuela becomes a dictatorship,” “Venezuela is officially a dictatorship,” “Venezuela’s descent into dictatorship,” and so on. Good luck finding a dissenting view in any significant U.S. newspaper, never mind a TV network. The same applies to Canada, the U.K. and numerous Latin American countries with right-wing governments.

Friday, May 12, 2017

La scène politique des États-Unis : La blanchité et la crise de légitimité du capitalisme global

Par Salvador Rangel & Jeb Sprague-Silgado -- Counterpunch & L'Aut'Journal


            La scène politique des États-Unis a subi un lifting dans le but de rétablir la légitimité décroissante de la classe capitaliste à orientation transnationale. Cette transformation s’est caractérisée par une droite qui a cherché à se représenter comme étant économiquement nationaliste afin d'élargir le soutien de la classe ouvrière (principalement, parmi la classe ouvrière blanche) dont la stabilité économique a diminué au cours de l'ère néolibérale.

Pourquoi cela ?

À partir des années 1970, face à la baisse des taux de profit et d'accumulation, ainsi qu'à l'augmentation de la concurrence internationale, le capital devait se libérer des contraintes nationales qui lui avaient été imposées pendant l'ère de « nouvelle donne » fordiste-keynésienne. L'une de ces « contraintes » avait été la responsabilité d'assurer la reproduction sociale de sa main-d'œuvre nationale.  La globalisation a permis aux capitalistes d'éliminer cette préoccupation, car ils pouvaient puiser dans un groupe mondial croissant de travailleurs marginalisés.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Real Crimes of Guy Philippe: Selections from “Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti” by Jeb Sprague - Part 1 of 3

By Jeb Sprague (Haiti Liberte)

Former paramilitary leader Guy Philippe will be going to jail for money laundering in connection with drug trafficking. But his more serious crimes were murdering Haitians and Haitian democracy as the leader of the “armed opposition” during the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’état against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

            In the early 1990s, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant headed another anti-Aristide paramilitary organization known as the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), which played a large role in killing an estimated 5,000 during the 1991-1994 coup d’état.

            Like Philippe, Constant was never tried for his crimes against humanity. Instead, in 1996, the Clinton administration gave him de facto political asylum in the United States. However, in 2008, he was convicted in New York of mortgage fraud and is currently serving a 12-37 year prison sentence.

            If he had gone to trial in May and been convicted, Philippe faced a life term for drug trafficking. Instead, he struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors whereby he will likely serve only 7.5 to 9 years in jail.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Thousands of Haitian Workers Are on Strike Against Foreign-Owned Sweatshops

By: Jeff Abbott - In These Times


Thousands of textile workers in Haiti have stopped work in factories and taken to the streets to demand of improved working conditions in the country’s maquiladora export industry. For more than three weeks, workers have mobilized to demand higher wages, an eight-hour workday and protections against increased quotas across the industrial centers of Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Ounaminthe and Caracol.

The strike follows the annual commemoration of International Workers’ Day.

Currently, workers receive a daily wage of roughly 300 gourdes, or about 4.77 U.S. dollars (USD), for a day’s work. Strikers are demanding that the wage is raised to 800 gourdes, or 12.72 USD—and that the eight-hour day be respected.

Workers face poor labor conditions in the country’s assembly-line factories, where they produce textiles for large U.S. companies such as Levi Jeans and Fruit of the Loom. Factory owners have long called for the use of violence against workers’ rights activists in Haiti and fired anyone known to associate with the unions.

Reuters: Haiti workers protest minimum wage as managers threaten exit

By: Makini Brice - Reuters

Hundreds of Haitian textile workers took to the streets on Monday to demand a higher minimum wage as managers of textile factories threatened to leave the country if the government did not clamp down on demonstrations.

Haiti has pinned some of its economic growth hopes on the textile industry, which accounts for 90 percent of its exports, according to export.gov, a website managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The United States has granted Haiti a preferential trade deal, creating some 40,000 jobs, the Association of Haitian Industries said last November. Products made there are shipped to major U.S. retailers like Walmart and Target.

However, spurred by a recent hike in fuel prices and surging inflation, textile workers have begun protesting over pay.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

“You Live Under Fear”: by Darlene Dubuisson and Mark Schuller

by Darlene Dubuisson and Mark Schuller

“With TPS, it’s like you live under fear,” thirty-something aspiring nurse Michaëlle explained. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. I live with stress because of that.”

            Michaëlle’s situation just got worse on Apr. 20, when Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly declared that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 50,000 Haitian people living in the U.S. would be over.

            After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, President Obama granted temporary relief status to undocumented Haitians who had arrived in the U.S. before 2011. Given the slow pace of recovery efforts and subsequent disasters – notably the cholera epidemic that has killed over 10,000 and counting, and Hurricane Matthew that hit Haiti last October – TPS has been extended several times. The latest TPS is set to expire on Jul. 22, 2017.

            In essence, the Trump administration’s policy would amount to kicking out 50,000 people who have, despite their fear, put their faith in the U.S. government to legalize, like fifty-something child care provider Wideline. She recalls that “[We were told to] tell all fellow Haitians they don’t need to fear because they are going to give Haitians who are illegal in this country papers so they can work.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pleading Guilty, Guy Philippe Cuts Deal with U.S. Attorney for Lighter Sentence


by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)
Former Haitian paramilitary leader and Senator-elect Guy Philippe sealed a plea bargain today with the U.S. Attorney’s office to get a lighter sentence in return for pleading guilty to just one count of money laundering.

In return, the U.S. government dropped its other two charges of “Conspiracy to Import Cocaine into the United States,” which carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison, and “Engaging in Transactions Derived from Unlawful Activity,” which carries a 10 year sentence.

The charge to which Philippe, 49, pleaded guilty – “Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments” – carries a 20 year maximum sentence, but as part of the deal, prosecutors recommended Philippe be sentenced to only nine years.

Judge Cecilia Altonaga will set Philippe’s sentence in Miami on Jul. 5, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.. As in most plea deals, she will likely follow the U.S. Attorney’s recommendation.

Parole cannot be granted in federal cases, but the government can give Philippe a 15% reduction in his prison term for “good conduct,” meaning he could be out in seven and a half years or 2024.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Flashpoints Radio: Special Haiti Episode Hosted by Kevin Pina.

Today on Flashpoints: 
      The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s current 18-month designation of Haiti for temporary protected status(TPS) expires on July 22nd will affect 58,000 Haitians who arrived in the US prior to January 12, 2011, one year after the earthquake. The Trump administration is signaling it will not renew TPS which will trigger their forced repatriation back to Haiti. 
     Then, we look at the ongoing moves of PHTK ruling clique in Haiti to restore the once dreaded Haitian military. 
    Finally, we talk with a Haitian political analyst about the current situation there.  Listen to the entire show here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

In Violation of Haiti’s Constitution: After MINUSTAH, UN Seeks to Keep an Armed Force in Haiti

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

The main thing you need to know about the Apr. 11 speech to the UN Security Council of Sandra Honoré, the head of the United Nations military occupation force in Haiti, is that she is not talking about a complete pull-out but a “transition.”

            MINUSTAH, or the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti, is currently composed of about 3,200 soldiers and police officers, who cost $346 million this past year. First deployed in June 2004 (supposedly for only six months), the force’s current mandate ends on Apr. 15.

            In a Mar. 16 report, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres proposed that MINUSTAH be renewed for a final six-month mandate, ending Oct. 15. However, this force would be replaced by “a smaller peacekeeping operation with concentrated focus on the rule of law and police development,...[and] human rights monitoring,” Honoré said.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Former Haitian First Lady Visits Detroit with U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

LISTEN HERE to an interview with former First Lady of Haiti Mildred T. Aristide.

Few countries in the world have faced as much hardship as Haiti. The Haitian people had been forced to deal with one disaster after another, whether caused by nature or by human hands.

It is a country that reminds us that inequality and institutional racism, subjects that are talked about frequently on Detroit Today, are not confined to the borders of the United States.

Former first lady of Haiti, Mildred T. Aristide, joins Congresswomen Maxine Waters Friday night in Detroit for a discussion about race at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History at 7 p.m.

Aristide joins Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today to talk about Haiti’s people and history.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Prison Aid to Haiti for Captive Slave Labor

by Dady Chery (Haiti Liberte)

Haiti’s incarceration rate of roughly 100 prisoners per 100,000 citizens in 2016 was the lowest in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, there is a systematic campaign underway for more prisons. Canada and Norway have each given one prison to Haiti. Thanks to prison aid from the United States, three additional prisons have been inaugurated since 2016, and another is under construction.

            In the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba, the incarceration rates per 100,000 people in 2016 were 232, 350, 145, and 510, respectively. These numbers alone do not tell the whole story, because the large majority of Haiti’s prison population are pre-trial detainees, many of whom are members of Aristide’s administration, resisters against government abuses like land expropriation, or political protestors who have not been charged with a crime. If Haiti were to release them, the incarceration rate would drop to about 30 per 100,000, which is lower than in Norway, Sweden, or Japan. Furthermore, if we consider the fact that another group of incarcerated people are Haitian nationals who have lived as legal residents of the United States or Canada nearly all of their lives and committed crimes abroad, then the real incarceration rate of Haitians drops to one of the lowest in the world.

Haitian Cholera Victims Demonstrate for MINUSTAH Departure, Reparations

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

On Mar. 29, 2017, the 30th anniversary of the popular referendum which adopted the 1987 Haitian Constitution, about 200 demonstrators rallied and marched from Port-au-Prince’s Champ de Mars to the Parliament to demand the immediate withdrawal of the United Nations Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH), reparations for the victims of MINUSTAH-imported cholera, and respect for the Constitution’s nationalist articles.

            Some 3,200 soldiers and police officers are MINUSTAH’s armed component, whose mandate expires Apr. 15. Almost 13 years after MINUSTAH’s deployment in June 2004, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a Mar. 16 report. proposed to the UN Security Council a final six-month mandate with “a staggered but complete withdrawal” of those forces by Oct. 15. However, in reality, the withdrawal would not be complete.

            Guterres proposed that a new mission of 295 UN policemen remain in Haiti to oversee elections and ensure “political stability” and “good governance.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Under Guise of Troop Withdrawal Discussions: Is Chile Pressuring Haiti to Join OAS Coup Efforts Against Venezuela?

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet visited Haiti this week ostensibly to discuss with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse the future of United Nations troops in Haiti. Since the deployment of the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH) in June 2004, over 12,000 Chilean troops have been deployed in Haiti, Bachelet said. Today, Chile has 392 soldiers and 41 police in Haiti, the second largest contingent after Brazil’s 981 soldiers.

            On Apr. 15, the UN Security Council is likely to renew MINUSTAH’s mandate for a final six-month period, as recommended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a Mar. 16 report. Guterres proposed to the Council “a staggered but complete withdrawal” of the 2,370 UN soldiers remaining in Haiti to be replaced by a new mission of 295 UN police officers which would “support political stability, [and] good governance, including electoral oversight and reform.” There are now about 844 UN police officers in Haiti, bringing the current MINUSTAH armed force to over 3,200.

            In short, after MINUSTAH’s Oct. 15 end, a reduced, renamed mission would remain, on behalf of the U.S., Canada, and France primarily, to “monitor and exercise an early warning function” against any anti-imperialist political developments in Haiti (of course, Guterres used the euphemism “for conflict prevention, human rights and rule of law issues”).

            However, the day after Bachelet met with Moïse on Mar. 27, the Organization of American States (OAS) convened an extraordinary session at its Washington, DC headquarters on whether to sanction Venezuela for what OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro says is Venezuela’s “violation of every article in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” In a Mar. 14 report, Almagro stepped up his years-long campaign to invoke the OAS’s sovereignty-smashing “Democratic Charter” to expel Venezuela from the body, as happened to Cuba after its 1959 revolution.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

After Aristide Court Appearance, Police Fire on Cortege, Wounding Two

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)



On Mar. 20, Haitian police fired on partisans accompanying the vehicle of former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, after he had responded to the summons of an investigating judge in a money-laundering case against one of his former security chiefs.

            Several hundred supporters were escorting the three vehicles returning Aristide, accompanied by his party’s former presidential candidate Maryse Narcisse, back to his home in Tabarre, just outside of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Eluding Tricks and Raids, Guy Philippe Bargained for a Lighter Sentence, U.S. Says

He Wasn’t Immune or Mistreated, It Adds

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)



For eleven years, the U.S. attempted all manner of ruses, persuasion, negotiations, and ambushes in an attempt to capture paramilitary leader Guy Philippe after a Miami grand jury issued a November 2005 indictment against him for drug trafficking and money laundering. But it was all unsuccessful until he left the rural, seaside Haitian town where he was holed up and ventured into the capital.

            Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg enumerated the efforts of Haitian and U.S. authorities to apprehend Philippe, 49, in a Mar. 10 response to his lawyer’s motions to dismiss the charges against him because too much time had elapsed between the indictment and his Jan. 5, 2017 arrest by Haitian police. Philippe, through his attorney Zeljka Bozanic, also claimed he was unaware that he was being pursued, a contention the U.S. calls “patently false.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Haiti Action Committee: Attempted Assassination of Aristide Marks a New Stage of Terror in Haiti

Yesterday, there was an assassination attempt against former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president. President Aristide had been summoned to appear as a witness in a court case.
While returning from court, his motorcade was attacked by armed Haitian police. A number of people were injured in the attack. Mass protests against the police broke out immediately.
This attack on President Aristide signals a new stage of terror in Haiti.
In the wake of the electoral coup which installed Jovenal Moise, a right-wing protégé of former President Michel Martelly, as Haiti’s new president, there has been a marked increase in repression directed against grassroots activists.
This attack on President Aristide signals a new stage of terror in Haiti. It harkens back to the days of the Duvalier dictatorships. Human rights activists and all supporters of democracy in Haiti need to condemn this attempted assassination and demand that those who committed this act be brought to justice.
Contact the Haiti Action Committee at www.haitisolidarity.net, on Facebook at Haiti Action Committee, on Twitter @HaitiAction1or by email at action.haiti@gmail.com.

Haïti : le capitalisme des paramilitaires

 Jeb Sprague-Silgado -  América Latina en movimiento 

Cet article examine l’évolution et la flexibilisation des forces paramilitaires en Haïti, ainsi que les stratégies hégémoniques des élites transnationales. Dans ce contexte, la « flexibilisation » désigne la façon dont les opérations ou les composantes d’un processus sont modifiées pour répondre aux besoins d’une forme plus avancée de reproduction sociale et matérielle qui augmente ou diminue, et qui se redéploie et se réaffecte plus facilement. Je prête ici une attention particulière à la phase la plus récente du paramilitarisme en Haïti moderne, par rapport à la restructuration politique et économique d’Haïti à l’ère de la globalisation [1]. Tout au long de l’histoire du capitalism mondial, les groupes dominants ont développé des moyens d’atteindre l’hégémonie pour maintenir et projeter leur domination de classe. À l’ère du capitalisme global, une grande variété de moyens recyclés, modifiés et nouveaux pour atteindre l'hégémonie a émergé, y compris dans le bassin des Caraïbes.  

La question qui se pose ici est celle des enjeux de cette nouvelle ère du capitalisme global du point de vue du paramilitarisme, en particulier dans le cas d’Haïti. Est-il vrai, comme je tâcherai de le montrer, que le paramilitarisme n’a pas disparu à l’ère de la globalisation, mais a été modifié et fait partie des stratégies changeantes des élites (et surtout des élites transnationales) ?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Exposing the "real" mission of Christian zealots in Haiti

Reza Aslan - Religion Dispatches
After the massive earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, the popular televangelist Pat Robertson went on his flagship TV program, the 700 Club, and made an extraordinary claim. The earthquake, he said, was just one consequence of a pact with the devil made by Haiti’s revolutionary founders. 
“[The Haitians] were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’”
Most people – including most Christians – who heard Robertson’s statement were aghast. But for a small group of evangelicals who adhere to a fairly new Christian movement called Spiritual Mapping, Robertson was preaching the gospel truth. 

7 Years After Haiti’s Earthquake, Millions Still Need Aid

On Jan. 12, 2010, a massive earthquake ravaged Haiti, claiming up to 316,000 lives and displacing more than 1.5 million people. Today ― seven years later ― 2.5 million Haitians are still in need of humanitarian aid, according to a new report from the United Nations.
The quake tore a catastrophic path of destruction through the ailing island nation, leaving Haitians with a herculean recovery mission. In the years that followed, a string of devastating natural disasters have fueled ongoing famine and poverty crises, given rise to a deadly cholera epidemic, and quashed Haiti’s continued efforts to rebuild.
“Haitians continue to suffer years after the earthquake,” U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Mourad Wahba, who has worked in the country for two years, told The WorldPost. “People lost their friends and family. I see the pain in their faces when they talk about it now. It’s a very long healing process.”

Having Helped Washington Overthrow Aristide, Guy Philippe Knows “Too Much” and Is a “Danger” to U.S., Lawyer Claims

Kim Ives - Haiti Liberte
What goes around, comes around,” says the proverb, and former Haitian “rebel” leader Guy Philippe must be pondering this karmic truth as he languishes in his Miami, FL jail cell.
In February 2004, he played a key role in helping U.S. Special Forces kidnap then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from Haiti and whisk him off to a seven year exile in Africa. Today, Philippe claims, through his lawyer, that U.S. government agents illegally kidnapped him from Haiti on Jan. 5, 2017 and, with “shocking and outrageous” conduct, flew him to Florida to stand trial because he has “too much information” about Washington’s overthrow of Aristide.
In November 2005 (21 months after the coup against Aristide), a U.S. grand jury issued a three count indictment against Philippe for drug trafficking and money laundering between 1997 and 2001. After his arrest in Haiti and transport to Miami, Philippe pled not guilty to the charges through his Hollywood, FL-based lawyer, Zeljka Bozanic. On Feb. 28, 2017, she  filed with U.S. District Court in Miami two motions to dismiss and one motion to abate (temporarily suspend) the case against Philippe.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

1943-2017: René Préval: Who He Was and What He Represented

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

In 2009, former U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Janet Sanderson called him “Haiti’s indispensable man,” who was “capable of imposing his will on Haiti - if so inclined.” Another diplomat recently dubbed him one of Haiti’s “three kings,” along with former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the Duvalierists.

            They were referring to former Haitian president René Préval, who died of a heart attack on Mar. 3 in the capital’s mountain suburb of Laboule at the age of 74. Over the past 30 years, he had played one of the most important and contradictory roles of any politician in helping to briefly free Haiti from the political grips of Washington and the Duvalierists, nostalgic for the three decade (1957-1986) dictatorship of François and Jean-Claude Duvalier, only to lead the country back into their clutches by acquiescing to neo-liberal privatization campaigns, sovereignty-stripping international accords, minimum wage suppression, two foreign military occupations, and an “electoral coup d’état” a year after the 2010 earthquake.

            Préval was laid-back and personable, but low-key and retiring. He shunned the trappings of power and trumpeting his accomplishments, unlike his successor Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, a ribald, flamboyant konpa music star. For example, Préval was so prone to informality that he scandalized some Haitians by wearing a white guayabera in the group photo at a hemispheric conference where all the other heads of state wore suits.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Female witness speaks out about 2002-2004 crimes of Guy Philippe & his henchmen


By: Jafrikayiti Jean Elissaint Saint-Vil

 In this interview (in Haitian Creole), a native daughter of Lascahobas, Haiti, courageously describes several crimes committed by Guy Philippe and his paramilitary henchmen against unarmed Haitian women, men and children between 2002 and 2004.

 Philippe went on a rampage, armed, trained and protected by the CIA and the government of neighbouring Dominican Republic, on a mission to overthrow Haiti's legitimate democratically-elected goverment, led by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

No one has ever faced trial for the crimes described by this witness. Neither Philippe, nor his powerful criminal sponsors within Haiti, the U.S., Canada or Europe. For more see Jeb Sprague's excellent book "Paramilitarism: The assault on democracy in Haiti"

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Next Few Years Look Bleak


by Marc-Arthur Fils-Aimé (Haiti Liberte)

Haiti’s Nov. 20, 2016 elections did not live up to expectations. There was great hope that they would enable the country would emerge from its ever-deepening crisis. Instead, the elections were fraught with fraud and irregularities, sometimes similar but often different from that seen in 2015.

            Electoral participation was only about 20%, enabling neo-liberal political parties without a proven program to seize power. Many of those elected are rumored to be drug traffickers, smugglers, and perpetrators of other heinous acts, thus depriving them of legitimacy and respect. The nation will suffer for at least the next four or five years.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Haiti 2017: From Demonstration Election to Electoral Coup

By: Charlie Hinton - Haiti Action Committee
On January 3, Haiti’s Electoral Council (CEP) sealed the steal by confirming Jovenel Moïse as president of Haiti. A massive police presence resembling martial law has suppressed street protests, attacking demonstrators who have been in the streets daily since the 11/20 election with a stinging blue foam added to water cannons. A potent new tear gas burns and stings the skin. A tear gas attack on a poor neighborhood at 1 AM on 11/29 suffocated three infants to death.

Dr. Maryse Narcisse, Fanmi Lavalas presidential candidate.
Haiti moves into 2017 with a “president” who would never have won an honest election. A tiny number of ruling families backed by the United States, Canada, and France, operating through a United Nations military occupation, has imposed an imperial ruler on an unwilling population through a process they call an “election.” Everyone in Haiti knows this, but in this country, we don’t. International media reported the Moïse “victory” as a matter of legitimate fact, based on phony numbers released by the CEP. They either neglected or minimized the almost daily massive protests, and provided zero background or context, thus becoming willing participants in the fraud, and giving “fake news” a whole new dimension.
The only reason the November 20 election even took place is because massive daily street demonstrations protesting two fraudulent elections in 2015 forced a new election in 2016. They also forced the hated Hillary Clinton-imposed president, Michel Martelly, to leave office on schedule on 2/7/16, despite various maneuvers to attempt to extend his term.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Haiti’s Eroding Democracy: Haiti has a new president. But Jovenel Moïse’s right-wing coalition is far from stable.


by Jake Johnston (source: Jacobin)



After more than a year of delays, Haiti finally elected a new president this past November. Jovenel Moïse — nicknamed the Banana Man — scored a first-round victory in a sprawling field of 27 candidates, taking over 55% of the vote. The banana exporter, who has never held public office, was inaugurated on Feb. 7.

            The previous president, Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, seemingly plucked Moïse out of nowhere last year, making him the new face of the Haitian Bald-Headed Party (PHTK). Moïse’s win is an extraordinary achievement for a political neophyte, but it has one glaring problem: only 20% of Haiti’s voters showed up on election day. Moïse became president with less than 10% of registered voters – only about 600,000 votes — supporting him.

As President Jovenel Moïse is Sworn In: Election Observers Slam “Haiti’s Unrepresentative Democracy”



by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

Former auto parts salesman and banana exporter Jovenel Moïse, 48, became Haiti’s 58th president on Feb. 7, 2017, in ceremonies at the Parliament and a miniature model of the former National Palace, which was destroyed in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake.

            The President of Haiti’s Senate and Parliament’s National Assembly, Sen. Youri Latortue, whom the U.S. Embassy has described as a “Mafia boss,” “drug dealer,” and “poster-boy for political corruption,” draped the ceremonial Presidential sash on his close political confederate, who takes over from interim president Jocelerme Privert.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

We Say No! To Stolen Elections!!

National Lawyers Guild of San Francisco 

Stands in Solidarity With Haitian Grassroots Movement

For well over a month, tens of thousands of Haitians have been demonstrating daily to protest yet another stolen election and another denial of their right to determine their own destinies. Despite this popular outcry and numerous reports of large-scale fraud and voter suppression the Electoral Council in Haiti, backed by the U.S. State Department, the Organization of American States, and the United Nations occupying forces (MINUSTAH), has just officially anointed Jovenel Moise as the next president of Haiti. Moise is a protégé of right-wing former President Michel Martelly, whose regime was marked by corruption, wholesale repression of political opposition, and the selling of Haiti’s land and resources to foreign corporations.
As Haitians demonstrate courageously to resist the imposition of an undemocratically selected regime, they have been met with repression from Haitian police and UN soldiers. In one incident, police attacked the community of La Saline, a stronghold of Fanmi Lavalas, for decades the party of the poor majority in Haiti. The police fired round upon round of tear gas and killed three infants. In another instance, police attacked a non-violent march using water hoses, tear gas, and a skin irritant that caused severe burns.

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