by Haiti Action Committee
On June 7, the office of Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who publicly endorsed her, was sprayed with gunfire. This blatant violence against the movement that has long represented Haiti’s poor majority sparked outrage in Haiti but was met by silence in the mainstream media in the U.S. The State Department, which routinely portrays itself as a defender of democracy around the world, including in Haiti, had nothing to say about the attack.
This is no surprise. The U.S., which orchestrated the 2004 coup against the democratically elected government of President Aristide, has been determined to prevent another Lavalas administration from governing in Haiti. Having put in power former president Michel Martelly, who was associated with the disgraced Duvalier regime, through fraudulent elections in 2011, the State Department has been intent on imposing his successor through the same means.
In 2015, fraudulent elections placed a little known Martelly protégé in the lead position heading to a run-off. Despite independent investigations that revealed burning of ballots, theft of ballot boxes, “election observers” who voted over and over again, and widespread voter suppression, U.S. State Department Special Coordinator Kenneth Merten argued that Haitians should accept the 2015 results and move on to the next round.
But Haitians refused the dictates of the State Department with statements and banners declaring “We Will Not Obey.” Calling the results an “electoral coup,” tens of thousands of people took to the streets demanding free and fair elections, insisting that their voices be heard and respected.
It was only due to these popular protests that the Martelly dictatorial regime was replaced by an interim government, a verification commission was set up to investigate the elections, the fraud was exposed, and the 2015 elections were annulled.
This is a remarkable victory for the grassroots movement in Haiti. But, as Haiti proceeds towards a new round of elections, the State Department and the European Union are challenging the decision to annul the 2015 elections. Both have threatened Haiti with economic consequences if the electoral process does not proceed to their satisfaction.
And they are allowing anti-Lavalas armed vigilantes like Guy Philippe, wanted as a drug trafficker by the DEA, to maraud through Haiti.
As the new round of electoral campaigning begins, we view with alarm the attack on Dr. Maryse Narcisse and Fanmi Lavalas. We urge friends and supporters of Haiti to send a clear and strong message to both the State Department and your Congressional representatives.
- Condemn the armed attack on the offices of Dr. Maryse Narcisse and the continued attacks against the Lavalas movement.
- Denounce the continued interference and threats from the State Department and the European Union. They are attacks on Haitian sovereignty and self-determination.
- Support the right of the Haitian people to choose their own government through transparent, free and fair elections.
Call Secretary Kerry’s office at 202-647-9572.
Go to the State Department website and write him at https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform.
Call your representatives and senators: 202-224-3121.