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Haiti and Latin America

In this and the next two photos, Haitians line up to legalize their status at the Interior Ministry in Santo Domingo, on June 17, 2015. Tens of thousands of people are facing deportations as a deadline for foreigners, most of them being Haitians, to legalize their status as undocumented aliens is due to expire at midnight. – Photos: Erika Santelices, AFP

The tragic, bloody origins of the Dominican Republic’s plan to erase much of its Black population

June 17, 2015

A quarter of a million migrant Haitian workers could be deported tomorrow. Over 2,000 military soldiers have been ordered to patrol the border tomorrow as of 6:00 a.m. A 45-day grace period has been discussed to allow for those ordered to leave to collect their bearings. But make no mistake, they are being ordered to leave. The womb of Hispaniola is in pain and, by tomorrow, could be a war zone. The hate against Haitians in the Dominican Republic has become increasingly alarming. Hate crimes have been very visible, with Haitians being lynched in broad daylight.

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Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro holds a copy of the Venezuelan Constitution as he speaks to his people. – Photo: Reuters

Venezuela a threat to US national security?

March 14, 2015

On March 9, 2015, U.S. President Obama issued an executive order declaring a “national emergency” affirming that “the situation in Venezuela” poses an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” This is the latest measure of U.S. imperialist meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and as such is strongly condemned by the Hands off Venezuela campaign.

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Haiti has been on the march for months. These politically astute protesters make their purpose clear. The face of the person holding the sign has been blurred to protect his identity.

With general strikes and marches, Haitians demand government by the people

March 1, 2015

The people of Haiti held a two-day general strike on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 9 and 10, as part of ongoing popular mobilizations throughout the country. They also successfully struck the week before on Feb. 2. The Martelly government responded with brutal repression in various communities such as in Montrouis, where massive use of tear gas killed two children and police gunfire wounded a number of community residents.

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Lynchings Florida 1934, Dominican Republic 2015

Haitian man lynched in Dominican Republic park

February 19, 2015

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2015, in the Dominican Republic, supposedly a paradise of European development, a Haitian man named Henry Claude Jean, known as “Tulile,” a humble shoe shine worker, was found hanging in a park in Santiago, his hands and feet bound. In Haiti, the U.S.-installed Martelly dictatorship and its controlled opposition remain silent about this atrocious lynching.

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In the freezing New York cold on Jan. 12, 2015, Haitians protest in front of Bill Clinton’s Harlem office, saying “No to dictatorship, down with the U.N., down with the U.S. puppet Martelly government!” – Photo: Dahoud Andre

Five years later: Haitians step up their fight for independence and democracy

January 15, 2015

Five years ago, after the catastrophic Haiti earthquake, the international community – a self-defined “Core Group” under the leadership of former President Bill Clinton – took over Haiti recovery and reconstruction and announced they would “build Haiti back better.” But this was a euphemism for land grabbing, privatization, occupation and imperial plunder. Black lives don’t matter in the United States, much less in Haiti.

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Port workers in Buenaventura, Colombia, join the worldwide Black Lives Matter protest because 80 percent of their population, which is 90 percent Black, lives in poverty.

Colombian port workers in solidarity against police violence

December 30, 2014

Today we are proud to stand with our brothers and sisters across the United States and around the world in response to the recent police killings of Eric Garner, Mike Brown and countless other victims of state violence to say that “Black lives matter.” While it should be implicit that all lives matter, communities in recent days have risen up to reinforce the fact that Black and Brown human beings have an equal place on this earth, because often times it feels that we do not.

Students and teachers celebrate after listening to a live, nationally broadcast speech by Cuba’s President Raúl Castro about the country’s restoration of relations with the United States. – Photo: Ramon Espinosa, AP

Cuban President Raúl Castro: We must learn the art of coexisting with our differences

December 17, 2014

As a result of a dialogue, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway on some topics of mutual interest. The last three of the Cuban 5 have arrived today to our homeland, we have sent Alan Gross back to his country and we have agreed to renew diplomatic relations. But this in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The blockade must cease.

A candle-lit message “speaks.”

A silence that speaks: Ayotzinapa, the Zapatistas and the politics of listening

November 21, 2014

The disappearance of 43 students from a rural school in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, dedicated to training teachers that are mostly from indigenous communities has sparked outrage and solidarity throughout Mexico and the world. These horrible acts of violence must be understood within the context of an increasingly vile and murderous narco state.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reviews U.N. troops in Haiti. – Photo: Blog do Planalto

Et tu, Brute? Haiti’s betrayal by Latin America

November 18, 2014

Without Haiti’s help, there would not have been any independent country in Latin America. On January 1, 1816, when Simon Bolivar arrived in Haiti, downtrodden and desperate for help to fight the Spanish, the only two republics in the Western Hemisphere were the United States, where slave ownership was in force, and Haiti, which had fought for and earned its independence in what is still the only successful slave rebellion ever in the world.

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Haitian-Americans win long awaited visa program to reunite families

October 21, 2014

Advocates of the Reunite Haitian-American Families Campaign have achieved a significant victory in the Oct. 17 Department of Homeland Security announcement of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP). Prior to this federal announcement, longstanding support for FRPP grew from key national efforts like the Reunite Haitian American Families Campaign that is sponsored by the national coalition Black Immigration Network.

Two million men gathered on the National Mall on Oct. 16, 1995, at the call of Minister Farrakhan.

Gerald Perreira, chair of Black Consciousness Movement Guyana, refused entry to Jamaica for Million Man March Commemoration

October 19, 2014

Gerald Perreira was yesterday told he must get off an aircraft in Antigua before the plane could take off. Perreira was on his way to Jamaica, where he had been invited by the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan to participate in the 19th anniversary of the Million Man March, on Oct. 19, at the National Arena in Kingston. He was told by the authorities in Antigua that he was removed from the flight because he had been refused permission to land in Jamaica.

In April 1971, at the age of 19, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier became president for life of Haiti upon the death of his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier. Though initially he was the youngest head of state in the world, Baby Doc presided over the murder and torture of thousands of Haitians and hundreds of thousands more fled the country during his 15-year reign of terror.

Duvalier: Dead but not gone

October 14, 2014

Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, responsible for the death of thousands and the theft of millions, who moved openly in the society of Haitian elites protected by the government, died on Oct. 4 a free man. He reportedly suffered a heart attack at the home of an associate in a wealthy enclave above Port-au-Prince. Baby Doc may be dead, but Duvalierism is embedded in this upside down Haiti of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their presidential puppet, Michel Martelly.

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15 US lawmakers ask Haiti Senate to make way for mock elections

September 29, 2014

If Haiti had friends in the U.S. Congress, they would ask the Obama administration to support human rights for the U.N. cholera victims and to put an end to the fictitious elections, ever since the United States started its direct occupation of Haiti by disenfranchising 10 million Haiti voters on Feb. 29, 2004.

Zapata and the Zapatistas: Today’s continuing struggle

September 27, 2014

Zapata’s legacy of integrity, dignity, self-determination and emancipation rang loud and clear to many, not as simply a worthy cost of freedom but a call to duty, to fight and challenge for a deserved justice. Zapata and the EZLN generalized their plight. Exposure itself can be a force when successfully framed: “Circumstances create man as much as man creates his circumstances.” As the vanguard, we must create ours.

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During my last trip to Haiti this June with a delegation of students and human rights observers, we were exposed to the raw violence of the ongoing forced dispersal of the poor. On May 31, the Martelly regime intensified a process – in the name of “eminent domain” – of violently evicting the poor from their homes in downtown Port-au-Prince and then physically destroying their homes and businesses.

Haiti: Where will the poor go?

September 26, 2014

During my last trip to Haiti this June with a delegation of students and human rights observers, we were exposed to the raw violence of the ongoing forced dispersal of the poor. On May 31, the Martelly regime intensified a process – in the name of “eminent domain” – of violently evicting the poor from their homes in downtown Port-au-Prince and then physically destroying their homes and businesses.

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A Haitian man shows his loyalty to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. – Photo: Hector Retamal, AFP

Stop the political persecution of Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas once and for all

September 25, 2014

In March of 2011, I accompanied Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on his trip home to Haiti following years of forced exile in South Africa. I did so in support of Haitian democracy and Aristide’s civil rights, and in protest against my country’s role in illegally removing him from power in 2004 and then preventing him from returning to his native land for seven long years. Today, Haitian democracy and the rights of Aristide are again under threat.

As former Haitian President Aristide is placed on house arrest, supporters worldwide demand immediate halt to attacks on him and Lavalas Movement

September 13, 2014

On Aug. 21, Haitian police wearing black masks and carrying heavy arms appeared in front of the home of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as a Haitian judge issued calls to arrest him. Hundreds of people courageously surrounded the house to protect him. One week before, President Aristide was summoned to court on false corruption charges. On Sept. 10, he was placed on house arrest and barred from leaving the country.

When former President Aristide was summoned to court on May 8, 2013, thousands of Haitians surrounded his car to protect him.

Stop the attacks on former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the Lavalas Movement

August 17, 2014

An urgent call from Haiti Action Committee – On Aug. 13, the Haitian government summoned former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to court on corruption charges. This summons is part of a chilling pattern of repression aimed at destroying Aristide’s political party, Fanmi Lavalas, as the country approaches new legislative elections. We denounce it in the strongest possible terms.

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The unholy alliance between Belize and Israel: A commentary for freedom

July 31, 2014

The unholy alliance between the Belizean governments both past and present with the occupiers of Palestinian land, the so-called state of Israel, is one of the biggest failures in Belize’s foreign policy. It will surely go down as the disgraceful use of elitist power which defies our socio-historical experience, morality and diplomacy strategies. The modern state of Israel is a recent imposition.

The Christian nonviolence organization Pax Christie writes: “There is a refugee crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border and a war in Central America and Mexico against children … (They) are making a perilous journey north, … fleeing from the countries with the highest murder rates in the world. … Undocumented children have become the new scapegoats. … Do not deport these children. Protect them. Help them reunite with their families. Welcome the stranger. Welcome the children.”

Child refugees: When children are ‘the enemy’

July 27, 2014

I’ve been watching for days now as media reports display the growing hatred at the arrival of Central American children across the Mexican-U.S. border. American voices crackle with bile as they begin the drumbeat for their immediate deportation. They are refugees from want and war, almost all the result of U.S. interventions in Central America in support of murderous military governments and the mindless drug war.

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