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Haiti and Latin America

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.

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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At an anti-FIFA protest on Mother’s Day, May 11, a mother fights police trying to arrest her son. She cries: “We cannot accept that the working poor youth continue to be terrorized and murdered throughout the whole country by the military police. Nor can we accept that every time we decide to lift our voices against injustice, we decided to protest and speak out, the state calls ‘security forces’ to repress us. They treat us like criminals, accuse us of ‘conspiracy,’ ‘vandalism’ etc. No! We are not criminals! We do not accept the criminalization of social struggles! We demand the right to free expression! We demand that all the arrested protesters be released, all charges against protesters be removed and all convictions be reversed so that no political activist is criminalized!”

Brazil: Who is the World Cup for?

June 17, 2014

The World Cup used to be a news item solely for the sports pages. Times have definitely changed! More than 30 billion Brazilian Reals ($13.5 billion) have been taken from the state budget to fund the Cup! In response, Juventude Marxista (Marxist Youth) are promoting the campaign “Public, Free and for Everyone! Transport, Health, and Education! Down with Repression!”

Hugo Chavez racist Venezuelan cartoon by Kiko Rodriguez

Racism sin vergüenza in the Venezuelan counter-revolution

April 30, 2014

Demonization, animalization and criminalization of people of African and Indigenous descent are themes both deeply embedded and flagrantly visible in the culture and institutions of Venezuelan society. White supremacy endures in Venezuela, often resembling the United States and other settler colonial countries founded on conquest and slavery. The Bolivarian Revolution has seriously improved the lives of Venezuela’s majority – who are people of color.

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Young Cubans tweet

A Caribbean obsession: The United States’ endless campaign to destabilize Cuba

April 29, 2014

The recent revelations about the USAID’s farfetched scheme to foster a popular anti-government protest movement by infiltrating Cuba’s mobile phone network perhaps bring full circle America’s 55-year campaign to destroy the Cuban Revolution. Fortunately for the people of Cuba, none of these bewildering, hairbrained and often violent schemes – which have included countless attacks on Cuban soil – have succeeded.

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Ile a Vache protest by Dady Chery

Haiti is not for sale

March 14, 2014

The Washington colonists are back in Haiti, re-enslaving. Bloodhounds have been set loose by the Washington puppet Haiti government on free Haitians at Île à Vache (Ile a Vache/Ilavach), who are fighting back. It’s 2014, not 1704, but a bloody manhunt with hound dogs and weapons of war is let loose on the unarmed Île à Vache Haitians. These Haitians are descendants of enslaved Africans and freed U.S. Blacks.

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Venezuela pro-gov peace march by elders Simon Bolivar T-shirt 022314 by Rodrigo Abd, AP

What is happening in Venezuela?

March 12, 2014

On Feb. 12, Venezuelan Youth Day and the commemoration of the independence battle of La Victoria, some university students and traditional conservative opposition groups took to the streets in Venezuela. It quickly became obvious that the principal purpose of the protests was to destabilize the government and seek the ouster of the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.

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Hands off Venezuela! Stop right-wing violence

February 19, 2014

The U.S. Congress is being called to respect the sovereignty of Venezuela and the legitimate democratic Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The present U.S. policy towards Latin America is detrimental to our economy and self-interest. Venezuela is a country with an upstanding democracy, highly regarded in the international community and paid attention to in the U.S. amongst large portions of society.

We stand with our sister: Stop the attacks on Myrlande Liberis-Pavert and the Lavalas Movement

January 31, 2014

On Friday, Jan. 17, it was reported by news agencies that a Haitian judge investigating the assassination of Jean Dominique, a crusading Haitian journalist who was killed in 2000, recommended the indictment of former Sen. Myrlande Liberis-Pavert, a founder and former director of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, along with eight others. No legal documents to sustain these charges have been made public.

Richmond’s people to people delegation: How beautiful is Cuba!

January 29, 2014

“Cuba is neither the hell that our enemies like to pretend it is nor the paradise that our friends wish it to be, but a country which struggles just like many others.” This is the assessment of our Cuban tour guide during the last day of our 10-day, 10-person people to people visit to Cuba in December 2013, led by the mayor of Richmond, California, Gayle McLaughlin.

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Cuba and Miami announce record low infant mortality rates – Cuba 30% lower than Florida

January 28, 2014

“Florida’s infant mortality rate is at an all-time low,” reports the Tampa Tribune. So is Cuba’s, according to Prensa Latina.
In Miami, the infant mortality rate dropped from 6.4 out of every 1,000 live births in 2011 to 6 in 2013. “State health officials credit improved prenatal and infant health care for the good news,” says the Tribune. By that measure, Cuba’s prenatal and infant health care must be much better than Miami’s, where 34 percent of the population is Cuban.

Haiti: UN peacekeepers still not screened for cholera despite causing outbreak

January 16, 2014

It has been four years since an earthquake devastated the small country of Haiti. More than three years have elapsed since a U.N. peacekeeping unit from Nepal introduced cholera to Haiti. Despite telling CNN otherwise, the U.N. is not taking steps to ensure its peacekeepers do not carry cholera from country to country.

10 steps to dictatorship: Why the grassroots movement in Haiti is taking to the streets against President Michel Martelly

November 17, 2013

At great personal risk, Haitians demonstrated massively in cities throughout the country on Sept. 30 and Oct. 17, calling for President Michel Martelly to step down. By choosing historically significant dates marking past coups, the Haitian grassroots majority is clearly saying they want an end to 10 years of military occupation. Martelly’s police force brutally broke up some demonstrations with tear gas and beatings.

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Cholera spreads beyond Haiti as Mexico suffers devastating floods

November 17, 2013

The strain of cholera brought to Haiti by Nepalese U.N. soldiers in 2010 has spread to the Dominican Republic, Cuba and now Mexico. In the past few months, Mexico has reported 176 confirmed cases of the disease, with one death. The Pan American Health Organization reported that the genetic profile of the strain in Mexico presents a greater than 95 percent match with the Haitian strain.

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