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The Haitian people are determined to thwart what they see as an ongoing “electoral coup d’etat” by Haiti’s ruling elite, President Martelly and their U.S., French and Canadian backers – marching in the streets almost daily in their tens of thousands, risking their lives to insist that the fraudulent election be thrown out. On Dec. 16, the 25th anniversary of Haiti’s first free election in 1990, large-scale demonstrations will take place again throughout Haiti. We are echoing and amplifying their demands with a day of action and solidarity with the people of Haiti.
Following Haiti’s controversial presidential and legislative elections held on Sunday, Oct. 25, alarm is growing about irregularities in the counting of the votes at voting centers and in the transportation of votes to the tabulation center. There is widespread mistrust of the process. Most international observers of the election and subsequent press reports have focused on the day of the election but not on the counting and tabulation of the votes.
On Oct. 25, Haitians are slated to go to the polls to elect a new president and Parliament, after a disastrous first round vote for Parliament on Aug. 9, marred by Martelly government-sponsored voter suppression, violence and corruption. Amid protests and calls from thousands of demonstrators to annul the August elections, it took almost two months to announce the “winners” who will contest this Oct. 25 “run-off.”
“Haiti may have many problems but until 2010 cholera was not one of them. In fact, the country had no known history of the disease at all,” the Al Jazeera host explains. In October 2010, the first of now 8,000 Haitians died of cholera introduced to Haiti by U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal and the U.N.’s negligence in allowing their untreated waste to poison a major river.
As one of his first measures in office, Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim plans to conclude Brazil’s participation in the notorious United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Various sectors of the Brazilian government, including Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, agree with Mr. Amorim, who says that the important thing now is to formulate an exit strategy. This story has now been translated into French and Spanish; the translations follow the English version.
Leading members of Haiti’s bourgeoisie tried to turn the Haitian police force into their own private army, according to a secret U.S. Embassy cable provided to Haïti Liberté by the media organization WikiLeaks.
Confidential U.S. diplomatic cables from 2005 and 2006 released this week by WikiLeaks reveal Washington’s well-known obsession to keep exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide out of Haiti and Haitian affairs. “All efforts must be made to keep Aristide from returning to Haiti or influencing the political process,” the U.S. embassy told Brazil, which heads the U.N. occupation of Haiti. Did those efforts include covering up the assassination of the Brazilian general in charge who had no taste for slaughtering Haitians who simply want their president back?
Cholera, a "disease of poverty" caused by lack of access to clean water, has spread to Haiti's capital city of Port au Prince. At a small, desolate camp of ripped tents nearby, a gleaming water tank is propped up on bricks. But it’s empty.
There is a growing discontent amongst the people in Haiti with the political establishment under the direction of President Rene Preval. Many people believe that Preval has mortgaged the nation to powerful multinational corporate interests and subjected the people to military occupation by the U.S. and the U.N. under the guise of providing “security.”
Rea Dol and Dodo were at the airport with a sign with my name when I arrived. We then headed to the building site, where a wall is going up around the perimeter. Rea is the principal of SOPUDEP School in Port au Prince, founded as part of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s National Literacy Project. She’s building a new school to replace the one that was damaged in the earthquake.
On May 18, 1803, 207 years ago, the Congress of Arcahaie adopted the Haitian flag. Gen. Jean-Jacques Dessalines created it by ripping the white from the center of the French flag and uniting the red and the blue. Celebrate Haiti's Flag Day with exciting Haitian dancers and drummers and Wanda's account of her journey there.
Within days of a Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated much of southern Haiti, the New York Times was using the disaster to promote a United Nations plan for drastically expanding the country’s garment assembly industry, which employs low paid workers to stitch apparel for duty-free export, mainly to the U.S. market.
“I am pleased that my bill to cancel Haiti’s debt held by multilateral development institutions is set to become law. Debt relief is essential for Haiti’s future. However, we must also keep in mind the immediate needs of survivors who, without adequate shelter, will be further subjected to the elements and to disease during the upcoming rainy season,” said Congresswoman Waters.
Videographer Siraj Fowler "tells the truth about the real conditions a proud and G’d-fearing people are living in," their "city turned demolition zone/cemetery." Don't miss the media-medical team's report-backs and their film ‘Haiti: Rising from the Ashes’ on Wednesday, March 17, 7 p.m., at the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center in the Cesar Chavez Student Union (upstairs on the T-Level), San Francisco State University; and Thursday, March 25, 7 p.m., at the Kaos Network, 4343 Leimert Blvd, Los Angeles.
Dr. Chris Zamani, who led the medical contingent of the medical-media team that Minister of Information JR took to Haiti, writes of the oppression in Haiti as "the imperialists ... warning of what will happen to those that dare to grasp their own destiny and establish freedom for their descendants by any means necessary." Watch the unforgettable film of their trip and meet them in person: "Back from Haiti" Thursday, March 11, 7 p.m., Black Dot Cafe, 1195 Pine St., West Oakland, and Thursday, March 18, 7 p.m., SF State, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco.
I think it is going to get worse for us in the camps. We need tents and food. We need water and school and jobs. We need help to find a place to stay. The rain is coming soon. Water is going to come and our babies will lose their lives.
In Venezuela, solidarity with Haiti is based on humanistic and historical reasons. Haiti played an important role in Venezuela’s battle for independence, and as the world’s first Black republic it served as an inspiration to Venezuelan patriots. Since the earthquake, Venezuela has rushed tons of food, tents and fuel to Haiti and forgiven all debts.
The mood was militant, even joyous, as thousands poured out of the Port-au-Prince Cathedral following the funeral of Father Gérard Jean-Juste on June 18. They merged with rara bands which had been circulating in the streets outside the church during the four hours since the service began at 6 a.m. Then about 10 gunshots rang out. People ran and dove for cover. It all lasted about 30 seconds.
Haiti's largest privately owned TV station, Radio Tele-Ginen, released video footage today that contradicts denials by the U.N. that they only fired shots into the air during the funeral for Catholic priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste on June 18. The footage clearly shows two shots being fired by Brazilian troops from the back of a small pickup truck at crowd level.
Haiti's largest political movement and party, Fanmi Lavalas, organized a second successful boycott of Senate elections yesterday, posing a serious challenge to their credibility. President Rene Preval's handpicked Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) excluded the Fanmi Lavalas party from participation in the elections on a technicality.
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