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Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate of Haiti’s Fanmi Lavalas Party, is coming to the Bay Area. She will speak in Oakland at the First Presbyterian Church, 2619 Broadway, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, at an event that also features the music of Vukani Mawethu, Phavia Kugichagulia and Val Serrant. Fanmi Lavalas was founded by former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was twice elected with huge majorities and twice overthrown by U.S. supported coups. The visit by Dr. Narcisse provides a rare opportunity to hear directly from one of its leaders about the situation on the ground 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
This Wednesday, May 8, tens of thousands of Haitians gathered at the Palace of Justice in Port-au-Prince to support former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was summoned to court to be questioned about a 13-year-old murder investigation. The people of Haiti stand for justice, but they are against the misuse of the justice system for political persecution.
Port au Prince, Haiti (Haiti Action.net) – Brazilian soldiers with the U.N. occupation in Haiti (known as MINUSTAH) killed a young man from the neighborhood of Solino immediately after the funeral of Father Gerard Jean Juste June 18 as he was getting ready to board a bus leaving with the cortège headed to the town of Cavaillon, Haiti.