Haitian President Michel Martelly has managed to inspire popular opposition to his regime almost since his election in May 2011. Martelly, who came to office in a grossly unrepresentative process which excluded Lavalas, the country’s most popular party, has been closely linked with figures around former dictator Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
Update Sept. 30, 2012: For the past two weeks, massive demonstrations have rocked Haiti, protesting constitutional changes and the corruption of the Martelly government. The democratic and participatory spirit of the 1987 Constitution has been subverted by the illegitimate President Michel Martelly, who announced new amendments, which concentrate executive power and herald the return of death squad Duvalierism to Haiti.
On Saturday, March 3, 4-6 p.m., Haiti Action Committee invites you to an afternoon of solidarity with the Haitian people to mark the eighth anniversary of the Feb. 29, 2004, coup d’etat, dedicated to the memory of Jean Ristil Jean-Baptiste, at La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Jean Ristil lived his entire life in Cite Soleil. He was jailed, persecuted, beaten many times for his work as a photojournalist. He fought hard to give voice to the voiceless. He had stubborn determination. He hustled, he had game, he refused to be defeated. His work and courage remain to inspire us, to keep us going forward.
Haitian President Michel Martelly has revived discussion about a professional army, and some of the funds he is requesting to raise his “new” army are meant to cover back pay for the army of bandits disbanded by President Aristide. For those who never knew or forgot the crimes of the FAd’H, this masterful video by Kevin Pina should serve as an excellent introduction or reminder.
On April 4, the Haitian government announced that Michel Martelly won the recent fraudulent “elections” imposed on Haiti by the United States, France and Canada, the so-called “international community,” and sanctioned by the United Nations. Haiti now finds itself at a crossroads.
Haiti held its $30,000,000 fraudulent demonstration election on Nov. 28, but we still don’t know if or when a run-off will take place, or who will be the candidates. These “demonstration elections” are designed to isolate Fanmi Lavalas and PREVENT real grassroots democracy in Haiti.
One year after an earthquake devastated Haiti, much of the promised relief and reconstruction aid has not reached those most in need. Less than 2% of the $267 million spent so far has gone to Haitian firms, the rest to "masters of disaster," big U.S. firms that hire Haitians to do the back-breaking work for $5 a day.
One of the stories least reported has been the one about Haitians organizing for themselves. This is one woman’s story of how she, her family and the people in the various communities in which she works came together collectively to care for each other’s needs and how that struggle has become the foundation of a new movement of the poor for change in education and the material lives of women and men – a struggle for dignity.
Haiti, your awesome revolt in 1791 against the revolting barbarity of French enslavement of the Africans was preceded by many revolts of the enslaved African-Haitians beginning as early as 1522. You never accepted that Africans at home and in the Diaspora can be enslaved, can be deprived of their property, liberty and humanity with impunity.
They shoot us, then display us as looters. / Then they bring in the U.N. and the rest of the U.S. friends, / Blackwater forces who now go under the new name Xe, / Who, like a fatal disease, once they get in, they don’t / Never plan on leaving. ... / Haiti! The land of my brotherman … and sister woman, / The ones that kicked Napolean’s ass, / The land of sugar cane and Africans, / The land in which the enslaved revolt.