Tag: President Rene Préval
“What is wrong with Haiti?” is provocatively offered as a question, along with apologies to the great essayist, G.K. Chesterton. The answer to what is wrong with Haiti is that the hand wringers, meaning those of goodwill who profess undying love for the tiny island nation never seem to ask what is right. Nor do they attempt to discern the source of wrongdoing. For over two centuries, Haiti has balanced on a fulcrum. Heaven and hell hang in the balance and only God knows the outcome.
The U.S. brought democracy to Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavia no longer exists. The U.S. has spent $5 billion bringing democracy to Ukraine, and today Ukraine is in turmoil. In the end, neither the people of Yugoslavia, nor the people of Ukraine have benefited from U.S. democracy. And so it goes with the people of Haiti. But the list of non-Haitians who benefit from U.S. “democracy” is long, indeed. And the Clinton Foundation family and donors top this list.
Haiti’s brutal army was disbanded in 1995, yet armed and uniformed paramilitaries, with no government affiliation, occupy former army bases today. Join Haiti Action Committee for a discussion on the roots of paramilitarism in Haiti at La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, featuring Jeb Sprague, author of ‘Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti.’
There are periods in a country’s history when the signs and warnings that that history will soon enter into a dramatically different phase are clear as day. Such is the period today in Haiti, where daily events portend an inauspicious development for the future: The Haitian Army may soon be returning.
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.
This “run-off” presidential election, scheduled for March 20, helps to explain the re-emergence of Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, since both candidates, Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly, have links to the Duvalier past. Manigat's husband is said to have advised Duvalier to create the dreaded tonton macoutes. And Martelly, who was himself a tonton macoute in his youth, has pledged to make Duvalier one of his advisers. Join the Haiti Action Committee for “Seven Years after the Coup in Haiti: Democracy at the Crossroads” at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, on Tuesday, March 1, 7 p.m.
The plot to control Haiti has gone from the absurd to the ridiculous. The return of Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier raises serious questions about who in Haiti facilitated his return and what his supporters expect to gain by bringing him back.
Nicolas Rossier conducted an exclusive interview with former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in forced exile in Johannesburg. Aristide concludes: "We are poor – worse than poor because we are living in abject poverty and misery. But based on that collective dignity rooted in our forefathers, I do believe we have to continue fighting in a peaceful way for our self-determination, and if we do that, history will pay tribute to our generation." Rally for democracy in Haiti and Aristide's return Wednesday, Nov. 17, 5 p.m., Montgomery & Market, San Francisco.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a leading proponent for democracy, human rights and economic empowerment in Haiti, and 44 other members of Congress are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to support free, fair and inclusive elections in Haiti this November. Waters and her colleagues are concerned that the exclusion of over a dozen political parties – including the country’s largest party, Fanmi Lavalas – from the November ballot is undemocratic and unconstitutional. They also raise concerns about Haitian voters having access to voting cards and polling stations, particularly those voters displaced by the devastating earthquake earlier this year.
There was high unemployment for Haitians, those educated with skills and the unskilled as well, prior to the earthquake. For a government official to tell a BAI representative that withholding food was a way to motivate lazy people looking for a handout to get to work is a gross misread of the problem.
Two things we know for sure: Hollywood and hip hop get media attention. And for Haiti, that translates into big media hype for actor Sean Penn and rapper-turned-presidential candidate, Wyclef Jean. How may we use this media glare to help the 2 million Haitians made homeless by the earthquake?
Half a year following the earthquake, conditions in Haiti are worse than ever. Still, there is “a lot to be hopeful for,” according to Robert Roth of the activist network Haiti Action Committee who recently visited the Caribbean island. An interview.
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.
In the weeks since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, familiar patterns of interference and neglect by the major powers that dominate the country are firmly entrenched. Notwithstanding heroic efforts of ordinary Haitian people, Haitian government officials and agencies and many international organizations, a grave health risk hovers over the people and the direction of Haiti’s reconstruction remains entirely undetermined.
The young man who appears to have been gunned down by U.N. occupation troops after a funeral last month received an all but secret funeral himself on July 14 in Port-au-Prince because the priest and family were fearful of U.N. and Haitian government reprisals.
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 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.
The U.N. and the Obama administration continue to endorse and finance a second round of controversial Senate elections in Haiti. The first round was marked by a voter turnout of only 3-4 percent following a successful boycott campaign waged by Fanmi Lavalas.
"No one cares about the children, living or dead," one furious father of children in the collapsed school outside of Port au Prince, Haiti, swore Sunday. "Government officials and people from all the NGOs, they all come, take pictures, make speeches and they leave us with nothing. We need action!"
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