Category Archives: Haiti

Why Is Nobody Talking About The Clinton Fuelled Crisis in Haiti? Interview with Nikolas Barry-Shaw

Nadia Kanji speaks to Nikolas Barry-Shaw of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti who says Hillary Clinton is to blame for Martelly’s disastrous presidency. (The Real News)


Haiti Bracing for Trouble as Election Panel Delivers Report

AP reports:

Haitians are bracing for trouble as an electoral verification commission delivers the results of a monthlong review of last year’s contested presidential and legislative elections.

The five-member panel, led by a businessman who is a former ambassador to the U.S., was due to give its recommendations to Haiti’s revamped Provisional Electoral Council on Sunday. The commission then is scheduled to hand its report to the interim president at a Monday afternoon ceremony on the grounds of the National Palace.

Government officials would not comment on when the report would be made public.

Commission president Pierre Francois Benoit has said a random sample of 25 percent of the roughly 13,000 tally sheets from polling stations would be audited. In recent days, a team of police officers could be seen at a tabulation center examining thumbprints on ballot sheets.

It’s far from clear whether the verification panel’s findings will provide clarity to last year’s elections or if its recommendations will be accepted by Haiti’s political class.


Leaked Report Reveals Unsanitary Conditions At UN Bases During Haitian Cholera Epidemic: Interview with Brian Concannon

Jessica Desvarieux talks to Brian Concannon, Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, who says the United States is actively discouraging countries from holding the UN accountable for bringing cholera to Haiti. (The Real News)

Making Money from Misery: Antony Loewenstein on his new book ‘Disaster Capitalism’

Amy Goodman talks to Antony Loewenstein about his new book, ‘Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe.’ Lowenstein travelled across the globe examining how companies like G4S, Serco and Halliburton are deploying for-profit private contractors to war zones and building for-profit private detention facilities to warehouse refugees, prisoners and asylum seekers. Loewenstein has also teamed up with filmmaker Thor Neureiter to create a forthcoming documentary that chronicles how international aid and investment has impacted communities in Haiti, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and beyond. (Democracy Now!)

Will the UN Tackle Impunity for Peacekeepers Who Sexually Abuse Women and Children? Interview with Paula Donovan

Interview from 2nd July with Paula Donovan, co-director of AIDS-Free World. She is part of the Code Blue campaign, which seeks to end the sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations military and non-military peacekeeping personnel. (Democracy Now)

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

Justin Elliott of ProPublica, and Laura Sullivan of NPR report:

[…] The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.

The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.

The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.

After the earthquake, Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern unveiled ambitious plans to “develop brand-new communities.” None has ever been built.

Aid organizations from around the world have struggled after the earthquake in Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. But ProPublica and NPR’s investigation shows that many of the Red Cross’s failings in Haiti are of its own making. They are also part of a larger pattern in which the organization has botched delivery of aid after disasters such as Superstorm Sandy. Despite its difficulties, the Red Cross remains the charity of choice for ordinary Americans and corporations alike after natural disasters.’


Haitian capital hit by protests over election delays

BBC News reports:

Image of Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe stands against burning tyres in Port-au-Prince. 5 Dec 2014‘Thousands of anti-government protesters have clashed with police in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.

They burned tyres and threw stones at officers who responded with tear gas.

The protesters want President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe to resign and long-overdue elections to be held.

Some protesters accused the US of supporting Haiti’s leadership and called on Russian President Vladimir Putin for help.

Hundreds succeeded in reaching the National Palace, an area which has been restricted for several years.’


How the U.S. Protected Haiti’s Former Dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier

Fran Quigley writes for CounterPunch:

franquigcov‘[…] In researching a book on the struggle for human rights in Haiti, I spoke with Human Rights Watch’s Reed Brody about the Duvalier situation. “Can you imagine any other country where a former dictator accused of political murders and leaving people to rot and die in prison is allowed to just walk back into his country and remain free?” Brody asked. But he also said that the Haitian government did not bear sole responsibility for seeing that justice is done. “Part of this is the fault of the international community. Where is the outrage we would have if the brutal leaders of Iraq or Serbia were walking around free? We would not allow this anywhere else.”

But it was allowed to happen in Haiti, largely because of the studied indifference of the U.S. government. Shortly after Duvalier’s surprising 2011 return to Haiti from exile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff made it clear that any prosecution was a matter solely for the Haitian government to handle.

The U.S. taking a hands-off approach to another country’s human rights issues would be more defensible if our hands were not so bloodied by the tragedy in question. For decades, the U.S. provided money, weapons, and troops to sustain the Duvalier regime in Haiti, even after human rights abuses were well known. Jean-Claude Duvalier’s father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, even used USAID trucks to carry supporters to his political rallies. More recently, Secretary Clinton successfully pushed the candidacy of current Haitian president Michel Martelly, who opposed the prosecution of Jean-Claude Duvalier and welcomed Duvalier’s son into his administration’


UN’s Mission in Haiti Consists of Terrorism and Military Occupation

Nydia Dauphin writes for The Huffington Post:

‘What is the seizure and control of an area by armed troops? Military occupation. What is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of politico-economic aims? Terrorism. What is the freedom from negative consequences of an injurious action? Impunity.

Military occupation. Terrorism. Impunity.

To far too many of us, these 4 words have become synonymous with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, the MINUSTAH which, for the past 10 years, has maintained a reign of terror in Haiti.’


Death of U.S.-Backed Ex-Dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier Won’t End Haitian Victims’ Quest for Justice

‘The former U.S.-backed dictator of Haiti, Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as “Baby Doc,” has died at 63. Duvalier ruled Haiti from 1971 to 1986, taking power after the death of his father who had ruled since 1957. Baby Doc’s death came just months after a Haitian court ruled that he could be charged with crimes against humanity under international law, and that he could also be held responsible for abuses by the army and paramilitary forces under his rule. Under his regime, hundreds of political prisoners held in a network of prisons died from their extraordinarily cruel treatment. Baby Doc’s government repeatedly closed independent newspapers and radio stations. Journalists were beaten, in some cases tortured, jailed and forced to leave the country. Despite his human rights record, Baby Doc was a close ally of the United States. After years of exile in France, he returned to Haiti in 2011 and became an ally of Haiti’s current president Michel Martelly. We are joined by Haitian activist and writer Jean Saint-Vil and journalist Amy Wilentz, author of “The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier.”‘ (Full Segment @ Democracy Now!)

Haiti: A Movement of Solidarity to End the UN’s Illegal Occupation

Dr. Ajamu Nangwaya writes for Global Research:

‘We are no longer living in the 19th century with the spectre of Haiti’s successful struggle for its freedom haunting the consciousness of slave masters across the Americas. Yet the military occupation of this country since 2004 by way of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is sending a clear message that the Haitians’ tentative step toward exercising control over the destiny in the 1990s and the early years of the new century is still “a source of alarm and terror” to imperial overlords such a Canada, France, and the United States.

The MINUSTAH occupation army has a combined force of 7, 408 soldiers and police personnel as of July 31, 2014. This armed entity has served as the muscle behind the schemes of the local elite and foreign interests in preventing the disenfranchised urban and rural labouring classes from seeking to capture the levers of national political, economic, and social power.

A number of observers have documented the oppressive actions of MINUSTAH in its ten-year occupation of Haiti: involvement in the sexual exploitation and abuse of girls and women; repression of Jean-Bertrand Aristides’ supporters; the general abuses of living under occupationintroduction of cholera that has killed over 8,500 Haitians and infected more than 700,000 people;  the suspicious death of a teenager; and the compelling reasons for an end to the occupation.’


Danny Glover on Haiti: Stop the Political Persecution of Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas Once and for All

Actor Danny Glover writes for The Huffington Post:

‘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 and the U.S. government appears to be turning a blind eye.

Since returning to Haiti, Aristide has focused his energy on rebuilding and reactivating a medical university that he founded in 2001 and that had been closed down during his time in exile. Though he hasn’t been directly involved in politics, he remains a popular figure and is the leader of Fanmi Lavalas (FL) — a political party that has won the majority of votes in every election in which it has participated. However, FL has been kept off the ballot by Haiti’s authorities ever since the 2004 coup that led to Aristide’s forced exile.

Haiti’s parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for 2011, are now three years overdue and the UN and other foreign entities have repeatedly called for them to take place before the end of the year. With Aristide back in Haiti it would appear to be more difficult this time around for the government to prevent FL from participating. This is perhaps why the deposed president is once again under attack.

Last month, a Haitian judge reportedly issued an arrest warrant for Aristide. The case being mounted against him reeks of political persecution directly tied to efforts to suppress a popular alternative to the current administration of Michel Martelly, who is supported by conservative Haitian elites and the U.S.’


Former Haitian Dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier Dies at 63

Amelie Baron reports for Reuters:

‘Deposed Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier died of a heart attack on Saturday, closing the book on a political dynasty notorious for human rights abuses and corruption in the poorest country in the Americas.

Duvalier’s death was confirmed by his lawyer, Reynold Georges. He was 63.

Duvalier inherited power from his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, aged just 19 in 1971, but fled into exile in 1986 during a popular uprising which ended 28 years of rule by the father-and-son dynasty.’


7 Modern Dictators Way Crazier Than You Thought Possible

Ethan Lou wrote for Cracked in 2010:

History is loaded with power-hungry dickweeds who rule over their countries’ fearful populations like the Predator in a laser tag match. Oftentimes these people are infamous not just for their cruelty, but also for their bafflingly insane and self-indulgent antics.


Protesters burn tires, hurl rocks in Haiti’s capital as US officials meet with president

From AP:

A loud and smoky protest has accompanied U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s meeting with the president of Haiti in the capital of the impoverished nation.

Protesters burned tires and hurled stones at police outside the presidential offices Monday. The approximately 100 protesters were largely university students angry about classroom conditions. One told The Associated Press his school has no library, classrooms have no lights and teachers rarely show up.

A large number of Haitian police officers kept the protesters at bay while Duncan and a U.S. delegation met in private with President Michel Martelly and other Haitian officials.

Duncan was expected to announce a U.S. education aid package for Haiti during his two-day visit.

Mass Protests in Haiti: ‘Time for Haitians to Stop Taking Orders From Colonists’


From Haïti Liberté:

On Sep. 30, the 22nd anniversary of the 1991 coup d’état against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of Port-au-Prince and Cap Haïtien to demand two things: “Martelly must go! MINUSTAH must go!”

Knowing this agenda, the day before over 100 delegates representing about two dozen different popular organizations from all of Haiti’s ten departments gathered at the Fany Villa Reception Center in Port-au-Prince to reflect on and debate a proposal on how to form a provisional government which could lead the country to free, fair, and sovereign elections after Martelly’s departure from power, which all of the delegates felt would be coming in the days ahead, one way or another.

The proposal was made by the Kòwòdinasyon Desalin or Dessalines Coordination (KOD), a new formation headed by several prominent veterans of Haiti’s democratic struggle over the past 25 years.

“We are sure that the U.S. Embassy has made its plans for what to do after the Haitian people have chased Martelly and [Prime Minister Laurent] Lamothe from power,” said one KOD leader, Yves Pierre-Louis, who is also Haïti Liberté’s Port-au Prince Bureau Chief. “The Haitian people also have to work out their plans so that Washington, Paris, and Ottawa don’t simply impose another puppet on Haiti, as they have done so often over the past two decades.”



U.N. sued for ‘bringing cholera to Haiti,’ causing outbreak that killed thousands

People bathe in a river in Port-au-Prince in January 2012. Cholera, though not indigenous to Haiti, remains rampant there.From CNN:

Human rights lawyers filed a class action law suit in a U.S federal court accusing the United Nations of gross negligence and misconduct on behalf of victims of a cholera outbreak in Haiti in 2010.

“The claims are that the U.N. engaged in reckless and gross negligence and misconduct bringing cholera to Haiti,” said Ira Kurzban, a lawyer and board member with the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Development in Haiti. The group is demanding financial compensation for the 8,300 Haitians who died as a result of the cholera epidemic as well as some 650,000 more survivors of the illness.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq expressed to CNN “it is not the United Nations’ practice to discuss in public claims filed against the Organization.”

Earlier this year, however, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared the United Nations could not receive claims for compensation from Haitian cholera victims, arguing that the organization had legal immunity according to an international convention.


Haiti ‘Reconstruction’: Luxury Hotels, Sweat Shops and Deregulation for the Foreign Corporate Elite

From Global Research:

The international community is so screwed up they’re letting Haitians run Haiti.” –Luigi R. Einaudi, US career diplomat, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Assistant Secretary General at the Organization of American States

Haitian author and human rights attorney Ezili Dantò heard Luigi R. Einaudi make this shocking comment in 2004, as Haiti was about to celebrate its 200 years of independence with its first democratically elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Apart from his efforts to raise the minimum wage and other social measures for the majority of Haitians living in extreme poverty, Aristide planned to nationalize his country’s resources, a move which meant more money for Haitians and less for multinationals. One month later, in the name of the “international community”, Aristide was overthrown in a coup d’état orchestrated by the U.S., France and Canada.

Today, the “international community” is running Haiti again, colonial style.