Monday, November 6, 2017

State Department could be paving way to deport 50,000 Haitians by Thanksgiving

Miami Herald - Staff Reports

A letter from the U.S. State Department could pave the way for deporting 50,000 Haitian residents enjoying a reprieve from certain immigration rules that were waived after the 2010 earthquake, the Washington Post reported Friday.

The ruling that conditions have improved enough in Haiti and in Central America to resume normal immigration rules in those regions comes days before the Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce whether to renew the special status. Political leaders in Miami-Dade, home to the largest concentration of Haitians protected by the special status, have urged President Donald Trump to continue the waiver. But the State Department decision could be a prelude to that status being lifted.

Statement of the Network for the Critical Study of Global Capitalism on the U.S. Blockage of Cuba

The Network for the Critical Study of Global Capitalism (NCSGC) held its Fourth Biannual Conference in Havana, Cuba on November 1-3 of 2017. The NCSGC wishes to thank our Cuban hosts and our co-sponsors from the Asociación de Historiadores Latinoamericanos y del Caribe (Association of Historians from Latin America and the Caribbean).

In these times of renewed U.S. aggression towards the Cuban people and their government, the NCSGC wishes to express its friendship and solidarity with the people and the government of Cuba. We demand that the U.S. government immediately lift its illegal economic, financial, and commercial blockage of Cuba. We add our voices to those of the 191 nations that on November 1 voted in the United Nations to condemn the blockage as a violation of international law.

Havana, Cuba
3 November 2017

Declaración de la Network for the Critical Study of Global Capitalism (Red para el Estudio Crítico del Capitalismo Global) Sobre el Bloqueo Norteamericano contra Cuba

La Network for the Critical Study of Global Capitalismo (NCSGC, Red para el Estudio Crítico del Capitalismo Global) realizó su 4ra Conferencia Bianual en La Habana, Cuba, entre el 1 y el 3 de noviembre de 2017. La NCSGC desea agradecer a nuestros anfitriones Cubanos y nuestros co-patronizadores de la Asociación de Historiadores Latinoamericanos y del Caribe.

En estos momentos de renovada agresión norteamericana contra el pueblo y el gobierno de Cuba, la NCSGC desea expresar nuestra amistad y solidaridad con el pueblo y el gobierno de Cuba. Exigimos que el gobierno norteamericano levante de inmediato, el ilegal bloqueo económico, financiero y comercial contra Cuba. Sumamos nuestras voces a las de las 191 naciones que el pasado 1 de noviembre en la Organización de las Naciones Unidas condenaron dicho bloqueo como una violación de la ley internacional.

La Habana, Cuba
3 de noviembre de

Sunday, November 5, 2017

How the U.S. Crippled Haiti's Domestic Rice Production

By: Leslie Mullin - Haiti Solidarity 

We are all living under a system so corrupt that to ask for a plate of rice and beans every day for every man, woman and child is to preach revolution – Jean Bertrand Aristide, Dignity 1990.

    The basic right to eat is at the very heart of Haiti’s struggle for democracy.  Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the radical voice of Haiti’s poor, aptly characterized slavery when he wrote, “The role of slaves was to harvest coconuts, and the role of colonists was to eat the coconuts.” [i] To Aristide, those who have food and those who don’t marks the vast chasm separating Haiti’s wealthy elite from millions of impoverished citizens:

The rich of my country, a tiny percentage of our population, sit at a vast table covered in white damask and overflowing with good food, while the rest of my countrymen and countrywomen are crowded under that table, hunched over in the dirt and starving. It is a violent situation, and one day the people under that table will rise up in righteousness, and knock the table of privilege over, and take what rightfully belongs to them.[ii]

It’s no wonder that Haiti’s most popular party, Fanmi Lavalas, chose the image of Haitian people seated around a dining table as its emblem, signifying the overthrow of privilege and the right of every Haitian to share the nation’s wealth. This is not mere symbolism. In its 1990 program, the Lavalas party recognized the right to eat as one of three basic principles, along with the right to work and the right of the impoverished masses to demand what is owed them.[iii] In a very concrete way, Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president, illustrated this commitment on the day of his February 7th, 1991 inauguration, when he invited several hundred street children to join him for breakfast in the Palace garden.

Haiti’s hunger crisis is no accident – it is the direct result of US economic policies imposed on rural Haiti beginning in the 1980s. The story of how the US undermined Haiti’s domestic rice industry explains why a nation of farmers can no longer feed itself.

After the Hurricane(s)

By: Kevin Edmonds - NACLA

Last week, a barrage of hurricanes hit the Caribbean with a frequency unrivaled in modern history. Hurricane Irma was the largest, causing the most damage to the Leeward Islands and Greater Antilles, particularly Antigua, Barbuda, Cuba, Haiti and the Virgin Islands.

After the hurricane, the media—disappointingly but unsurprisingly—crafted hyperbolic, racist headlines contrasting descriptions of the tourists as the real victims of the hurricane with locals characterized as a second life-threatening obstacle that had to be overcome. One British paper reported that “hungry locals on the islands have even started fighting each other for food and there have been reports of looters raiding hotel rooms to profit from the disaster. Tourists have broken down in tears as they have eventually been able to leave the islands devastated by the hurricane.” Several media reports upped the intensity, stating that St. Martin was “on the verge of civil war” after the hurricane passed. The reality was that people were just trying to get their hands on what they needed to survive.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

As Police Crackdown: Anti-Government Popular Uprising Continues to Grow

Kim Ives - Haiti Liberte

Massive, raucous demonstrations, sometime several times a week, have rocked Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and other provincial cities over the past two months and show no sign of subsiding, despite a lack of clear or unified leadership.

Police repression of the demonstrators has grown as their calls have morphed from denouncing a tax-laden, fee-hiking, austerity budget proposed in early September to demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse, who came to power in February following controversial, anemic elections in November 2016.

In many ways the demonstrations resemble the Caracazo uprising that erupted in Venezuela in February 1989 after President Carlos Andrés Pérez’s government implemented a package (dubbed in Venezuela “ paquete”) of neoliberal economic reforms recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The measures, featuring privatizations, public employee layoffs, and tariff reductions, included slashing gas subsidies which resulted in a 30% hike in transportation costs overnight. The Caracazo revolt led to the 1992 coup d’état attempt and subsequent 1998 election of Hugo Chavez.

Similarly, Jovenel Moïse’s Washington-influenced budget proposes a host of taxes and fees on everything from drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, and passports to a 10,000 gourdes ($157US) annual tax on expatriate Haitians.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Washington's Warmongers Are Warming Up to Trump

Trump has traded his alt-right pals for some of the most dangerous neocons in Washington.

By Ben Norton - AlterNet Gray Zone Project

In an interview in New York City with war hawk pundit Max Boot, former CIA director David Petraeus stated in no uncertain terms that President Donald Trump’s militaristic foreign policy does not represent a significant departure from that of previous administrations, and is already quickly moving “back to the norm.”

Trump’s hardcore supporters have claimed he has been resisting the U.S. “deep state”—that is to say, the key elements of the military and national security establishment that remain the same from administration to administration. Yet just eight months into his presidency, one of the most influential faces and voices of the deep state has revealed precisely the opposite: Trump’s warmongering foreign policy is largely an intensification of the status quo, not a break from it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

40 people missing as migrant vessel sinks off Haiti

AFP-

Seven people were rescued Sunday by search teams scouring the seas off the island of La Tortue, Haiti's civil emergency agency said.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) - 
About 40 people are missing after a migrant vessel sunk the northern coast of Haiti, the civil emergency authorities have said.
The vessel sank after leaving La Tortue earlier in the day for Providenciales island in the northern Turks and Caicos archipelago, 200 kilometers (120 miles) to the north.
According to the survivors, three of whom were hospitalized on their return to Haiti, the vessel was carrying 50 people when it sank.
In a country where more than 60 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, there are frequent attempts to reach the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos illegally.
Over the past five years, thousands of young Haitians have migrated to Chile or Brazil, countries where visas are more easily obtained.
Although Haitians historically have gone to the United States, and to Florida in particular, the flow of migrants has shifted to Canada and other neighboring countries.
Since a devastating earthquake in 2010, about 60,000 Haitians have found temporary protected status in the United States.
But US President Donald Trump's administration has said that status will expire at the close of 2017.

New Documentary: IT STAYS WITH US

Check out the website for the new documentary "IT STAYS WITH US" which gives voice to the victims of violent operations conducted by the UN and Haitian National Police in Cite Soleil (between 2004 and 2007).  View the full website here.

It Stays with You: Use of Force by UN Peacekeepers in Haiti

By: John Carroll, MDJournal Star

Several days ago the UN Peacekeeping Forces (MINUSTAH) departed Haiti for the first time since 2004.
See this link which leads you to the film documentary: It Stays with You: Use of Force by UN Peacekeepers in Haiti. This film covers the “war” that occurred in Cite Soleil between MINUSTAH and Soleil gangs during the years 2005–2007. Many innocent people were caught in the middle.
This film was produced and directed by Cahal McLaughlin and Siobhan Wills.
(See this post from February, 2007.)
John A. Carroll, MD
www.haitianhearts.org

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mass hysteria of U.S. Diplomats may explain 'sonic attacks' in Cuba, say top neurologists

By: Julian Borger and Philip Jaekl - The Guardian

Senior neurologists have suggested that a spate of mysterious ailments among US diplomats in Cuba – which has caused a diplomat rift between the two countries – could have been caused by a form of “mass hysteria” rather than sonic attacks.

The unexplained incidents have prompted the US to withdraw most of its embassy staff from Havana and expel the majority of Cuban diplomats from Washington.

The neurologists who talked to the Guardian cautioned that no proper diagnosis is possible without far more information and access to the 22 US victims, who have suffered a range of symptoms including hearing loss, tinnitus, headaches and dizziness.

Mystery of sonic weapon attacks at US embassy in Cuba deepens.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Fanmi Lavalas Calls for General Strike

FANMI LAVALAS Press Release - September 30, 2017

September 30, 1991, September 30, 2017, 26 years have passed but the Haitian people have not forgotten and continue to show their attachment to President Aristide.

Fanmi Lavalas congratulates the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets in protest on September 30, 2017, to say no to political crime, economic crime, social crime that the coup d'etat government of the accused money-launderer are committing against the population. 26 years later, people are determined more than ever to confront the repressive forces that are exploiting and brutalizing them. From St. Jean Bosco church, through La Saline, St. Martin, Belair, up to Petionville, and Champs-de-Mars, demonstrators repeatedly demanded the resignation of the accused money-launderer.

Today again, the police are out to assassinate demonstrators, shooting directly at people, using tear gas and liquid skin irritant against protestors. Many were illegally arrested. The Fanmi Lavalas Political Organization condemns the violence and savage repression conducted by the police against demonstrators and demands the immediate liberation of all the people who were arrested.

The struggle will not stop. Fanmi Lavalas supports the call for a general strike on Monday October 2nd and Tuesday October 3rd. The system must be overturned. General mobilization everywhere in the country in whatever form. We Will Not Obey.

Alone we are weak,
Together we are strong,
All together we are Lavalas.

Executive Committee of Fanmi Lavalas      

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Breaking News!! General Strike in Haiti

Videos from Twitter Feed of: Haiti Information Project



Protests in Port-au-Prince



Protests in Les Cayes
Protests in Hinche
Protest in Gonaives 

           See article here

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Reflections From The Red Zone (Peaceful Demonstrations)

By: Richard Morse 

The concept of a peaceful demonstration is something that I'm having a hard
time wrapping my brain around.

In order to get thousands of protesting people in the streets, something
certainly must have gone wrong. I would suppose unfair economic, social or
political practices are usually the main cause of protests.

My question; is an unfair economic policy akin to violence?

When the U.S. started dumping rice and sugar into the Haitian economy, was
it economic warfare? Violence? Were the small Haitian farmers represented
at the import/export meetings or were the meetings simply attended by
Haiti's economic elites and political carpetbaggers who would be made to
benefit from the new policy?

The Haitian American Sugar Corporation has been replaced with tanks of
petroleum reserves. Do we know how that deal was made? Is that violence? Is
it compensation? How many farmers were positively affected by sudden
transition to importing sugar? Are the farmers receiving compensation?
Someone obviously is.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine Présente!

  THIS AUGUST 12 MARKS TEN YEARS SINCE THE KIDNAPPING AND DISAPPEARING OF HAITIAN REVOLUTIONARY LOVINSKY PIERRE-ANTOINE


On the eve of Bwa Kay Iman (Bois Caïman, Aug. 14), and on International Youth Day (Aug. 12), we dedicate this forthcoming issue of Haiti Solidarity to this remarkable, powerful brother.  Father, husband, friend, psychologist, human rights activist, Lavalas leader—Lovinsky loved his people, and they love him.  Not a year has gone by that he hasn’t been sorely missed.

    On July 28, 2007, just three years into the 2004 coup and the 92-year anniversary of the first US occupation of Haiti of 1915-1934, a crowd of protestors and witnesses watched Lovinsky lead a demonstration in front of UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince.  We listened to his speech, in which he made the connection between the current occupation and the first US occupation. Lovinsky invoked the Haitian revolutionaries, like Charlemagne Péralte, who fought to end the 1915 invasion, and he said that that legacy of revolutionary struggle lives on in the people today. He said the people would always fight to uproot neo-colonialism and exploitation—they would always fight for their freedom. Two weeks after this speech, Lovinsky was kidnapped.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Protestation des chauffeurs de taxi-moto !

Haïti Liberté

Plusieurs centaines de chauffeurs de taxi-moto ont manifesté dans les rues de la capitale le lundi 7 Aout 2017 pour dénoncer non seulement les magistrats des communes, mais également l’exploitation dont ils sont victimes de la part des dirigeants de l’Etat haïtien.

Les chauffeurs réagissent contre une note signée du Secrétaire d’état à la Sécurité Publique, stipulant que « Du 31 juillet au 8 Août tous les chauffeurs de taxis moto de la zone métropolitaine sont invités à retirer leurs casques et gilets de secours dans les différentes mairies de la capitale dans le cadre du processus d’identification lancé par les autorités du pays ».


Les chauffeurs accusent les magistrats, en leur demandant de mieux prendre soin de l’état de la ville jonchée de fatras, et de réclamer de la bourgeoisie import-export de s’acquitter de leurs taxes qui ne sont jamais payées.

Selon les exigences du gouvernement chaque chauffeur doit enregistrer sa moto à la mairie de sa commune et payer 1 750 gourdes. En retour il recevra un gilet et un casque. Pour récupérer ces équipements le chauffeur doit fournir les documents suivants : les papiers d’enregistrement de la moto, la carte d’assurance, les originaux des papiers de la moto, permis de conduire du chauffeur, pièce d’identification du propriétaire de la moto et 2 photos d’identité.

Il est indiqué, poursuit cette note, qu’après la date du 8 Août, tous les chauffeurs de motos retrouvés sans casques et gilets subiront les sanctions prévues par la loi.

Canadian military to construct refugee camp as hundreds of Haitians flee US


Canada’s armed forces announced Wednesday that soldiers are constructing a camp near the Canada-US border in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec to house asylum seekers.
Tents to house up to 500 people are being erected in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, close to a border crossing where up to 300 refugee claimants—most of them Haitians—are arriving daily. Although the majority of troops engaged in putting up the shelters will return to their barracks afterward, a CBC report has suggested that an unknown number will remain on-site to help with security.
The influx has been triggered by US President Donald Trump’s vicious clampdown on immigrants. In May, he vowed not to renew beyond January 2018 the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) accorded to Haitians following the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Newsletter from UNIFA, the University of the Aristide Foundation

UNIFA (University of the Aristide Foundation) needs your help to complete construction of its Diagnostic & Primary Care Center.  Please DONATE today!
As the 2016-17 academic year draws to a close, here is an update of another year of challenges and progress achieved through the hard work of our professors, students, support staff, academic leadership, Board of Administration and you, Friends of UNIFA.  

See here for a full update on UniFA.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Haiti: Stop the Repression. No impunity. NO NEW ARMY.


The people of Haiti need our solidarity in the face of the increasing violence of the fraudulently imposed government of Jovenel Moise.

Last Thursday July 14, 2017, in Petionville, Haiti, near Port-au-Prince, a young book vendor was shot to death by a police officer in front of horrified witnesses. The police used tear gas and batons against a crowd outraged by the murder and the quick, forcible removal of the body in a perceived attempt at a cover up. This is the latest of recent extra-judicial killings by the Haitian police and paramilitary forces.

The brutal killing occurred as the occupation government of Jovenel Moise, installed in the fraudulent elections of November 2016, is pushing to restore the brutal and corrupt Haitian military, which was disbanded by then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1995. Moise has stated that he wants the Army back within two years. Haitians remember the US-supported bloody rampage by former members of this army that claimed thousands of lives during the period of the 2004 coup d'etat against the elected government. The US/UN forces and occupation governments subsequently integrated many of these killers into the Haitian police and government paramilitary units.   

This announcement takes place at a volatile moment in Haitian society. The Haitian police and other government paramilitary forces, accompanied by UN occupation forces, have carried out criminal attacks against protesting teachers, students, factory workers, market women, street vendors and others who are victims of government extortion, theft of land, money and merchandise.

Monday, July 17, 2017

As UN occupation force steps down, Rightwing Haitian government to revive state's repressive force

teleSUR

The army was disbanded in 1995 following a bloody period of military rule that resulted from the U.S.-backed removal of President Aristide in 1991

It has been over twenty years since the Haitian armed forces were dissolved, and replaced by a continuous United Nations security force presence on the island, but now the Haitian government has initiated the process to reform its armed forces as the UN mission is scheduled to leave the country later this year.

The government is looking to recruit approximately 500 soldiers to serve as border patrol, security, and natural disaster relief, in addition to supplementing the civilian police force of 15,000 officers.

The United Nations Security Council announced in April that it would be withdrawing its “blue helmet” security forces from the island, leaving a group of Brazilian army soldiers in Haiti until October, when UN security operations in Haiti are set to end officially.

Some politicians have hoped the move will also provide jobs for young Haitians. The positions are open to both men and women between the ages of 18 and 25. Others, however, are more wary of the move, fearing the potential for politicization.

The Haitian military has its origins in the Haitian Revolution that overthrew French colonial rule, but the revolutionary army was dissolved shortly after by mandate of the occupying United States Marine Corp forces. Since then, the army has come in and out of existence, often being heavily politicized during oppressive governments such as that of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier who sidelined the army in favor of private militias.

The most recent iteration of the Haitian armed forces was disbanded in 1995 following several years of military-junta rule after a U.S.-backed military coupremoved popular democratically elected President Aristide, a priest, and liberation theologian.

According to Harvard University academic and writer Paul Farmer, "Declassified records now make it clear that the CIA and other US groups helped to create and fund a paramilitary group called FRAPH, which rose to prominence after a military coup that ousted Aristide in September 1991... For the next three years, Haiti was run by military-civilian juntas as ruthless as the Duvaliers."

Over 4,000 people are beleived to have been killed in the few years following 1991.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

As Haitians Picket Outside Courtroom: Guy Philippe Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison

By: Kim Ives - Haiti Liberte

Following a plea deal struck in April, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga on Jun. 21 in Miami sentenced former Haitian soldier, police officer, paramilitary leader, presidential candidate, and Senator-elect Guy Philippe, 49, to 108 months in U.S. Federal prison for laundering up to $3.5 million in drug money between 1999 and 2003.

If he had gone to trial and been convicted of the other two charges against him for drug trafficking and “Engaging in Transactions Derived from Unlawful Activity,” Philippe could have been sent to jail for life. Instead, those charges were dropped, and, as recommended by prosecutors, he received the minimum sentence allowed in a plea bargain on the remaining charge of money laundering. With good conduct, he could get out of jail in seven and a half years, or 2024. Judge Altonaga said that Philippe would be on probation for three years after serving his sentence but will almost surely be deported back to Haiti.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cholera Victims to Protest as UN Security Council Lands in Haiti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston): media@ijdh.org, +1-617-652-0876
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince): brian@ijdh.org, +509-3701-9879
Cholera Victims to Protest as UN Security Council Lands in Haiti
Call on UN to Deliver on Promised Response by MINUSTAH Withdrawal
Atavist Test 8Wednesday, June 21, Boston, Port-au-Prince—Haitian cholera victims and their advocates called on the UN Security Council to deliver on the promise of a new, victim-centered approach to cholera during its visit to Haiti this week, by meeting directly with victims and committing to funding the $400 million initiative before MINUSTAH –the peacekeeping mission that caused the cholera epidemic—pulls out in October.
“The UN’s apology and promises were promising in December,“ said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) that has led the fight for justice for cholera victims. “But seven months later, with only a pittance raised for the so-called ‘New Approach’ and not a single promised consultation with the cholera victims, they look like empty public relations gestures. It is time for the UN to deliver.”

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Honoring Haiti’s Mothers and the late Father Gérard Jean-Juste

By: Aristide Foundation for Democracy



UNIFA medical student assists doctor during Mobile Ciinic held on Haiti’s Mother’s Day weekend at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy.
Please join us in honoring Haiti’s mothers! 
In solidarity with Haiti’s Mother’s Day, and in memory of the late Father Gérard Jean-Juste, a Mobile Clinic was held at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy this past weekend. Medical and nursing students from UNIFA, the University of the Aristide Foundation, assisted doctors in performing medical exams for the hundreds of women seeking medical care that day. Father Gérard Jean-Juste, who died eight years ago on May 27, 2009, courageously dedicated his life fighting for human rights and social justice on behalf of Haiti’s poor and refugees. 
Haitian mothers are like all mothers everywhere. They want their children to be healthy, go to school, grow up and have jobs and happy, healthy families of their own. In sum, they want their children to thrive and have dignity and respect in their society. 
These are, after all, human rights as embodied in Haiti’s Constitution, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the United Nations Millennium Declaration (Sept. 2000) that states in its section on Freedom that 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

World Ignores Violence of Opposition in Venezuela


Haiti will never accept the electoral coup d’etat

SF Bay View -- Dave Welsh

Some of the “cast” of a dramatic evening, gathered around the woman who should be president of Haiti, Dr. Maryse Narcisse, are, from left, musicians and Vukani Muwethu choir members Phavia Kujichagulia, Thomas McKennie, Dr. Narcisse, Anne and Jim McWilliams, and Val Serrant, whose magic drum is in the good hands of Dr. Narcisse. Thomas, Anne and Jim are members of the world-renowned choir. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
Oakland – Five hundred people packed an Oakland church to welcome Dr. Maryse Narcisse, presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The event kicked off a week-long speaking tour of California that took her to Scripps College in Los Angeles County, the UCLA School of Public Health and the National Lawyers Guild annual dinner in San Francisco.
“The U.S., U.N. and other so-called ‘Friends of Haiti’ brought about the electoral coup d’etat,” said Dr. Narcisse. “The election of 2015 was thrown out because of widespread election fraud. Then the re-run in 2016 was stolen again.
“But Nou Pap Obeyi (We will not Obey) – this is a slogan our people believe in, because Haitians, who overthrew French colonialism and slavery in 1804, will never accept foreign domination.”
Two Black women who go far above and beyond the line of duty to make politics work for the people are Dr. Maryse Narcisse, Lavalas candidate for president of Haiti, and Jovanka Beckles, former vice mayor and current city councilwoman in Richmond, Calif., the Bay Area’s most progressive city. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

Famni Lavalas supports workers' demands

By: Haiti Libre

Friday, Roosevelt Bellevue, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, confirmed that the installation of the new members of the Superior Salaries Council (CSS), originally scheduled last Thursday, will take place on Monday 5 June due to delays in the submission of candidacies.

It must be said that several trade union officials denounced the formula used by the government, which obliges each sector represented in the CSS to submit two members per seats, among which the Government will make the final choice.

Minister Bellevue said that after the publication of the appointment order the new members of the CSS will have 10 days to submit their report around the adjustment of base salaries in the various sectors. He also announced the establishment of a Commission to deal with workers' complaints, stating that negotiations are under way with the employers to promote the reinstatement of workers who have been unjustly dismissed.

Also that same day at a press conference, Maryse Narcisse, the Coordinator of Fanmi Lavalas denounced the arbitrary revocation and police brutality against protesting workers and officially provide support from Famni Lavalas to workers and teachers who are demanding better wages.

Meanwhile, pressure rises in the streets, a new peaceful march is announced by teachers' unions on Monday, while health workers announce that they will go on strike in a week at the latest.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Caribbean, ALBA Nations Defeat Anti-Venezuela Motion at OAS


teleSUR

Caracas has repeatedly accused the OAS and its chief Luis Almagro of promoting intervention and destabilization in Venezuela.

The OAS has suspended its meeting called to discuss the political and economic situation in Venezuela, with the interventionist motion led by the U.S. failing to muster the required majority to pass.

The Caribbean community played a vital role in defeating the anti-Venezuela motion, calling for further discussions and another meeting, which is yet to be set.

Shortly after the meeting, Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez stated that the "interventionist bloc in the OAS continue to be defeated by the honorable states of the region," announcing that she herself will attend the OAS general meeting set for June 19-21, in Cancun, Mexico with the support of the people of Central America, the Caribbean, ALBA nations and all of Latin America.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Constellation of individuals & groups supporting the FLRN paramilitary insurgency in Haiti, 2000-2004

By: Jeb Sprague-Silgado  -- HaitiAnalysis


            Readers of my 2012 book Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti will have learned about a number of individuals involved in supporting the 2000-2004 paramilitary insurgency that targeted the country.  Below I have put together a compendium listing the different sectors and important individuals backing this violence.   A constellation of actors supported the FLRN paramilitaries (Front pour la libération et la reconstruction nationales) in the events leading up to the 2004 coup d’etat. Some of these groups were made up of just a handful of individuals. Others contained hundreds of individuals that lent support at one time or another. To elaborate upon this more clearly I have broken up these sectors into ten subgroups as follows:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Paltry Six Month Renewal of Haitians’ TPS Suggests It May Be the Last

by Steve Forester (Haiti Liberte)



On May 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for some 50,000 Haitians living in the United States for only six months rather than the usual, appropriate 18 months.

            The wording of DHS Secretary John F. Kelly’s announcement sent very mixed signals and omitted extremely significant facts. It stressed that this is likely the last extension and that TPS holders should “attain travel documents” for return to Haiti. Very inaccurately, it also asserted that conditions in Haiti have greatly improved.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Comparing Venezuela’s Media with Our Own

By: Joe Emersberger - teleSUR

The international media's coverage of Venezuela comes down to caricatures that have been spread by Venezuela's opposition.

A reporter from one of the largest international media outlets contacted me recently because she was considering doing a story about how Venezuela’s TV networks have covered the protests that have raged since April 4. The quote I gave her (who knows if any of it will be used or if the story is ever written) stated the following:

The protests and the leading opposition leaders’ take on the protests are being extensively covered on the largest private networks: Venevision, Televen, Globovision. If people abroad sampled Venezuela’s TV media directly, as opposing to judging it by what is said about it by the international media and some big NGOs, they’d be shocked to find the opposition constantly denouncing the government and even making very thinly veiled appeals to the military to oust Maduro.

There are valid free speech concerns raised by the censoring of foreign outlets in Venezuela. However, there are also grave free speech concerns raised by the international media’s lopsidedly hostile coverage of Venezuela for the past 15 years. It speaks volumes about that coverage that Bernie Sanders’ campaign, for example, would call Hugo Chavez a “dead communist dictator.” That could never have happened if there had been remotely balanced coverage over the past 15 years.

One of the big NGOs I had in mind, Human Rights Watch (HRW), inadvertently illustrated my point about the international media's coverage by listing a deluge of newspaper editorials from around the word on its website that all reinforce the U.S. government/HRW view on Venezuela. The international media's coverage of Venezuela comes down to caricatures that have been spread by Venezuela's opposition. The editorials HRW listed have titles like “Maduro’s dictatorship,” “Maduro’s Venezuela becomes a dictatorship,” “Venezuela is officially a dictatorship,” “Venezuela’s descent into dictatorship,” and so on. Good luck finding a dissenting view in any significant U.S. newspaper, never mind a TV network. The same applies to Canada, the U.K. and numerous Latin American countries with right-wing governments.

Friday, May 12, 2017

La scène politique des États-Unis : La blanchité et la crise de légitimité du capitalisme global

Par Salvador Rangel & Jeb Sprague-Silgado -- Counterpunch & L'Aut'Journal


            La scène politique des États-Unis a subi un lifting dans le but de rétablir la légitimité décroissante de la classe capitaliste à orientation transnationale. Cette transformation s’est caractérisée par une droite qui a cherché à se représenter comme étant économiquement nationaliste afin d'élargir le soutien de la classe ouvrière (principalement, parmi la classe ouvrière blanche) dont la stabilité économique a diminué au cours de l'ère néolibérale.

Pourquoi cela ?

À partir des années 1970, face à la baisse des taux de profit et d'accumulation, ainsi qu'à l'augmentation de la concurrence internationale, le capital devait se libérer des contraintes nationales qui lui avaient été imposées pendant l'ère de « nouvelle donne » fordiste-keynésienne. L'une de ces « contraintes » avait été la responsabilité d'assurer la reproduction sociale de sa main-d'œuvre nationale.  La globalisation a permis aux capitalistes d'éliminer cette préoccupation, car ils pouvaient puiser dans un groupe mondial croissant de travailleurs marginalisés.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Real Crimes of Guy Philippe: Selections from “Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti” by Jeb Sprague - Part 1 of 3

By Jeb Sprague (Haiti Liberte)

Former paramilitary leader Guy Philippe will be going to jail for money laundering in connection with drug trafficking. But his more serious crimes were murdering Haitians and Haitian democracy as the leader of the “armed opposition” during the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’état against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

            In the early 1990s, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant headed another anti-Aristide paramilitary organization known as the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), which played a large role in killing an estimated 5,000 during the 1991-1994 coup d’état.

            Like Philippe, Constant was never tried for his crimes against humanity. Instead, in 1996, the Clinton administration gave him de facto political asylum in the United States. However, in 2008, he was convicted in New York of mortgage fraud and is currently serving a 12-37 year prison sentence.

            If he had gone to trial in May and been convicted, Philippe faced a life term for drug trafficking. Instead, he struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors whereby he will likely serve only 7.5 to 9 years in jail.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Thousands of Haitian Workers Are on Strike Against Foreign-Owned Sweatshops

By: Jeff Abbott - In These Times


Thousands of textile workers in Haiti have stopped work in factories and taken to the streets to demand of improved working conditions in the country’s maquiladora export industry. For more than three weeks, workers have mobilized to demand higher wages, an eight-hour workday and protections against increased quotas across the industrial centers of Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Ounaminthe and Caracol.

The strike follows the annual commemoration of International Workers’ Day.

Currently, workers receive a daily wage of roughly 300 gourdes, or about 4.77 U.S. dollars (USD), for a day’s work. Strikers are demanding that the wage is raised to 800 gourdes, or 12.72 USD—and that the eight-hour day be respected.

Workers face poor labor conditions in the country’s assembly-line factories, where they produce textiles for large U.S. companies such as Levi Jeans and Fruit of the Loom. Factory owners have long called for the use of violence against workers’ rights activists in Haiti and fired anyone known to associate with the unions.

Reuters: Haiti workers protest minimum wage as managers threaten exit

By: Makini Brice - Reuters

Hundreds of Haitian textile workers took to the streets on Monday to demand a higher minimum wage as managers of textile factories threatened to leave the country if the government did not clamp down on demonstrations.

Haiti has pinned some of its economic growth hopes on the textile industry, which accounts for 90 percent of its exports, according to export.gov, a website managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The United States has granted Haiti a preferential trade deal, creating some 40,000 jobs, the Association of Haitian Industries said last November. Products made there are shipped to major U.S. retailers like Walmart and Target.

However, spurred by a recent hike in fuel prices and surging inflation, textile workers have begun protesting over pay.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

“You Live Under Fear”: by Darlene Dubuisson and Mark Schuller

by Darlene Dubuisson and Mark Schuller

“With TPS, it’s like you live under fear,” thirty-something aspiring nurse Michaëlle explained. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. I live with stress because of that.”

            Michaëlle’s situation just got worse on Apr. 20, when Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly declared that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 50,000 Haitian people living in the U.S. would be over.

            After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, President Obama granted temporary relief status to undocumented Haitians who had arrived in the U.S. before 2011. Given the slow pace of recovery efforts and subsequent disasters – notably the cholera epidemic that has killed over 10,000 and counting, and Hurricane Matthew that hit Haiti last October – TPS has been extended several times. The latest TPS is set to expire on Jul. 22, 2017.

            In essence, the Trump administration’s policy would amount to kicking out 50,000 people who have, despite their fear, put their faith in the U.S. government to legalize, like fifty-something child care provider Wideline. She recalls that “[We were told to] tell all fellow Haitians they don’t need to fear because they are going to give Haitians who are illegal in this country papers so they can work.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pleading Guilty, Guy Philippe Cuts Deal with U.S. Attorney for Lighter Sentence


by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)
Former Haitian paramilitary leader and Senator-elect Guy Philippe sealed a plea bargain today with the U.S. Attorney’s office to get a lighter sentence in return for pleading guilty to just one count of money laundering.

In return, the U.S. government dropped its other two charges of “Conspiracy to Import Cocaine into the United States,” which carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison, and “Engaging in Transactions Derived from Unlawful Activity,” which carries a 10 year sentence.

The charge to which Philippe, 49, pleaded guilty – “Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments” – carries a 20 year maximum sentence, but as part of the deal, prosecutors recommended Philippe be sentenced to only nine years.

Judge Cecilia Altonaga will set Philippe’s sentence in Miami on Jul. 5, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.. As in most plea deals, she will likely follow the U.S. Attorney’s recommendation.

Parole cannot be granted in federal cases, but the government can give Philippe a 15% reduction in his prison term for “good conduct,” meaning he could be out in seven and a half years or 2024.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Flashpoints Radio: Special Haiti Episode Hosted by Kevin Pina.

Today on Flashpoints: 
      The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s current 18-month designation of Haiti for temporary protected status(TPS) expires on July 22nd will affect 58,000 Haitians who arrived in the US prior to January 12, 2011, one year after the earthquake. The Trump administration is signaling it will not renew TPS which will trigger their forced repatriation back to Haiti. 
     Then, we look at the ongoing moves of PHTK ruling clique in Haiti to restore the once dreaded Haitian military. 
    Finally, we talk with a Haitian political analyst about the current situation there.  Listen to the entire show here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

In Violation of Haiti’s Constitution: After MINUSTAH, UN Seeks to Keep an Armed Force in Haiti

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

The main thing you need to know about the Apr. 11 speech to the UN Security Council of Sandra Honoré, the head of the United Nations military occupation force in Haiti, is that she is not talking about a complete pull-out but a “transition.”

            MINUSTAH, or the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti, is currently composed of about 3,200 soldiers and police officers, who cost $346 million this past year. First deployed in June 2004 (supposedly for only six months), the force’s current mandate ends on Apr. 15.

            In a Mar. 16 report, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres proposed that MINUSTAH be renewed for a final six-month mandate, ending Oct. 15. However, this force would be replaced by “a smaller peacekeeping operation with concentrated focus on the rule of law and police development,...[and] human rights monitoring,” Honoré said.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Former Haitian First Lady Visits Detroit with U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

LISTEN HERE to an interview with former First Lady of Haiti Mildred T. Aristide.

Few countries in the world have faced as much hardship as Haiti. The Haitian people had been forced to deal with one disaster after another, whether caused by nature or by human hands.

It is a country that reminds us that inequality and institutional racism, subjects that are talked about frequently on Detroit Today, are not confined to the borders of the United States.

Former first lady of Haiti, Mildred T. Aristide, joins Congresswomen Maxine Waters Friday night in Detroit for a discussion about race at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History at 7 p.m.

Aristide joins Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today to talk about Haiti’s people and history.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Prison Aid to Haiti for Captive Slave Labor

by Dady Chery (Haiti Liberte)

Haiti’s incarceration rate of roughly 100 prisoners per 100,000 citizens in 2016 was the lowest in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, there is a systematic campaign underway for more prisons. Canada and Norway have each given one prison to Haiti. Thanks to prison aid from the United States, three additional prisons have been inaugurated since 2016, and another is under construction.

            In the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba, the incarceration rates per 100,000 people in 2016 were 232, 350, 145, and 510, respectively. These numbers alone do not tell the whole story, because the large majority of Haiti’s prison population are pre-trial detainees, many of whom are members of Aristide’s administration, resisters against government abuses like land expropriation, or political protestors who have not been charged with a crime. If Haiti were to release them, the incarceration rate would drop to about 30 per 100,000, which is lower than in Norway, Sweden, or Japan. Furthermore, if we consider the fact that another group of incarcerated people are Haitian nationals who have lived as legal residents of the United States or Canada nearly all of their lives and committed crimes abroad, then the real incarceration rate of Haitians drops to one of the lowest in the world.

Haitian Cholera Victims Demonstrate for MINUSTAH Departure, Reparations

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

On Mar. 29, 2017, the 30th anniversary of the popular referendum which adopted the 1987 Haitian Constitution, about 200 demonstrators rallied and marched from Port-au-Prince’s Champ de Mars to the Parliament to demand the immediate withdrawal of the United Nations Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH), reparations for the victims of MINUSTAH-imported cholera, and respect for the Constitution’s nationalist articles.

            Some 3,200 soldiers and police officers are MINUSTAH’s armed component, whose mandate expires Apr. 15. Almost 13 years after MINUSTAH’s deployment in June 2004, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a Mar. 16 report. proposed to the UN Security Council a final six-month mandate with “a staggered but complete withdrawal” of those forces by Oct. 15. However, in reality, the withdrawal would not be complete.

            Guterres proposed that a new mission of 295 UN policemen remain in Haiti to oversee elections and ensure “political stability” and “good governance.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Under Guise of Troop Withdrawal Discussions: Is Chile Pressuring Haiti to Join OAS Coup Efforts Against Venezuela?

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet visited Haiti this week ostensibly to discuss with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse the future of United Nations troops in Haiti. Since the deployment of the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH) in June 2004, over 12,000 Chilean troops have been deployed in Haiti, Bachelet said. Today, Chile has 392 soldiers and 41 police in Haiti, the second largest contingent after Brazil’s 981 soldiers.

            On Apr. 15, the UN Security Council is likely to renew MINUSTAH’s mandate for a final six-month period, as recommended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a Mar. 16 report. Guterres proposed to the Council “a staggered but complete withdrawal” of the 2,370 UN soldiers remaining in Haiti to be replaced by a new mission of 295 UN police officers which would “support political stability, [and] good governance, including electoral oversight and reform.” There are now about 844 UN police officers in Haiti, bringing the current MINUSTAH armed force to over 3,200.

            In short, after MINUSTAH’s Oct. 15 end, a reduced, renamed mission would remain, on behalf of the U.S., Canada, and France primarily, to “monitor and exercise an early warning function” against any anti-imperialist political developments in Haiti (of course, Guterres used the euphemism “for conflict prevention, human rights and rule of law issues”).

            However, the day after Bachelet met with Moïse on Mar. 27, the Organization of American States (OAS) convened an extraordinary session at its Washington, DC headquarters on whether to sanction Venezuela for what OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro says is Venezuela’s “violation of every article in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” In a Mar. 14 report, Almagro stepped up his years-long campaign to invoke the OAS’s sovereignty-smashing “Democratic Charter” to expel Venezuela from the body, as happened to Cuba after its 1959 revolution.

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