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.”

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