Toronto Haiti Action Committee

Solidarity. Not Charity. Never Occupation

Toronto Haiti Action Committee - Solidarity. Not Charity. Never Occupation

The real story about Canada’s role in Haiti

by Yves Engler. Originally posted at Canadian Dimension

Photo by flicker-user: pmwebphotos.

Photo by flicker-user: pmwebphotos.

Step one for everyone trying to make the world a better place should be listening to those they wish to help.

This is certainly true in the case of Haiti, a long-time target of Canadian ‘aid’. But, while Haitians continue to criticize Ottawa’s role in their country, few Canadians bother to pay attention.

After Uruguay announced it was withdrawing its 950 troops from the United Nations Mission to Stabilize Haiti last month, Moise Jean-Charles, took aim at the countries he considers most responsible for undermining Haitian sovereignty. The popular senator from Haiti’s north recently told Haiti Liberté:

Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay are not the real occupiers of Haiti. The real forces behind Haiti’s [UN administered] military occupation — the powers which are putting everybody else up to it — are the U.S., France, and Canada, which colluded in the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’etat against President [Jean-Bertrand] Aristide. It was then they began trampling Haitian sovereignty.

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In the News: After Aristide Testifies to Investigating Judge: Massive March Signals Lavalas Movement’s Resurrection

by Kim Ives. Originally posted at Haiti Liberté

Well over 15,000 people poured out from all corners of Haiti’s capital to march alongside the cortege of cars that carried former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide back to his home in Tabarre from the Port-au-Prince courthouse he visited on May 8.

Fanmi Lavalas Thousands more massed along sidewalks and on rooftops to cheer the procession on, waving flags and wearing small photos of Aristide in their hair, pinned to their clothing, or stuck in their hats.

Led by Fanmi Lavalas party coordinator Maryse Narcisse through a gauntlet of jostling journalists, Aristide had entered the courthouse (the former Belle Époque Hotel) at exactly 9:00 a.m., the time of his appointment to testify before Investigating Judge Ivickel Dabrésil. Aristide had waited with Narcisse in a car outside the court’s backdoor for about 45 minutes. It was only the second time that Aristide had left his home (and the first time publicly) since returning to Haiti on Mar. 18, 2011 from a seven-year exile in Africa following the Feb. 29, 2004 Washington-backed coup d’état which cut short his second government.

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In the News: Lavalas Masses Rise up Against Aristide’s Political Persecution

by Isabelle Papillon. Originally posted at Haïti Liberté

When Lucmane Délille, Port-au-Prince’s district attorney, summoned former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to appear before him on Wednesday, Jan. 9 to answer patently frivolous complaints, it caused a great awakening of the Lavalas masses, alarming those in Haiti and abroad who thought it was time to behead Aristide’s party, the Lavalas Family.

Indeed, tensions ran high that day when thousands of Aristide’s supporters massed outside the courthouse where Aristide was summoned to appear before Délille at 10 a.m.. Similar outpourings took place in Haiti’s major cities like Cap Haïtien, Gonaïves, and Jérémie. However, when the prosecutor saw the crowds, he decided, at the urging of Aristide’s lawyers, to go meet with the former head of state at his home in Tabarre, on the northern outskirts of the capital.

When the crowd heard that news, the thousand of demonstrators marched, jogged, and ran from the courthouse to Aristide’s home, about four miles away.

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In the News: International Delegation Challenges UN Officials on Renewal of Haiti Occupation

UN Official Suggests that Troops May Stay Until 2015

by Kim Ives, published in Haiti Liberte, Oct 17, 2012

On October 12, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to renew for one more year the foreign military occupation of Haiti known as the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti, or MINUSTAH, which has been deployed in Haiti since June 1, 2004.

However, the Haitian people, and increasingly people throughout Latin America, are calling for UN troops to immediately leave Haiti and respect Haiti’s sovereignty and right to self-determination. This was the message of an international delegation led by Haitian Senator Moïse Jean-Charles which met for almost two hours with high-ranking UN officials on Oct. 11, the day before the vote.

The 10-member delegation, composed of unionists, activists, and journalists, met with William Gardner, the Senior Political Affairs Officer of UN Department of Peace-Keeping Operations’ Europe and Latin America Division, and three of his Political Affairs Officers, Patrick Hein, Ekaterina Pischalnikova, and Nedialko Kostov.

Sen. Moïse’s delegation included Julio Turra, National Executive Director of the United Trade Union Central of Workers of Brazil (CUT); Pablo Micheli, General Secretary of the Confederation of Workers of Argentina (CTA); Fignolé St. Cyr, General Secretary of the Autonomous Confederation of Haitian Workers (CATH); Jocelyn Lapitre, a leader with the Front against Profit (LKP) in Guadeloupe; Colia Clark of the Guadeloupe-Haiti Campaign Committee; Alan Benjamin of the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples (ILC); Robert Garoute, of the Progressive Movement for Haiti’s Development (MPDH); Geffrard Jude Joseph, the director of Radio Panou; and Kim Ives, a journalist with Haiti Liberté newspaper.

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In the News: Police kill unarmed peasants in another controversial eviction

by Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté

Haitian police have killed four people and destroyed seven homes in an attempt to clear peasants from a remote mountain-top park where they have lived and farmed for the past 70 years. The bloody confrontation, which occurred (July 23, 2012) exactly 25 years to the day after an infamous 1987 peasant massacre near the northwestern town of Jean-Rabel, has incensed the Southeast Department’s population and redoubled charges that the President Michel Martelly’s government is resurrecting the repressive tactics of the Duvalierist and neo-Duvalierist dictatorships which ruled and scarred Haiti over two decades ago.

The incident was first reported and photographed by Claudy Bélizaire of the Jacmel-based Reference Institute for Journalism and Communication (RIJN). His photographs of bloody corpses and burned houses in Galette Seche/Seguin, a remote locality near the peaks of some of Haiti’s highest mountains, have gone viral on the Internet, Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, the mainstream media has largely ignored the story to date.

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