What has Canada done in Haiti?

  • When populist candidate Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected with a land-slide victory in 2000, Canada cut off aid to his government, while governmental agencies like the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) began pumping aid into NGOs and ‘civil society’ organizations representing Haiti’s tine elite working to overthrow Aristide.
  • In 2004, when a small group of well-armed fascist paramilitaries marched towards Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince in an attempt to oust the Aristide government, Pierre Pettigrew (then Cabinet Minister) met with the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the attempted coup-makers, Paul Arcelin, in Montreal.
  • On the night of Feb. 28th, when the paramilitaries failed to capture the capital, Canadian Joint Task Force 2 soldiers secured the Haitian airport while US marines kidnapped Aristide and deposed him to the Central Republic of Africa (He spent much of the following years in exile in South Africa, before finally returning to Haiti in 2011)

  • Immediately after the coup, 550 Canadian troops moved in to occupy the country. While under their watch, the small right-wing militia conducted a campaign of terror against the supporters and members of Aristide’s political part.
  • Canada helped dismantle an entire elected government — some 7000 democratically-elected officials — and install the illegal and brutal dictatorship of Gerard LaTortue.
  • Canada provided military, logistical, financial and diplomatic support to the despised two-year LaTortue regime, including $180 million to implement a neo-liberal plan for Haiti — which included tax cuts for big business, decreasing the lowest minimum wage in the hemisphere by half and privatizing state-owned enterprises
  • Canada provided funding and personnel to the corrupt Ministry of Justice under the coup regime. Philippe Viximar, the Deputy Minister of Justice under LaTortue was a direct employee of CIDA. Viximar oversaw the arrests of thousands of political prisoners — many of whom were detained in deplorable conditions for years.
  • Canadian RCMP officers led and continue to lead the UN civilian police force that is arming and training the Haitian National Police (PNH) and has integrated it with former members of Haiti’s brutal military and fascist death squads. A report by the British medical journal, The Lancet found that between 2004-2005 alone, this Police force and its civilian attaches were responsible for over 4000 murders and thousands of rapes in Haiti’s capital city (Port-au-Prince).
  • Canada has and continues to support the United Nations Stabilization Mission for Haiti (MINUSTAH) which has led (and continues to lead) a campaign of violent repression against the Haitian masses — primarily the slum dwellers of the capital who remain defiant and resistant to the overthrow of democracy. This MINUSTAH force has been responsible for three separate large-scale massacres in 2005/2006.
  • The coup and its aftermath have meant huge profits for Canadian corporations — from mining companies reaping Haiti of its natural resources to T-shirt manufacturers taking advantage of the slave-like conditions in Haitian sweatshops.
  • Elections Canada and its former head Jean Pierre Kingsley were instrumental in the attempted rigging of Haiti’s 2006 Presidential elections. Only the massive and immediate mobilization of the Haitian people assured that the victory of René Préval (Aristide’s former Prime Minister) was not stolen. He remained the President of Haiti until the 2011 elections.
  • Haitian immigrants and refugees who have fled the three-year nightmare the UN, the US, Canada and France have unleashed have met only discrimination, exploitation and detention at the borders of the US and Canada.

From the beginning, the objective of this role has been to secure Haiti for the uninterrupted implementation of a neo-liberal program. An undemocratic program the Haitian people have consistently and unequivocally rejected.