HaitiAnalysis

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.

    Lovinsky dedicated his life to fighting against the restoration of the Haitian Army.  Today and into the future, we honor his work with victims of the Haitian Military, police forces and of the United Nations troops, who have occupied Haiti since 2004.  We must hold the UN occupying force accountable for the disappearance of Lovinsky under their watch and for all the crimes it has committed against the Haitian people.

    As we echo his voice against the violence of the police, occupation forces and the restoration of the Haitian military, let us also demand justice for Lovinsky https://www.facebook.com/HaitiActionCommittee/posts/10155591278684886

    Lovinsky, and all of those who have fought, suffered, and died in the struggle—in Haiti and elsewhere—leave us a legacy.  To honor that legacy, we too must struggle to build a new society in which humanity, justice, empathy, and love are the prevailing values.  Little by little, we must have faith, like Lovinsky, that we will make progress.  But we must help each other.  We must follow the example of our Haitian brothers and sisters who say, “Nou pap obeyi!”  We do not obey!  We resist!  We believe in the power of collective struggle.  Little by little, together, we will make a difference.
In solidarity,

Haiti Action  Committeewww.haitisolidarity.net @HaitiAction1 and on Facebook

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.
Il est certain que cette section du transport public en commun mérite qu’elle soit organisée et structurée pour éviter les dérapages et la surcharge comme on peut le constater dans toutes les villes du pays.

Cependant, dans leur revendication, les chauffeurs ne pouvaient être plus clairs pour indiquer que « tout moto est toujours accompagné d’un casque. Si quelqu’un n’a pas son casque, c’est à lui qu’on devrait s’adresser afin qu’il s’en procure un. » Selon les chauffeurs, l’État haïtien ne se soucie nullement d’eux si ce n’est que d’utiliser des moyens pour leur soutirer beaucoup d’argent légalement, soit par l’augmentation du prix des plaques d’immatriculation et maintenant les invitant à payer une quelconque 1750 gourdes pour l’octroi d’un casque et d’un gilet. « Où nous allons trouver ces 1750 gourdes ; quand nous avons des responsabilités en tant que pères de famille et qui pis est nous sommes à quelques jours de la réouverture des classes »



Il est certain que cette section du transport public en commun mérite qu’elle soit organisée et structurée pour éviter les dérapages et la surcharge comme on peut le constater dans toutes les villes du pays. Sans aucun doute l’État haïtien n’a jamais pris des mesures sérieuses pour éviter des accidents et des pertes en vie humaines. C’est un choix particulier puisqu’il n’a aucun souci d’apporter certaine amélioration aux conditions de la vie des masses populaires.

Cependant, pour maquiller leurs pressions sur les chauffeurs de moto, la Police nationale d’Haïti de concert avec les municipalités et la Plateforme des Associations des Taxi-motos haïtiens (PLAMOTAH), travaillent à la régularisation des motocyclettes. Selon le coordonnateur des Directions départementales de la PNH, Carl Henry Boucher, à partir du 8 août prochain, les propriétaires des motocyclettes seront enregistrés sur une base de données spéciale aux fins d’identifier les véhicules.

Ce n’est pas uniquement des chauffeurs que l’État veut soutirer de l’argent, il y a aussi ces pauvres marchands et marchandes qui sont en train de subir des exactions malhonnêtes de la part des agents de taxe des mairies agissant dans les marchés à l’instar d’un Tibobo, l’un des tontons macoutes de Duvalier.Il est indiqué qu’après la date du 8 Août, tous les chauffeurs de motos retrouvés sans casques et gilets subiront les sanctions prévues par la loi.

C’est dans ce contexte que les chauffeurs accusent particulièrement 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 et tant d’autres cadres du pays de s’acquitter de leurs taxes qui ne sont jamais payées. Comme nous pouvons le constater, l’actuel Premier ministre le Dr.Jack Guy Lafontant lui-même ne paye pas le fisc, et il n’est pas le seul.

L’obligation de forcer les chauffeurs de motos-taxis à payer 1 750 gourdes est une mesure inouïe pour exploiter tous les secteurs des masses populaires. La lutte des ouvriers qui revendiquent les 800 gourdes et celle des chauffeurs de taxi-moto est la même. On leur impose un surplus de taxe juste pour plaire à la bourgeoisie patripoche, corrompue ayant à sa tête les Apaid, les Boulos et autres ; l’administration Moise/Lafontant vient de lui faire plaisir en ajustant le salaire de misère à 350 gourdes pour les ouvriers de la sous-traitance.

Nous nous solidarisons avec les travailleurs et les chauffeurs de taxi contre cette injustice programmée. Seule la mise en place d’un outil de combat des masses exploitées contre les laquais locaux au service du capitalisme international peut nous affranchir de ce banditisme d’Etat.

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

By: World Socialist Website
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.
Despite the desperate plight faced by the approximately 60,000 Haitians staying in the US on TPS, including the imminent threat of being rounded up in Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and unceremoniously deported to conditions of poverty and misery in Haiti, Canada’s government has responded with callous indifference. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen blandly declared August 4, “We discourage people from conducting irregular crossings of our borders. It’s not safe, it’s not something that we want people to do. We want people to claim asylum in the first country that they’re in, which in this case is the US.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck a similar tone, stating that the refugees should apply for asylum in the proper way and that Canada has to defend the “integrity” of its immigration system.Such statements are deeply cynical. The hundreds of Haitians and other refugees crossing the border daily are being forced to cross “irregularly” because the Trudeau government continues to enforce the Canada-US Safe Third Country agreement, according to which refugees who make an asylum application at a regular border crossing are automatically turned back to the United States. They can only make a claim in Canada if they cross the land border independently, often at considerable risk. The refusal to abandon the agreement is bound up with the Trudeau government’s determination to deepen Ottawa’s strategic partnership with the Trump administration on the basis of stepped up military collaboration and enhanced North American economic protectionism, via a “modernized” North America Free Trade Agreement.For Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, the main concern is getting the asylum applications processed as fast as possible so as to limit the provincial government’s financial liability. “We give them social assistance, help to find housing. We give them healthcare, even education for the children,” he complained. “All that is expensive, and we don’t want the delay to be unduly prolonged. We’re talking about many millions of dollars.”The right-wing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ—Coalition for Quebec’s Future), meanwhile, is agitating for the refugee claimants to be summarily expelled. “The Liberals,” said CAQ leader François Legault, “are sending a very bad signal to illegal migrants by opening arms to them, as if Quebec can welcome all the misery of the world.”Although Canada’s government was made aware in briefings as early as March of a potential influx of refugees, it has failed to provide adequate resources, forcing many of those crossing the border having to wait days in makeshift, ramshackle facilities to be processed.Evidence suggests that the Trudeau Liberal government is already moving towards reaching some kind of an agreement with Haiti’s right-wing government to deport the asylum seekers after their applications have been summarily rejected. Two Haitian government ministers visited Montreal Wednesday and met with the city’s mayor, Denis Coderre.A former federal Liberal Immigration minister, Coderre played a major role in the negotiations that led to the reactionary Safe Third Country agreement. Moreover, as Canada’s Representative to La Francophonie and “special adviser” to Prime Minster Paul Martin on Haiti in 2003-4, Coderre played a major role in fronting and organizing Canada’s participation in the US-led 2004 “regime-change” invasion and occupation of Haiti.Jean Sebastien Boudreault, head of the Quebec Association of Immigration Lawyers, warned against the Haitian ministers having any contact with the asylum seekers. “We need to make sure, first and foremost, that we are protecting the people we are supposed to be protecting,” he told CBC, “which are the people who are seeking a refugee status.”In contrast to the indifference and outright hostility from the authorities, the Haitian refugees have been met with an overwhelmingly positive welcome by residents of Montreal. On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at the Olympic Stadium, where many of the refugees are being housed, to welcome the new arrivals, carrying signs that read “Refugees welcome” and “Haitians welcome.”Many of the Haitians now fleeing Trump’s reactionary anti-immigrant policies were forced out of the impoverished Caribbean nation following the 2010 earthquake, which killed over 200,000 people and displaced half a million more. But Haiti’s endemic poverty and related social problems go back much further than that and are bound up with the ruthless exploitation of the country by American and Canadian imperialism.American Marines first occupied Haiti in 1915, remaining for 20 years and leaving behind a trained Haitian army that for decades formed the backbone of pro-US dictatorial regimes.In 2004, 500 Canadian troops intervened alongside US military forces to oust the elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, working in tandem with a bloody uprising based on elements drawn from the disbanded Haitian army and death squads active under the Duvalier military dictatorship and successor military regimes.Canada’s determination to support the coup was bound up with its imperialist interests in the Caribbean, which has long been a major destination of Canadian foreign investment. Canada’s major banks have been active in the region since the early 20th century.Following the 2010 earthquake, Canada deployed 2,000 troops and two battleships to the impoverished country in what was one of the largest overseas deployments by the Canadian Armed Forces since World War II. The Conservative government of Stephen Harper ensured that Canada obtained a leading role in the so-called rebuilding of Haiti, which amounted to developing plans to establish the country as a cheap-labour haven and a source of super-profits for big business.The lack of concern within Canadian ruling circles for the fate of ordinary Haitians is further illustrated by the callous treatment of Haitians who found refuge in Canada following the 2010 earthquake. Little more than four years after the disaster and under conditions where the country remains an effective ruin, Ottawa canceled its own temporary residency program, forcing Haitians to leave “voluntarily” or be expelled.The Trudeau government’s treatment of those fleeing the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant witch hunt underscores the bogus character of its much-publicized “refugee-friendly” stance. In 2015, shortly after coming to power, Trudeau made a great show of welcoming the first group of Syrian refugees flown into Canada as part of a resettlement program. In reality, Canada was extremely restrictive in the number of Syrians it accepted as refugees, allowing just 40,000 to enter the country. Many were only allowed in thanks to private sponsorships by churches, mosques and community groups.Conditions for refugees in Canada are abysmal. Many are forced to rely on food banks and other charities to make ends meet. In addition, successive Canadian governments, including the Trudeau Liberals, have illegally locked up immigrants and refugees indefinitely if they are deemed to be a flight risk, a danger to the public, or if their identities cannot be confirmed. Reports have denounced the practice, which has led to children being confined to conditions comparable to medium-security prisons. (See: Report documents Canadian government’s abuse of immigrant and refugee children)Trudeau has used his pose as a pro-refugee leader concerned about “humanitarian” problems as political cover for vastly expanding Canada’s military deployments around the world, from the sending of additional Special Forces to the Mideast war in Iraq, to leading one of NATO’s battalions on Russia’s borders in Eastern Europe, and bolstering Canada’s naval presence in the Asia-Pacific to help the US threaten China. In June, the Liberals unveiled a 70 percent hike in military spending and declared that “hard power,” i.e. war, must be a central part of Canada’s foreign policy.

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.

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

By: Haiti Action Committee 
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.
 ·      On July 10 - 12, 2017, during three days of peaceful protest for an increase in the minimum wage, Haitian police attacked the workers from the industrial park in Port-au-Prince with tear gas, batons and cannons shooting a liquid skin irritant. One of the beaten workers is a woman who had recently returned to work from giving birth.
·      On June 12, the government-appointed rector of the Haitian State University used his car to hit and run over a protesting university student. The government prosecutor has ignored the complaint filed by the students against the rector and is instead pursuing the victim's colleagues in a blatant attempt to harass and intimidate them.
·      In May 2017, units of the Haitian police and paramilitary forces again attacked the people of Arcahaie protesting the government's plan to remove the main revenue-generating district from the community, located about 30 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince. 
·      In May 2017, a food vendor in Petionville was killed after he was deliberately hit and run over by a car of the municipal paramilitary forces according to outraged witnesses.
·      On March 20th, 2017, police officers were videotaped shooting at the car carrying President Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse as they returned from court. The police officers were reportedly observed returning to the national palace; there was no condemnation of this blatant assassination attempt by the government.
Adding a newly organized Haitian Army to this mix is a sign that the Haitian government is planning on more repression. The Haitian military’s purpose was to protect Haitian dictatorships and to attack any challenges by the Haitian people.  Whether under the Duvalier dictatorships from 1957-1986 or when the military overthrew the democratically elected Aristide government in 1991, leading to the killing of over 5000 people, the military has been a central anti-democratic institution in Haitian society. When then-President Aristide disbanded the narco-trafficking Haitian military in 1995, the Army was eating up 40% of the national budget in a country with fewer than two doctors per 10,000 people. 
Now this infamous military is being restored just as the United Nations is said to begin a staged withdrawal of its troops. This is similar to what happened following the U.S. occupation of Haiti from 1915-1934, a period in which 20,000 Haitians were killed. As the U.S. forces withdrew, they left in place a neo-colonial army with Haitian faces to do their bidding and continue the repression of popular discontent. 
Haitians are saying NO to the restoration of an additional repressive military force.  They are demanding an end to police terror and an end to impunity.  We join their call.
E-mail and phone-in campaign to:
- Say No to the Restoration of the brutal Haitian military
- Hold the US and UN occupation accountable for the terror campaign by the Haitian police and security forces they train and supervise.
- Say No to impunity for police terror in Haiti


Contact:
- US State Department: HaitiSpecialCoordinator@state.gov
- Your Member of Congress: 202-224 3121

- UN Mission in Haiti: minustah-info@un.org

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.

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.

“There was also a $1.5 million judgement entered against him for forfeiture, so the government is allowed to go after assets up to the amount of $1.5 million,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn M. Kirkpatrick after the sentencing hearing.

The sentencing, which had originally been scheduled for Jul. 5, took all of ten minutes.Demonstrators organized by Veye Yo rallied outside the courthouse to say that the sentence was too lenient. Credit: Miami Herald

Outside the courthouse, about a dozen demonstrators convened by the Miami-based Haitian popular organization Veye Yo, founded by the late Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste three decades ago, denounced Philippe’s close association with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and condemned the sentence as too lenient.

“We told the judge that nine years was too little and to add another nine to it,” said Veye Yo leader Tony Jean-Thénor. “Make the sentence 99 years, we said.”

The demonstrators held up posters showing Philippe and Moïse embracing and campaigning together before the anemic Nov. 20, 2016 election in which they were both elected. On the picture was printed: “Guy Philippe and Jovenel Moïse: Drug-Dealing Brothers in Crime.”


“We told the judge that nine years was too little and to add another nine to it,” said Veye Yo leader Tony Jean-Thénor. “Make the sentence 99 years, we said.”

“Philippe is just the tip of the iceberg,” Jean-Thénor told Haïti Liberté. “Jovenel Moïse was the one who introduced former President Michel Martelly to fugitive drug trafficker Evinx Daniel [arrested in 2013 by Haitian police then released through the president’s intervention, he disappeared into the Haitian countryside], according to Sweet Micky [Martelly’s nickname] himself. The Senate President, Youri Latortue, is described as a drug dealer and Mafia boss by the U.S. Embassy itself in secret cables released by Wikileaks and Haïti Liberté. Guy Philippe was not the only candidate to use drug money to buy his way to a parliamentary post in the 2015 and 2016 elections which were boycotted by over 80% of Haitian voters.”

Other demonstrators complained that Philippe had not been prosecuted for much more serious offenses than laundering money and running drugs. “His real crimes are, first, that he was instrumental in helping to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004,” said Simonville Estinphil, 65, a retired security guard. “Then, after the coup, in Cap Haïtien, he and his paramilitaries locked many Aristide supporters in a container and dropped them in the sea, drowning them. This was just the worst of many murders his thugs committed from 2001 to 2004. Then, in May of last year, his troops attacked the Aux Cayes police station, killing a police officer and wounding others. Guy Philippe has wronged Haiti in many ways. I hope he is judged there when he is sent back after doing his time in the States.”Guy Philippe’s “real crimes” were helping to overthrow Aristide, killing Aristide supporters, and killing and wounding policemen in 2016, said demonstrator Simonville Estinphil.

Although dozens of Guy Philippe’s supporters traveled to Miami for his arraignment in January, to proclaim his innocence and demand his release, only one showed up on Jun. 21 for the sentencing.

Mistaking the Veye Yo demonstrators for allies, the Philippe supporter took one of their signs and held it up. But when he heard their chant – “Nine years is not enough!” – he realized his mistake, dropped the sign, and ran away.

Haitian police arrested Philippe outside a radio station in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 5, 2017, just days before he would have been sworn in as a Haitian Senator with legal immunity. He was extradited the same day to Miami, having eluded capture by U.S. authorities since he was indicted in 2005.

“This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies,” wrote the office of Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Benjamin G. Greenberg, in a press release. “The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations and enterprises.”

Cholera Victims to Protest as UN Security Council Lands in Haiti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston): media@ijdh.org, +1-617-652-0876Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince): brian@ijdh.org, +509-3701-9879Cholera Victims to Protest as UN Security Council Lands in HaitiCall on UN to Deliver on Promised Response by MINUSTAH WithdrawalWednesday, 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.”The 15-member Security Council is in Haiti from June 22-24 to finalize the transition from MINUSTAH to a new mission focused on supporting justice that will be known as MINUJUSTH. The BAI announced two protests during the visit: one at the UN logistics base in Haiti on Thursday at 11 am, and a second one in Champs de Mars on Friday at 11. Advocates at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) simultaneously launched an international campaign calling on Member States to contribute their fair share to the New Approach by MINUSTAH’s closure. The campaign was launched on www.time2deliver.org.
“The UN Member States brought MINUSTAH to Haiti, and they have a collective responsibility to pay for the damage caused by its peacekeeping operations,” said Sienna Merope-Synge, IJDH Staff Attorney. “They must either contribute their fair share, or agree to draw funds from the UN’s budget by MINUSTAH’s withdrawal.”To date, the UN has raised only 2% of the $400 million promised to implement its New Approach to Cholera in Haiti — a plan intended to eliminate cholera and provide remedies to the hundreds of thousands who have suffered from the epidemic.  As a result of the funding shortfall, implementation has stalled, and the UN has refused to begin even consulting with victims about the plan.On Tuesday, the Secretary-General appointed a new high-level special envoy, Josette Sheeran, to lead the fundraising efforts. Ms. Sheeran has a strong record of leadership, including as the former head of the World Food Program, and has previously raised billions of dollars for UN humanitarian efforts. But she is the third senior official to be assigned to the cholera issue. Her two predecessors did not succeed at raising any substantial funds.“Ms. Sheeran’s nomination is a welcome acknowledgement of the UN’s predicament, of launching a justice support mission while the organization continues to disdain its well-documented legal obligations to Haiti’s cholera victims,” said Brian Concannon, Executive Director of IJDH. “But her efforts and experience will bear no results unless the Secretary-General and Security Council Members provide leadership. They led enough to find $7 billion for MINUSTAH peacekeepers in a country that had no war, they now need to lead enough to find $400 million for a real cholera epidemic their troops introduced.”“Promoting rule of law requires abiding by the rule of law. The UN cannot succeed in its mission unless it sheds its double standard and complies with its obligations to repair the harms it caused,” said Beatrice Lindstrom, IJDH Staff Attorney.Cholera continues to take a grave toll in Haiti, infecting thousands each month, and killing at a rate of one Haitian each day. The UN estimates 30,000 Haitians will contract the disease this year, and the country remains vulnerable to a resurgence of deaths, with few improvements to water, sanitation and health care since the height of the epidemic. For the thousands of families who lost loved ones and livelihoods, the financial and emotional consequences of cholera continue to impose a crushing burden long after the disease has passed.

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 
“Men and women have the right to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice.” However, the number of doctors in Haiti remains woefully inadequate with less than two doctors per 10,000 habitants. Infant and child mortality remains high and women die in childbirth at a rate of twenty-five times higher than women in the U.S. In most rural areas nurses are the primary health care provider. Only approximately twenty-five dentists are graduated each year throughout the whole country and until UNIFA created the first degree program in physical therapy, there were no higher education Haiti trained physical therapists. The 2010 catastrophic earthquake made evident how critical this field is but to date many hospitals in Haiti don’t have units for physical therapy. 
Hundreds of women participate in Mother’s Day event at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy and access free medical exams and treatment at the Mobile Clinic held that day.When former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti in 2011, he was determined to reopen his university to continue to carry out his vision and commitment to provide a human-rights based model of education as the building block for effective change in Haiti. UNIFA, the university of the Aristide Foundation, is unique with its emphasis on human rights, dignity, and inclusiveness as the path to a new and just Haiti. (See UNIFA’s Guiding Principles.) In amplifying her husband’s emphasis on dignity, Mildred Aristide framed the importance of dignity to the future of Haiti as, “…resistance is bound to a powerful will to affirm a shared humanity rooted in dignity…This notion of dignity embraces self-determination. People as subject and never object of their history.” UNIFA works on all these fronts. To provide a quality, higher education to all qualified students without exclusion, UNIFA’s tuition is much less than other private universities and is able to draw students from throughout Haiti because of its dormitory that currently houses sixty students. UNIFA is a fully accredited Haitian university offering degrees in seven disciplines: Medicine, Law, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Dentistry, Engineering and Continuing Education and currently has 1,300 matriculated students studying at its Tabarre campus in Haiti. Adhering to the State prescribed curriculum and educational requirements, UNIFA supplements course work with additional classes and lectures utilizing its own prominent professors as well as visiting local or foreign professors and experts, including Cuban doctors, who share different approaches and experiences. “Students gain their own perspective and state of mind. UNIFA provides excellence in education and a safe space for learning where students can think about issues confronting Haiti and seek solutions that they will ultimately contribute to resolve,” Mrs. Aristide explains. UNIFA is a stepping-stone for Haiti, where professionals are trained inside Haiti and students can control their own destiny and forge their own future. Through community service, participation in mobile clinics, gaining practical experience in clinics and hospitals, students build relationships in the professional world before they graduate and get to see the whole range of possible work in the medical field, including research and other specialties. Moving UNIFA and a new Haiti forward each year! The first class of UNIFA law students will graduate this September. Sixth-year medical students are doing internships at state and Partners in Health hospitals in Delmas, Mirabalais and Gonaives. Fifth-year medical students are gaining practical experience at the Hospital Bernard Mevs. UNIFA’s nursing students are gaining practical experience in clinics and hospitals throughout the Port-au-Prince area. Physical therapy students are in their third year and UNIFA hopes to offer a masters program in physical therapy in the near future. As of March 2017 the construction of the anatomy lab building was completed and is being used to practice dissection. The cafeteria will be moving into a new modern structure. UNIFA’s engaging Thursday lecture series are very successful and the annual Science Week held in May enjoyed guest lecturers from diverse fields who discussed proactively the realities of emergencies and disasters facing Haiti. UNIFA’s Campaign for Dignity. Next UNIFA needs to complete its construction of its Diagnostic & Primary Care Center so students can get the full range of practical experience while also serving families living in this growing region. It is the first component of UNIFA’s teaching hospital. As Dr. Paul Farmer, of Partners in Health, who teaches at UNIFA and serves as the President of our not-for-profit explains, “You can’t teach medical education without a hospital.” UNIFA needs your help to get this done. Once the construction of the Diagnostic & Primary Care Center is completed it will need staff, furnishings, medical equipment, and operating costs. UNIFA dental students will need dental chairs and physical therapy students will need beds. Until the teaching hospital is built, patients needing more advanced care or surgery will be received by the Hospital Bernard Mevs, UNIFA’s partner organization. Let’s honor Haiti’s mothers together. Please help UNIFA build a new Haiti. Help UNIFA construct its Diagnostic & Primary Care Center, the first phase of its teaching hospital. 
UNIFA’s medical students assist doctors during an earlier Mobile Clinic at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy.
Children at the Mobile Clinic held at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy. In the background UNIFA’s medical and nursing students assist doctors and nurses in examining the hundreds of women seeking medical care during Haiti Mother’s Day weekend event.

Haiti will never accept the electoral coup d’etat

SF Bay View -- Dave WelshSome 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 KambonOakland – 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 KambonThe Oakland event featured music by the Vukani Mawethu choir and the revolutionary words of drummers Phavia Kujichagulia and Val Serrant. A Black community security service, the Oakland-based Community Ready Corps, provided security. Dr. Narcisse’s California tour was organized by the Haiti Action Committee as a benefit for the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.
Over the past two years, Haiti’s popular movement has fought a relentless campaign for free and fair elections in support of her candidacy, with tens of thousands in the streets almost daily for many months. They fought to overturn the results of fraudulent elections that gave the presidency to a U.S.-backed right-wing candidate.A long-time Lavalas militant, as well as a medical doctor, Maryse Narcisse has been in the streets with the people day after day, as they faced police bullets, tear gas, water hoses and clubs. “When you give voice to the demands and grievances of the people,” she said, “you win their hearts.”Robert Roth of the Haiti Action Committee, which provides indispensable support to Lavalas and Haitian self-determination, former Black Panther and San Francisco 8 member Richard Brown, and former Louisiana state Rep. Theodore (Ted) Marchand talk with Dr. Narcisse. – Photo: Malaika KambonShe pointed out that “Haiti is an unequal country, where 1 percent of the population own 45 percent of the wealth, and most live in abject poverty, with high unemployment. The economy is at a standstill. The price of food and fuel keeps going up. There is poisoned water, flooding and deforestation. Over 200,000 children cannot go to school, because most primary schools are private.“There is constant meddling by the U.S. and the United Nations occupation force, creating instability,” Dr. Narcisse continued. “They don’t want us to have our own strong government serving our people. These self-appointed ‘Friends of Haiti’ want to hold onto the power so they can serve international interests. That is why they intervene and steal our elections.”Standing strong on either side of Dr. Narcisse are Akubundu of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party and Black Panther Minister of Culture Emory Douglas, world famous artist who makes art that empowers the people. – Photo: Malaika KambonThe small right-wing Haitian elite controls the government, she said, and there are signs of a return to the methods of the Duvalier dictatorship, which ruled Haiti from 1957 to 1986. “But in 1986 the people rose up and overthrew Baby Doc Duvalier,” Dr. Narcisse said. “As in those times, today we are re-organizing, holding large mass meetings, educating and mobilizing our people – because the people want to resist and they will never give up.”Her party takes its name from Lavalas which means “flood” or “cleansing torrent” in the Haitian Kreyol language. And there is a saying in the movement: “Alone we are weak. United we are strong. All together we are Lavalas!”Dave Welsh, writer, activist and a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council and a retired letter carrier, can be reached at sub@sonic.netThe Haiti Emergency Relief Fund can be reached at www.haitiemergencyrelief.org; please be as generous as you can – ed.

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.

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.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro has been under attack by OAS chief Luis Almagro, who has vocally backed Venezuela's opposition and promoted foreign intervention in the country, leading Caracas to begin the process of withdrawal from the international body.

Representatives of some right-wing governments in the region, such as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay and Argentina continued their actions against Venezuela during the meeting of foreign ministers. Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira Filho said in his address that the Venezuelan government must call "free elections," with a "fixed schedule."

Meanwhile, diplomats from Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and other nations rejected the meeting as an intervention in the internal affairs of the South American country. "The OAS can not continue to be used by a country for a political lynching against the government of Venezuela, it is regrettable that a group of brother countries has been biased in their appraisals and focus," said Nicaraguan Ambassador Luis Ezequiel Alvarado.

Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni condemned what he considered an intervention, "The countries of the region do not need protectorates or tutelage. Nothing that we do will be useful without the participation of Venezuela."

Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Gaston Browne urged his fellow Caribbean nations that "Any covert attempts, to directly or indirectly interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela, to engineer regime change should be resisted."

The meeting, titled, “The Situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” had three separate proposals for OAS action on Venezuela.

A draft declaration submitted by Peru, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Panama called for, among other actions, "a halt to the convocation of a national Constituent Assembly as presently conceived," aimed at condemning the process to rewrite the Venezuelan Constitution that Maduro announced earlier this month. A similar draft position from Antigua and Barbuda also proposed calling for the Constituent Assembly to be suspended, but the country withdrew its proposal during the meeting.

Meanwhile, a proposal from the Caribbean community does not propose calling for a move to halt the Constituent Assembly process, but rather urges the "establishment of concrete plans for the restoration of peace and stability as soon as possible." Caricom also called for asking Venezuela to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the regional organization.

All three draft declarations called for an end to violence in the country and for a commitment from all parties to take part in a renewed dialogue process to ease political tensions. Talks between the government and the right-wing opposition broke down in January after parts of the fractured opposition repeatedly boycotted the talks.

The day’s plenary session was attended by 34 of the Organization of American States ' 35 members at its headquarters in Washington, which began with a private meeting closed to the press. Although Venezuela considered the meeting an attack on its sovereignty, it decided to attend the meeting.

Any proposals will need the vote of two-thirds of the representative, and many predict that considering divisions over the issue within the bloc, this will not be an easy feat.

Venezuelans supporting the Maduro government marched Wednesday in Caracas under the banner of rejecting international intervention and sending a message to the representatives meeting in Washington that — as socialist politician Elias Jaua put it — Venezuela's sovereignty must be respected.

The call for an assembly was agreed upon on April 26 by 18 states, the minimum needed for the proposal to be put in motion, which triggered Venezuela's exit process. Since then, ambassadors of the OAS have been convening both privately and publicly to prepare and strategize the best way to present current issues and bring members opposing the consultation together.

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:


(1) The “White” Duvalierists and Rightists- Located in the tier below the most well-known top families in Haiti exists a fraction of light-skinned bourgeoisie (a sizable number of which are of Levantine descent). One individual who grew up within the upper echelons of Haitian society and interviewed by the author explained how racialized class relations play out among right-wing elite: “The non-black Duvalierists consider themselves smarter;” they are not at the level of the major industrialist families, but “still have significant wealth and power” (Sprague, 2011a). These families, with many individuals with Duavlierist leanings, include the Handals, Mourras, Assads, and Jaars. According to one individual fromm a bourgeoisie background whom I interviewed: some of “these people are more dangerous even than the top dozen families. They think they have more to gain [locally] and they are under less foreign scrutiny” (Sprague, 2011a). Some individuals from these groups, such as Georges Saati and Hugues Paris, appear to have played a decisive role in mobilizing the paramilitary campaign against the state (Sprague, 2012a).  (2) A “Black” Duvalierist group included individuals such as the former dictator Prosper Avril, a former Tonton Macoute and mayor of Port-au-Prince Franck Romain, and others such as Gregory Chevry, and his brother, Youri Chevry, Alix Thibulle, Gonzague Day, and some members of the Tankred family, all of whom allegedly backed the paramilitary insurgency. Alex Thibulle, one of the most important of this group, allegedly maintained strong connections with the “white” Duvalierists. As one son from a well-off family in Port-au-Prince explained to the author: “Thibulle [was] one of the few black Duvalierists that [could] go sit with them [the non-black Duvalierists] at their table on Sunday. They will not invite others to their parties who they look down upon” (Sprague, 2011a). In more recent times, these individuals have been able to work with what has become one of the most “powerful cartels in the country headed up by Dany Toussaint, Clarel Alexandre, Gregory Chevy, and Jean-Claude Louis-Jean” (Sprague, 2011a). “These are the people that Guy Philippe and the other [paramilitaries] . . . will never out,” the names that will never be smeared in the media pronouncements that they make from time to time (Sprague, 2011a). In more recent years, many of these individuals have tried to remain politically relevant by working primarily with the emergent establishment political parties headed by Michel Martelly and Préval. Importantly, according to embassy cables that I obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): a central planner of the FLRN death squad campaign between 2001 and 2004 was the Duvalierist Joseph Baguidy Jr.. A  disgraced former military man, Baguidy Jr.'s father was a close confidant (and arms procurer) of François Duvalier.    [Note: In October of 2014 Jean-Claude Duvalier (who had returned from exile after the 2010 earthquake) would die in the home of Baguidy, Jr.]      (3) A group of local and diaspora business people played a decisive role in funding the new paramilitary forces. Some of these are smaller business people with familial and ideological roots among the far right in the country. Some are more transnationally oriented, for example, involved in sub-contractor manufacturing and geared toward the global economy (Multinational Monitor, 1995). Among these capitalists that appear to have had links at one time or another to this most recent phase of paramilitary violence were: Ben Bigio, André “Andy” Apaid, Jr, and Oliver Nadal.    (4) Careerist, opportunist, and failed political elites. As I discovered through Freedom of Information Act research, a number of public figures in the country also facilitated paramilitary forces. Among these were Judy C. Roy, a local elite with political aspirations, who was a key early financier of the FLRN paramilitaries. This sector is also representative of individuals such as Serge Gilles, leader of the small political party Fusion des Sociaux Democrates Haitienne (FUSION). Others, such as longtime rightwing political operatives of the Manigat family, held discussions with the U.S. Embassy discussing what they viewed as the useful role that paramilitaries could play in removing the Aristide government. An array of small political parties exist in Haiti, who rarely win elected office in free and fair elections but continue on as important players that often receive appointed positions, are useful contacts at the U.S. embassy, some shifting political loyalties at opportune moments.  (5) A faction of the Former military, including some former police officials played a vital role in facilitating FLRN violence. Some had past U.S. intelligence and military connections. These include figures such as former FAd’H commanders Himmler Rébu and Guy André François, former Duvalierist general Williams Régala, and others (Sprague, 2012a). Former members of the Fad’H such as Youri Latortue and Dany Toussaint also fit the mold of other social groups listed below.  For example, Dany Toussaint fits within the “5th column” group, as well as being involved in narco-trafficking. Youri Latortue in particular played a central role in undermining Haiti’s elected government in 2004 and was then a key planner for the post-coup authorities and the campaign of violent repression they launched (Sprague, 2012a). His relative Gérard Latortue headed up the post-coup dictatorship installed by the U.S. in March 2004.            (6) The “5th column”, as I describe them, consisted of individuals who were working to undermine the state from within. Most characteristic of these ‘chameleons’ were Dany Toussaint and Joseph Médard, both of whom rose to top elected seats in the country’s senate under FL. Operating from within the state apparatus, they would serve as key figures (as documented in numerous FOIAs) in helping to undermine Haiti’s elected government in the months and years prior to the coup of February 2004 (Sprague, 2012a).            (7) U.S. Intelligence, in particular the CIA. There is a long history of U.S. intervention and support for repressive forces in Haiti. While some embassy officials such as U.S. Ambassador Brian Dean Curran (Ambassador to Haiti between 2001 and 2003) did not directly promote paramilitary operations, it does not appear he attempted in any way to support the Haitian authorities in bringing paramilitaries to justice. Other U.S. ambassadors, such as Curran’s replacement by the Bush regime, James B. Foley, directly engaged in communication with the paramilitary commanders (Sprague, 2012a).  Yet even under the period of Curran’s time as ambassador, it is clear from FOIAs and interviews I conducted that U.S. intelligence agents did carry out their own operations, coordinating with elites backing the FLRN. One example of this is when a U.S. intelligence operative (who appears to have been an important CIA or DIA agent at the time working at the embassy, possibly the station chief), Janice Elmore, met with the rightist plotter Hugues Paris and opportunist sectors within the local police force in Gonaives. This occurred just prior to a jailbreak in Gonaives in which imprisoned paramilitary, ex-military, and violent criminals escaped in August 2002 (Sprague, 2012a).  As I discovered from a discussion with an anonymous source that previously worked in the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince, Curran and the chief of the embassy had a tense relationship with Elmore, as she had her own agency-specific priorities that did not always align with those of the U.S. State Department.            (8) A sector within the Dominican Republic’s military leadership and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Previously I have provided the first documented investigation into the secret role of Dominican officials in facilitating paramilitary violence in Haiti. This support emanated primarily from a group of career bureaucrats in the foreign ministry in Santo Domingo and from upper echelons of the Dominican military. Most notable among these appears to have been Lt. General Soto Jiménez and General Manuel Dominican Major Polanco Salvador. In tape-recorded interviews conducted by the author, career bureaucrats at the Dominican Ministry of Foreign Relations in Santo Domingo also acknowledged providing close support to Guy Philippe and his paramilitary force. These officials included: Dr. Luis Ventura Sanchez, Haitian ex-pat Jean Bertin, and William Paez Piantini (Sprague, 2012a). There were also various middle men that helped the paramilitaries establish connections in the Dominican Republic and keep a tab on them for Dominican officials, individuals such as rightwing Haitian operative Harry Joseph (a close friend of Saati, and allegedly close with Dominican intelligence), minister counselor Hubert Dorval who worked in Haiti’s embassy in the Dominican Republic (and who was relieved of his duties by the Aristide government after being caught secretly feeding information to Dominican intelligence), and Delis Herasmé, a friend of then Dominican president Mejia and an important “networker” for the paramilitaries in Santo Domingo. This information was verified to the author by numerous sources close with the paramilitaries and by some of these individuals themselves (Sprague, 2012a).            (9) France’s external intelligence agency, the DGSE (the General Directorate for External Security). French intelligence appears to have also played a role in directly backing the FLRN. This includes both allegations of a French journalist handing off money to the paramilitaries in Gonaives and a U.S. embassy cable in which the U.S. ambassador wrote to the Department of State that it appeared France was involved in backing the paramilitaries (Sprague, 2012a). Virtually nothing has been published on the covert role of French intelligence in financing paramilitary or Duvalierist forces in Haiti. It should be noted that French intelligence has long played a well-documented and important role in supporting armed groups in other parts of the world (such as in recent conflicts in Libya, Syria, and parts of West and Central Africa).(10) Narco-rings. One of the most important characteristics of top paramilitary and military leaders over recent decades has been their reoccuring connection to the narco-trade. Narcotics trafficking through Haiti has long been controlled by military, ex-military, police, paramilitaries, and children of the wealthy elites. It is safe to say that since the expansion of the narco-trade into the Caribbean, within every Haitian state administration, there have been individuals connected with and profiting from it.    Following the disbanding of the military in 1995, former-army personnel and sectors of the elite formed cartels seeking to dominate the trade’s local inputs. These narco-bosses with connections to Dominican, Colombian, and other crime rings have sought to buy off politicians frequently (Sprague, 2011a). One little understood factor behind the paramilitary aggression in recent years has been over the narco-trade, as rival narco-rings have had alliances with different officials embedded within Haiti’s governmental apparatuses. During the period that I have studied it appears that while some narco-groups became affiliated with the FLRN, others had allies within the government’s security agencies.

The prevailing correlation of forces in this aid dependent and underdeveloped country made it extremely difficult for a reformist project to stand -- arrayed against it forces of extreme power and wealth.
References
Multinational Monitor. “Interview: An Inside Look at Haiti’s Business Elite.” http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issues/1995/01/mm0195_10.html. (1995)
Sprague, J. Interview with an individual from a upper class family in Haiti. Requested anonymity (2011a).
Sprague, J. Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti. New York: Monthly Review Press (2012a).

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.

            DHS's announcement ignores the vast destruction last October of Hurricane Matthew – the worst to hit Haiti in 52 years – and the unchecked cholera epidemic which has killed and sickened at least 9,500 and 800,000 respectively. Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti’s bread basket, exacerbating the current food insecurity crisis, and spiked cholera cases too.
            The DHS statement also misleadingly states: “96% of people displaced by the earthquake and living in internally displaced person camps have left those camps.  Even more encouraging is that over 98% of these camps have closed.”
            This is misleading because many camps were forcibly closed due to regular, unchallenged, large-scale evictions by landowners, not because other housing had been found nor because residents had any other place to go. This has been a huge problem in Haiti.  Even more significantly, several of the larger camps were reclassified by the Haitian government as "permanent housing," simply because the residents had attached so much salvaged building material to their makeshift shanties. An estimated 50,000 still live in tents seven years after the earthquake.
            In fact, perhaps never has there been a clearer case for TPS extension than Haiti’s case now, due to the overwhelming triple calamities of earthquake, Matthew, and cholera. Haiti can’t safely assimilate 50,000 deportees nor, crucially, replace their remittances to hundreds of thousands of families back home.
            For all these reasons, Haiti’s government was joined by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, New York Daily News, Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, and Orlando Sentinel editorial boards, the Republican governors of Florida and Massachusetts, 100 bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate and House, 14 big city mayors, 550 U.S. doctors, 416 faith leaders, 330 organizations and leaders, and a host of others in urging an 18-month TPS extension.
            Support was unprecedented because the justifying facts on the ground are that conditions warranting TPS persist in Haiti, as evidenced by an 8-page single-spaced December assessment by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and then-Secretary of State Kerry’s recommendation that it be extended.  But last month, USCIS under President Trump reversed itself, urging termination, and recently leaked DHS emails revealed efforts to demonize Haitians as criminals and welfare cheats as a means of justifying termination. These maneuvers were reprehensible and inherently racist. Such considerations are also irrelevant: since TPS is a humanitarian program, TPS recipients are ineligible for welfare, and criminals are ineligible for TPS!
            Finally, there is this ominous conclusion to Kelly’s statement: “This six-month extension should allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients... I believe there are indications that Haiti – if its recovery from the 2010 earthquake continues at pace – may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018.” This statement strongly suggests that this partial TPS renewal for Haitians will be the last.
            So this reprieve is temporary and short. Although the Trump administration’s DHS may have been angling for a cut-off, the facts and overwhelming support for Haitians’ TPS renewal were too strong to ignore. We must make sure that they remain so in the months ahead.


Steven Forester is the Immigration Policy Coordinator for the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH).

Water for Profit: Haiti’s Thirsty Season

First of a series

by Dady Chery (Haiti Liberte)


There is no shortage of water in Haiti. Yet, everywhere on the island, Haitians travel for miles to get water, pay dearly for it if they can find it, and sometimes die on their journey to collect it, like so many antelopes snatched by predators on their way to drink.
            How does a thing like that happen in a country that gets reliably drenched with more than 50 inches (130 cm) of naturally distilled rainwater per year? Haiti is blessed with two rainy seasons: April to May, and August to October, but even during the driest months of December to February, the country gets about 1.5 inches per month. The Artibonite River alone carries more than 26,000 gallons (100 cubic meters) of fresh water per second! Another 13,000 gallons per second flow through nine other rivers that crisscross the mountainous landscape. As if that were not enough, Haitians also sit on about 15 trillion gallons of groundwater.
            The latest foreign occupiers of Haiti would like us to believe that they found the country in a state of wilderness, with Haitians defoliating the trees and bouncing between the bare branches like monkeys that had not yet discovered fire or the wheel. In reality, Haiti has had a system of pipes where communities could collect their drinking water since 1841. About 40 years after that, households began to be equipped with their own water, so that by the early 20th century, this group represented one third of the population. Haiti’s position with regard to potable water rivaled anywhere in the world and was contemporary with the construction of waterworks in cities of the United States. Keep in mind that it was in the mid-19th century that about 20,000 Londoners died of epidemics of Asian cholera. Their drinking water had become contaminated with the wastes of the upper classes, who had just become fond of water closets and did not care where their untreated wastes flowed. If this brings to mind the more recent contamination of Haiti by the United Nations “peacekeepers,” yes, plus cela change, plus c’est la même chose.
            As in most places and for good reason, in Haiti the control of water distribution was the purview of cities. The Autonomous Metropolitan Drinking Water Authority (Centrale Autonome Métropolitaine d’Eau Potable, CAMEP) handled the water distribution in Port-au-Prince. Branches of the National Drinking Water Authority (Service National d’Eau Potable, SNEP) provided water in 28 other cities. Many of Haiti’s smaller communities and cities also built their own fountains and dug their own wells.
            The average Haitian consumes very little water: about 10 gallons a day. By contrast, residents of most so-called developed countries consume 5 to 15 times more water, with the U.S. being the most wasteful. This massive waste is directly linked to the advent of tap water inside of houses. According to the writer Ivan Illich, in the U.S., “wherever tap water reached the households, water consumption increased by a factor of between 20 and 60, which meant that a rate of 30 to 100 gallons a day became typical.” Indeed, a major reason for the low consumption by Haitians is that almost no clean water is allowed to flow down a drain. Most Haitians, who are poor, collect their water in containers for drinking, cooking, and washing. And even those who are more prosperous customarily lack water toilets or faucets inside their homes. The water is supplied to small outbuildings for cooking or showering and is used with a minimum of waste.
            As Port-au-Prince’s population grew, the water authorities, as well as private concerns, added new branches to some of the water pipes. Tanker trucks also joined the delivery system. Thus the water system became privatized in a limited and chaotic way by the political class. According to a United Nations study, in 1976 the delivery of water to Port-au-Prince by CAMEP was about 17 million gallons per day, one half of which was wasted or redirected. This was certainly unfortunate for CAMEP, which was losing funds that might have been spent on its administration. On the other hand, Port-au-Prince’s population was less than 450,000, and even with the supposed waste or redirection, about 20 gallons of water were still supplied by the government per capita, per day.
            Foreign aid and finance agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank, and Inter American Development Bank (IDB) had gained a foothold in Haiti with the ascendance of the dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1971. As these agencies set about to drive small Haitian farmers into bankruptcy to create surplus labor for new sweatshops in the capital, they also financed a series of studies of the country. Superficially, these studies were meant to guide the eradication of poverty, but their real purpose was to provide information on how to exacerbate poverty to its absolute limit and profit from it.
            One study in 2005, to identify the owners of Haiti’s water networks, was done by the Haitian branch of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, which goes by the pretentious name, Foundation for Knowledge and Freedom (Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète, FOKAL). This was an interesting detour for FOKAL, which appears to focus on cultural projects to catalyze the Americanization of Haitians. In 2006, the International Foundation of the Red Cross (IFRC) reported that 81% of Haitians lacked access to decent toilets, i.e. water closets. Consequently, the IFRC declared Haiti to be the world’s most unsanitary country and the only one that had become less sanitary in the previous decade. It did not matter that nearly all Haitians had access to latrines that were more sanitary than the water closets whose untreated wastes were dumped into bodies of water. The study also overlooked the heavy burden posed by the influx of more than 60,000 massively wasteful Westerners from non-governmental organizations (NGO), including the United Nations’ so-called peacekeepers, starting in 2004, and the Red Cross itself.
            In general, the studies of Haiti’s water agreed that its population had outgrown its municipal water delivery systems, and this was true, especially in Port-au-Prince, where the population had reached 1.9 million by 2009 through a sustained and deliberate depopulation of the rural areas. It was nevertheless also true that there was ample water around for that population. New infrastructure would have to be built. The country could have dug more wells to expand its potable-water system and built water-treatment systems. Alternatively, or in combination, it could have widely adopted rainwater harvesting. This practice is common in regions like Central America and the Caribbean, with seasons of abundant rainfall, and it is especially well suited to countries like Haiti, whose mountainous terrain poses a great challenge to the installation of systems of water pipes. Furthermore, rain-catchment systems are inexpensive to install and maintain. None of these things were done. Instead, the government created the National Water and Sanitation Authority (Direction Nationale de l’Eau Potable et de l’Assainissement, DINEPA) in 2009 to control all the drinking water of the country.
            Despite its socialist sounding name, there is nothing nationalistic about DINEPA. It is a foreign organization with a Haitian front: a director general who often reminds poor Haitians that DINEPA “carries out its mission around the implementation of investments, network development, sector regulation, and stakeholder control,” which is gobbledygook for centralization and privatization. The main stakeholders and financial backers of DINEPA are the World Bank, IDB, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion para el Desarrollo, AECID), U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Haiti’s contribution, through its Fund for Economic and Social Assistance (Fonds d’Assistance Economique et Sociale, FAES), is trivial compared to the others, as is its influence.
            The main beneficiaries of these international funds have been the two largest water-privatization companies in the world: Veolia Environnement S.A. and Suez Environnement S.A., both multibillion-dollar French corporations. Veolia was initially contracted by DINEPA on Apr. 1, 2010, less than three months after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, supposedly to assist the humanitarian emergency there. After DINEPA contracted Suez in Feb. 26, 2011 to rebuild Port-au-Prince’s water system, Veolia moved on to the other cities, where its operations expanded with the cholera epidemic of October 2010. By a strange coincidence, starting around 2011, throughout Haiti, potable-water systems have suffered a rash of sabotage and required reconstruction.
            There is nothing remotely humanitarian about the privatization of water. The idea is pure evil, and its practice should be a crime. It ablates the life savings of hard working people, displaces, and kills them. This plague does not stop in Haiti. It has already reached the poorer cities in rich countries like the U.S.. In every case, the same forces combine to turn water into a commodity. Veolia and Suez, which are at the forefront of the project to privatize the world’s waters, have an impressive history of lawsuits. One of the more recent ones was Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s civil lawsuit against Veolia in December 2016. This lawsuit alleges that the company fraudulently submitted false and misleading statements to the public after its analysis of the water in Flint, Michigan. Contamination of this water with lead and other substances was associated with about 9,000 cases of lead poisoning in children younger than six, and an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease that caused 12 deaths.
            In subsequent parts of this series, I will dissect the mechanisms by which water is snatched from municipal authorities in places like Haiti and Flint, Michigan, and privatized.


Dady Chery is the author of “We Have Dared to Be Free.” This article was originally published by News Junkie Post.

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.

In contrast, let’s consider an op-ed that just appeared in one of Venezuela’s leading newspapers: El Universal. The New York Times’ Venezuela reporter Nick Casey claimed last year that El Universal “tows a largely pro-government line” — I suspect without ever reading the newspaper.

The op-ed from May 14 that caught my eye was one by Luis Vicente Leon, who is one of the more moderate opposition people who are all over Venezuela’s TV and print media. He is head of the polling firm Datanalisis which has been widely cited in the international media for many years.

His piece sought to explain why opposition protests are dominated by middle and upper class participants. He claims the poorest Venezuelans aren’t protesting because they are afraid of pro-government gangs and because they fear disruption of government food deliveries known by their acronym in Spanish: CLAP. He accuses the government of “assassinating 40 of its adversaries” and of “creating a huge fuss if one of their own is scratched.”

There have been 11 pro-government people murdered so far in protest-related violence in cases that strongly implicate anti-government protesters or snipers. Another four people have been killed as a result of the extremely unsafe conditions created in the streets by opposition protests. Eight people who died from electrocution while trying to loot a bakery have also been counted as protest-related deaths. That accounts for over half of the 44 protest-related deaths. Five of the deaths have been strongly linked to the security forces and have led to arrest and indictments of police officers, but Luis Vicente Leon, in one of Venezuela’s largest newspapers, accuses the government of assassinating 40 people.

Over the past two months, Luis Vicente Leon has appeared on the major private Venezuelan networks Globovision, Televen, Venevision as he has for years.

In a lengthy interview on Globovision on May 2 he argued that Maduro’s initiative to convene a constituent assembly to revise the Venezuelan constitution is a plot to stay in power without the support of voters. He said, ominously, that Maduro faces “infinite costs” if he loses the next presidential election and that the constitution is his “worst enemy.” At the end of a long interview on Televen, he clarified the “infinite costs” even further by explaining that some within the opposition want to not only defeat the government at the polls but totally criminalize it. He says he is not in favor of “infinite costs,” but he increasingly depicts the government as criminal and whitewashes opposition violence.

Aside from citing NGOs hostile to the government who portray the opposition as being shut out of the media, Venezuela’s media landscape has also been distorted by amplifying the voices of disgruntled journalists (who hate the government of course) or by otherwise echoing their complaints (not enough “live” coverage of protests, not enough “in studio” interviews with opposite people etc..) — anything to distract from the fact that people like Luis Vicente Leon, and others even more aggressive, have always had all kinds of media access. Combine that with countless editorials calling Venezuela a dictatorship and it really becomes impossible for most people to know better unless they undertake a research project.

President Maduro vowed on May 12 that “in 2018, rain or thunder, there will be presidential elections in Venezuela. Temer does not govern here. Here the revolution governs.”

Temer is the unelected president of Brazil who took power after the elected president, Dilma Rousseff, was ousted in a parliamentary coup. Temer has floated the idea of not holding presidential elections until 2020. Brazil’s prosecutors are trying to throw the front-runner, former President Lula de Silva, in jail. Don’t bother looking for long list of editorials from around the world denouncing Brazil as a dictatorship even though, for tactical reasons, Lula was once lauded as part of the “good left” in Latin America.

Contrary to much fantasy, the Venezuelan media will never let Maduro forget his recent vow. The “international community” (the U.S. government and whoever is corrupt enough to play along) do indeed seek to impose “infinite costs” on political movements, leaders, and democracies that it doesn’t like. The western media is a powerful weapon that it uses to impose those costs.

Joe Emersberger was born in 1966 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada where he currently lives and works. He is an engineer and a member of the Canadian Auto Workers union.

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.

Montée de la globalisation capitalisteÀ la fin du XXe siècle et au début du XXIe siècle, les nouvelles technologies et les progrès organisationnels ont permis aux entreprises d'opérer plus facilement à travers les frontières. De nouveaux réseaux transnationaux de production et de finance ont commencé à se former.
La globalisation capitaliste a eu un impact majeur sur les travailleurs, pas seulement dans le sud global, mais également dans le « monde développé ». Comme c'est souvent le cas, les travailleurs les plus marginalisés ressentent les effets des politiques anti-travailleurs plus tôt et plus profondément que ceux qui ont des postes plus stables et mieux rémunérés. Pourtant, à mesure que la globalisation s'est approfondie, elle a également commencé à ébranler plusieurs industries syndiquées qui étaient stables dans le passé.
Cet ordre néolibéral a abouti à une nouvelle réalité pour de nombreux travailleurs blancs, à qui, auparavant, une série d'avantages était garantie et à laquelle ils s'attendaient (avantages à la fois matériels et idéologiques). Pour beaucoup d’entre eux, le capitalisme global et les politiques néolibérales ont entraîné l’insécurité de l'emploi et la stagnation des salaires, mais aussi la réduction des « salaires de la blanchité » : le sentiment subjectif de supériorité sur les groupes négativement racialisés (l'un de ces salaires était la colère contre les travailleurs provenant d'autres parties du monde qui étaient perçus comme étant les coupables).
La scène politique des États-UnisSur la scène politique américaine, dans les années 90, les establishments conservateurs et progressistes développèrent de nouveaux mécanismes d'accumulation de capital tout en ébranlant le pouvoir des travailleurs, comme l'ALENA (l'Accord de libre-échange nord-américain). Du côté conservateur : les candidats xénophobes, comme Pat Buchanan, et les dirigeants d'entreprises anti-ALENA, tels que Ross Perot, furent mis à l'écart. Du côté progressiste, les dernières fortes voix en faveur des travailleurs furent réduites au silence. Un grand marché fut conclu entre l’establishment militariste conservateur et l’establishment progressiste qui a épousé une sorte de multiculturalisme anti-travailleur (avec son acceptation identitaire croissante des peuples issus de différentes ethnies et avec diverses orientations sexuelles, tout en voyant les travailleurs comme des rouages qui devaient s’intégrer dans une nouvelle économie globalisée). Dans ces conditions, les bénéfices ont considérablement augmenté pour le capital transnational (aidé notamment par de nouveaux mécanismes financiers). Pendant ce temps, les travailleurs faisaient face à la stagnation, la dépossession et l'insécurité de l'emploi.
Dans le sillage de la crise financière la plus grave depuis des décennies (2007-2008) et avec les guerres en Irak et en Afghanistan faisant rage (2001-), l’establishment progressiste a échoué à apporter des ajustements substantiels. Plutôt que de modifier le cours (ou l'idéologie), la réponse de l’establishment progressiste a été de s'engager dans un multiculturalisme amplifié sous l'égide du système : pour faire appel à l'espoir, pour s'engager dans des réformes limitées (comme la loi sur la santé abordable, qui, bien que ce fût un premier pas positif, n’a fait qu’une petite avancée vers l'accès aux soins de santé dont la population a besoin). Même ces réformes (pour compenser en partie le caractère non abordable croissant des soins de santé pour les Américains à faible revenu) se sont heurtées au rejet des forces conservatrices. Sur d'autres questions, telles que la politique étrangère, les Démocrates au pouvoir étaient largement en accord avec leurs homologues républicains pour promouvoir les politiques interventionnistes à l'étranger et les tentacules gonflantes d'un appareil de renseignement global.

            Cela nous amène à la candidature de Hillary Clinton en 2016 et à son enthousiasme pour les politiques d'interventionnisme militaire et les nouveaux traités supranationaux (comme le TPP, le Partenariat Trans Pacific). Cela a essentiellement positionné sa campagne en tant que défenseuse du statu quo, ce qui a été stratégiquement exploité par la rhétorique xénophobe de la campagne de Donald Trump. Tout en ayant perdu le vote populaire à trois millions de voix près, l'arène électorale (la meilleure que l'argent puisse acheter) s’est jouée dans le système antidémocratique du collège électoral (elle fut aussi affectée par des décennies de propagande électorale et la suppression en masse de votes), ce qui a permis le retour étonnant au pouvoir du Parti Républicain ; avec le retournement de seulement quelques districts de la région industrielle en déclin qui fit pencher la balance en faveur de Trump.

Il est important de comprendre comment les forces derrière Trump (et leurs mécanismes idéologiques) fonctionnent à présent sur la scène politique américaine. C'est dans ce contexte que nous devons donner un sens aux retournements politiques qui ont eu lieu pour l'establishment démocrate et à la domination actuelle des Républicains sur les branches fédérales du pays.
Nous argumentons que la raison pour laquelle le slogan de Trump « Make America Great Again » (Redorer le blason de l’Amérique) et sa rhétorique ont fait écho chez tant de classes moyennes et travailleurs blancs est parce que le terrain idéologique était, en partie, déjà préparé pour cela. Le terrain dans lequel Trump plantait la semence de la xénophobie et de la haine parmi les blancs avait été cultivé par le néolibéralisme et fertilisé avec l'argent des frères Koch, de Rupert Murdoch et d'autres élites dirigeantes. En fait, cela provient également de l'histoire formative de la nation, à travers la violence contre les populations négativement racialisées, notamment contre les Amérindiens et les Afro-Américains. En ce sens, le slogan et la campagne de Trump promettant de « Redorer le blason de l'Amérique » ne sont pas nouveaux ni originaux, mais simplement l'itération la plus récente du plan du Tea Party de « reprendre le pays », ce qui puisait dans le même sentiment de droit lésé.  
La droite de Trump mêle également à ce sentiment une critique populiste de droite de la globalisation. Pourtant, l’élection de Trump ne représente pas une rupture mais plutôt une continuation des stratégies déployées par la classe capitaliste transnationale (CCT), sous une autre forme.
Sous la surface du système politique américain, il est possible de voir comment le pouvoir est ancré. Le cercle restreint de Barack Obama était composé en grande partie des membres du Conseil sur les Relations Etrangères, alors que la campagne d’Hillary Clinton a été soutenue par les magnats des finances « éclairé » et les secteurs de la CCT penchant vers les faucons libéraux, comme Warren Buffett, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg et d’autres. Alors que la rhétorique populiste du cercle restreint de Trump peut sembler plus contestataire, ses membres sont manifestement ultra-élitistes et ont tous des intérêts commerciaux mondiaux.
Avec les récentes guerres américaines impopulaires et désastreuses, au cours de sa campagne électorale, Trump a critiqué certaines des guerres et interventions entamées sous George W. Bush et Obama. Il a fait une différence entre ce qu'il a décrit comme les guerres « intelligentes » et les guerres « stupides ». Il y a eu une brève lueur d'espoir dans la possibilité de détente avec la Russie, où les deux puissances nucléaires importantes dans le monde auraient pu commencer à baisser les tensions. Cependant, sans cesse critiqué par ses adversaires progressistes et dans les médias traditionnels comme étant la « marionnette de Poutine, » au bout du troisième mois à son poste, la politique étrangère de Trump s’est largement conformée à l'appareil d’état-sécurité militaro-industriel.
            Aujourd'hui Trump se vante d'améliorer la vie des travailleurs américains, mais il y a peu de preuves sur son intention d'améliorer sensiblement les conditions de toute personne autre que ses copains élitistes au pouvoir (exactement le contraire, en fait), car les plans qu’il propose cherchent à verser des milliards en plus dans le budget du Pentagone, tout en éliminant les repas subventionnés par l'état pour les jeunes pauvres, privatisant l'éducation et retirant à des dizaines de millions de personnes à faible revenu les soins de santé subventionnés.

            Pourtant, sa victoire électorale dans les états de la région industrielle en déclin était une indication du mécontentement de beaucoup de travailleurs blancs. Pour conserver ce soutien, il devra les garder à bord. Ici, il semble essayer de convaincre le capital, non seulement avec sa rhétorique mais aussi avec divers allégements fiscaux et des subventions pour se livrer à des compromis limités de capital-travail dans la région industrielle en déclin, dans le Michigan, l'Ohio et même dans le Wisconsin. Avoir ces états pourrait aider les victoires du Parti Républicain au niveau national pendant de nombreuses années à venir. La stratégie du collège électoral dans le sud, le mid-ouest et la région industrielle en déclin semble être visiblement la meilleure stratégie gagnante du Parti Républicain.
Le populisme de droite comme stratégie pour contrebalancer la crise de légitimité chez les travailleurs blancs lésésLa classe dirigeante est engagée dans diverses stratégies idéologiques pour renouveler sa légitimité. Certaines des plus importantes sont les mécanismes idéologiques de division et désorganisation des classes ouvrières, y compris le racisme classique qui a fait ses preuves, la xénophobie et le chauvinisme. Et, comme sous Trump, une aile de l'élite à orientation transnationale chante les louanges du protectionnisme pour désorienter les gens et recruter. Avec cela à l'esprit, son administration tente de faire des incursions avec les syndicats, en particulier ceux qui sont présents dans la région industrielle en déclin.
            Les pressions et les caractéristiques structurelles de la scène politique américaine penchent fortement en faveur du capital, et en particulier le capital transnational. Les dirigeants des états doivent avoir accès au capital, et le capital est entre les mains des gens d'affaires transnationales liées à l'économie globale. Les politiciens doivent toujours faire appel à leur public dans leur région d’origine, par des déclarations constantes de patriotisme et autres exagérations. Ceci est la jonglerie constante des principaux acteurs politiques du pays : tenter de maintenir une légitimité tout en approfondissant les pratiques qui permettent la rentabilité continue du capital transnational.
            Dans une contradiction apparente, la stratégie de Trump du rejet du TPP a aidé à le faire passer pour un « nationaliste économique », un combattant pour les travailleurs américains. Ce fut la clé pour qu’il emporte la région industrielle en déclin, où tant d'emplois de la production industrielle ont été éliminés au cours des dernières décennies, un grand nombre d’entre eux avaient été occupés par des travailleurs blancs.
Le TPP symbolisait la tentative la plus ouverte des élites transnationales d'imposer des politiques sur de nombreux pays (dont les États-Unis) où les principaux bénéficiaires sont les sociétés transnationales. Est-ce que l’opposition de Trump au TPP signifie qu'il s’oppose au capital transnational ? Bien au contraire, c’est une stratégie alternative : bien que ce soit une façon partielle de freiner, en même temps il étend beaucoup d'autres facteurs bénéfiques au TCC (baisse des impôts, éviscération des règlements et protections de l'environnement, expansion des contrats de prisons militaro-industrielles, tout en favorisant de nombreux nouveaux accords bilatéraux qui peuvent aider l’accumulation transfrontalière). Tout cela implique de reproduire l'ordre dominant, et sous une idéologie conservatrice remise à neuf.
La crise grandissante sur la légitimité est maintenant mise en évidence par l'émergence de différents courants politiques, et pas seulement à droite. Au premier rang de ces nouvelles entités se trouve le mouvement qui a évolué autour de la candidature présidentielle du sénateur du Delaware, Bernie Sanders (soutenu par les politiciens anti-guerre tels que Tulsa Gabbard), qui a montré qu’un social-démocrate pouvait obtenir un grand nombre de voix aux Etats-Unis. La campagne de Sanders a été une source d'inspiration à bien des égards, cependant, il n'a pas réussi à faire une critique systématique du militarisme américain. En outre, alors qu'il a critiqué le « capitalisme de copinage », il lui manquait, bien entendu, une critique structurelle plus profonde du capitalisme.
Pourtant, le sort de l'élection présidentielle 2016 provint en partie de la crise, plus large, sur la légitimité du capitalisme global. Comme Clinton et Obama furent les porte-drapeaux du statu quo, Trump a pu exploiter ce sentiment avec sa rhétorique populiste de droite et critique du globalisme.
Au début de 2017, après la défaite de Clinton dans le collège électoral, le courant progressiste de Sanders, enhardi, tenta de s’emparer de la direction du parti. Pourtant, l’establishment au sein du parti prévalut ; un establishment qui peut se moquer de Trump, mais ne peut même pas fournir une alternative sociale-démocrate. Les gens d’influence dans le Comité National Démocratique parient que la révulsion croissante au sujet de Trump, alors que son faux populisme est révélé, suffira à les rajeunir et que semer la peur et culpabiliser conjureront tout défi provenant de gens comme Sanders.
Les appels à reprendre le pays (à « redorer son blason ») se font absolument, et non par hasard, au détriment des groupes déjà opprimés racialement et au détriment des femmes et des enfants qui seront touchés par les compressions dans les programmes sociaux. Il est important de créer des boucs émissaires sur la scène politique américaine, d'autant plus que la classe capitaliste transnationale n’inversera pas facilement les politiques qui leur profitent. La droite de Trump a cherché à compenser la perte des salaires matériels des travailleurs blancs par une hausse de leur « salaire public et psychologique » (tel que W.E.B. Du Bois le décrivait) à travers la promotion du racisme et de la xénophobie.

La rhétorique anti-migrants s’intensifie, comme cela se traduit par la montée d'une « alternative droite » néofasciste, et le but d'augmenter la valeur de la citoyenneté et la blanchité peut s’observer lorsque l'on compare les politiques d'immigration d'Obama et Trump. On appela Obama le « Déporteur-en-chef » parce qu'il a déporté tant de gens. Il est possible que Trump déporte plus de gens qu’Obama, mais, même s’il ne le fait pas, il le fera d'une manière beaucoup plus visible et spectaculaire (comme ce qu'il a tenté avec l'interdiction de musulmans). Les effets de ces politiques auront des conséquences réelles pour les migrants, tout comme celles d’Obama, mais une grande partie du préjudice proviendra d'une normalisation plus manifeste du sectarisme.
ConclusionEn se fondant sur des mantras recyclés de xénophobie et nationalisme, la droite de Trump cherche à détourner la crise de légitimité du capital transnational. Cependant, au lieu de proposer une alternative au capital transnational, ils proposent une stratégie alternative pour le reproduire. Les menaces de guerre de plus en plus fréquentes sont aussi déconcertantes car des groupes néo-conservateurs (lourdement impliqués dans les crimes de guerre américains de ces dernières décennies) semblent avoir réaffirmé leur influence sur la maison blanche.
Les mouvements sociaux, progressistes et de gauche aux États-Unis doivent construire sur les succès du passé, ainsi que les dépasser, en prenant, par exemple, une position plus proactive contre le militarisme et une critique plus profonde du capitalisme. En tendant la main à travers les séparations raciales et les séparations de genre, les ouvriers et les personnes à faible revenu, un tel mouvement ne peut se permettre de tomber sous l'hégémonie des acteurs politiques corporatistes. Au contraire, il doit être un projet qui fournit un véritable combat contre la droite de Trump et l'état de guerre permanente dans lequel elle réside.

Salvador Rangel et Jeb Sprague-Silgado sont au Département de Sociologie de l’Université de Californie à Santa Barbara.