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Livesay Haiti -

This month is very exciting for us.  We are getting closer and closer to having a completed "How To" manual for the Heartline Maternity Center.

Our model is being shared and we are calling it, "The Starting Place".

The manual contains eleven years of learning and the details of the current Prenatal Program, Postpartum Program, Birth Control Program. and Youth/Teen Program. It has taken many years to get here. We are hosting our first  (pilot) class this week with four participants from other organizations also working in Haiti.

**  See this post for more information about The Starting Place.  **

What is it?
It is a technical manual. It describes everything we do, from the beginning to the end. It includes protocols and tons of administrative details. It includes ways to start small as a prenatal education or birth control program and and grow into a full service holistic birth center offering maternal health care from early pregnancy until months after delivery. It shares a few case studies. It is practical. It is step by step. It includes all aspects: education, relationship, medical, spiritual, physical, cultural, etc., etc.  It is incredibly practical. It is a little bit overwhelming.

What is it not?
It is not hundreds of stories or case studies or interesting detailed descriptions of the more than 850 women that have delivered at the Heartline Maternity Center. It is not all and only medical and practice protocols. It is not all statistics and information you can find about Maternal Health by doing a google search.

Each time a new woman starts the Prenatal program, we do a social and obstetric history interview.  
Often women we work with in Haiti have a hard time recalling and easily verbalizing much of their history. It can take a while to gather the information. It is usually important to ask the questions in a unique ways to get the desired (and hopefully accurate) information.

We are realistic enough to guess that at least half the time we still did not get it all completely accurate because it was neither recalled or shared with that sort of precision.
It is best to ask questions in an assumptive tone.  For example, sometimes women assume if we are asking them, "Have you ever had an abortion?" that I will judge them if they say yes.
Instead we ask, "How many times have you ended a pregnancy?"  We can also pose that same question in four or five other ways, changing wording to be assumptive.

If the answer is zero they are fine sharing that but if the answer is 10, it helps that I assumed it was part of her history because it removes their hesitation or concern of being dismissed due to an answer that they fear we won't find pleasing.  
Daily life is so difficult, it makes survival and the immediate present the priority, which in turn means that recalling history is not an easy task. The blanket term "poor historian" fits pretty well.  Having and knowing your own medical history is actually a privilege. Many in the developing world have no idea what happens at medical visits and more often than not nobody takes the time to describe things to them.

* * * 
We interviewed a 37 year old woman. 
We asked, "You've been pregnant many times in your life, yes?"  She said, "No, only seven." 
That's our bad.  That's a cultural difference.  7 is a lot to me.  Not necessarily true here.
We started at the beginning and walked through each pregnancy and delivery.  Her first four children were all born at home in the house she and her husband have always lived. Those four children, two boys and two girls born in 2005, 2007,2009, and 2012 are all alive and well.

In 2010 their home was badly damaged and some injuries happened due to the earthquake but nobody in their home died. In 2013 she had a baby boy born in a hospital that was never well. She described several anomalies and said he died at 21 days of age. She thinks she was under some sort of curse (persecution) during that pregnancy.

In 2017 she described a situation of a breech delivery and her baby's head being entrapped. She said they had to pull and pull to get the baby girl out. The baby was dead upon delivery. She is now in her 11th week of her 7th pregnancy and will be getting prenatal care for the first time ever in her life. 

When I finished the interview I said, "Wow. That is a lot of trauma you have experienced in your life. That is really difficult."  Tears welled up in her eyes.  So often in a culture of non stop challenge and frequent trauma, there is not time for anyone to fully acknowledge the pain of what they have experienced.   Part of the model at Heartline that we are hoping to share with others, is the importance of empathy.  
* * *

From the Starting Place Manual - an excerpt from the Philosophy of care section ... 

EmpathySpend any amount of time at a hospital in the developing world and there is one key component to women’s health consistently missing: empathy.
Being a woman in the developing world requires a tremendous amount of grit, resourcefulness, and resilience. But a woman is almost never as vulnerable as when she is pregnant, giving birth, and post-natal.
Trust matters, relationships matter, and empathy is more valuable than we can express. Empathy is communicating a message of great value, a message that says,  “You are not alone.” It is rare. As Tara says, “Several of the hospitals in the city where I live, as well as the hospitals and clinics where we’ve worked around the world, who serve the materially poor are lacking the most valuable resource: compassion. Nothing sustainable and life-affirming happens without warm, loving relationships and a lot of compassion.”
It might seem odd to start off the technical manual of Heartline’s Model of Care with a seemingly unprofessional words like “kindness,” “empathy,” “compassion,” or “love” but it has been our experience that this is what truly transforms women. It can bring calm to chaos, hope to despair, connection to isolation, faith to fear. And all of those things matter every day in life but particularly so in birth.
Working in the middle of devastating poverty, one quickly learns that not every story has a happy ending. There are areas of frustration, despair, and brokenness all around us. We cannot fix everything. But we have decided to embrace love and compassion as our philosophy, as much for our patients as for our own souls. This is even more important to us in the face of despair, hurt, wounds, and trauma.
As one small outpost of health and wholeness in the worldwide maternal health crisis, we choose empathy and love and we center love and we practice love. We are committed to excellence, to integrity, to thorough training, to steady competence. But even our excellence of care, our integrity, our training, our competence must be grounded in a philosophy of love. Maternal health has for too long been sidelined and de-emphasized in the world: we believe women deserve not only competent and thorough care but they also deserve dignity, respect, and to feel loved in their most vulnerable moments.

Buy your ticket to join the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) at Gotham Comedy Club

HaitiAnalysis -

Only 2 hours left to buy your ticket to join the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI)  at Gotham Comedy Club in New York to laugh and learn about our crucial work to advance human rights in Haiti. Headlining the event are Haitian-American comedians J-L Cauvin, Tanael Joachim and Reg Thomas and our host Vladimir Calixte, known as Haitian V.

Buy your ticket today to help us:
• Keep the pressure on the UN until it delivers on its promise to raise $400 million to eliminate cholera in Haiti and compensate the victims;
• Win justice for victims of rape while addressing the systemic issues that make women vulnerable to sexual assault; and
• Stand up for Haitians in the U.S. targeted by President Trump’s racist immigration policies.
All proceeds will benefit BAI/IJDH’s advocacy and legal work in Haiti!
Where: Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd St. Between 7th and 8th Avenues, New York, NY 10011
When: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 8:00 PM (Doors open at 7:15 PM) Ticket Price: $30.00 (plus two beverages minimum)!
Restrictions: 18 & over
Buy your ticket(s) NOW at Gotham Comedy Club website (use our promo code “jistis” to get $10 off your ticket)! 

Thank you for joining us tonight in support of IJDH and BAI's work in Haiti.

A U.N.-backed police force carried out a massacre in Haiti. The killings have been almost entirely ignored.

HaitiAnalysis -

Jake Johnston - The Intercept
AT 5 O’CLOCK on the morning of November 13, more than 200 Haitian police officers raided the Grand Ravine area of Port-au-Prince. There was a series of loud explosions, followed by gunfire. For the next six hours, the commotion didn’t stop. The neighborhood was under siege.What had started as an anti-gang operation in a poor and largely forgotten neighborhood — in a poor and largely forgotten country — ended in the summary execution of innocent civilians on a school campus.

The police officers were working with the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti. It was launched in October, a reboot of a previous mission that had begun in 2004, when thousands of U.N. troops were sent to Haiti following a coup d’etat, tasked in part with restoring stability and reinforcing national police capacities.

And though the U.N. mission issued a statement days after the raid calling for a prompt investigation by Haitian authorities, it did not publicly acknowledge its own role in the operation. But in late December, a U.N. spokesperson confirmed to The Intercept for the first time that the mission had helped plan the raid, though it distanced itself from the civilian deaths.

“The reported civilian death[s] were not part of the planned operation but of a unilateral action conducted by some [Haitian police] officers after the conclusion of the operation,” the spokesperson, Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, wrote in an email. The raid of the school, according to the U.N. statement, was done without authorization, without alerting the police hierarchy, and outside of the operational plan.

Boutaud de la Combe said that, a day after the raid, the U.N. “conducted an internal enquiry with all the unit commanders who participated in the operation.” The U.N. inquiry, not previously reported, absolved the U.N., finding that U.N. police did not fire their weapons and only “secured the perimeter” of the school, she said.

“None of the [U.N. police] unit proceeded to the location at Maranatha College where the alleged killings took place,” the spokesperson wrote. “The planned portion of the operation went relatively well. The post-operation unilateral initiative of some HNP members to conduct a high risk search, proceeding outside of the operational cadre, without advising the hierarchy, without authorization and contravening the operation plan was not part of the planned operation.”

Main school logo inside the front gate and near entrance to courtyard on Maranatha campus in Port-au-Prince, on Nov. 17, 2017.

Photo: Jake Johnston

WHEN I ARRIVED at the Maranatha Evangelical College campus, traveling with a broadcast team from Al Jazeera four days after the raid, it was immediately obvious something heinous had transpired.

The blood that stained the concrete was still wet, unable to dry in the blanket of fog and mist that kept the capital unusually cool that particular week. Water pooled in the courtyard’s clogged drain had turned a dark red, partially obscuring an empty tear gas canister. The smell of the violence still hung in the heavy air.

Classrooms and offices had been ransacked, the contents of closets, drawers, and bookcases spilled across the floors and through the doorways. Light crept in through holes left by bullets that had pierced through the thick concrete. Sometime since the raid, someone had swept another five empty tear gas canisters and close to 100 heavy artillery shells into a pile.

The morning we arrived, faculty and students were meeting to mourn those who had been killed. The school was still closed. They gathered in one of the small classrooms, closed the door to us outsiders, and began to sing. The religious hymns — deep, soulful melodies — echoed throughout the courtyard where they mixed with cries of grieving victims and family members anxious to tell their stories.

“I must kill myself,” Monique Larosse, whose nephew was shot in this courtyard days earlier, told us. “Why did they kill him when they know he was not one of the bad men? He was someone who went to church, studied, and had principles.”

The stories Larosse, along with other survivors and family members, told me make clear something went horribly wrong on that mid-November day. While there’s a lot still unclear, one thing is for certain — the official narrative is at odds with what the people of Grand Ravine say they witnessed and experienced. And they are a far way off from finding justice.

Tear gas canisters and ammunition swept into a pile at Maranatha campus in Port-au-Prince, on Nov. 17, 2017.

Photo: Jake Johnston

LOCATED NEAR THE southern entrance to Haiti’s sprawling capital, Grand Ravine is built on a hillside with picturesque views of the Caribbean Sea. And yet, it’s a downtrodden neighborhood.

Haphazard construction with paltry regulation has left neighborhoods, including Grand Ravine, with little to no infrastructure or government services. Many areas are only accessible by foot.

Narrow, misshapen alleys ascend through the concrete homes secured with rusted sheet metal.

Amid all this is the Maranatha Evangelical College, which has operated here since the 1940s. Despite the name, it offers classes for neighborhood kids beginning in preschool. The campus is a mashup of school buildings, houses and a healthy number of full-size trees, a dissonant image in a city overwhelmed by concrete. A low wall marks it off from the surrounding area.

The only entrance to the elevated campus is a sloping, winding road that sits behind a large metal gate. The campus is a refuge, an oasis of calm in a section of Haiti rife with gang activity.

Grand Ravine is a “red zone,” the label international forces give to the country’s most violence-prone areas. In December 2016, Grand Ravine’s most powerful gang leader, Junior Decimus, was arrested at the airport when he attempted to travel abroad. Soon after, according to a report by local rights organization Justice and Peace, an armed conflict began as others sought to consolidate control of the neighborhood. “Bursts of automatic weapons sang during the day, while police officers from the nearby station watched helplessly,” according to a hard copy of the organization’s report.

In October, the month before the police raid, groups of armed youth set up roadblocks, robbing cars in plain sight as they passed.

The same month, thousands of U.N. soldiers stationed in the country since the 2004 coup d’etat withdrew. Brought to Haiti to restore “stability,” the foreign troops have been involved in multiple deadly raids into neighborhoods similar to Grand Ravine. The international community has spent hundreds of millions training the Haitian police for the U.N.’s eventual departure.

The U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti ended its mandate in October, but the U.N. is by no means gone. In place of troops, the U.N. created a smaller successor mission composed of a few thousand police officers. In early November, together with the local police force responsible for the capital, that new U.N. mission helped plan the anti-gang raid into Grand Ravine.

The November 13 raid was one of the first major acts involving the new mission, and the response will define the future of the U.N.’s relationship with the people of Grand Ravine — and the success of the newly empowered local police force.

View of houses on a mountain in Juvenat, in the commune of Petion-Ville, in Port-au-Prince, on Dec. 12, 2017.

Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

AT 6:30 ON that mid-November morning, Armand Louis received a phone call from Maranatha College, the school he has directed for the last 30 years. Something was wrong. The police raid had spilled onto the school’s campus.

When he arrived nearly two hours later, tear gas was already being employed by police, according to an investigation by the National Network of Human Rights Defenders, a local human rights organization known by its French acronym, RNDDH, and confirmed in an interview with Louis. The following account is based on Intercept interviews with multiple witnesses, whose recollections mirror those included in RNDDH’s subsequent report on the massacre.

Police opened and searched classrooms, ransacking them in an apparent attempt to locate gang members hiding on campus. They didn’t find any.

There was a brief period of calm. People still on campus gave water to police. The burning in their eyes from the tear gas subsided.

An hour later, Louis said, the school’s guard, Julio Fongene, approached him and said that a number of gang members had threatened him and were hiding in a storage facility on campus. Louis informed the police.
“A hundred or even 200 could die there and nobody would know.” — Rovelsond Apollon, Justice and Peace

When officers attempted to dislodge the hiding gang members, two police officers were shot. The gang members fled. It does not appear that any were apprehended, as the police have not made public any arrests of those responsible for shooting the officers.

U.N. units composed of police from Jordan and Senegal responded to reports of shots fired and arrived at the school. According to the U.N., they administered first aid to the injured police officers and secured the perimeter.

But on campus grounds, Haitian police proceeded to punish the bystanders caught up in the violence.

First, they shot and killed Fongene, the guard, witnesses said.

Police then accused Louis of setting them up. They dragged him into the central courtyard, where some faculty members and people who live on campus were present. The officers beat him with a chair, causing significant injuries to his head and torso. The Protestant Evangelical Baptist Mission of Haiti, affiliated with the school, included an account of the beating in its statement describing the events, and it was confirmed in an interview with Louis and in the RNDDH report.

Faculty tried to intervene. David Jean Baptiste, a professor, was beaten and then shot five times, including a bullet to the head. The courtyard grounds where he died remained bloodstained for days after.

Vanel Danger lives on the school’s campus and is responsible for the cafeteria. He told The Intercept that an officer put a gun to his head and threatened to pull out his teeth if he didn’t cooperate. Danger dropped to his knees and begged for his life. Danger told the officer he had given him water just an hour earlier, RNDDH reported. Danger was spared. But many more weren’t so lucky.

Louis told The Intercept he was handcuffed by an officer in a U.N. uniform and hauled off, bloody and beaten, to jail.

When the police finally left the campus, around 11 a.m., nine civilians lay dead in the courtyard — five of whom had been shot in the head. Not a single firearm was recovered, suggesting that the killings were “summary executions,” RNDDH reported.

The bodies were not removed until the next afternoon.

Ransacked school room at Maranatha campus in Port-au-Prince, on Nov. 17, 2017.

Photo: Jake Johnston

FOUR DAYS AFTER the raid, the alleys that weave around the campus and through the neighborhood’s hilly landscape were largely deserted. Groups of young kids watched us from rooftops. Darting eyes peering from behind small openings in concrete homes followed us throughout the neighborhood.

Very few of them wanted to speak.

“There are many more” victims of this and other shootings, a local resident and student at the school explained. “They are afraid,” added the student, whose name The Intercept is withholding out of concern for their safety.

Though the anti-gang raid ended with a schoolyard massacre, questions linger about what happened outside the campus, where the raid began. At first, the police acknowledged seven civilian deaths — all of which occurred at the school. Overall, the police made 32 arrests, but haven’t acknowledged any deaths outside of the school.

But in its investigation, RNDDH concluded that one of the people found dead on campus had been pulled out of his house in the surrounding neighborhood that morning and brought to the school only after his death.

The total death toll remains unknown.

Doresne Jean, director of the Saint Claire morgue in downtown Port-au-Prince, said that eight bodies had arrived from Grand Ravine on Tuesday, the day after the raid — more than the police originally acknowledged. But Jean said there were surely more.

“Maybe the police moved some bodies,” Jean said, “because we had five or six people come here to ask if we had their relatives.” They were not on the list of bodies already received.

Justice and Peace, the local human rights organization that has been monitoring violence in neighborhoods such as Grand Ravine, was one of the first to investigate the massacre. Rovelsond Apollon, an observer there, said his organization had confirmed 12 dead, but that the real total would likely never be known.

Not that many people, even in Haiti, are paying attention to what happens in Grand Ravine. “A hundred or even 200 could die there and nobody would know,” Apollon said.

Four days after the raid, a single shoe sits in the middle of the soccer field behind Maranatha College in Port-au-Prince, on Nov. 17, 2017.

“I DON’T KNOW how I am going to live without my son,” Gina Napoleantold us from the school’s courtyard, the grief visible on her face just four days after the massacre. Her only son, 22-year-old Kens Napoleon, had been the family’s breadwinner. He was killed by a shot to the head. She put the blame squarely on the government, who she accused of “sending the police to kill our children.”

It’s not just that politicians exert control over the police, Apollon said — they are involved with the gangs themselves. His organization has interviewed young people with heavy weaponry that is not easy to acquire, he explained, and they said the weapons had been provided by politicians. “Politicians and authorities are not innocent in what happened, because they, too, play their part in the violence,” he said. The politicians, for their part, have not publicly addressed these accusations.

But since the raid, nearly every government official or institution has avoided taking responsibility.

Asked about the raid, the police chief simply said it was planned by the local captain and the new U.N. mission. Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant told the press that the specifics of field operations were outside his purview. Both blamed poor planning for the bloodshed.

The operation was compromised from the beginning. Police officers told local human rights investigators that confidential information about the operation was circulating even before it took place.

A former Haitian military official later told me that he found out about the raid when he heard it being discussed on an open radio channel on November 12, the day before it was launched. A gang leader later called in to a local radio show, alleging that a rival gang from a different neighborhood had participated with police in the raid itself. Others have suggested the raid was an attempt to recover a cache of guns that authorities had distributed in the neighborhood weeks earlier. And so the rumor mill in Haiti churns.

The U.N.’s statement — that its officers were stationed only at the perimeter of the school — contradicts the statements made by Louis, who told me he was handcuffed by a U.N. agent on campus. The U.N. insists that it was uninvolved because its officers were not in the courtyard, but the entrance where they say they were stationed is set just below the scene of the massacre.

The new U.N. mission is ostensibly focused on justice, but Apollon noted that Haiti has seen many international missions throughout its history. “They all failed,” he said, because they do not understand the Haitian reality.

In Haiti, he said, impunity reigns.

Boys play in the ruins of a building on the site of the Fort Dimanche prison, where many were held in inhumane conditions under the regime of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier Jan. 27, 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images

NEARLY TWO MONTHS after the massacre, no one has been publicly held responsible. The police inspector general has completed an investigation and passed it on to a judge, who could order the arrest or dismissal of officers involved. One police officer accused of involvement is already missing, according to the inspector general. Families of nine victims, including those of the two police officers, received a one-time payment of about $1,500 for funeral expenses. But none of the intellectual authors of the botched raid appear to have been identified or questioned.

Instead, it was Louis, the school’s director, who was arrested for complicity in the death of the two police officers. After being publicly beaten with a chair at the school he had overseen for 30 years, Louis was held in a Port-au-Prince jail for more than a week.

Under pressure from religious organizations and the school’s faculty, Louis was eventually released for health reasons. But he still has not returned to the school.

“In a country like mine,” Louis wrote to me weeks later, “it is hard to take our leaders at their word.” That, he continued, was “why we need to know what the real motive [of the raid] was.” The public authorities have not yet interviewed him. Do “they really want everything to be investigated properly?” he said, “or was this all planned?”

Apollon said continued raids would do little to address the fundamental problems afflicting neighborhoods such as Grand Ravine. Rather, violence stems from the total absence of the state in such areas, and it will continue so long as the population’s needs are not met. What residents need, he said, “is education.”

After the raid, the school was closed for two weeks.

“We need school,” a student at Maranatha told me that day in the courtyard. “Without education, what hope do we have?”

Top photo: Police watch as demonstrators march to protest against the government of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in Port-au-Prince on Oct. 24, 2017.

Lettre de Soutien à la Médiation au Venezuela, pas aux Sanctions

HaitiAnalysis -

Cette lettre va être envoyée aux membres du Congrès des États-Unis, au Parlement du Canada et aux médias. Elle sera publiée dans d’autres médias, et au moins 5 de ses signataires se rendront au Venezuela pour la commémoration d’Hugo Chavez en mars, où elle sera présentée.
Lettre de Soutien à la Médiation au Venezuela, pas aux SanctionsNous exhortons les gouvernements des États-Unis et du Canada à retirer immédiatement leurs sanctions illégales* contre le Venezuela et à soutenir les efforts de médiation entre le gouvernement du Venezuela et les segments non violents de l’opposition politique.
Nous, les organisations et individus aux États-Unis et au Canada soussignés, soutenons des relations hémisphériques fondées sur le respect de la souveraineté de tous les peuples des Amériques. Nous sommes profondément préoccupés par l’utilisation de sanctions illégales, dont l’effet se fait le plus sentir dans les secteurs les plus pauvres et les plus marginaux de la société, pour contraindre le changement politique et économique dans une démocratie sœur. Nous constatons depuis les années 1990 que les sanctions ne servent qu’à appauvrir les familles ordinaires et à déstabiliser l’ordre public. Nous sommes incapables de citer un seul cas où les sanctions ont eu un impact positif.
Les sondages au Venezuela montrent que la grande majorité des Vénézuéliens s’oppose aux sanctions, indépendamment de leur opinion sur le gouvernement Maduro. Les sanctions ne font que compliquer les efforts déployés par le Vatican, la République dominicaine et d’autres acteurs internationaux pour négocier une résolution de la polarisation profonde au Venezuela. De plus, les sanctions sapent les efforts du gouvernement démocratiquement élu et de l’Assemblée constituante pour résoudre les problèmes économiques critiques et déterminer leur propre destin politique.

Malgré la rhétorique de haut niveau des fonctionnaires de Washington et d’Ottawa, ce n’est pas un véritable souci de démocratie, de droits de l’homme et de justice sociale qui pousse cette position interventionniste belliqueuse à l’égard de Caracas. Du décret du président Obama qui, de l’aveu général, est faux, sur le Venezuela représentant une menace pour la sécurité nationale aux États-Unis, à la déclaration de l’ambassadeur Nikki Haley disant que le Venezuela est un « narco-état de plus en plus violent » qui menace le monde, l’utilisation de l’hyperbole dans les situations diplomatiques contribue rarement à des solutions pacifiques sur la scène internationale.
Ce n’est un secret pour personne que le Venezuela, contrairement au Mexique, au Honduras, à la Colombie, à l’Egypte ou à l’Arabie Saoudite, est la cible d’une mission de changement de régime par les États-Unis précisément à cause des qualités de leader du Venezuela dans la résistance à l’hégémonie américaine et à l’imposition du modèle néolibéral en Amérique latine. Et bien sûr, le Venezuela détient les plus grandes réserves de pétrole au monde, ce qui attire encore plus l’attention non désirée de Washington.
Les États-Unis et le Canada ont essayé puis échoué à utiliser l’Organisation des États Américains (OEA) pour construire un bloc qui évoque la Charte démocratique contre le Venezuela de façon hypocrite. Récemment, Luis Almagro, le secrétaire général véreux de l’OEA, est allé jusqu’à soutenir publiquement l’assermentation d’une Cour suprême parallèle, nommée de façon inconstitutionnelle par les législateurs de l’opposition et leur a permis d’utiliser le siège de l’OEA à Washington, DC pour leur cérémonie (sans l’approbation de quelconque état membre de l’OEA). Almagro a ainsi délégitimé l’OEA, enhardi les éléments les plus extrêmes et les plus violents de l’opposition vénézuélienne, et mis de côté les efforts de médiation.
Les sanctions canado-américaines sont une utilisation cynique du pouvoir économique coercitif pour attaquer une nation qui fait déjà face à l’hyperinflation et à la pénurie de produits de base. Bien que prétendument faites au nom de la promotion de la démocratie et de la liberté, ces sanctions violent le droit humain fondamental du peuple vénézuélien à la souveraineté, tel que cela est énoncé dans les Chartes des Nations Unies et de l’OEA.
Nous appelons les dirigeants politiques des États-Unis et du Canada à rejeter la rhétorique déchaînée et à contribuer à la recherche de solutions réelles aux problèmes politiques et économiques du Venezuela. Nous exhortons les gouvernements américain et canadien à annuler leurs sanctions et à soutenir les efforts de médiation déployés par le chancelier de la République dominicaine Miguel Vargas, le président de la République dominicaine Danilo Medina, l’ancien premier ministre espagnol Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, le Vatican et soutenus par un nombre croissant de nations latino-américaines.* L’Article 19 du Chapitre 4 de la Charte de l’OEA stipule :Aucun état ou groupe d’états n’a le droit d’intervenir, directement ou indirectement, pour quelque raison que ce soit, dans les affaires intérieures ou extérieures d’un autre état. Le principe précédent interdit non seulement la force armée, mais aussi toute autre forme d’ingérence ou de tentative de menace contre la personnalité de l’état ou contre ses éléments politiques, économiques et culturels.
Les États-Unis d'Amérique
Noam Chomsky
Danny Glover, Citizen-Artist
Estela Vazquez, Executive Vice President, 1199 SEIU
Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit
Jill Stein, Green Party
Peter Knowlton, General President, United Electrical Workers
Dr. Frederick B. Mills, Department of Philosophy, Bowie State University
Dr. Alfred de Zayas, former Chief, Petitions Dept, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Medea Benjamin, co-founder, Code Pink
Dan Kovalik, Counsel, United Steelworkers Union
Clarence Thomas, ILWU Local10 (retired)
Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, President, National Lawyers Guild
Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice
James Early, Articulation of Afro Descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean
Gloria La Riva, coordinator, Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity CommitteeKaren Bernal, Chair, Progressive Caucus, California Democratic Party
Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, co-directors, Popular Resistance
Chris Bender, Administrator, SEIU 1000, retired
Mary Hanson Harrison, President Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section
Alfred L. Marder, President, US Peace CouncilTamie Dramer, Executive Boardmember, California Democratic Party
Greg Wilpert, journalist
School of Americas Watch (SOAW) Coordinating Collective
Gerry Condon, President, Board of Directors, Veterans for Peace
Tiana Ocasio, President, Connecticut Labor Council for Latin American AdvancementLeah Bolger, Coordinator, World Beyond War
Alexander Main, Senior Assoc for Intl Policy, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Kevin Martin, President, Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund
Dr. Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Berthony Dupont, Director, Haiti Liberté NewspaperMarsha Rummel, Adlerperson, City of Madison Common Council, District 6
Monica Moorehead, Workers World Party
Kim Ives, Journalist, Haiti Liberté
Cindy Sheehan, Cindy’s Soapbox
Claudia Lucero, Executive Director, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America
William Camacaro, Venezuela activist
Baltimore Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter Veterans For Peace
David W. Campbell, Secretary-Treasurer, USW Local 675 (Carson, CA)
Alice Bush, retired Northwest Indiana Division Director SEIU Local 73
Teresa Gutierrez, Co-Director International Action CenterClaire Deroche, NY Interfaith Campaign Against Torture
Eva Golinger, journalist and writer
The Cross Border Network (Kansas City)
Antonia Domingo, Pittsburgh Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
David Swanson, Director of World Beyond WarMatt Meyer, National Co-chair, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Rev. Daniel Dale, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), CLRN Board of Directors
Daniel Chavez, Transnational Institute
Kathleen Desautels, SP (8th Day Center for Justice*)
Michael Eisenscher, National Coord. Emeritus, U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)Dr. Paul Dordal, Director, Christian Network for Liberation and Equality
Dr. Douglas Friedman, Director International Studies, College of Charleston
Fr. Charles Dahm, Archdiocesan Director of Domestic Violence Outreach
Blase Bonpane, Director, Office of the Americas
Larry Birns, Director, Council on Hemispheric Affairs
Task Force on the Americas
Dr. Sharat G. Lin, former president, San Jose Peace and Justice Center
Stansfield Smith, Chicago ALBA Solidarity
Alicia Jrapko, U.S. coordinator, International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity
National Network on CubaDiana Bohn, Co-coordinator, Nicaragua Center for Community Action
Joe Jamison, Queens NY Peace Council
Jerry Harris, National Secretary, Global Studies Association of North America
MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles
Charlie Hardy, author, Cowboy in CaracasDan Shea, National Board, Veterans For Peace
Houston Peace and Justice Center
Dr. Christy Thornton, Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
Code Pink Houston
Workers Solidarity Action Network.orgRochester Committee on Latin America
Patricio Zamorano, Academic and International Affairs Analyst
Cliff Smith, business manager, Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, Local 36
Michael Bass, Convener, School of the Americas Watch-Oakland/East Bay
Joe Lombardo, Marilyn Levin, Co-Coordinators of United National Antiwar CommitteeDr. Jeb Sprague-Silgado, University of California Santa Barbara
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC)
Dr. Pamela Palmater, Mi’kmaq lawyer Chair in Indigenous Governance Ryerson University
Lee Gloster, Steward IBT 364, Trustee, N. Central IN Labor Chapter, N. IN Area Labor Federation
Celeste Howard, Secretary, WILPF, Portland Branch (Oregon)Mario Galván, Sacramento Action for Latin America
Hector Gerardo, Executive Director, 1 Freedom for All
Jorge Marin, Venezuela Solidarity Committee
Ricardo Vaz, writer and editor of Investig’Action
Dr. T.M. Scruggs, University of Iowa, Professor Emeritus
Dr. Mike Davis, Dept. of Creative Writing, Univ. of CA, Riverside; editor of the New Left Review
Dr. Lee Artz, Dept of Media Studies; Director, Center for Global Studies, Purdue University Northwest
Dr. Arturo Escobar, Dept. of Anthropology University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Cheri Honkala, Director, Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign
Suren Moodliar, Coordinator, Encuentro5 (Boston)Dr. Jack Rasmus, Economics Dept., St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California
Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Rich Whitney, Co-chair, Green Party Peace Action Committee
David Bacon, independent photojournalist
Dr. Kim Scipes, Department of Sociology, Purdue University NorthwestJeff Mackler, National Secretary, Socialist Action
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)
Henry Lowendorf, Co-chair, Greater New Haven Peace Council
Judith Bello, Ed Kinane (founders), Upstate Drone Action
Dr. Daniel Whitesell, Lecturer in the Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese, UCLADr. William I. Robinson, Sociology and Global and International Studies, UC-Santa Barbara
Emmanuel Rozental, Vilma Almendra, Pueblos en Camino, Abya Yala
Ben Manski, President, Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution
Frank Pratka, Baltimore-Matanzas Association/Maryland-Cuba Friendship Coalition
Dr. Hilbourne Watson, Emeritus, Department of International Relations, Bucknell University
Dr. Minqi Li, Economics Department, University of Utah
Christina Schiavoni, PhD researcher, Boston
Dr. Robert E. Birt, Department of Philosophy, Bowie State University
Topanga Peace Alliance
Judy Somberg, Susan Scott, Esq., Co-chairs, National Lawyers Guild Task Force on the AmericasAudrey Bomse, Esq., Co-chair, National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee
Daniel Chavez, Transnational Institute
Barby Ulmer, Board President, Our Developing World
Barbara Larcom, Coordinator, Casa Baltimore/Limay; President, Nicaraguan Cultural Alliance
Nick Egnatz, Veterans for PeaceDr. Marc Becker, Latin American Studies, Truman State University
Dr. John H. Sinnigen, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Dr. Dale Johnson, Professor Emeritus, Sociology, Rutgers University
Sulutasen Amador, Co-coordinator, Chukson Water Protectors
Mara Cohen, Communications Hub, Trade Justice AllianceDorotea Manuela, Co-Chair Rosa Parks Human Right Committee
Efia Nwangaza, Malcom X Center – WMXP Community Radio
Dr. Chris Chase-Dunn, Sociology, University of California-Riverside
Dr. Nick Nesbitt, Comparative Literature, Princeton
Timeka Drew, coordinator, Global Climate ConvergenceJack Gilroy, Friends of Franz & Ben www.bensalmon.org
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, Social Justice Committee
Victor Wallis, Professor, Liberal Arts, Berkeley College of Music
Jerry Dias, President, UNIFOR
Mike Palecek, National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Harvey Bischof, President, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Mark Hancock National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees
Stephanie Smith, President of the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ UnionLinda McQuaig, journalist and author, Toronto
Raul Burbano, Program Director, Common Frontiers
Miguel Figueroa, President, Canadian Peace Congress
Heide Trampus, Coordinator, Worker to Worker, Canada-Cuba Labour Solidarity Network
Rights Action (U.S. and Canada)Joe Emersberger, writer, UNIFOR member
Nino Pagliccia, Jorge Arancibia, Marta Palominos, Frente para la Defensa de los Pueblos Hugo Chavez
Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice Venezuela Solidarity Campaign – Vancouver
The Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War
Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC)
Maude Barlow, Chairperson, Council of Canadians
Canadian Network on CubaMobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) – Vancouver
Dr. William Carroll, University of Victoria, Canada
Andrew Dekany, LL.M, LawyerDr. Leo Panitch, Professor Emeritus, York University, Toronto
Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)
Alma Weinstein, Bolivarian Circle Louis Riel Toronto
Maria Elena Mesa, Coord, Sunday Poetry and Festival Internacional de Poesia Patria Grande, Toronto
Dr. Radhika Desai, University of Manitoba
Sergio Romero Cuevas, former Mexican Ambassador to Haiti
Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos, Oaxaca, Mexico

Manne Charlemagne, Haiti's Iconic Troubadour: 1948-2017

HaitiAnalysis -

By: Kim Ives - Haiti Liberte 

Joseph Emmanuel “Manno” Charlemagne, Haiti’s most beloved and
controversial folk singer, died in a Miami Beach hospital on Dec. 10
at the age of 69, after a struggle of several months with lung cancer
which had spread to his brain.

His rich baritone voice, trenchant lyrics, and graceful melodies
inspired the generation of Haitians which rose up against the
three-decade Duvalier dictatorship in 1986. Sometimes called the
Haitian Bob Marley or Bob Dylan, Manno’s huge popularity won him
Port-au-Prince’s mayor’s office in 1995, but his lyrical idealism soon
dashed against the rocks of Haiti’s difficult political realities, and
he was all but chased from that office. In recent years, he had
withdrawn from Haiti’s political scene, except for some ill-fated
sorties which he regretted.

Born on Apr. 14, 1948, Manno was raised mostly by his aunt in
Port-au-Prince’s Carrefour neighborhood and came of age under the
brutal dictatorship of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, who rose to power
in 1957. Both his aunt and mother were singers. His father, whose
identity Manno only learned from his mother in 1985, was also a
musician. When Manno traveled to New York to finally meet him, he
learned his father had died two months earlier.

Manno, who said he was from Haiti’s “lumpen proletariat,”  started
playing guitar and singing at the age of 16, and in 1968, at age 20,
he launched a mini-djaz called Les Remarquables. But he soon moved in
the direction of the traditional twoubadou music, a form of Haitian
folk song, and launched the group Les Trouvères with singer Marco

After Papa Doc died in 1971, succeeded as “President-for-Life” by his
son, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, a democracy movement began to
grow in Haiti. Manno wrote politically suggestive songs about the poor
and exploited, among whom he’d grown up, and the duo began to sing at
small underground events of students and intellectuals in the late
1970s. In May 1978, the duo played their angaje (politically engaged)
songs on the airwaves of journalist Jean Dominique’s Radio Haiti
Inter, championed by deejay and station manager Richard Brisson, who
in January 1982 would be captured and killed after a failed overthrow
attempt against Duvalier.

The duo became a sensation, and later that year, musicologist Raoul
Dénis recorded their songs which were released in an album entitled
simply “Manno et Marco” by Marc Records in New York. Over the next
eight years, until Baby Doc’s overthrow on Feb. 7, 1986, the album
became the soundtrack for the pro-democracy movement both in Haiti and
its diaspora.

In 1980, the Duvalier regime stepped up its repression of democracy
activists. Manno slipped out of a concert and sought exile in the U.S.
on Jul. 4. While in Boston and New York for most of the next six
years, he became  a fixture at anti-Duvalierist rallies and marches.
Along with composer Nikol Levy, he composed much of the music for
Haiti Films’ 1983 documentary Bitter Cane, which also helped propel
the anti-Duvalierist movement and Manno’s renown.

During this time, he released his first solo albums, Konviksyon (1984)
and Fini les Colonies! (1985) to worldwide acclaim.

After Duvalier’s 1986 fall, Manno returned to Haiti and became one of
the most prominent artistic and political voices of the emerging
pro-democracy lavalas movement, which brought President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide to power in February 1991. In 1990, Manno had released the
album Òganizasyon Mondyal, which cemented his fame as Haiti’s
preeminent anti-imperialist singer.

A Washington-backed coup d’état in September 1991 sent Aristide into
exile, and Haitian police arrested Manno at his home on Oct. 11. After
Hollywood stars and Amnesty International protested, he was released a
week later. Manno eventually sought refuge in Argentina’s Embassy,
where a human rights delegation, headed by former U.S. Attorney
General Ramsey Clark, met him in December 1991 (as depicted in the
1992 documentary Killing the Dream by Crowing Rooster Arts, which
played nationally in the U.S. on PBS). After the delegation raised
$3,000 for his release from the country, Manno was accorded safe
passage to the airport and flew once again into exile in January 1992.

During the next three years of his and Aristide’s exile, Manno
traveled the world playing at demonstrations, fundraisers, and
political rallies. When he returned to Haiti in 1994, he successfully
ran in 1995 for mayor of Port-au-Prince against Evans Paul, a former
ally who had indirectly supported the 1991 coup.

Once in Haiti’s third most important executive office (after President
and Prime Minister), Manno, who had just months earlier publicly
declared himself a Communist, faced many of the intractable problems
of corruption, violence, and chaos that confront any Haitian
politician. Although once allies, he ended up at odds with both
Aristide and President René Préval. When Manno’s gun-toting deputies
brutally evicted illegal vendors (mostly market women) from
Port-au-Prince’s central Champ-de-Mars square, it evoked particular
consternation among even his most loyal supporters. He finally stepped
down from the office in 1999, a few months before the end of his term.

Manno moved to Miami and dropped from view for about two years, but
then in 2002, he began playing twice a week at Tap Tap Restaurant in
South Beach with Richard Laguerre (bass guitar), Damas Jean-François
(electric guitar), and Jocelyn Egourdet (tenor sax). The new band’s
music was released on CD as Manno at Tap Tap (Crowing Rooster Arts,
2004), and the band often played to a packed house over the next 15

Following the 2004 coup d’état against Aristide (then serving a second
term), Manno again spoke out against the coup but also made several
provocatively critical remarks about Aristide (then exiled in South
Africa) on Haitian radio (as was his wont), which earned him the ire
of the anti-coup Lavalas masses.

Manno continued to visit Haiti, mostly to form youth chorales in
remote corners of the Haitian countryside, like Camp Perrin and
Pignon. The sting and humiliation of his political failure and his
naturally provocative style caused him to occasionally make
intemperate declarations on Haitian radios, which added to his
political marginalization.

But it was the rise of neo-Duvalierist politician Michel Martelly
which did the most damage to Manno’s reputation. Although he had been
a member of the Duvalierist paramilitary force, the Tontons Macoute,
Martelly, who also grew up in Carrefour, had known and admired Manno
as a youth. When he became Haiti’s President in 2010, Martelly courted
Manno, giving him an office and a salary as an “advisor” in the
National Palace. Citing outrageous corruption, Manno eventually quit
the job but remained on cordial terms with his “friend” and fellow
musician “Sweet Micky” Martelly, even as popular rage against the
latter grew.

Following controversial October 2015 elections, Manno agreed to serve
on an investigative commission convened by Martelly, although it was
generally viewed as a rubber-stamp body.

Following that final foray into politics, which provoked great dismay
among many, he returned to Miami, where he resumed his biweekly
performances at Tap Tap.

Last year, Manno was diagnosed with and began treatment for a fungal
lung infection, which affects many Haitians who’ve had tuberculosis.
He visited Haiti in the summer, during which time President Jovenel
Moïse’s officials tried to entice him, with money and favors, to
participate in the government’s “Caravan for Change,” a sort of
traveling political circus. Manno refused.

In late July, Manno began to have dizzy spells and speech problems.
Fearing a stroke, he quickly returned to Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami
Beach, where doctors found a huge malignant tumor in his brain which
had mestastacized from cancer in his lungs. On Jul. 31, he underwent a
successful 10-hour operation to remove most of the tumor, but it was
followed by grueling radiation and chemotherapy sessions, which left
him weak. In early November, Manno suffered several seizures and
strokes, which sent him first back to Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and
then, briefly, the Miami Jewish Health Systems nursing home in Miami’s
Little Haiti. Just after Thanksgiving, he developed a high fever and
was rushed from the nursing home to Mt. Sinai, where they discovered
he had a pulmonary embolism. Doctors were unable to dissolve it, and
the cancer in his lungs and brain continued its inexorable march.

In his final days, surrounded by a half-sister, former wife, two sons,
a daughter, and occasional visitors from Tap Tap, Manno slipped in and
out of consciousness. When a journalist from Haïti Liberté visited his
bedside on the evening of Dec. 6, Manno suffered from tremors and had
difficulty speaking and controlling his movements, but was lucid and
humorous reminiscing about old times. “You wouldn’t understand what
we’re talking about,” he said, turning to his son, Ti Manno, who was
also in the room. “That was before you were born.”

In the final three days of his life, he was mostly unconscious, with
the hospital providing only palliative care: an oxygen mask and heavy
doses of morphine to ease his pain.

He finally died shortly after 4:00 a.m. on Sun., Dec. 10. Although
expected, the news of his death sent a shock-wave through Haitian
communities for which Manno had been a symbol of resistance to the
Duvalier dictatorship, and an authentic voice and representative of
Haitian popular culture, critical of U.S. imperialism and its misdeeds
both in Haiti and around the world.

There are several books about the musician, including Manno
Charlemagne: 30 Years of Songs published by Fondation Connaissance &
Liberté (FOKAL, 2006) , and Nicole Augereau’s graphic comic book Quand
viennent les bêtes sauvages published in 2016. Among the films about
him are Frantz Voltaire’s Konviksyon (2011) and Dans La Gueule du
Crocodile (1998) by Canadians  Catherine Larivain and Lucie Ouimet.
The last album of his music, entitled Les Inédits de Manno Charlemagne
(The Unpublished Songs of Manno Charlemagne), was released in 2006.

After a private viewing for his family, there will be a public viewing
of Manno’s body on Thu., Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Notre Dame d’Haïti
Catholic Church on 62nd Street in Miami’s Little Haiti. Although Manno
was a devout atheist, there will then be a funeral mass at 7:30 p.m..
His body will be flown to Haiti on Sat., Dec. 16 and exposed on Tue.,
Dec. 19 at the Museum of the Haitian National Pantheon (MUPANAH) on
Port-au-Prince’s Champ-de-Mars. The funeral is scheduled to take place
on Fri., Dec. 22.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, the community group KAKOLA and Haïti Liberté
are organizing a traditional veye patriyotik (patriotic wake) to pay
homage to Manno on Fri., Dec. 15 from 7-11 p.m. at Haïti Liberté, 1583
Albany Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. At the same time in Miami, former
friends, comrades, and associates will be holding a similar tribute at
the Little Haiti Cultural Center on NE 2nd Avenue.

Although his final years were compromised by political missteps,
unseemly associations,  and outbursts, Manno Charlemagne earned a
permanent place in the hearts and memories of the Haitian people for
his revolutionary, anti-imperialist, and pro-democracy songs of the
1970s, 80s, and 90s.

To give a taste of his genius and to what he dedicated his life and
art, it is fitting to close his obituary with his own words, extracted
from two classics, Fini le colonies in French, and Konviksyon in

Tu me prends tout, tu me prends tout, pour deux sous,
Toujours faudrait dire merci à genoux,
Tu m’as eu, tu m’as eu, tu m’auras plus,
C’est fini les colonies, fini le temps de mépris.
Ça va changer un jour, ça va changer bientôt, ça va changer un jour!

You take everything me, you take everything me, for two cents,
I must always say thank you on my knees,
You got me, you got me, you’ll get me more,
It’s over, the colonies, no longer the time of contempt.
It will change one day, it will change soon, it will change one day!


Se konviksyon w ki pou kenbe w
Sa li ka fè w reyalize kòm malere
Tout vye chimen velekete
Se lite tout bon pou lite pou sa chanje

It’s your conviction that has to sustain you
That can allow you achieve to something as a poor person
On all the old treacherous roads
One must really struggle for things to change.

Police massacre in Gran Ravin, protesting students in Cap Haitien beaten by police

HaitiAnalysis -

San Francisco Bay View-National Black Newspaper
– Reports of a mass killing by the US-UN occupation trained and supervised Haitian police in Port-au-Prince
– Police brutally beat teachers and students in Cap-Haitien demanding money for education, not to restore the murderous army
WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOSMonday, Nov. 13, was a day of extra-judicial killings of men and women estimated by community residents to total 14, not counting a number of disappeared, according to Radio Timoun (Youth Radio).

The reporting was live from the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Gran’ Ravine on the Maranatha school grounds and nearby, where eight of the bodies, including those of a teacher and the school caretaker, still lay as of two hours ago this morning, Tuesday, Nov. 14. Other bodies were stated by witnesses to be in nearby bushes.

Many are reported wounded by police gunfire and beatings with hammers. In addition, news reports make mention of 31 arbitrary arrests.

These killings were conducted by units of the Haitian police according to a number of survivors beaten by the police and other witnesses interviewed by Radio Timoun. It is also reported that at the early hour when the police attack against the community took place, many children and adults were injured by the very potent tear gas used by the police.
Many students, teachers and school staff are reported wounded by police gunfire, very potent tear gas, and beatings with hammers.

Also on Monday, Nov. 13, in the northern city of Cap-Haitien, marching students shouting, “Down with the army, long live education, long live schools!” were brutally attacked by the police using tear gas and batons. Many teachers and students were beaten and severely injured.

Schools have been closed there for the past week. The students were saying no to the government’s plan to restore the old disbanded Haitian military. They are demanding that the money instead should be used to pay long overdue salaries to the already much-underpaid teachers.

The demonstrators are also denouncing a reported plan by the corrupt U.S.-U.N. occupation government of Jovenel Moise (PHTK Party) to fire teachers en masse, replace them with his supporters and not pay them the overdue wages.

Nevertheless, the students were back in the streets today, setting up desks and chairs in the middle of the street to illustrate that learning continues, even in the face of brutal repression, unpaid teachers and police tear gassing classrooms.
Students were back in the streets today, setting up desks and chairs in the middle of the street to illustrate that learning continues, even in the face of brutal repression, unpaid teachers and police tear gassing classrooms.
Unreported news from Haiti

The relentless attacks on democracy in Haiti continue as Haitians, who have lived under United Nations MINUSTAH military occupation since the 2004 coup d’etat against popularly elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, rise up to demand governmental accountability and economic justice. The most recent wave of protests began in early September, marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 1988, St. Jean Bosco massacre.

Oct. 24 – Demonstrations continue to erupt throughout Haiti, braving the terror of the Haitian National Police (PNH) and affiliated paramilitary forces. The demonstrators assert that Jovenel Moise and his illegitimate government are no different than the old Duvalier dictatorships, and they refuse to accept it. They demand the resignation of Moise, along with the resignations of similarly imposed corrupt members of Parliament.
The demonstrators assert that Jovenel Moise and his illegitimate government are no different than the old Duvalier dictatorships, and they refuse to accept it. They demand the resignation of Moise, along with the resignations of similarly imposed corrupt members of Parliament.

Oct. 17 – The Moise regime attacked demonstrations throughout the country marking the anniversary of Haiti’s first coup d’etat in 1806 and the assassination of its first head of state and founder, General, later Emperor, Jean-Jacques Dessalines. He is revered as a personification of Haiti’s independence and for his relentless campaign to distribute land to the formerly enslaved African majority, the chief reason for the coup against him.

Oct. 12 – Members of BOID, the militarized unit of the Haitian National Police (PNH), trained and supervised by the U.N.-U.S. occupation with U.S. taxpayer dollars, rampaged through the Port-au-Prince community of Lilavois, burning down houses and terrorizing the population in yet another case of repression and collective punishment.

The short video posted on “HaitiInfoProj” on Oct. 25 was filmed in the dark during the police terror and is accompanied by a plea: “BOID terrorists set fire indiscriminately to cars, homes and businesses of people struggling to make ends meet …, shooting tear gas that is greatly harmful to children with asthma … How can we blame people for leaving Haiti …?” Radio and witnesses reported that one person is known to have been executed, others have disappeared, and many others severely beaten.

Community organizations, women’s groups, unions and political parties, including the largest, Fanmi Lavalas, the political organization founded by former President Aristide, who was the priest at Jean Bosco in 1988, have been in full support of the popular mobilizations against the miserable living conditions and blatant government and generalized corruption associated with the disastrous 14-year U.N. occupation.

In October, the U.N. rebranded its MINUSTAH army of occupation to become MINUJUSTH, a smaller force which will rely more on a rebuilding of the despised Haitian army, disbanded by President Aristide in 1995, to maintain control; see Edwidge Danticat in the New Yorker, “A New Chapter for the Disastrous United Nations Mission in Haiti?

Widely supported general strikes took place on Sept. 11 and Oct. 2. Teachers have not been paid in months, and the regime is attempting to destroy the informal economy by squeezing out the market women, taxi drivers and other sectors to force people to rely on the ruling elite-owned supermarkets and corporate services that make profits for the wealthy and further marginalize poor people.
Widely supported general strikes took place on Sept. 11 and Oct. 2. Teachers have not been paid in months, and the regime is attempting to destroy the informal economy by squeezing out the market women, taxi drivers and other sectors to force people to rely on the ruling elite-owned supermarkets and corporate services that make profits for the wealthy and further marginalize poor people.

The Haiti Information Project reported that a Sept. 25 general strike was called off by union leaders who were bought off by the government, but many people participated in the strike anyway.

The occupation government has met these demonstrations with savage repression, attacking demonstrators with batons, bullets, tear gas and an irritant shot from water cannon that stings and burns the skin. The police and government-organized militia also follow people after protests, beat them with baseball bats, and frequently arrest them without cause and detain them without trial as is the case of the co-host of the Radio Timoun (Youth Radio) show “Political Education.”

Death squads operate with impunity. L’Initiave des Avocats pour la Promotion et la Defense des Droits Democratiques (Initiative of Lawyers for the Promotion and Defense of Democratic Rights) reported in a Radio Timoun interview on Oct. 7 that 15 people were killed and over 40 arrested, with many others wounded.

During the protests on Sept. 21, government forces killed a young protestor in Port-au-Prince; another was killed the day before in Hinche. Many were arrested and wounded also in Trou-du-Nord as the infamous militarized police unit BOID assaulted demonstrators in Arcahaie, destroying taxi-motorcycles and other businesses of community residents.

Children in school in Les Cayes were attacked with tear gas because they supported the general strike. The outraged community responded with rocks against the police in defense of their children.
Children in school in Les Cayes were attacked with tear gas because they supported the general strike. The outraged community responded with rocks against the police in defense of their children.

The State University of Haiti has closed the schools of Humanities, Law and Ethnic Studies due to ongoing strikes and protests. Many young people who want to pursue higher education are forced to leave the country. This highlights the importance of UNIFA, the University of the Aristide Foundation, as a center of learning dedicated to advancing the needs of the country and engaging Haitian youth to that end.

After an “electoral coup” that brought to power the Moise administration without any pretense of a democratic process (see the new Haiti Solidarity page 6 “Haiti 2017: From Demonstration Election to Electoral Coup”), the illegitimate government imposed by the U.S.-U.N. occupation now targets the very right to vote, by implementing taxes that would make voting itself a commodity out of the reach of poor Haitians.

It will now cost a minimum of about $254 to obtain a voting card; the cost is associated with the payment of new excessive fees and taxes that have outraged the Haitian public. When the minimum wage hovers at around $4 per day, these taxes are one more form of electoral corruption, as many will not be able to afford to vote.
The U.S.-U.N. occupation now targets the very right to vote, by implementing taxes that would make voting itself a commodity out of the reach of poor Haitians. It will now cost a minimum of about $254 to obtain a voting card, while the minimum wage hovers at around $4 per day.

This is what the “democracy” being imposed on Haiti looks like.

Besides robbing Haitians of the right to vote, the new taxes will also rob them of their very land, because new taxes on land would cost the average farmer from $3,900-$5,200 per year, way more than they can possibly afford. If the farmer cannot pay, their land may be confiscated. In addition, Haitians living outside the country will reportedly have to pay $186 in additional taxes to enter Haiti.

As the Moise regime attempts to destroy democracy and extort money from the impoverished population, it continues the tax holiday and lucrative no-bid contracts provided to the rich. It can pay a $20,000 per diem for the president to travel and similarly obscene rates for his family and entourage, and it can lavishly pay off members of Parliament for their vote, pay for death squads and restore the brutal military dubbed the new “Tonton Macoutes.”

But it has no money for education, healthcare, trash removal or the basic needs of the population. A mafia is in power in Haiti, imposed in full collaboration with U.S.-Canadian-U.N.-European designs on Haiti’s land and resources.
The Moise regime can pay a $20,000 per diem for the president to travel and similarly obscene rates for his family and entourage, and it can lavishly pay off members of Parliament for their vote, pay for death squads and restore the brutal military dubbed the new “Tonton Macoutes.” But it has no money for education, healthcare, trash removal or the basic needs of the population.

Despite the repression, resistance grows, as more people demonstrate in more and more places. The situation is very grave and demands active solidarity.
SUGGESTED ACTION: Help us report the news!

Since the media either blocks or distorts news from Haiti, we ask that you, our supporters, become a people’s media for Haiti and help us report the news. Please forward this information to your lists, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and buy and help distribute our newsletters – five copies for $20! Haiti needs solidarity, and now is the time. Donations can be made by check to Haiti Action Committee and mailed to P.O. Box 2044, Berkeley, CA 94702.
SUGGESTED ACTION: E-mail and phone-in campaign to:
Say No to the restoration of the brutal Haitian military.
Hold the U.S. and U.N. 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.

U.S. State Department: HaitiSpecialCoordinator@state.gov
Your member of Congress: 202-224 3121
N. Mission in Haiti: minujusth-info@un.org

Contact the Haiti Action Committee at www.haitisolidarity.net, on Facebook at Haiti Action Committee, on Twitter @HaitiAction1or by email at action.haiti@gmail.com.


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