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Haiti's Sham Elections: Solidifying Imperial Control


By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 23 November 2010

Haiti's Sham Elections: Solidifying Imperial Control - by Stephen Lendman

On November 28, first round legislative and presidential elections will be held. As a previous article explained, democracy will be absent because the nation's most popular party, Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas, and 14 others are excluded, the system rigged to install Washington's favorites.

In a September 8, Miami Herald op-ed, Ira Kurzban, an immigration and employment law expert as well as
Aristide's former legal counsel headlined, "Unfair and undemocratic," saying:

"Imagine if (America's) Federal Election Commission disqualified the Democratic and Republican parties from the 2012 presidential election and declared that only candidates of minor parties could run."

"Yet (Haiti's November 28 elections) are just that - unfair, unconstitutional and undemocratic."

On November 10, Brian Concannon, Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, in the Boston Haitian Reporter headlined, "Haiti's Flawed Elections: They Told Us So," saying:

The November elections "may be the most important in Haitian history," voters to "choose the entire House of Deputies (its lower body) for four years, a President for five years, and one-third of the Senate for six years. These officials (will be responsible for) guiding Haiti's (post-quake) reconstruction for at least four years." What they accomplish "will shape Haitian society for decades." What they won't is deeply worrisome.

Especially since the process is deeply flawed under new eligibility rules, President Preval's hand-picked Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) requiring each party head register presidential candidates in person. Exiled in South Africa, Aristide can't do it, denied permission to renew his passport to return that prevents him. Moreover, the CEP lacks legitimacy, Haiti's Constitution mandating an independent Permanent Council, free from party politics.

As a result, Kurzban calls the process a "faux election that will have lasting consequences for Haiti and the international community." Haitians know a charade is planned. Many will opt out, their choice in April 2009 to fill 12 open Senate seats that saw an estimated 3 - 5% turnout. Why bother now under dire conditions, Haiti stricken by earthquake destruction, little aid, and a deepening cholera epidemic taking dozens or more lives daily.

Concannon said Haiti's CEP never gave comprehensive reasons for excluding parties. For Fanmi Lavalas (FN), it mentioned only informal ones, "regarding a mandate sent by (Aristide) last November. In fact, (FN) presented an original mandate, authenticated by a Haitian notary that complies with Haitian law." Aristide followed up with a fax, "confirm(ing) its authenticity in a radio interview."

The International Crisis Group: Supporting Power, not People

Founded in 1995 by World Bank vice-president Mark Malloch Brown and former US diplomat Morton Abramowitz, it issued an October 27 report on Haiti's elections titled, "Haiti: The Stakes of the Post-Quake Elections," endorsing the flawed process, noting only that it's proceeding under daunting conditions.

"To boost confidence in the process," it said, a great deal must be done in a very short time. The CEP's actions need to be more open and those actions to be explained better to the parties and the electorate. The parties (not mentioning those excluded) should commit to a peaceful campaign and to acceptance of the eventual results, and they and their candidates should begin to articulate substantive platforms that address national problems."

"To stimulate turnout, voter and civic education about the process and the stakes should be intensified, particularly among IDPs....Once the elections are over and parallel to the new government's priority task of pushing reconstruction and sustainable development, a national consensus will be needed on electoral and political party reforms....But the urgent requirement is to succeed with the November elections."

The ICG doesn't hide its agenda, providing detailed recommendations about proceeding with a sham process. Crucial is "meet(ing a) tight electoral timetable," defrauding the electorate, urging "all political actors (support) the new government" so it can rebuild "the country's economic, physical and institutional infrastructure," one planned for profit, not poor Haitians to be exploited for maximum amounts.

The New York Times - Endorsing Fraud

On November 21, writers Randal Archibold and Damien Cave headlined, "Mired in Crises, Haiti Struggles to Focus on Election," saying:

"It may not be the best time to choose a president....But the (November 28) election....may be Haiti's most important in decades....a colorful field of 19 candidates is seeking the highest office...."

Instead of denouncing a sham process, the article focused on campaign politics, "ginning up excitement, plastering brightly colored posters across the devastated capital, blasting catchy Caribbean-beat jingles from trucks and staging large rallies with T-shirt - and sometimes, money - giveaways."

Noting a potential low turnout could raise claims about legitimacy, it explained that "international observers will monitor the balloting." America's funding it with $15 million or more, assuring the best "democracy" its money can buy, by no means a real one.

Focusing on competing presidential candidates, Archibold and Cave said nothing about excluded parties, notably Fanmi Lavalas that would win by a landslide if participating. The only hint of sham was a final comment saying, "It remains to be seen how much the voters are buying. Haitians, analysts said, tend to make their choices at the last minute," omitting that none of the above will swamp other choices, given FL's exclusion.

It's the third time in the past year, including the April and June 2009 senatorial elections, and originally scheduled February 2010 presidential and legislative ones. Recently, Aristide's spokeswoman, Maryse Narcisse, told the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS):

"For us, this isn't just the exclusion of Fanmi Lavalas. What they want to exclude is the majority, the people. For us this is a selection, not an election."

Washington, of course, controls it, US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley saying at a September 15 press briefing:

"....we are working diligently with Haitian authorities to help them prepare. It is vitally important to Haiti's future that there be a credible election. We are mindful of the fact that with the earthquake back in January, among the institutions of government that were hard hit were those that would either conduct or support a successful election."

"This is a Haitian process. There are qualifications that have to be met....this has to be seen as a legitimate and credible process, and we're doing everything that we can to help Haiti have a successful election."

Asked about excluded political parties, Crowley laughed, saying only, "Why don't you ask us again tomorrow and we'll see if we have more to say about this."

A follow-up question wasn't asked, America's media ducking the issue to avoid embarrassing the secretary about a clearly sham process, Washington very much in control.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research's (CEPR)
Dan Beeton was less reserved, issuing an October 14 press release headlined, "CEPR Criticizes US Funding of Flawed 'Elections' in Haiti," saying:

Washington should explain its funding of a clearly flawed process, involving "the arbitrary exclusion of over a dozen political parties - including the country's largest party - from the ballot, Mark Weisbrot (CEPR's Co-Director) said today."

Last week, the State Department ducked the issue for the second time. "The exclusions problem has dragged on for months, becoming a growing scandal."

As Weisbrot explained:

"Justice delayed is justice denied. The US has known about this problem for months, and it has been reported numerous times in the international press, not to mention that it is a major bone of contention in Haiti."

Nonetheless, the Obama administration's failure to explain why it's funding "such a blatantly anti-democratic process is inexcusable."

In early October, 45 members of Congress raised the issue, saying Washington should opt out of an election not "includ(ing) all eligible political parties and ready access to voting for all Haitians, including the displaced."

The Preval government won't touch the issue. Neither will the State Department, stonewalling whenever asked, determined to install its favorites, stooges to solidify coup d'etat control. This time through ballot box shenanigans, an "election" in name only, flawed enough to make a despot blush.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

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De toutes les analyses jusqu’ici faites sur la politique haitienne, de toutes les excuses avancées soit pour justifier le comportement odieux des politicians et groupes haitiens, soit pour vilifier la conduite combien pleine d’intrigues de la communauté internationale, aucune n’a osé souligner, voire même mettre de l’emphase sur l’influence corruptible que la diaspora haitienne exerce dans le devenir socio-économique et politique d’Haiti.

Ce role, elle le joue comme des parents qui s’acquittent de leurs obligations envers leurs enfants. Il faut préciser en passant que ce lien de parentage existe en réalitè entre la diaspora haitienne et les Haitiens dans l’Ile. Or, que l’Haitien vit en Haiti ou a l’extérieur, l’Haitien est Haitien patout ou il vit. C’est sans doute pourquoi ces derniers n’ont du monde aucun mal à se comporter comme un animal captif. Quelqu'un a qui il faut toujours quelqu'un d'aure qui s'en occupe

Mais le plus grand mal que le rôle de la diaspora haitienne ait pu faire à Haiti, est de ne pas avoir encouragé chez ces gens le développement du sens du devoir civique. C’est à dire, connaître et apprécier à leur juste valeur les droits que garantit la constitution, d’une part, tout en déchargeant fidèlement les devoirs et responsabilités qu’ils incombent, de l’autre.
L’Haitien se doit de comprendre que droits et devoirs vont toujours de pair et qu’il n y a pas à en sortir de là.

Or , à l’égal d’un enfant qui considère comme son droit d’ainesse le soin que lui fournissent ses parents, la population haitienne de l’Ile voit la diaspora haitienne dans cette meme optique. Qu’on veuille l’admettre ou non, une telle attitude est de taille à corrompre et ruiner toute une population, pour n’en dire que ça.

Sous prétexte de vouloir prévenir la détérioration totale et irréparable des conditions dans l’Ile, la diaspora haitienne a, par ses envois inlassables de fonds, rendu possible la survivance, bien que précaire, de ses conctoyens haitiens. Ce faisant, elle a non seulement commandité tantôt unilatéralement, tantôt conjointement avec la communauté internationale, le maintien de toute une succession de gouvernements corrompus, d’une part, mais encore réduit à la mendicité toute une nation qui maintenant se croit paralysée à tous les niveaux, de l’autre.

Voilà pourquoi en partie, la question du Xeme reste encore irrésolue. Qu’on ne soit pas si bête! Quel intérêt un gouvernement haitien aurait-il a résoudre un problème qui, par son existence même, représente pour ce gouvernement une petite mine d’or? Quel intérêt un gouvernement haitien aurait-il a se pencher sérieusement sur la question du Xeme, si la résolution de cette question risque de lui causer des embêtements et du meme coup lui soustraire certains gros avantages politiques et économiques don’t il jouit jusqu’ici?

Il n’y a pas au monde un home qui va se marier à une femme quand celle-ci satisfait ses tous derniers désirs de façon inconditionnelle et sans contrainte aucune. D’ailleurs, du point de vue de cet home là, il la conçoit comme souffrant d’ une faiblesse provenant d un défaut psychique. C’est bien là la situation de la diaspora haitienne vis-à-vis l’attitude et le comportement des gouvernements haitiens. Pourtant malheureusement, elle(diaspora) n’a pas l’air de comprendre les conséquences dévastatrices de sa bienveillance sur ce pays qui languit et gémit depuis plus de deux cents ans.

Mais il n’ya pas que ça. Le pire de cet état de choses est la paralysante dépendance don’t les Haitiens de l’Ile et leurs gouvernements sont devenus les victimes. Cette dépendance fait des gouvernements haitiens des quémandeurs professionels qui, nuit et jour, crient “au secours” à la communauté internationale.
Elle fait des Haitiens dans l’Ile des bon-à -rien qui aparemment, ne font que prier en attendant l’arrivée du chèque de la diaspora.
A son tour, la communauté internationale ne râte jamais l’occasion de leur venir en aide, étant donné que cette aide est à la base de ce travail ruineux et destructeur que cette communauté a toujours préconisé pour Haiti au lendemain meme de 1804.

Les conséquences de cette dépendance qu’ ils aiment prétendre de ne pas comprendre, ont permis à la communauté Internationale de trier du sein de la population haitienne de “reels sans- mamans-haitiens” qui l’aident non seulement à comploter la défaite et l’échec total de l’Etat Haitien, mais encore à en assurer la mise en action pérenne de cette complaisante inconscience nationale.

Sous un tel climat, d’effrayants gaspillages d’argent se font à longeur de journée. D’effroyables crimes sont commis en toute impunité. Le commerce de la drogue fait une concurrence incontestée au système éducatif du pays—un crime contre lequel la communauté internationale reste sans defense et indéfiniement accusee.

Or, tout Haitien qui respire encore devrait savoir qu’aucun pays, aucun peuple, aucune nation digne de ce nom ne peut s’épanouir à aucun niveau, s’il entend compter exclusivement sur la largesse de la communauté internationale ou sur la bonté patriotique de ses citoyens vivant à l’étranger. Qu’est ce qui fait croire à ce peuple que son pays serait une exception à cette règle universelle?

Que personne ne s’y trompe pas. L’aide qu’Haïti reçoit de la communauté internationale chaque fois qu’un désastre naturel ou manufacturé afflige le pays, n’est pas un témoignage de la bienveillante bonté de cette communauté à l’endroit d’un pays sinistré comme Haïti.
Au contraire, cette aide est un piège,une ambuscade politique faite sur mesure et dressée expressément à long terme pour mettre des batons dans les roues du pays.
Son objectif: faire en sorte qu’Haïti reste paralysée dans cet état de misère à tout jamais.
Combien de temps va-t-il falloir encore pour que ce peuple comprenne et saisisse le sens du sinistre jeu de la communauté internationale?

L’aide est en effet, ce poison mortel dont les effets toxiques ne tuent pas sur le champ, mais dépérissent et dégénèrent sa victime au fil des siècles jusqu’a ce qu’il n’en reste plu rien.
La preuve est ici bien grande, puisqu’on sait tous que ça remonte à plus de deux siècles depuis qu’Haïti patine et traine dans cette humiliante et inhumaine condition. Que faut-il de plus? Quand est-ce que ce peuple en aura-t- il assez?

On estime que c’est à partir de ces questions que la diaspora haitienne va devoir reviser, etudier, réévaluer l’efficacité de son rôle dans la condition de vie des Haitiens dans l’Ile.
Si l’étude et la revision confirment ce que nombre de gens ont longtemps chuchotté, à savoir que le soutien financier de la diaspora haitienne contribue plus à la de-stabilisation nationale qu’à son renfort socio-économique et politique; il s’ensuit donc inévitablement que cette diaspora doit changer sa methode d’aide et son approche de financement.
Tout ça se fait aisément par l’intermédiaire de sérieuses exigences faites à la population haitienne de l’Ile d’abord et aux gouvernements haitiens ensuite.

Maintenant la question reste de savoir comment faire des exigencies à une population entièrement gâtée et corrompue ou à des gouvernements moribonds.
Si le lecteur de ce texte s’attend à une réponse à cette question du bout de ces lignes, il n’est décidément pas de taille à prendre part dans cette discussion.

Toutefois, Si sous quel que soit le pretexte ou l’excuse, la diaspora haitienne s’oppose à l’idée d’une réévaluation nette et parfaite de sa contribution à Haïti, on pourra alors sans hésitation la loter comme œuvrant la nain dans la nain avec la communauté internationale pour accomplir l’échec total de l’Etat Haitien et l’anéantissement intégral de tout un peuple.
Que la diaspora haitienne se souvienne des grands success Qu’Adolph Hitler a eu durant la Premiere Guerre Mondiale. Ces succes sont tous dus grace au soutien financier des grands industriels Juifs de l’Occident. Il est facile de pretendre vouloir contribuer a l’avancement des siens, quand en réalité on ne fait que participer à leur destruction.

D’ailleurs, quand on compte les états échoués de l’hémisphère, Haîti vient toujours en tête de liste. Un fait que tout Haitien conscient se doit d’etudier pour comprendre le sens de ces petits tours malins de la communauté internationale et l’indignation qu’ils devraient inspirer.

Or, à ce stade de l’histoire de ce peuple, il devrait savoir que l’aumône qu’il reçoit sous forme d’aide financière ou de la diaspora haitienne ou de la communauté internationale, ne peut servir qu’à deux fins bien distinctes: ou le pousser à forger un avenir resplendissant de promesses et d’espoirs ou le corrompre à un niveau d’inutilité et de servilité jusqu’ici inconnu du monde civilisé. A en parler bien franchement, ce peuple y est deja.

Oui, en effet, le monment est venu. Et de l’avis de plus d’un, il est déjà Presque passé pour que la diaspora haitienne exige des Haitiens de l’Ile une quasi garantie que dorénavant ils vont coûte que coûte exercer leurs droits civiques et politiques,sans crainte et sans peur , en tout et partout. Et ceci, ils vont le faire aux fins de contribuer un petit quelque chose au changement de l’image politique, sociale et économique de la nation.
Cet engagement ils vont le prendre pour se démontrer méritoires de l’aide financière que la diaspora leur a toujours pourvue et dont ils ont jusqu’ici été les bénéficiers inconditionnels.

On n’est plus au moment oû l’on peut se demander , qui va s’en occuper si la diaspora haitienne fait signe de fatigue. A vrai dire, il peut ne pas être question de fatigue nécessairement. Il peut s’agir tout simplement d’une nécessité de voir le pays faire quelque chose de spontané. Que fin soit mise à cette existence basée purement sur l’aide extérieure. Là encore, on entend du monde dire que c’est plus facile a dire qu’à faire.

Néanmoins, si au lieu de profiter des possibilities d’une proposition, les Haitiens de l’Ile préfèrent en dépister des difficultés, comme ça a toujours été le cas jusqu’ici, les déchets Népalais ne sont pas les derniers qu’ ils auront à boire. C’est horrible de le dire, mais il faut que quelqu’un le dise enfin.

La diaspora haitienne èvidemment sera toujours là, surveillant le va-et-vient des evènements, et prête au besoin à venir en aide à la population. Mais que pour la première depuis l’indépendance du pays, les Haitiens de l’Ile prennent en main la gestion administrative de leur destin politique,social et économique. Là-dessus, il ne peut y avoir de négotiation possible.

On ne peut sous-estimer la dureté que cette nouvelle approche aura sur le vécu quotidien d’un peuple qui mène une existence de la main à la bouche. Un tel revirement exigera à la population de faire appel à des resources qu’elle ne possède pas. Ça, c’est plus qu’évident. Quoi qu’il en soit, la diaspora haitienne va devoir se poser la question qui suit: où serait Haiti aujourd’hui, si malgré les moments difficiles que le pays continue de vivre depuis 1804, les pères fondateurs se forgeaient toutes les excuses imaginables pour ne pas s’afronter à l’armée de Napoléon?

Tout peuple qui accepte soit par une lâcheté de caractère, soit par l’adoption d’une attitude oisive et parasite, de vivre les moments horribles qu’Hajti a dû vivre, doit tôt ou tard faire un bilan de la raison d’être de son existence. Dans le cas d’Haiti, ce moment est maintenant même, c’est–à-dire à l’approche des elections du 28 novembre 2010.

Tout effort qui vise la continuité des approches du passé, soit du coté de la diaspora haitienne, soit du coté de la communauté internationale, est voué à l’échec. Or, ça ne date pas d’hier depuis que ces approaches ont prévalu et sans succes. C’est ici l'unique moment pour tout Haitien de se prouver l’heritier legitime des fondateurs de la patrie haitienne. Cette preuve peut malheureusement et très facilement requérir beaucoup plus que d’interminables palabres des analystes. Vive Haiti libre et independant!

Alfa

Mais le plus grand mal que le rôle de la diaspora haitienne ait pu faire à Haiti, est de ne pas avoir encouragé chez ces gens le développement du sens du devoir civique. C’est à dire, connaître et apprécier à leur juste valeur les droits que garantit la constitution, d’une part, tout en déchargeant fidèlement les devoirs et responsabilités qu’ils incombent, de l’autre.

Ce n'est pas toute la diaspora haitienne qui est coupable. Il y a parmi ces haitiens et haitiennes des vrais activistes. Mais comme pour nous tous, nous ne formont pas les gens du pouvoir et nos demandes, nos voix, nos exigences tombent sur de sourde oreilles et des coeurs qui aspirent seulement pour la richesse materielle et le pouvoir sur autrui, dominance.

L’Haitien se doit de comprendre que droits et devoirs vont toujours de pair et qu’il n y a pas à en sortir de là.

Cela est essentiel pour tout le monde, universellement, et non pas seulement pour les haitiens et haitiennes.

Mais ce site est anglophone. Il y aura peu de lecteurs ici qui comprendront. Alors, je ne prolongerai pas ces commentaires.

Anti-UN-US occupation alliance forming for Nov 28th elections:

The three parties are also for demanding the return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide so that he can at least be in Haiti as a civilian. It's an alliance between Rene Civil, Jean-Henry Céant, and Chavannes Jean-Baptiste.

"Céant tackles Haiti's current issues with a surprising alliance between bitter rivals"

by Randall White, Nov. 20th, 2010

www.haitiaction.net/News/RAW/11_20_10/11_20_10.html

Haiti Action.net - Port au Prince, Haiti — After a short night in Port au Prince, Rene Civil's advance vehicle was picking up members of Haiti's press again, this time to catch up with the Jean-Henry Céant presidential campaign caravan in the Central Department. For several Lavalas activists, with the campaign, it was the first time they would be in the Central town of Hinche since the US–sponsored Coup d'État of February 29, 2004. A new Céant poster was taped up inside the windshield prominently next to the Aristide poster that had been riding in that location for the last two days.

After a quick stop in the mountains for some very tasty and funky Haitian pork stew, rice & beans — washed down by the local energy drink, Toro — Civil's car sped to the Central town where Céant was already speaking. After climbing a minimally supporting and new staircase, our late arrival got some friendly ribbing by a — totally unexpected, by this reporter — well known figure to the Central Department, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste.

Soon, Civil was speaking again and the crowd shouted its overwhelming approval of the campaign promise to return President Jean Bertrand Aristide back to Haiti to continue his work. It wouldn't be until the next day that the story behind Chavannes' — and the Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP) — calling for the return of Aristide and joining in an alliance with former rivals in electing Jean-Henry Céant as President of Haiti would begin to emerge. It came as no surprise that the criminal negligence of the UN and the US response to the Cholera Epidemic was key to that alliance.

That night Céant, Civil and Chavannes went to the main radio station in Hinche and fielded many questions from the radio host and listening audience of Radio Leve Kanpe while the caravan waitied in the field nearby.

(snip)

The above article is part 3 and links for the first two parts, which I haven't yet read, are available at the top of the home page. Part 2 is, "Céant campaign hits the road, calling for the return of Aristide", Nov. 16th, while part 1 is, "Thousands demonstrate for Aristide and Jean-Henry Céant in Haiti's popular neighborhoods", Nov. 14th.

Checking the Links page at HaitiAction.net and seeing Marguerite Laurent's Web site, I decided to check if she has any content on the upcoming elections of next week and there's an audio interview (22:28) of Nov. 22nd linked in the home page, www.margueritelaurent.com. She's a Haitian lawyer and activist, who Stephen Lendman could certainly say more about than I can. I only know that she's a true Haitian and real activist for Haiti.

President Aristide interview, Nov. 2010:

The following is a very recent interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide and I'm pretty sure the interview happened this month. I haven't read this yet, but from the title used for a copy at SFBayView.com on Nov. 15th, President or former President Aristide speaks about the upcoming election(s) of Nov. 28th.

"Interview With President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, by Nicolas Rossier

Exiled Former President of Haiti Talks with Filmmaker Nicolas Rossier"

Nov. 13th, 2010

http://canadahaitiaction.ca/content/interview-president-jean-bertrand-ar...

Author bio.: "Nicolas Rossier is an award winning independent filmmaker and reporter who lives in Brooklyn New York. In 2005, he directed and produced the outstanding 85-minute documentart, "Aristide and the Endless Revolution." For copyright information and publishing rights, please contact the author at Nicrossier@gmail.com".

IJDH on illegitimate elections in Haiti:

The following page is for or certainly about a full report and the page provides what I guess is an intro. for the full report. The intro. is provided in three formats, two appearing in the page, while the other is a link for a PDF download, which I checked and found to be the same as in the other two formats for text shown in the page. One of those two formats looks like a Scribd sort of viewer, while a little further below is a regular text copy. IJDH is the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and I got the link at http://canadahaitiaction.ca/aggregator/sources/1 , where there are links for more articles on Haiti.

"Haiti’s Elections: Trying to Legitimize the Illegitimate"

Nov. 23rd, 2010

by Nicole Phillips, IJDH staff attorney and lead author of the report, and Brian Con­can­non Jr., director of IJDH

http://ijdh.org/archives/15467

The full report is linked in the intro., the first paragraph of it, and the full report is not long. It's available in PDF download, as well as presented in the page with a Scribd-like viewer, embedded.

CARICOM screwing up in Nov. 28th elections in Haiti:

CARICOM (Caribbean Community) apparently has been historically good regarding Haiti, but has now accepted observer status in the upcoming presidential election(s), which is an evidently bad decision; because of the anti-democratic nature of the elections.

"With friends like these…CARICOM and Haiti"
by Kevin Edmonds and Roger Annis, Nov. 15th, 2010

www.caribbean360.com/opinion/49393.html

Or, http://ijdh.org/archives/15381

Author bio's: Kevin Edmonds "is a free­lance jour­nal­ist and grad­u­ate stu­dent at McMas­ter University’s Glob­al­iza­tion Insti­tute in Hamil­ton, Ontario", and Roger Annis is a coor­di­na­tor of the Canada Haiti Action Net­work and edi­tor of its web­site, www.canadahaitiaction.ca. He resides in Vancouver".

ONTARIO, Canada, Monday November 15, 2010 - In a troubling abandonment of its moral high ground on matters of Haiti, the organization representing the governments of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, has bought into the flawed national election to take place in Haiti on November 28. CARICOM will join with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union as official observers.

The decision effectively sanctions an electoral process that has excluded 14 political parties from participating, including Haiti’s largest, Fanmi Lavalas of exiled, former President Jean Bertrand Aristide. In addition, the current electoral conditions will not have the required facilities and voter registration in place to guarantee a fair and inclusive vote.

The council provided very poor reasoning for the exclusion of the 14 parties. Fanmi Lavalas was earlier banned from the two-round, partial senate election in April/June 2009. At that time, the reason cited was a technical one — the party was accused of failing to fill in its registration paperwork correctly, a charge its leaders hotly deny. Then in another incident in November 2009, Fanmi Lavalas was excluded for failing to submit an original party authorization for the April 2009 elections. The party’s attorneys provided documentation refuting the banning pretext and arguing it was an arbitrary and last minute invention. Nonetheless, the decision was carried over into the upcoming November 28th elections.

The decision by CARICOM to participate in this deeply flawed election constitutes a significant reversal of the position in took in February 2004 when Haiti’s elected president and government were overthrown by a paramilitary revolt with key backing from the U.S., Canada, France and the UN Security Council. At that time, CARICOM condemned the overthrow. It refused to recognize the appointed regime put in place by the foreign powers. It was the only inter-governmental organization to suspend Haiti’s membership.

(snip)

The silence of CARICOM in regards to the recent scandals surrounding Haiti’s current Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) which relate to its unconstitutional exclusions and its controversial makeup –is deeply troubling, and a step in the wrong direction for democracy and stability in the region. According to Brian Concannon of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), the constitutionality of the CEP, “is not an easy question. The 1987 constitution does allow for a provisional council. The problem is that the body has never moved beyond its provisional status. That’s the fault not only of Preval today but also of the governments which preceded him.”

(snip)

What CARICOM does not take into account is the effect that an election considered widely illegitimate would have on the social and political fabric of Haiti – a nation already ravaged by the earthquake, cholera and tropical storms. As 45 members of the U.S. Congress put it in an open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month, “Haiti's next government will be called upon to make difficult decisions in the reconstruction process that will have a lasting impact on Haitian society, such as land reform and allocation of reconstruction projects among urban and rural areas. Conferring these decisions on a government perceived as illegitimate is a recipe for disaster.”

(snip)

For any election to be successful, it must be fully inclusive and transparent. Haitian attorney and human rights lawyer Mario Joseph recently told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in a wide-ranging interview that the necessary pre-conditions for this do not exist. ...

Joseph says the international community should help build effective government institutions, not press for the election of a new president in conditions where Haiti’s judicial and legislative branches are weak or barely functional. “If you don’t have the judiciary branch to apply the law, if you don’t have the legislative branch to control the government, why are we talking about elections?” he says.

(snip)

CARICOM has taken the moral high road on matters of Haiti alone before, which makes this recent aligning of the organization with the traditional antagonists of the island all the more disappointing. Supporting the unfair and exclusionary elections in Haiti will only benefit the same members of the international community who have largely been responsible for deepening and profiting off of Haiti’s tragedy. ...

Mario Joseph: The following audio interview on CBC's "The Current" program is evidently the one referred to in the article just above. The page says it's part 2, there are no links for a part 1, and a search of the Web site didn't turn up a part 1 link, either.

"Oct 29/10 - Pt 2: Haiti Election"

www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2010/10/oct-2910---pt-2-haiti-election.html

PART TWO

Haiti Election - Mario Joseph

Haiti is less than a month away from a Presidential election. But many Haitians are far more preoccupied with their day-to-day needs than they are with voting. It has been nine months since Haiti was devastated by a powerful earthquake that left about 300,000 people dead.

Today, the country is facing a cholera outbreak. Much of the government still isn't functioning. And many of the survivors of the earthquake are still homeless, hungry and frustrated.

Mario Joseph has been working extensively with those survivors. And he says that Haiti isn't ready for an election and that trying to hold one could prove disastrous.

Mario Joseph is one of Haiti's most prominent lawyers and human rights activists. And he runs the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, or BAI. We reached him in New York City.

Haiti's election is scheduled to take place November 28th.

UN's MINUSTAH chief meddling with Haitian elections:

"Unrest 'must not stop Haiti polls'
Elections should take place despite outbreak of deadly disease and anger against peacekeepers, UN mission chief says."

Nov. 20th, 2010

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/11/2010112005720398357.html

The head of the UN mission in Haiti has said the November 28 elections will be held despite the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 1,000 people and the violence against peacekeepers.

At least 1,186 people have been killed by the disease in recent weeks in the Caribbean nation, prompting many people to question the wisdom of holding the national elections.

But speaking to Al Jazeera on Friday, Edmond Mulet, the head of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (Minustah), said: "The issue of cholera is not a reason not to have elections.

"I think that elections are important for the political stability, for the social stability of the country, for the reconstruction of the country.

"The cholera will spread and the outbreak will continue. It is going to get much worse than we have right now, and if we don't have elections now because of the cholera, when are we going to have them?"

(snip)

It really isn't any of his business. He should practice real peace keeping and MYOB! Haitian elections are Haitian matters. It's for Haitians and no one else to decide! Instead, he prefers to try to enforce anti-democratic "elections", rather than working to ensure democratic ones.

The UN anti-peacekeeping force in Haiti, MINUSTAH, has no rights whatsoever there, except to help ensure real peace, justice, and democracy, which are the very opposite of what MINUSTAH's been doing in Haiti since Feb. or March 2004.

A real look at MINUSTAH:

I haven't viewed this yet, just discovered its existence today, but the following evidently is a complete documentary film by Kevin Pina, who did plenty of [great] investigative reporting in Haiti. I believe it was made by him, anyway. It came up with a search for videos by him.

"Haiti - Nou Pito Mouri Kampe (We Would Rather Die Standing)" (1:27:30)

apparently posted in 2008

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7903623001730810789

Alternative viewing Web site,

http://vodpod.com/watch/2879349-haiti-nou-pito-mouri-kampe-we-would-rath...

This is a documentary about the ongoing violence in Cite Soleil in Haiti and the brutal & sensless murder of it's people by the MINUSTAH (Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti) (Translation: United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti) WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES OF KILLED MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN.

This seems to be another good resource on Haiti.

http://haitiinformationproject.blogspot.com

www.haitiinformationproject.com

The latter Web site seems to only have the home page, no other content or pages, and the home page is about Kevin Pina's documentary film, "Haiti: "We Must Kill The Bandits"", which is based on what a UN MINUSTAH commander, General Augusto Heleno Ribero Pereira of Brazil, had said about Haitians too vocally opposed to the Feb. 29th, 2004 coup d'etat, the overthrow of President Aristide, the foreign occupation, and so on. And referring to them as "bandits" also has a much earlier history to it. They were called that by US Maries when they invaded Haiti and installed a puppet regime in 1915.

The blog seems to be where to find HIP articles, besides copies of them at other Web sites.

The following story is one learned about at the HIP blog.

"Brazil, Cuba join forces against Haiti cholera"
by AFP, Nov. 22nd, 2010

www.terradaily.com/reports/Brazil_Cuba_join_forces_against_Haiti_cholera...

Brasilia (AFP) Nov 22, 2010
Brazil, Cuba and some Brazilian universities have joined forces to provide health care to cholera-ridden Haiti, including building a treatment center near its capital, the Brazilian Health Ministry said Monday.

The ministry said it signed agreements with Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and Federal University of Santa Catarina to set up a network of health clinics and train 2,340 health workers in Haiti.

"All the activities will be organized with the collaboration of health teams from Haiti and Cuba made up of doctors, nurses and epidemiologists," it said in a statement.

A separate agreement is expected to be signed later this week with Cuba and the World Health Organization to create a cholera treatment center in Carrefour, near Port-au-Prince, to contain the cholera epidemic, the ministry said.

Health workers are already being trained in Carrefour, it added, and Cuba will supply construction workers for the project and later doctors and nurses for the center.

The agreements are part of the humanitarian and financial aid package Brazil promised after Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake that killed some 250,000 people and left 1.3 million people homeless.

The cholera epidemic that broke out in mid-October in northern Haiti has so far killed more than 1,300 people and infected more than 57,000, putting in question Sunday's presidential election.

During some Web searching, minutes ago, some links were for Nov. 23rd articles that report that the death toll is over 1,400, and some say that that's an underestimate.

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