[News] U.N. occupation of Haiti intensifies
news at freedomarchives.org
Sat Feb 3 16:42:18 EST 2007
UN intervention has meant "death, terror & lawlessness for the people of Haiti"
U.N. occupation of Haiti intensifies
By G. Dunkel
Published Feb 2, 2007 11:01 PM EST
Ever since the coup-kidnapping of the popular
president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, on
Feb. 29, 2004, this Caribbean country has been
occupied. First it was troops from the United
States, France and Canada. Then a U.N.-sanctioned
and commanded force, mainly from Latin America
and called Minustah, took over and provided a
cover for this imperialist intervention.
Minustah stands for the U.N. Stabilization
Mission in Haiti, but its intervention has meant
"death, terror and lawlessness for the people of
Haiti," as a statement from Fanmi Lavalas, Aristide's political party, puts it.
Even the U.S. State Department, in documents
recently obtained by the Haiti Information
Project (HIP) about a U.N. raid in Cité Soleil in
July 2005, admits that the U.N. troops used
"excessive force," which is like a butcher
calling a slaughterhouse worker bloody.
These attacks have continued. According to
residents of Cité Soleil, cited by HIP, U.N.
forces attacked in the early morning of Dec. 22,
2006, killing more than 30 people, including
women and children. Yet they claim to be "peacekeepers."
The National Commission on Justice and Peace,
sponsored by the Roman Catholic bishops of Haiti,
published a report on Jan. 23 acknowledging that
539 people died from "armed violence" in October,
November and December. The deaths are
concentrated in "the poor communities of
Martissant, Grande Ravine and Bolosse, the
southern suburbs of Port au Prince and in Cité
Soleil to the north," according to the
commission's report. "In November and December
 Minustah and the Haitian National Police
(PNH) became more active in the struggle against
gangsters; their actions created victims, which
in no way means their victims were bandits," the report continues.
The day after the report was published, 300 U.N.
soldiers in 20 armored personnel carriers, with
bulldozers and helicopters, raided Cité Soleil
and demolished a "gang's hideout that had been
used for criminal attacks against Minustah
posts," was the version given by U.N.
spokesperson Col. Abdesslam Elamarti, speaking to
Haiti's AlterPress service. Haiti en Marche
reported that five residents of Cité Soleil were killed in this attack.
After centuries of Western hostility to this
Black republic, most people in Haiti are
desperately poor. Even though Haitian police, who
are commanded by U.N. officers under a deal
struck with the previous, un-elected government,
have flooded the streets of Port au Prince,
parents are so afraid of kidnapping that they did
not send their children to school after the
winter holidays, according to Haïti-Progrès (Jan. 17 to 23).
A number of Haitians living in the United States
who usually go home for the holidays didn't this
year out of fear of being kidnapped for ransom in
Haiti. Some have told this reporter that they
feel the cops are involved, along with gangsters.
There have been press reports that police
uniforms have been found in the possession of kidnappers.
Henri Laforest, brother of well-known New York
activist Ray Laforest, was recently shot through
the heart after leaving a bank in Haiti. It is
not clear whether the motive was robbery or political.
Political activists are also angry that there are
still political prisoners who have not even been
charged, although they were arrested as much as
two years ago. Some of the most prominent
political prisoners, like Sò Ann (Anne Auguste)
have been released, but hundreds more are still
in jail. Fanmi Lavalas members who were fired
because of their political affiliations still haven't been rehired.
Most importantly, Aristide is still in exile in
South Africa, while the gangsters and mass
murderers who carried out the coup against him,
with the financial and organizational support of
the U.S. government, are walking around Port au
Prince. The people of Haiti want their president back.
Given the U.N.'s occupation of Haiti, which is
just a thin cover for the role of the United
States, France and Canada, and its worsening
economic situation, the Haiti Action Committee
has called an internationally coordinated day of
protests on Feb.7. For information on these
protests, call 510-483-7481 in the U.S., or go to
. Protests against the U.N. occupation
are happening in 47 cities on 5 continents on
Feb. 7, including South Africa, the Philippines,
Europe and many countries of Latin America.
In New York, Fanmi Lavalas and other groups in
the Haitian community have called a major
demonstration on Wednesday, Feb. 7 in front of
the United Nations from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call
718-469-2078 for more information in the New York metropolitan area.
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