[News] U.N. occupation of Haiti intensifies

Anti-Imperialist News 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 
[2006] 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 
<http://www.haitiaction.net>www.haitiaction.net 
or 
<http://www.haitisolidarity.net>www.haitisolidarity.net 
. 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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