[News] Open letter from Haiti human rights activists to US Congress - No to sham elections and US occupation

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Oct 16 12:25:36 EDT 2014


    No to sham elections and US occupation


      Open letter from Haiti human rights activists to US Congress


        2014-10-14, Issue 698 <http://www.pambazuka.org/en/issue/698>
        http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/93125
        <http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/93125>

10 October 2014

To:
Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member, House Committee on Foreign 
Affairs
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl), Chairman, House Foreign Affairs 
Subcommittee on Middle East and Central Asia
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balartz (R-FL)
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs 
Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the 
Western Hemisphere
Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member, House Appropriations 
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs
Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL)
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Ranking Member, House Committee on the 
Judiciary

Dear Honorable Senators and Representatives,

We would like to thank you for your work on behalf of the American 
people to promote justice and democracy. However, we are writing you to 
express our outrage over your letter 
<http://www.ezilidanto.com/zili/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/15USlawmakersWrite2HaitiSenate.pdf> 
dated September 15, 2014 to Senator Simon Dieuseul Desras, President of 
the Haitian Senate. We, Haitians and Haitian-Americans living in the 
Diaspora, appreciate your concerns. Yet after reading your letter, we 
are more concerned because it is clear that you have not been properly 
informed on the real situation in Haiti. In that regard, we would like 
to share with you some of the obstacles Haiti faces.

The situation in Haiti is very bleak, and extremely serious. Haitians 
living in Haiti are faced with an uncertain future. The current regime 
that was imposed on the people of Haiti by the US and allies through a 
fraudulent election in 2010, has moved the clock backwards in all areas. 
This selection had the seal of approval of former US President William 
Jefferson Clinton with the support of his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, 
then US Secretary of State.

If, we were to give a facade of legitimacy to the Martelly selection by 
the US and its allies, one would suppose a legitimate government is 
constitutionally obligated to organize local, municipal and 
parliamentary elections. But it has been three (3) years since President 
Martelly took office. Where are we and what has happened? Essentially 
the powerful hand of international lawmakers and global stakeholders, 
backed by UN privatized guns for the benefit of US and trans-national 
corporate interests, prevent the Haitian populace from handling issues 
that need to be handled by Haitians.

By chance, have you inquired why elections were not organized in 2011, 
2012, and 2013? Currently, all local government officers have been 
replaced with non-elected presidential henchmen called Interim Executive 
Agents who are friends and supporters of the Martelly-Lamothe regime. 
All the institutions necessary to conduct free, fair, and democratic 
elections are under the control of the executive branch of government.

The justice system has been heavily politicized and is in a state of 
paralysis. The Martelly-Lamothe regime has been using the justice system 
to repress political opponents.

In one instance, a Deputy in function was arrested and jailed in clear 
violation of the Haitian constitution.

In another instance, a judge investigating corruption charges brought 
against president Martelly and his family died, allegedly from the great 
pressure illegally exerted by the Martelly-Lamothe regime for the judge 
to throw out the case.

In yet another situation, Martelly's Minister of Justice personally went 
to a police station and ordered the release of the wife of an individual 
who is a good friend of the president and was put in jail under a 
judge's order while conducting an investigation into an alleged kidnapping.

Where are the voices of concern from "the friends of Haiti" and/or "the 
international human rights industry" against this Martelly-Lamothe reign 
of terror?

The police force is in a very precarious situation that is no different 
than that of the justice system.

The selected president feels so comfortable with US-Euro support of his 
new Duvalierist regime that he publicly stated that "the police is the 
armed wing of the government".

In the manner of Ferguson USA, this US and foreign-trained, militarized 
police has been used to break-up peaceful protests through the use of 
tear gas, beatings, chemical showers, rubber bullets and other 
militarized police tools.

Peaceful demonstrators are routinely arrested and thrown in jail. These 
individuals are indefinitely kept imprisoned without a hearing, trial or 
conviction. The near complete impunity of the Haiti State, supported by 
the international "friends" of Haiti, reign as if Haiti and the world 
were back in the Cold War days.

This Haiti mass disenfranchisement and repression is a clear violation 
of local, regional and international human rights.

A growing number of political prisoners like the Florestal Brothers 
whose only crime was to file a lawsuit against the president's family 
for corruption are abandoned and warehoused in US occupied Haiti behind 
UN privatized colonial guns.

The persecution of attorneys Andre Michel and Newton Saint-Juste for 
denouncing corruption and for filing lawsuits against many members of 
the government and the presidential family, evidences the authoritarian 
nature of the new Duvalierist regime supported by US lawmakers without 
dissent.

Opposition members are constantly harassed and persecuted; even former 
President Jean Bertrand Aristide has been targeted with an illegal house 
arrest.

Effectively, Haiti is functioning under the regime of "Legal Bandits", a 
moniker given to the current regime by the Haitian public that US 
Lawmakers won't hear.

Those close to the Martelly regime routinely commit crimes and walk free 
with impunity. One Senator close to the government beat up an individual 
and broke his tooth. The Senator in question, during a radio interview, 
said "I broke his tooth." Yet, he was found not guilty of any charges in 
the town of Jacmel where the incident took place.

Another close ally of President Martelly in Jacmel, spit on a judge's 
face. The judge was subsequently fired for no apparent reason.

A close friend and member of the President's security team beat up, 
punch, slaps anyone who get in his way. A group of innocent students 
passed his car on their way to school; he pulled the students car over, 
beat them up, and humiliated them in broad day light. Afterwards, he 
drove the students to the next police precinct and walked off. These are 
verified and documented incidents of state terror.

Most illegally, President Michel Martelly summarily issued a 
presidential decree that charges $1.50 on every transfer that is being 
sent to Haiti and also a .5-cent tax on all international outgoing and 
incoming phone calls. The money collected from the fees is supposed to 
cover expenses associated with the President free school program. The 
law that would make this program legal never made it to the Haitian 
parliament. From 2013 to present, an alarming number of teachers have 
been on strike for not getting paid. There is no accountability on how 
those monies are collected and or spent. The Diaspora is not spared.

Many Haitians are living in terror of losing their homes and their 
family lands. Over 400 houses have been demolished in Port-au-Prince by 
Martelly's regime and only 17 homeowners received compensation. At the 
same time, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe is taking over the Island of 
Ile a-Vache and evicting residents from their lands. This situation is 
forcing a number of Haitians to become homeless. It is understood that 
many of Haiti's land is being liquidated to foreigners. A May 10, 2013 
presidential decree takes Haiti offshore islands for "tourism and public 
utility" and will subject hundreds of thousands of Haitians and 
impoverished peasants to possible eviction off their communal properties 
or family-owned lands.

The Prime Minister refused to show up in parliament to defend the 
nation's budget and explain the nation's expenditures. All of those 
things are happening under the eyes and noses of the international 
community.

Pamela White, the US Ambassador in Haiti, has not said a single word to 
condemn these acts. It is likewise for Ms. Sandra Honore , the UN 
Representative in Haiti. The majority of the US newspapers are 
completely silent, especially the Miami Herald.

Former UN Secretary General, Boutros Boutros Ghali said, in 2003, that 
"the United Nations is just an instrument at the service of American 
policy". And so are its peacekeeping missions.

Since 2004, Haiti has been under military occupation by the United 
Nations, which is, as Boutros Ghali and Haiti freedom fighters have 
pointed out, nothing but a proxy for the United States to impose its 
will and agenda on the majority of the Haitian people.

One of the stated purposes of the United Nations in Haiti was to promote 
democracy and build institutions in the society through democratic 
elections. That mission has been a catastrophic failure. Both elections 
held under their leadership in 2006 and in 2010 were deeply flawed and 
contested. It seems that the goal of the international community and 
mostly the United States is to have a "selection" where the majority of 
Haitians are excluded. Unfortunately, the organization of American 
States (OAS) is used to validate the election results. The international 
human rights industry also remains mute on the US occupation in Haiti 
behind privatized UN guns, Private Military and Security companies 
(PMSCs) and the NGO charitable industrial complex.

The Unites States Mission to Stabilize Haiti known as MINUSTAH has 
destabilized Haiti since its arrival.

MINUSTAH's soldiers have killed, raped, infected Haitians with cholera, 
and generally prevent Haitians from expressing their democratic rights. 
This force replaces the old Haitian army and paramilitary forces. More 
than 10,000 Haitians have lost their lives in the cholera epidemic and 
over 850,000 have been infected, taking Haiti from zero cholera cases in 
October 2010 to having the world's worst cholera epidemic. It is far 
from being over as more Haitians continue to die with the disease. The 
cholera victims have yet to be compensated. The United Nations refuses 
to take responsibility for its soldiers committing genocide in Haiti. 
The Obama administration, the respondeat superior here, sides with the 
UN -- its employee in Haiti- to continue the tradition of impunity for 
the wealthy and powerful. It recently intervened in a Federal class 
action lawsuit against the UN to recommend that the federal judge find 
the UN immune from legal liability for importing cholera to Haiti.

Wouldn't committed friends of Haiti demand justice for Haitians? Write 
to UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon to urge for the United Nations to pay 
damages to the cholera victims?

Haitians have been calling for the UN troops to leave the country for 
ten years now and they have to go. Why won't US Lawmakers join hands 
with the Haitians in supporting their call to end the occupation?

With regard to the electoral council, there is overwhelming information 
circulating throughout the Haitian press daily stating that the majority 
of Haitians have no confidence in the current body. There was meager 
participation in the dialogue, and the discussion to create this 
electoral body was not inclusive. The process that created it has been 
contested since its inception. The electoral body consists of nine (9) 
members, six (6) of whom have been handpicked by President Martelly. 
There is no trust in the government and the electoral body lacks 
credibility. Under those conditions, can honest, fair and free elections 
be held in the country? No.

Haitians want free, fair, honest and democratic elections. Haitians do 
not want pre-programed election results, prepared by the international 
community and justified by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 
Washington, DC. This was the case in 2006 and in 2010. Enough is enough. 
The neo-Duvalier reign of terror in Haiti is unacceptable. Silence is 
complicity.

The dissenting Haitian Senators respectfully demanded the implementation 
of the Haitian constitution in the formation of the Provisional 
Electoral Council. They have also requested that the necessary 
conditions be put in place for honest and fair elections be held. When 
one considers the current atmosphere in Haiti, the blatant violation of 
human rights, fear and intimidation perpetrated toward the opposition; 
the Senators' positions are justified. As legislators, you stand guard 
against any violations of the US constitution. How come you are writing 
legislators in another country asking them to violate their own laws?

The United States of America has promoted dictatorship in Haiti, 
overthrown democratically elected president Aristide and now, again, is 
getting ready to organize another sham election while they are calling 
themselves "friends of Haitians."

Which Haitians are they friends with? Conditions must be established to 
have free, fair, credible and democratic elections for all to 
participate. That means no occupation. That means that Haitians must 
have control of their own resources to develop and improve Haiti's 
infrastructures, food security and self-reliance. Right now, we are far 
from being there.

We are sick and tired of the so-called "friends of Haiti" who time after 
time have shown that they are the enemies of freedom and democracy for 
the majority of Haitians. We hope that you will invest the time to 
become fully knowledgeable about the imperialist war against the Haiti 
masses and their natural resources. Perhaps then, you will realize that 
your are on the wrong path. The letter sent the wrong signal and we 
forcefully condemned it.

We, Haitians and Haitian-Americans in the diaspora, stand firm in 
supporting democratic elections and the institutionalization of the rule 
of law in Haiti. There can be no democracy, legitimate elections or due 
application of local, regional or international human rights laws while 
Haiti is under foreign occupation. We are committed to defending the 
rights of the citizens of Haiti to elect their government 
representatives freely and fairly. We are ready to mobilize the Diaspora 
with our ballots as well as through other peaceful means to put an end 
to this situation in order to have real democracy in Haiti. This will 
enable the country to prosper and become the paradise that we all know 
Haiti can be without all this meddling and US hero/villain pathology and 
thereby accomplishing the dreams of our forefathers of establishing a 
truly independent nation.

Sincerely,

1. Jean Yves Point-du-Jour, Transportation Engineer Manager
Maryland USA Youri44 at hotmail.com <mailto:Youri44 at hotmail.com>

2. Eugenia Charles, Democracy for Haiti

3. Ezili Dantò, Human Rights Attorney, Haitian lawyers Leadership 
Network, Free Haiti Movement (Author of "The Quiet Genocide in Haiti/How 
is it wielded from FDR to Obama-The United Nations, a criminal 
organization from Lumumba to Aristide)

4. Thony Jean Tenor, Veye Yo-Miami, FL
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