[News] Tens of Thousands March on Haiti
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 29 12:25:00 EST 2016
Tens of Thousands March on Haiti
by Kim Ives <http://www.counterpunch.org/author/kim-ives/> January 29, 2016
On Friday, January 22, many thousands marched over ten miles up
Port-au-Prince’s Delmas road to Pétionville then back down the Bourdon
road to the capital’s central square to demand new elections and
denounce a government ban on demonstrations that was to begin that midnight.
The marching, chanting multitude scared the daylights out of Haiti’s
Pétionville elite, loudly pouring into the narrow, tony streets of the
wealthy mountain enclave while young men scattered large rocks and
telephone poles across roadways and set aflame cars and columns of tires.
The tumultuous day forced Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP),
six of whose nine members have now resigned in disgrace or disgust, to
indefinitely cancel the third round of widely denounced elections, which
had been scheduled for Jan 24.
Armored vehicles of the CIMO squads of Haiti’s national police shadowed
the marchers on sidestreets throughout the afternoon, occasionally
engaging them with shots in the air or teargas, but mostly they put out
fires with their water canon trucks and made a show of force in front of
ministries and embassies the marchers passed.
Despite the CEP’s announcement, the Haitian masses have continued
marching in cities throughout Haiti on every day since last Friday’s
historic march, emboldened by their victory and calling for the
immediate departure of President Michel Martelly and the United Nations
military occupation troops known as MINUSTAH.
Martelly is constitutionally required to step down on Feb. 7. However,
the regime is now planning to deploy death-squads against the popular
uprising and opposition leaders, according to a source in the Haitian
National Police (PNH). The government is also spending tens of thousands
of dollars in a bid to buy the allegiance of sectors of the population
during the celebratory days leading up to /Carnaval/, which falls this
year on Feb 9, two days after Martelly is supposed to resign.
According to a reliable PNH source, on Jan 25, a police officer called
“Chariot” assigned to the PNH’s Presidential Guard and Security Unit
(USP) received at the National Palace weapons, four Prado SUVs and money
to sow trouble in the capital’s largest slum, Cité Soleil, and the
semi-rural suburb north of the capital, La Plaine.
According to the source, Chariot has the collaboration in the USP of a
former Lavalas activist named ‘Yabout’, who will be a key actor in the
Chariot also gave two Galil rifles to a paramilitary thug known as ‘Noé’
(Noah) to murder anti-Martelly people in La Plaine and Croix des
Bouquets, the police source said.
Chariot himself lives in the area of Papo in the capital district of
Croix des Missions Cross and owns a nightclub called ‘Scandale Disco’ in
the Anba Mapou area of Croix des Missions.
Among the people to be targeted by Chariot’s assassins are Rony Colin,
the new mayor of Croix des Bouquets, supposedly elected in the contested
polling under the banner of the Palmis party, and Caleb Desrameaux, the
similarly elected deputy of Tabarre, from the Vérité (Truth) party. The
assassins would try to make it look like the anti-Martelly opposition
was responsible for the murders, according to the police source.
On the morning of Jan. 26 in Croix des Mission, partisans of Martelly’s
Haitian Bald Headed Party (PHTK) blocked the main artery to the Haiti’s
north, National Highway No. 1, by disabling a tractor-trailer truck in
front of the Damiens bridge. Until the afternoon, when this report was
written, the truck was still blocking the road and any northbound traffic.
The PNH reportedly received instructions not to intervene if PHTK
partisans block roads or demonstrate, our police source said.
According to another anonymous source close to the PNH, the PHTK has
distributed 300 million gourdes (US$51,000) to mobilize support for the
Martelly government in a demonstration scheduled for Jan 28. The action
was originally planned for Jan 26 but was called off at the last minute.
Meanwhile, Guy Philippe, the leader of the paramilitary ‘rebel’ force
which helped overthrow former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004,
has declared that he and his partisans “will divide the country” and
“are ready for war” against the “anarchists” who stopped the vote,
according to Reuters
A former Haitian cop and soldier, Philippe is today a Senate candidate
in the now-postponed run-off election and a close Martelly ally. He has
been holed up in the picturesque south-western seaside town of Pestel
since 2004. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has made two
half-hearted attempts to arrest him in the last decade. Each time, the
accused drug trafficker supposedly could not be found.
As the battle lines in Haiti draw up, the “Group of Eight” opposition
presidential candidates, who contest the results which put the PHTK’s
Jovenel Moïse in the lead with 33% of the vote, issued their proposal on
Jan 24 for the provisional government that would take over when Martelly
steps down. They proposed the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court be
named President (as dictated by the 1987 Constitution) and choose a
“consensus” prime minister with a cabinet of “no more than 15 ministers”
chosen from Haiti’s “known political personalities”.
This provisional government would then set in place a five-member
“independent commission of inquiry” drawn from the leading organizations
of the media, human rights, women, the university, and national election
observers. After reviewing the results of the elections’
violence-and-fraud-plagued first two rounds on Aug 9 and Oct 25, 2015,
the commission of inquiry would then “recommend to the provisional
government of consensus all the measures deemed useful and susceptible
to reestablish trust.”
The G8 also proposed that the illegally sworn-in parliamentarians
determined by the independent commission of having won their seats
fraudulently would be “ejected” and the CEP would be reconstituted.
In light of the bloody repression being prepared by the Martelly regime,
the G8’s moderate and half-step recommendations are likely to enrage the
masses, who are chanting “we want revolution” as they march. The last
proposal will surely be found particularly galling: “To guarantee the
protection of the members of the Tet Kale (Bald Headed) executive
against all harassing and wrongful prosecution.”
/Kim Ives is an editor of the weekly print newspaper Haiti Liberté
<http://haiti-liberte.com/>. The newspaper is published in French and
Kreyol with a weekly English-language page in Brooklyn and distributed
Haiti’s election crisis: How did we get to this point?
by Nikolas Barry-Shaw, Jan 20, 2016
Haiti cancels presidential election as violence erupts
by Jacqueline Charles, /Miami Herald/, Jan. 22, 2016
/Full news coverage of Haiti can be read on the website of the Canada
Haiti Action Network <http://canadahaitiaction.ca/>./
/Kim Ives is an editor of the weekly print newspaper Haiti Liberté
<http://haiti-liberte.com/>, where this piece was first published. The
newspaper is published in French and Kreyol with a weekly
English-language page in Brooklyn and distributed throughout Haiti./
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the News