[Ppnews] Haiti: Daniels and pro-coup forces

PPnews at freedomarchives.org PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Mar 14 08:53:45 EST 2005


by Marguerite Laurent


Last August, political activist Ron Daniels, who heads the New York-based 
Haiti Support Project, scandalized pro-democracy activists by organizing a 
cruise to commemorate the Haitian bicentennial with leaders of the 
U.S.-backed opposition front who had just helped overthrow Haiti's 
democratically elected government.

Today, Daniels is again working with pro-coup forces and presenting them as 
"honest brokers, mediators and facilitators, people who are not tied to or 
committed to any political party, organization or personality within the 
broad array of progressive forces in the popular movement for democracy in 

Daniels is convening a host of coup d'état participants, sympathizers and 
supporters for a March 17 and 18th symposium at the Rayburn Office Building 
in Washington, DC to supposedly "facilitate a serious and substantive 
assessment and dialogue about the state of affairs in Haiti with the 
objective of creating or contributing to momentum towards positive, 
workable solutions to Haiti's social, economic and political crises."

But Daniels' list of invitees reads like a who's-who of the very coup elite 
which torpedoed Haiti's democracy on February 29, 2004.

They include:

    * Frandley Julien, who led the "Group of 184" opposition front in Cap 
Haïtien and was the public face in Haiti for Daniel's "Cruising into 
History" junket last year;
    * Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, a leader of the opposition-aligned Papaye 
Peasant Movement (MPP), who supported and collaborated with armed "rebels" 
like death-squad leader Jodel Chamblain when they rolled into Hinche in 
early February 2004, murdering two policemen;
    * Jocelyn "Johnny" McCalla, whose U.S.-State Department-supported 
National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) has been lambasted for 
justifying the illegal imprisonment of Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, 
Interior Minister Jocelerme Privert, as well as
    * Deputy Amanus Mayette;
    * Jim Morrell of the Washington-based Haiti Democracy Project, which 
was the coup's think-tank and propaganda clearinghouse;
    * Lionel Delatour of the Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy 
(CLED), a U.S. State Department-supported businessmen's group which has 
fought Haiti's democratic forces for almost two decades;
    * Gabriel Marcella from the U.S. Army War College, who recently 
advocated in U.S. newspapers that Haiti become an international 
"protectorate" run by Washington and its allies;
    * Alix Baptiste, the illegal, coup-installed Minister for Haitians 
Living Abroad; and a gaggle of other U.S. government officials and 
quasi-officials from agencies like USAID and the International Foundation 
for Electoral Systems (IFES).

We should also note that no less than three representatives of Frandley 
Denis' National Civic Movement are set to attend.

Is it conceivable that Ron Daniels, who postures as a progressive, can be 
inviting this patently anti-democratic crowd to discuss "workable 
solutions" at this hellish juncture in Haiti's most recent coup d'état?

It makes about as much sense as 9-11 survivors inviting Osama Bin Laden to 
the Rayburn Building in Washington to sit with Congressional members and 
discuss the future of the United States.

It is like asking the Ku Klux Klan to come discuss the future civil rights 
and development of African-Americans in the U.S. after the murders of 
Emmett Till, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., or the Mississippi civil 
rights workers.

The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN) has walked in the past year, 
since the U.S.-backed and implemented coup d'état, hand-in-hand with the 
poor disenfranchised masses of Haiti, with the majority who disagrees with 
the coup and denounces illegal Prime Minister Gérard Latortue's murderous 
death squads. Our collaborators have walked with the people of Belair, Cité 
Soleil, Cité de Dieu, Fort National, Milot, Cap Haïtien, and those 
throughout the provinces outside of Port-au-Prince who face the coup 
d'etat's military forces and this U.S.-backed and illegitimate Latortue 
regime. We support the women who have been raped, the street children shot 
while they sleep, the political prisoners, the families forced into exile, 
and the refugees who cannot find asylum or Temporary Protected Status.

We know who has unequivocally denounced the coup d'état, fought for the 
principles and process of democracy, and been on the firing line in this 
merciless attack against Haitian self-determination and sovereignty. We 
have stood with the Black Caucus, the African Union, Caricom and the 
people's leaders on the populous streets of Haiti. We bear witness and can 
credibly point to many who joined the Haitian majority in their long walk 
to freedom as a new chapter began on Feb. 29, 2004. In that walk, we have 
not run into the organizers of "Cruising into History." Au contraire. They 
were one of our adversaries.

In the ranks of those fighting for Haiti's dignity and respect for the 
one-person-one-vote principle, we certainly did not meet the pro-coup 
representatives who make up almost 80% of the symposium invitees and whom 
Ron Daniels calls "honest brokers" ready to discuss the future of democracy 
and development in Haiti.

    * How is it possible that those who participated in the destabilization 
and ouster of the constitutional government such as Jim Morrell, Frandley 
Denis Julien, and Chavannes Jean-Baptiste can now have ANY credibility to 
sit down and dialogue about a democratic future for Haiti?
    * And what about the people denouncing the coup?
    * Why is Ron Daniels not getting confirmation of attendance to his 
shindig from the champions of democracy, from organizations who have sent 
delegations to Haiti in 2004 to report on the human rights situation, 
organizations such as EPICA, Pax Christi, Miami Law Center, Haiti 
Accompaniment Project, Amnesty International, National Lawyers Guild, the 
Haiti Commission of Inquiry, the International Labor/Religious/Community 
(ILRC) and the Haiti Action Committee?

Are these pro-democracy activists not "honest brokers"?

If they were invited, why have they decided to not attend?

Why are organizations such as Haiti Action Committee, Haitian Lawyers 
Leadership Network, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, 
International Action Center, Fondasyon Trant Septanm, Veye Yo, New England 
Organization for Human Rights in Haiti, Haiti Support Network (HSN), 
Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners in Haiti, the Resistance 
Movement of the Popular Bases (MRBP), the Communication Commission for 
Fanmi Lavalas, Vwa Zansèt, AUMOHD Dwa Moun, Haiti Information Project, 
Haitkaah Social Justice Project, Ottawa Haiti Solidarity Committee (OHSC) 
and so many other pro-democracy forces not "honest brokers, facilitators 
and mediators" but Haiti Democracy Project, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, 
Frandley Denis Julien, and Ron Daniels are?

Why are so many pro-democracy groups not participating in this symposium?

Is this a repeat of the symposium that was held on Dec. 10 and 11th in 
Canada where the Canadian government invited "leaders in the Haitian 
community abroad" who were simply coup-d'état leaders while pro-democracy 
groups with credibility among the grassroots movement for democracy in 
Haiti were not invited or welcomed at this meeting? Is Ron Daniels taking a 
leaf out of Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew's book and now 
plotting to legitimize this idea of "protectorate" with the Chalabis in the 
United States?

Where are the Haitian Diaspora's representatives who have fought for 
Haitian rights, who never called for the coup d'etat and denounced it after 
it had taken place? On Daniel's list, why are there so few undisputed 
supporters and delegates from Fanmi Lavalas, Haiti's most powerful 
political party, who are in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Canada, and 

Even if pro-democracy forces were to sit down with pro-coup people (which 
pro-coup forces always refused to do before they took power), at least the 
symposium's participants should accurately represent Haiti's democratic 
reality. Without question, the vast majority of Haitians oppose the coup 
while only a tiny minority supports it. The symposium at present has these 
proportions reversed and is unbalanced in its representation of the views 
of the Haitian majority. It's tantamount to attempting a coup d'état in the 
U.S. Haitian Diaspora to give legitimacy to positions that hold no water 
with the Haitian masses.

I would say, based on the e-mail below and the compiled list of those 
qualified to "discuss Haiti's future," that Ron Daniels is as clueless 
today as he was last year when he tried, with Frandley Julien as his 
spokesperson in Haiti, to bamboozle the African-American intelligentsia, 
scholars, activists and well-meaning celebrities, such as Danny Glover and 
other unsuspecting Black Americans, to join him in supporting and 
collaborating with the "Group of 184" and the Latortue death regime in 
Haiti in the name of celebrating our ancestors' bicentennial.

Despite Ron Daniel's high-placed friends, the August 2004 "Cruising into 
History" project failed because it collaborated with putschists.

Daniels didn't succeed then and is plainly looking to humiliate himself 
once again.

Larouze fè banda tout tan soley pa leve.
Nou pap bay legen!
Grenadye alaso!

HLLN's position is clear.

Those who took up arms against the constitutional government or 
participated in the destabilization along with high-ranking officials 
within the U.S./Canada/France are responsible for the bloodletting in Haiti 
right now. They are neither freedom fighters nor "honest brokers" for 
Haiti. Their propaganda must be countered. The truth about Haiti and its 
interminably long struggle for respect, self-determination and justice must 
see the light of day.

Dialogue is essential.

But based on his own actions with "Cruising Into History" and now with this 
thinly veiled attempt to marginalize pro-democracy advocates, Ron Daniels 
is showing that he is the least qualified to facilitate truthful, positive 
dialogue and workable solutions to the post-coup d'état human rights 
debacle and general instability in Haiti.

Below is the Haiti Support Project's letter about the symposium and the 
list of confirmed and unconfirmed invitees.


National/International Symposium
The Future of Democracy and Development in Haiti
March 17-18, Washington, D.C.

Dear Invitee:

If you have not confirmed your attendance/participation in the 
National/International Symposium on the Future of Democracy and Development 
in Haiti, we sincerely hope you will do so immediately. Confirmations are 
steadily coming in. Thus far the following individuals and/or organizations 
have indicated they will attend/participate for all or part of the Symposium:

Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Congressional Black Caucus
Congressman Gregory Meeks, Congressional Black Caucus
Marc Morial, President/CEO, National Urban League
Dr. Joseph Baptiste, President National Organization for the Advancement of 
Haitians (NOAH)
Hillary Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau, NAACP
Leslie Voltaire, former Minister for Haitians Living Abroad, Haiti
Roy Hastick, President/CEO, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Jocelyn McCalla, Executive Director, National Coalition for Haitian Rights
Frandley Julien, National Civic Movement, Haiti
Leonard Dunston, President, Emeritus, National Association of Black Social 
Lionel Pressoir, SHRAC, Haiti
Dr. C. Delores Tucker, President, National Congress of Black Women
Joe Thelusca, President/CEO, Global Access Partners, LLC
Joe Leonard, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Black Leadership Forum
Jean Claude Martineau, former Dir. of Education and Culture, National 
Television of Haiti
Robert Maguire, Ph.D., Director of Programs in International Affairs, 
Trinity College
Lionel Delatour, Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy, Haiti
Rev. Justus Brutus, Director of Missions, Progressive National Baptist 
Marc Prou, Executive Director, Haiti Studies Association
Damu Smith, Co-Founder, Black Voices for Peace
Dr. Gilbert Parks, Chairman Emeritus, National Medical Association
Selena Mendy Singleton, Vice-President, Trans Africa Forum
James Morrell, Director, Haiti Democracy Project
Derrick Humphries, Black Congress of Law, Health and Economics
Jocelyne Mayas, Queens Empowerment Coalition for Haitian Immigrants
Ron Hampton, Executive Director, National Black Police Association
Gabriel Marcella, (will send a position paper on trusteeship based on a 
Miami Herald article)

Latest Confirmations
Marc Bazin, Mouvement Pour l' Instauration de la Démocratie en Haïti
Anselme Remy, Professor, University of Haiti
Martineau Guerrier, MD, former Senator, Haitian National Assembly
Serge Parisien, NOAH
Gary Flowers, National Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Representing Rev. Jesse Jackson
Alix Baptiste, Minister for Haitians Living Abroad, Interim Government of Haiti
James Gomez, Director of International Affairs, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
Eugenia Charles, Executive Director, Fondasyon Mapou
Jean Claude Desgranges, M.D., Haiti
Dr. Evalliere Beauplan, DDS, former Senator, Haitian National Assembly
Cyllay, IFESJosette Desir, National Civic Movement, Haiti
Winifred Chauvel, Executive Director, Haitian Leadership Foundation
Mike Benge, Senior Forestry Advisor, USAID
Suzette Jean-Baptiste, National Civic Movement, Haiti

We are delighted that a number of leading African American civil rights, 
human rights, religious and professional organizations/institutions have 
already agreed to participate in the Symposium, and we expect more within 
the next few days. This is important because the Haiti Support Project is 
committed to building a constituency for Haiti in the United States with a 
priority on engaging African Americans to impact policy towards the first 
Black Republic in the hemisphere and facilitate the mobilization of 
humanitarian and developmental assistance to contribute to improving the 
quality of life of the Haitian people. The Trans Africa Forum is also doing 
some important work in this area.

As indicated in the initial Save-the-Date Email Notice and Invitation, the 
goal of this important Symposium is to facilitate a serious and substantive 
assessment and dialogue about the state of affairs in Haiti with the 
objective of creating or contributing to momentum towards positive, 
workable solutions to Haiti's social, economic and political crises. In 
some respects the Symposium could be characterized as a modest effort to 
complement the initiative recently launched by the African Union at the 
behest of the Government of South Africa. The Haiti Support Project 
believes that constructive ideas can and must be generated in several 
quarters in order to contribute to the process of democracy and development 
in Haiti in a principled manner.

As I wrote in a recent article, "the Haiti Support Project ... firmly 
believes that Haiti can best be served by organizations, institutions and 
individuals who can function as honest brokers, mediators and facilitators, 
people who are not tied to or committed to any political party, 
organization or personality within the broad array of progressive forces in 
the popular movement for democracy in Haiti." It is in this spirit that we 
have reached out to a broad range of organizations and individuals to 
engage in a dialogue at this Symposium. Everyone who has been invited is 
considered a resource person with something to contribute to the process 
and all ideas are on the table for discussion.

HSP's ideas are colored by our primary commitment, which is to the long 
suffering Haitian masses. We will always strive to be on their side and we 
make no apology for our position in that regard. Accordingly, at 
appropriate moments during the Symposium, we will offer views and ideas 
which we believe are consistent with that commitment.

Your participation in the Symposium can help make it a meaningful and 
productive exercise. Therefore, we hope you will make every effort to 
attend/participate. Formal letters are in the process of being mailed out.

However, we need your confirmation via phone or email asap! Please contact 
Ka Flewellen immediately by email at HSP3971770 or call 202-397-1770.

Yours in the struggle,

Ron Daniels, Founder,
Haiti Support Project

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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