Haiti: In Solidarity with its Five Freedoms

Today, the acid test for all democrats in North and South America is the issue of the military occupation of Haiti ,the economic pillage and denial of elementary political and human rights of the Haitian people.

In 2004, a US-led invasion force overthrew the democratically elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide and subsequently promoted and organized an occupation army. This colonial military force has repeatedly violently repressed popular demonstrations, violently raided the neighborhoods of the poor and killed, wounded and arrested Haitians who were affirming their rights of self-determination and an end to foreign occupation.

Since the United States bears major responsibility for the invasion, occupation and subsequent pillage and privatization of essential public services, we have a special responsibility to speak out clearly and forcefully to the United Nations (UN) in support of Haiti’s Five Freedoms:

1. The UN must end its military presence of Haiti through its occupation army (MINUSTAH), action contrary to the very founding principles of the organization. Haiti must recover the right of self-determination and the freedom to govern itself.

2. The Haitian people demand the end of the pillage of its national treasury by official and private banks extracting payments of $1 million USD a week for illegitimate debts contracted by past corrupt dictatorial regimes. Haitians demand freedom from illegitimate elite debts in order to finance basic life-sustaining programs for the 80% of the population living in extreme poverty.

3. Every country, which has suffered massive natural disasters, as the hurricanes that recently devastated Haiti, is entitled to large-scale, long-term humanitarian aid with no strings attached. Haitians demand the immediate fulfilling of aid pledged and its allocation according to needs without MINUSTAH manipulation to perpetuate its occupation.

4. The collapse of the free market model today highlights the disastrous consequences of the IMF-World Bank policies of privatization of public services in Haiti, where ‘private health and education’ effectively excludes the vast majority of Haitians. Haitians must regain the right to re-nationalize public services and all other strategic economic sectors necessary for their well-being.

5. Free elections means the return of deposed, exiled and persecuted political leaders and the end of foreign military occupation and repression of anti-colonial movements. Elections with occupation guns pointed at the heads of the electors and candidates have no legitimacy. We, the American people in North, South and Central America, have a responsibility to demand the end of MINUSTAH and the return national sovereignty to the Haitian people. No government no matter what its political claims and rhetoric can justify its democratic credentials when it acts as a colonial gendarme.

18 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Mattieu said on October 5th, 2008 at 10:51am #

    James is full of BS! The half truths and clearly biased retoric exibited by this article border on criminal and expose a man bent on causing death and destructioin under the guise of restoring democracy. Clearly James does not live here.

    The truth is Aristide ran out of here like the cowering criminal he is. His belongings were in the Republic Dominicaine two weeks before he was. Before Aristide left he begged a number of nations to help him hold power. Including the US; no one was willing. Crime stopped immediatly after the US forces locked down PaP, because the criminal element that runs this country knew the Marines were not part of the “*culture of corruption” (*quote from Eriq Pierre former candidate for Prime Minister) Pillaging?! Death?! Please!!

    The peacful Haitians spoken of that are “affirming their rights” are really holding Haitian neiborhoods hostage at gunpoint and extracting protection money from already destitute families. They have demonstration in which they try to destroy what little commerce there is in the country by looting and pillaging the local small businesses and they kidnap innocent Haitian children and killing them when the family can’t pay or pay enough. That is why neighborhoods are invaded and people are arrested or killed.

    Illigitimate debt?! Is he kidding?! Many nations have dumped a collective billions maybe trillions into this economic black hole! This country is and has been completely supported by charity and welfare programs and is an economic drain on the world.

    I agree a better plan is needed than just parking the UN here. Say what you want about “democracy” but to have that ability you need an educated not an indoctrinated populace. For God’s sake “Retoric” (how to argue against the facts) is a required college class here.

    There are 2 choices Pull “all” aid to Haiti! everyone pulls out, UN, missionaries, NGO’s. Let the country sort itself out. Hundredes of thousandspossibly millions will die (Rwanda) commerce will be wiped out. But Haiti will be able to claim they fixed it on their own. The other is to outright take it over and tell Haiti how it is going to be. It is already proven the latter works and less lives are lost.

    Come and live here before you believe this man! And if this is an example of what this organization puts out to the public, you should find another non-profit to donate to.

  2. Siel said on October 5th, 2008 at 12:06pm #

    Biased retoric ?
    M. Mattieu,
    M. Petras knows what he is talking about. He is not a propagandist.

    “His belongings were in the Republic Dominicaine two weeks before he was. ”
    Proofs ? Can you give your sources ?

    “Crime stopped immediatly after the US forces locked down PaP, because the
    criminal element that runs this country knew the Marines were not part of the “*culture of corruption””
    Is that so ? No more corruption in Haïti ?
    Illigitimate debt?! Is he kidding?! Many nations have dumped a collective billions maybe trillions into this economic black hole!”
    Deeply stupid and slightly racist (back hole)
    The majority of the trillions “dumped” into Haïti were through the NGO
    On the 1 millions of dollars payed by week by Haïti, 40% is for the Duvalier’s debt.
    The rest is part governmental and private (NGO)
    M. Mattieu, you don’t have to be so ideoligical. The catastrophic haïtan situation is not so different than what is going on in some countries in South America or in Africa.

    To blame the countries victims of the FMI and BM plans is nowdays out of credibility.
    Please calm down. Make some researchs. Open your neurones.

  3. Mattieu said on October 5th, 2008 at 2:16pm #

    Once again rhetoric!
    Aristide’s belongings: no need to qualify; it is so. Do your own investigation.

    Oh! And good work bringing in race based on a term used by many to describe a space anomaly that makes everything in its path including light disappear (nothing to do with race). I congratulate you on the ability do try to erase what is by throwing out race. Just another attempt to divide attention from the issue at hand. Funny you would assume that I am not black. What brought you to this conclusion?Racism right back at you!!! Clearly you believe I am beneath the level of your intelligence when having a discussion, as you chose to insult me by calling me stupid. How self indulgent and narcissistic. Maybe you prefer I write in French or Latin to bring me up to your level. What’s next a spelling and grammar lesson?

    Also interesting that you separate NGO’s from their countries. I did not say governments! And governments have used the NGO’s to inject money into Haiti.

    You got me on corruption, so I will clarify: groups of Haitians running around the streets indiscriminately killing robbing and kidnapping were reduced to an almost unnoticeable trickle when US forces were here. How do I know? I live here. Once again I say you have to live here.

    Since you picked individual items in the overall context to comment on, I submit you have said more by those you did not choose to address than those you did choose.

    As far as calming down, No! I am tired of the excuses from all sides. Haiti is a victim of itself. Do “your” research! Get a big pile of cash and a plan to save Haiti. Live here and freely give your plan and money away “no strings attached” and watch what happens to it.

  4. lichen said on October 5th, 2008 at 3:06pm #

    Looks like we have one of the right wing rich elite of Haiti here, who prefers the military junta’s so that the profits of his sweatshops are secure, and the people can die in the streets. And I certainly do mean to insult you, make no mistake about that.

    Aristede was overthrown by a pro-poverty opposition force funded by the US (twice, actually, under both Bush administrations.) Now, the UN ‘peacekeepers’ shoot dead people demonstrating for economic justice and the human rights of everyone to food, living wages, clean water, education, and healthcare, which Aristede was trying to give them.

  5. lichen said on October 5th, 2008 at 3:08pm #

    Mattieu’s anger and thuggish way of speaking, actually, remind me of what footage I’ve seen of the right wing military rulers in Haiti and their gestapo; violence, stupidity, and hatred.

  6. Mattieu said on October 5th, 2008 at 3:43pm #

    I need say no more.

    This last response has proven my point. I responded to individual points written just as Siel. Lichen, your assumptions and accusations with regard to me, my family, my color and my social staus without any knowledge of me personally has made my case. I would have considered you a fellow debater were it not for the fact that you have made up your mind facts or no facts. And may I remind you that in your need to insult and accuse you have failed to address the issues of discussion. You have also ignored the fact that I agreed that a better plan is needed than parking the UN here. You also forget that the initial option was for everyone to get out and let Haiti sort itself out. And you are trying to make a case that the Haitian government is not Haitian.You and those like you are part of the problem. Provide a solution for a change. And Lichen, “I do mean to insult you” This organization claims to support dissent. You should know your opinion is the “status quo” hardly dissenting!

    Siel thanks for at least picking some points to discuss. I agree to disagree. God be with you!

  7. cg said on October 5th, 2008 at 3:55pm #

    Either that or he is honest and informed by way of experience, not just talk or unreasoned repetitive left/liberal buzzword jive.
    His points are reasonable and if he happens to point out an error or a down right unethical attempt to use race or rhetoric by someone who no doubt excuses himself from the ‘rules’ because he, his position, is of course is morally superior, then more power to him.
    Too often the ‘left’ assumes a moral superior position by default, when they are challenged or even just plain wrong.
    Anyone who disagrees with their position hears the key words; nazi, thug, gestapo, hatred, intolerance, anti-semite, racist, and on and on.
    A piss poor substitute for facts or proof but SOP nonetheless.

    OK, time for the name calling to begin..

  8. lichen said on October 5th, 2008 at 4:30pm #

    Mattieu, you have provided no facts, no points, just anger and lashing out, accompanied by falsities, calling the sweatshop labor ‘commerce,’ and saying that Aristede is a corrupt criminal for trying to raise the wages from 25 cents per day to one dollar.

    It is very relevant to bring up who exactly this person is when he claims that he lives in Haiti but is morally superior to Aristede, to the citizens protesting there in favor of their human rights to food, water, etc; that he is even morally superior to the people there who prefer democracy as opposed to right wing military juntas. His right wing views are contrary to the documentation and proven facts about Aristede and the situations involving him; his argument is mostly rhetoric himself, hammering out repetitive words like ‘corrupt’ and ‘criminal’ without qualifying them.

    My speculation on who he probably is stands.

  9. Mattieu said on October 5th, 2008 at 7:06pm #

    I wasn’t going to respond, but you make it so easy.

    You are right. I provided no facts about me, but that did not stop you from your accusation about who I am. You did not speculate, you were quite clear that your description of me is what I am. By your own admission of “no facts” about me I can only speculate that you do not get all the facts or in my case any of the facts before you form an opinion.

    Here is a fact: I watched my people beat, rob, rape and slaughter each other in the streets. It didn’t stop until the US Marines came. There were no rich sweatshop owners in my neighborhood and it was my neighbors doing it.

    Here is another: The “documention” supports all “facts” and theories surrouonding Aristide leaving. It depends on whose documentaion you read Each side has their own version. All sides probably embellish the “facts” and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

    Please answer 1 question for me. Do you live here?

  10. lichen said on October 5th, 2008 at 8:06pm #

    Yes, the internet does make it too easy for the minority right wing opposition in places like Haiti, Bolivia, and Venezuela to come online and make a lot of ignorant noise. But there are other people who were there at the time, other people who still live there who have different accounts, perspectives, and interpretations of what happened and needs to occur now, so you will not get any clout here by simply living in Haiti, and we will continue to campaign for the end of the military occupation of your country.

    Next time I won’t bother responding.

  11. Mattieu said on October 5th, 2008 at 9:13pm #

    Ooooh Thaaaank Youuuu Lichen! What would us poor Haitians do without you? (Sarcasm in case you missed it)

    cg, thanks for giving us a little credit.

  12. Poilu said on October 5th, 2008 at 11:09pm #

    “unreasoned repetitive left/liberal buzzword jive.” -cg

    Funny, I’ve never encountered anything resembling such on any “left/liberal” forum — at least not from “leftist” contributors. But I’ve visited a good many right-wing echo chambers online, MOST of which completely ban dissenting views in supine deference to their unreasoning Brownshirt contituencies. Just think “Free Republic”, and you have the right-wing squawking parrot brigade in a nutshell! (Alternately, there’s the Hitler Youth of “Little Green Footballs” [AKA Late German Fascists].)

    “Aristides belongings: no need to qualify; it is so. Do your own investigation.” -Mattieu

    Mattieu: Sorry, but THAT sounds remarkably like a typical right-wing retort — one I’ve often encountered when the brazenly partisan claimant’s credibility is rightly under fire.

    As a result, I’m forced to conclude that lichen’s assessment of you is entirely plausible.

    “I need say no more.”

    That part of your ongoing diatribe is, alas, entirely true.

  13. denk said on October 6th, 2008 at 8:17am #

    how the murikkan “peace” keepers did their duty in haiti the last time……

    “U.S. military spokesman Colonel Willey “said the troops were positioned to form `a cordon so Haitian police could work on the inner perimeter’.” And work they did. Haitian police joined with the paramilitary (FRAPH) gangs attacking the demonstrators, using their trucks for “loading up the armed men in civilian clothes by the Fraph headquarters” and then helping to scatter the demonstrators, “exchanging high-fives with the gunmen or giving them rides in their pickup trucks.”
    FRAPH members interviewed by Wall Street Journal correspondents Helene Cooper and Jose de Cordoba said they had no problems with the Americans troops. While the attacks on the demonstrators are underway, one said, “U.S. soldiers riding by on their `Humvee’ armored vehicles wave cheerfully to FRAPH members, who wave back.”


  14. cg said on October 6th, 2008 at 9:29am #

    The so- called ‘left’ is at the least every bit as censoring and intolerant as any ‘right’ site, group or individual.
    The ‘left’ is about as trustworthy as Judas on steroids.

  15. Poilu said on October 6th, 2008 at 8:49pm #

    “The so- called left is at the least every bit as censoring and intolerant as any right site, group or individual. …”

    cg: DO tell! Sorry, but that hasn’t been my experience in the least.

    “Judas on steroids”?? Puh-LEASE!! (But thank you for clearly identifying your own “advocacy group”.)

  16. Poilu said on October 6th, 2008 at 9:00pm #

    cg: To put a slightly finer point on it, if the “left” is supposedly so intolerant, why haven’t YOU been censored here at DV?

    I mean, it’s not as if gratuitous, ad hominem swipes like “unreasoned repetitive left/liberal buzzword jive” have anything to do with the topic of discussion.

  17. cg said on October 6th, 2008 at 10:37pm #

    I don’t trust either the right or the left and I have been censored here. More than once.
    The left is a bunch of good time Charley plastic bananas and would soon morph into the rotten right given the opportunity and the tools.
    The right is a bunch of greed filled murding cretins.
    Hey, take a look around you.
    The proof, it’s said, is in the pudding.

    “But thank you for clearly identifying your own “advocacy group”.)
    And there’s the pudding you’re serving.

  18. Poilu said on October 7th, 2008 at 1:53am #

    cg: I fail to see how you manage to construe “hypocrisy” in a relatively reasonable guess as to your political orientation based strictly on your OWN previous remarks here. If I’ve mistaken your “alignment”, my apologies. But this is the first I’ve EVER witnessed you denigrate the Right! (And your anti-Muslim rhetoric elsewhere hardly serves to identify you as an advocate of “social justice”.)

    As for your latest sweeping assessment of the “Left” above, I’m admittedly clueless as to what you actually MEANT by that, aside from the implied disdain. Then again, if those remarks were more than mere spontaneous invective, I suspect you’d have elaborated further. Perhaps you, like Deadbeat, should seriously strive to define your terms. Then your assertions might at least bear a consistent frame of reference. (As it stands, you merely appear to “hate everybody.”)