View Full Version : Haitian democracy

12-12-2015, 08:16 PM
These friendly looking chaps are a new special unit of the Haitian police force. The BOID Brigade. There is a graphic video of an unconscious man being stomped in the head by police following recent elections that I don't need to post but get the idea.


Protests have been under way for weeks amid widespread accusations of electoral fraud. There is a decent round up here



The United States has neither condemned or applauded the official results. Some critics speculate it's because of their now-revealed role in the last presidential election in 2010. A FOIA request revealed that in the last election the Haitian private sector and the American government were working together to ensure that current presidential candidate Jude Celestin did not enter the second round of elections back in 2010. In an email between then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and America's ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten, Merten wrote, quote, [the loss] in private sector have told RP, Rene Preval, that Celestin should withdraw. They would support RP staying till the 7th of February. This is big.

And in an event in Washington last month, Merten was asked about America's silence in this election. He said, quote, we're in a damned if you do, damned if you don't position. This is a Haitian election. We can't say the elections were great and the outcome was perfect, because we don't know yet. It would be premature for us, in my view, to prejudge this election as terrific or awful until we see this process run its course.

But Center for Policy and Research research associate Jake Johnson says America's silence is clearly benefiting the Martelly administration.

JAKE JOHNSON: There was good reason to criticize the role of the international community in 2010 for intervening and overturning the results of that election. And it's sort of interesting that the tables have largely been turned. The silence this time is sort of taken as tacit approval of whatever's happened in the election, which obviously has benefited the government.

DESVARIEUX: Benefiting not just the Haitian government, but the American government as well. Dominique says America's economic interest is to continue the spread of unregulated free trade zones under the Martelly administration.

DOMINIQUE: They want to continue it, in fact. So the whole international community say, very good. Very well. Very good elections. Their goals and their projects, which is the free trade zone, agricultural zone, mines, and tourism, they say it clear.

DESVARIEUX: America has been largely silent to reports of fraud, as well as intimidation tactics by the Haitian national police. The Real News spoke with Dr. [Thony Voltaire], who is a physician at a communal hospital in the northern department of Haiti. He says he's directly experienced intimidation from the deputy who represents Martelly's party. They have attempted to take over resources from the hospital, which runs as a nonprofit.

[Dr. Thony Voltaire speaking]

DESVARIEUX: This level of intimidation by the Haitian national police has been largely supported by the United Nations peacekeeping force, MINUSTAH, as well. Now the top eight candidates want changes to Haiti's police department and electoral council, otherwise they are calling for a transitional government to oversee new general elections. But Dominique says that this election and the ensuing conflict does not represent a fight for everyday people's voices, but rather a clash between competing elite interests.

From the NYer http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/sweet-micky-and-the-sad-deja-vu-of-haitis-presidential-elections

According to a report conducted by the National Lawyers Guild and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, during the first round of the legislative elections, on August 9th, nearly twenty-five per cent of the voter tally sheets from polling stations around the country were either lost, destroyed, or otherwise excluded from the count. Thirteen per cent of the voting centers nationwide suspended the vote due to the ransacking or destruction of polling places or other incidents of violence that, even Haiti’s own Provisional Electoral Council (C.E.P.) concedes were primarily committed by members of P.H.T.K. and other political parties allied with President Martelly.

The article also quotes a scene in a new documentary about the current president

All of this brings to mind a scene in “Sweet Micky for President” in which Martelly, in Washington, D.C., speaks to a room full of Haitian-Americans whose support he is seeking for his Presidential run. Some members of his audience look star struck. Others appear as though they are waiting to be convinced.

“Any five-year-old kid can see the problems in Haiti,” Martelly tells them. “Corruption in Haiti is legal,” he adds. In response, the room erupts in laughter, hoping, perhaps, that Martelly is joking.

And just to bring things back home.

In an affidavit currently before the High Court, Denis O'Brien rejects the suggestion by Red Flag that his business dealings have “targeted poor countries with even poorer governments”. This is an extract from a Dáil speech by Pádraig MacLochlainn in wake of the Siteserv controversy

I took a look at the profile Denis O'Brien likes to give to the world. It is a profile from his Digicel Group and it states that he founded Digicel in 2001 and that it operates in the Caribbean and in Haiti, which I will go into in more detail; that he founded the Esat Telecom Group and built it throughout the 1990s until its sale to British Telecom for €2.4 billion; that he chaired the Special Olympics World Summer Games; and that he is a special ambassador for Haiti. That is the image he wishes to project to the world.

In terms of Haiti, Digicel represents the biggest external investment of any company he owns. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was the first democratically elected president of the people of Haiti in 1990. Within a year, he was driven out of office in a coup, backed by the Bush Administration in the United States. He later came back into his country but was forced out again. Throughout that period, the will of the IMF and of Western corporate interests was enforced upon the people of Haiti. They were forced to privatise their resources and to resist policies such as the introduction of a minimum wage and so on, of which Aristide was strongly in support. Then in came the bould Denis O'Brien and he invested in that type of opportunity, created by profoundly anti-democratic practices, following two separate coups which removed a democratically elected president. Yet he was able to present himself as the champion of the people of Haiti when they were impacted by the earthquake.

12-12-2015, 08:30 PM
Of the Hilary Clinton emails released over the last year or so. Haiti is the second most talked about country after the USA. Well ahead of Iran, Israel and those you might expect . Curiously though, there is a gap in correspondents between Dec. 15, 2010 until Nov. 23, 2012. The period covering the Haitian election. What we do know is documentary here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/georgianne-nienaber/what-are-we-missing-about_b_8130026.html) which among other things mentions an article that has been wiped from the internet.

In an article published in the Haiti Sentinel, an article that has since been scrubbed from the Internet except in cached form, CEP President Pierre Louis Opont says "that as director general he gave the official recount results to the international observers. He says that Cheryl Mills, the Chief of State for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the observers from the Organization of American States then gave results different then what were passed to them."

The American press has not yet investigated this claim.

And some more background on 2010

There is a timeline available to us. It is documented by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), the Haitian press, by former OAS Ambassador Ricardo Seitenfus, and others. This timeline provides the framework to examine what happened in Haiti in 2010. There is so much more than the "gotcha" moment provided by the Chelsea Clinton email to her parents about policy failures after the January 2010 7.0 earthquake.

In 2010, Haiti faced the triple whammy of an apocalyptic earthquake, a cholera epidemic courtesy of the United Nations, and an election cover-up orchestrated while a good portion of the population was still homeless. Three-hundred-and-seven emails would barely cover it.

According to Ricardo Seitenfus in his book, International Crossroads and Failures in Haiti (L`echec de l`aide internationale a Haiti: Dilemmes et egarements), in April 2009, the State Department, under the leadership of Hillary Clinton, "had decided to completely change the U.S. cooperation strategy with Haiti." In case you don't know, Seitenfus was fired from his OAS position in December 2010 for telling the truth to the Swiss newspaper Le Temps about Cholera, NGOs, and a rigged election. His tell-all book lays out a doctrine of intervention.

"Apparently tired with the lack of concrete results, Hillary connected the actions of her government to the smart power doctrine proposed by the Clinton Foundation. From that moment on, the solutions would be based solely on evidence. The idea, according to Cheryl Mills, Hillary's Chief of Staff, was that if we're putting in the assistance, we need to know what the outcomes are going to be." See also "How the World Failed Haiti."

Now, connect Cheryl Mills' Haiti Doctrine of orchestrated outcomes with a June 16, 2009 Wiki-Leaks cable, "Deconstructing Preval." "Managing Preval will remain challenging during the remainder of his term yet doing so is key to our success and that of Haiti."

The January 2010 earthquake became the "long-awaited opportunity to test this new policy," Seitenfus says.

C. Flower
13-12-2015, 12:25 AM
A fixed election makes a change from the usual invasions and coups carried out and sponsored by the US in Haiti.

telling the truth to the Swiss newspaper Le Temps about Cholera,

I'd better not mention again that the UN forces carelessly brought cholera with them to Haiti, or I will be accused of conspiracy theory, as I was when I posted on it a couple of years back.

Likewise, that what took place after the earthquake was not a rescue mission, but an invasion.

Huffington Post reviewed Seitenfus's book - worth posting here in full in case it also disappears.

In a new book, International Crossroads and Failures in Haiti, Brazilian professor Ricardo Seitenfus, former Organization of American States (OAS) Ambassador to Haiti, details international meddling in Haiti's 2010 elections, discussions by a "core group" of a coup to force then-President René Préval from office, and ballot box tinkering that guaranteed candidate Jude Celestin would not advance to the runoff election. Michel Martelly won the March 2011 runoff with less than 17 percent (http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/relief-and-reconstruction-watch/martellys-historically-weak-mandate) of eligible voters participating, defeating conservative former first lady Mirlande Manigat.
Seitenfus' knowledge of international collusion runs deep and he is not afraid to name names as he describes covert meetings among then Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and MINUSTAH chief Edmond Mulet, then U.S Ambassador Kenneth Merten, and then-Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. He goes on to outline a "maléfique ou perverse" (evil or perverse) relationship between the government of Haiti and corrupt NGOs, and confirms that there was a cover-up of the fact that the United Nations was responsible for the introduction of cholera into Haiti.
On the secretive discussion of a coup by the core group, Seitenfus writes that the UN's Mulet wanted René Préval removed from office. In intimate detail, Seitenfus describes a meeting on election day, November 28, 2010, when Mulet tried to remove the president of Haiti René Préval from power and send him into exile. Quoting Mulet:
I just finished talking on the phone with Préval informing him that an airplane would be at his disposal to leave the country. In 48 hours, at the latest - that is, until Tuesday, the 30th - Prevál will have to leave the presidency and abandon Haiti.

When Bellerive arrived at the meeting, his first question was, "I would like to know whether President Prevál's mandate is on the negotiation table? Yes or no?"
Seitenfus chronicles an air of silence and "cowardice" permeating the room. OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin's presence in the meeting "tied my hands and silenced my voice." Yet something had to be done to avoid a repeat of the 2004 crisis when Haiti's democratically-elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forcibly flown out of Haiti on a United States plane.
Seitenfus realized that someone had to speak up.
A democratic conscience and the respect for the Haitian institutions guided my attitude. It was not going to be the OAS representative in Haiti who would speak. It would be the Brazilian and the university professor.

Seitenfus asked the Brazilian ambassador, Igor Kipman, what his position was. Kipman and Argentina's Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) representative Rodolfo Matarollo joined forces with Seitenfus against the coup.
Seitenfus reports then U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten "was shaking his head." Seitenfus took this as a signal of Merten's dissatisfaction with how the meeting was unfolding. "When he broke his silence it was to recognize that the coup by the Core Group against Préval would fail and he said, "We're not going to talk about this anymore."
The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince published a press release at 9 p.m. the same day dismissing the voting results and forcing another election.
What followed was the sabotage of Jude Célestin's candidacy. Mulet accused him, as Préval's son-in-law, of being a puppet. Seitenfus quotes Mulet saying, with no evidence, that ministers supporting Célestin would travel to the countryside with "suitcases full of money to buy votes."
A Machiavellian OAS "recount mission" ensured that no candidate could have more than 225 votes, even when the average number of registered voters was 460 in each polling station.
The Mission applied this innovative method to the candidate Jude Célestin, dismissing ex officio those ballot boxes in which he obtained 225 or more votes. To maintain a good appearance, they decided, nonetheless, to eliminate some of the votes for Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly. Thus, 13,830 votes were eliminated from the former and 7,150 from the latter, while Jude Célestin saw 38,541 votes disappear, or 60% of all the votes that were eliminated.

In the end, pop musician Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly was selected to compete in the runoff instead of the governing party's candidate Jude Célestin. Martelly is the current president of Haiti.
Seitenfus says that the United Nations, "especially Edmond Mulet and Ban Ki-moon," denied the UN's "direct and scientifically-verified responsibility for the introduction of the Vibrio cholera into Haiti." As of February 9, 2014 (http://mspp.gouv.ht/site/downloads/Rapport%20Web_09.02_Avec_Courbes_Departementales.p df), 699,244 people contracted cholera and 8,549 have died.
Seitenfus slams the international community for supporting The UN's "lie" and turning it into strategy. He blames the so-called "Group of Friends of Haiti": Argentina, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Chile, the United States, Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, as well as Germany, France, Spain and Norway, in their roles as Permanent Observers in the OAS as complicit in a "genocide by negligence."
Writing about the corruption of NGOs, Seitenfus accuses the international community of bypassing Haitian institutions and giving preference to Transnational Non-Governmental Organizations (TNGOs). He describes it as an "invasion," that reached staggering levels after the earthquake. U.S.
He charges that the governments of donor states used both private donations and public resources to cover the costs of military interventions in Haiti: "As such, for example, more than $200 million U.S. in private donations from U.S. citizens served to finance the transportation and stay of U.S. soldiers in Haiti soon after the earthquake."
While packed with political intrigue and malfeasance by international players, HAITI: Dilemas e Fracassos Internacionais ("International Crossroads and Failures in Haiti," published in Brazil by the Editora Unijui (Universite de Ijui) dans la Serie Globalisation et Relations Internationales) is also a tribute to Haiti written by a professor of Latin American studies.
This book details Seitenfus's dependence upon his own moral compass as he was forced to take a stand against powerful international players, including the United States, as the potential coup was put in motion.
Seemingly an existentialist at heart, Seitenfus opens his book with a quote from philosopher Albert Camus' The Fall. All of humanity is responsible for every tragedy or atrocity. Even if we do not personally cause the event, we are duty bound to stop it. Haitians have been "prisoners on their own island" since the slave rebellion of 1804. Foreign might has exacted a heavy penalty for what Seitenfus terms "a crime of lčse-majesté."
With this extensive memoir and historical document, the professor with the responsibilities of a diplomat succeeds in assuming his duty as a moral compass in the troubled world of international "diplomacy" in Haiti.
Seitenfus is currently a professor at the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil. His webpage and contact information can be accessed here (http://www.seitenfus.com.br/).


Coincidence, I picked up a second hand copy of The Fall last week and will take myself off now to continue reading it.

02-01-2016, 03:20 AM
Elections on the 17th