Reflections on the nine-year anniversary of the 2004 coup in Haiti

Broadcast on Global Research News Hour, March 6, 2013

It was nine years ago, on February 29, 2004 that the democratically elected President of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed from his Presidential Palace by US forces, assisted by Canada and France. In his place an unelected government was installed by the international community.

Thousands of UN ‘peace-keepers’ were assigned to Haiti to protect and enforce the authority of this new government. Many representatives of the Haitian government were jailed. The government of Gerard Latortue,installed at the behest of international forces, cracked down hard on the poverty-stricken population, particularly in the slums of Cité Soleil and Bel Air in Port-au-Prince. Thousands of deaths were estimated to have resulted. [1]

It is critical to understand this background and the subsequent erosion of domestic institutions and government agencies if one is to understand the current human security issues threatening this small Caribbean island country.

It is especially important for Canadians to acquaint themselves with this history. Canadians generally have a positive opinion of their country and role in the world. They are inclined to believe Canada’s role in Haiti has been generally beneficent. Such inaccurate perceptions are aided and abetted by compliant politicians, governing and in opposition, and by a silent media.

Roger Annis has been a long-time activist with the Canada-Haiti Action group, an organization that has been at the forefront of raising awareness about Canada’s true role in Haiti. The Global Research Hour spoke to him while he was in Winnipeg to discuss the nine year old coup, Canada’s role in the coup and other ways the Canadian government and Canadian NGOs and development agencies have undermined Haitian democracy and human rights. Annis also draws parallels between Canada’s treatment of Haitians, and its treatment of its own Indigenous population.

Listen to the 25-minute interview here, it begins following the news headlines.