Recent Feature Articles

By: Sputnik News interviews Camille Chalmers, April 19, 2017

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) can be described as 13 years of suffering and violations of fundamental human rights, Haitian political analyst Camille Chalmers told Sputnik Brazil.

In an interview with Sputnik Brazil, Haitian political analyst Camille Chalmers commented on the upcoming completion of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which she bitterly described as 13 years of suffering and the violation of fundamental human rights.

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, April 24, 2017

Former Haitian paramilitary leader and Senator-elect Guy Philippe sealed a plea bargain today with the U.S. Attorney’s office to get a lighter sentence in return for pleading guilty to just one count of money laundering.

In return, the U.S. government dropped its other two charges of “Conspiracy to Import Cocaine into the United States,” which carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison, and “Engaging in Transactions Derived from Unlawful Activity,” which carries a 10 year sentence.

The charge to which Philippe, 49, pleaded guilty – “Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments” – carries a 20 year maximum sentence, but as part of the deal, prosecutors recommended Philippe be sentenced to only nine years.

By Dady Chery, News Junkie Post, April 18, 2017

For news of the world, peel away from those who follow the daily offerings of bombings and supposed terror attacks, as bulls in the ring chase a red cape to their ritualistic slaughter. Look instead in places like Haiti, where it is easy to discern the lies from the truth. In such places, where no one appears to be watching, the sanctimonious missionaries do not hide their faces as they morph into kidnappers and pedophiles. The bribes are publicly offered and accepted.

The unorthodox affairs between supposed adversaries, or between politicians and foreign agencies, are consummated in broad daylight. It is easy to tell, in other people’s countries, which statements to the press and international bodies are made with tongue in cheek. In other people’s countries, like Haiti, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, anything can be bought and degraded. The corruption is so casual, it seems almost innocent.

By Yves Engler, Huffington Post, April 18, 2017

Last week the UN Security Council finally voted to end its military occupation of Haiti. Instigated by the U.S., France and Canada, MINUSTAH has been responsible for countless abuses during the past 13 years.

At the same time as the Security Council voted to draw down its military force (a police contingent will remain), the Associated Press published an in depth investigation confirming widespread sexual abuse by UN troops in Haiti. The foreign soldiers had sex with minors, sodomized boys and raped young girls. An internal UN report uncovered by AP implicated 134 Sri Lankan troops in a sex ring that exploited nine children from 2004 to 2007. None of the MINUSTAH soldiers were imprisoned.

In early 2012 video footage came to light of five Uruguayan soldiers sexually assaulting an 18-year-old Haitian. In that case as well the soldiers were sent home, but no one was punished.

By Jesse Brown, slate.com, April 17, 2017

My prime minister, Justin Trudeau, enjoys a public image as the anti–Donald Trump. A young, sensitive, feminist, environmentalist with a progressive stance on marijuana; a welcoming attitude toward foreigners; and a glorious head of natural hair, he seems in every way the opposite of the U.S. president.

Trudeau’s golden personal brand dovetails beautifully with the ascendant brand of his country, and together they tell a winning story of Canada as a progressive haven, singularly evolved past the populist forces of petty nationalism and xenophobia. 

Each week brings a new version of this story. It’s a tale we Canadians have been telling ourselves for decades, but now Americans are telling it to one another. For a recent cover illustration, the Economist put a maple leaf tiara on the statue of liberty. CNN contemplated whether the American dream is now in fact the Canadian dream. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times anointed Canada the new leader of the free world. Brand Canada has now made it to Broadway, with Come From Away telling a heartwarming story of Canadian selflessness on the world stage.

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, April 12, 2017

The main thing you need to know about the Apr. 11 speech to the UN Security Council of Sandra Honoré, the head of the United Nations military occupation force in Haiti, is that she is not talking about a complete pull-out but a “transition.”

MINUSTAH, or the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti, is currently composed of about 3,200 soldiers and police officers, who cost $346 million this past year. First deployed in June 2004 (supposedly for only six months), the force’s current mandate ends on Apr. 15.

In a Mar. 16 report, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres proposed that MINUSTAH be renewed for a final six-month mandate, ending Oct. 15. However, this force would be replaced by “a smaller peacekeeping operation with concentrated focus on the rule of law and police development,...[and] human rights monitoring,” Honoré said.

The new armed force would be comprised of close to 300 UN police officers to “support political stability, [and] good governance, including electoral oversight and reform,” Guterres wrote.

By Paisley Dodds, Associated Press, April 11, 2017

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker agrees. The Tennessee Republican, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been calling for reforms in the United Nations. He may well get them under President Donald Trump, whose administration has proposed a 31 percent reduction to the U.S. foreign aid and diplomacy budget. Corker and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley want a review of all missions.

Corker recalled his disgust at hearing of the U.N. sexual abuse cases uncovered last year in Central African Republic.

"If I heard that a U.N. peacekeeping mission was coming near my home in Chattanooga," he told AP, "I'd be on the first plane out of here to go back and protect my family."

By teleSUR, April 11, 2017

Bolivia's representative to the United Nations said Tuesday that the international community owed Haiti a debt and should do whatever it took to guarantee the Caribbean country all necessary support.

“As for Bolivia, support to Haiti is a priority, we owe this people a lot, not only because of the environmental disasters but also because of years of foreign intervention,” said Sacha Llorenti after a meeting of the U.N. Security Council debating the presence of U.N. troops in the country.

He also reiterated the responsibility of U.N. troops after the recent pandemic of cholera, saying “apologies are not enough, material compensation is necessary.”

By Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International, April 5, 2017

Ukraine’s quest to get access to sophisticated Western weapons and defence technologies to fight Russian-backed rebels in the eastern part of the country got a step closer with a defence co-operation agreement signed in Ottawa earlier this week.

The bilateral deal, signed by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and his Ukrainian counterpart Stepan Poltorak on Monday, aims to identify “areas of mutual cooperation such as defence policy; defence research, development, and production; and military education.”

“Today’s signing of the Defence Cooperation Arrangement shows Canada’s steadfast commitment to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” Sajjan said in a statement. “It strengthens the ties between our two nations and helps us continue to develop our rich, mutually beneficial relationships.”

By Dady Chery, News Junkie Post, April 4, 2017

Haiti’s incarceration rate of roughly 100 prisoners per 100,000 citizens in 2016 was the lowest in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, there is a systematic campaign underway for more prisons. Canada and Norway have each given one prison to Haiti. Thanks to prison aid from the United States, three additional prisons have been inaugurated since 2016, and another is under construction.

In the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba, the incarceration rates per 100,000 people in 2016 were 232, 350, 145, and 510, respectively. These numbers alone do not tell the whole story, because the large majority of Haiti’s prison population are pre-trial detainees, many of whom are members of Aristide’s administration, resisters against government abuses like land expropriation, or political protestors who have not been charged with a crime. If Haiti were to release them, the incarceration rate would drop to about 30 per 100,000, which is lower than in Norway, Sweden, or Japan. Furthermore, if we consider the fact that another group of incarcerated people are Haitian nationals who have lived as legal residents of the United States or Canada nearly all of their lives and committed crimes abroad, then the real incarceration rate of Haitians drops to one of the lowest in the world.