Recent Feature Articles

By Mark Philips, Toronto Star, August 7, 2015

The following commentary was first published in the Toronto Star print edition of August 7, 2015. This version has been slightly revised by the author. The Toronto Star is Canada's largest circulation print daily newspaper.

Since 2006, Canada has been one of the largest donors to Haitian elections. But insiders and policy analysts have revealed that in recent years, Canada, along with the United States and France, see their funding not so much as a donation but a purchase.

Electoral Council Director Pierre-Louis Opont, for example, has effectively stated that Michel Martelly should not be Haiti’s current president. With Haitians scheduled to cast a ballot for most every elected official in the country this year, Opont is wise to try to avoid a repeat of the last presidential ballot.

By Joe Emersberger, TeleSUR, August 4, 2015

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has tried to prevent victims of the violent protests that were led by the jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez in 2014 from being forgotten – specifically the police officers and government supporters who were murdered and who account for about half the protest-related deaths. Victims like Gisella Rubilar, mother of four, who was killed by a gunshot to the head while clearing away a barricade erected in her neighborhood by protesters, have been made invisible by the international media – rarely registering as statistics much less as people. Lopez, on the other hand, has constantly been portrayed as a pro-democracy hero and as a victim. 

By Reuters, The Guardian, August 5, 2015

Tens of thousands of Haitians and Haitian-Dominicans have fled the Dominican Republic in response to its strict new immigration policy with many settling in squalid camps in Haiti.

Haitian officials estimate the population at four camps in the south of Haiti is at least 2,000 and growing.

About 400 have settled at the Tete-à-l’eau camp, perched on a hill that slants down to a dry river bed. It was once the site of a larger village washed out in floods decades ago, but now it suffers from a drought.

By Brianne Berry and Laura Valentina Natera, COHA (Council on Hemispheric Affairs), July 22, 2015

Since the coup against the democratically elected President of Honduras in 2009, Honduras has been experiencing a period of continuous crises. Despite deteriorating conditions, there had been only a limited organized outcry against the corruption, impunity, and lack of employment facing the country until two months ago, when weekly protests began crowding the streets of the nation's capital, Tegucigalpa. The last straw for Honduran citizens came in May, when it was revealed that private businesses had embezzled $330 million USD from the country's social security institute, the Instituto Hondureno de Seguirdad Social (IHSS). Ninety four million USD of the embezzled funds had been funneled directly into the campaign of Juan Orlando Hernandez, who, though he admits to receiving the funds, claims to have been unaware of their source.[1] In addition to the injustice of stealing money from the citizens, lack of funding to the hospitals brought about grave consequences.

By Adam Raney, Al Jazeera International, July 19, 2015

In a developing series, Al Jazeera's Adam Raney reports from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where thousands of Haitian are facing deportation.

continue to episodes 1-8 of the documentary series "Dominican Disorder". 

By Greg Grandin, The Nation, July 28, 2015

“Are you Haitian?” That’s the question the Dominican consular officer in New York City asked of Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a Dominican writer living in New York who describes himself as “dark-skinned and nappy-headed,” when he recently tried to renew his passport. Padilla, who eventually did get his renewal, writes about his experience in The Guardian. Having managed to break out of the stifling US immigration system (which he writes about in Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League, published tomorrow), Padilla says that it has “been dismaying to see the Dominican government adopt a similar approach to immigration while making use of American border-policing expertise.”

By Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), July 21, 2015 

After launching the electoral campaign of his political party, Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale (PHTK), in Cap-Haïtien last week, Martelly has renewed his 2011 campaign pledge to restore the Armed Forces of Haiti (FAd’H), reports Le Nouvelliste. In a rally held in the Palmes region in the Southeast department over the weekend of Jul. 18, Martelly stated that his previous pledge was not false. He added that since his mandate began, “I have been around the world to meet with representatives of major countries on the issue.”

By Al Jazeera International, July 22, 2015

Haitians have marched in Port-au-Prince in solidarity with the thousands of undocumented residents of Haitian descent who face deportation from the Dominican Republic.

Thousands of protesters demanded on Tuesday that the Haitian government ban the import of goods from the neighbouring country. The demonstrators presented the relevant petition to Evans Paul, Haiti's prime minister.

Many protesters wore T-shirts calling for migrants to be respected as they made their way through the capital under police escort.

By Justin Eliott & Laura Sullivan, ProPublica, July 21, 2015

The American Red Cross is under pressure this week to answer detailed questions from Congress about the spending of nearly half a billion dollars it raised after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

But internal documents newly obtained by ProPublica and NPR call into question whether the Red Cross itself has an accurate accounting of how the money was spent.

The reports, assessments from 2012 of some of the group's health and water projects, conclude that the charity failed to track its own spending, oversee projects, or even know whether or not they were successful. The documents also cast doubt on the accuracy of the Red Cross' public claims about how many Haitians the group has helped.

By teleSUR, June 24, 2015

Bill Fletcher, host of teleSUR’s The Global African, interviews social rights attorney Elizi Danto, scholar of the African diaspora Dr. Msomi Moor, and member on the board of the Institute of Policy Studies, James Early.    

Below, we publish the transcript of an interview from The Global African.

BILL FLETCHER: We're now joined by three guests. And we have Ezili Danto, who holds a BA from Boston College and a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She's an award-winning playwright, a performance poet, a political and social commentator, an author, and a well-known human rights attorney. Being from Haiti, she is a catalyst for Haitian activism and human rights. Also joining us is Dr. Msomi Moor, who teaches at the University of the District of Columbia. He is a Howard University-educated scholar of the African Diaspora, and he has been researching black history or teaching in North American and South American historically black colleges and universities for over two decades. Last, but not least, we have James Early. James is an African Caribbean and Latin American histories scholar and member of the board of the Institute for Policy Studies. Thank you all very much for joining us on The Global African.