Recent Feature Articles

By teleSUR, Sept. 12, 2016

Haitian social organizations are planning three mobilizations starting Tuesday in opposition to the possible renewal of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH.

David Oxygene, leader of the Movement of Liberty, Equality of Haitians for Brotherhood, told the Haiti-based Alterpresse that they oppose any U.N. mission to the island after a report from the organization recommended Haitian authorities renew their presence for a further six months.

The popular Democratic Movement has also joined the calls against the U.N. “The cholera pandemic has been one of the biggest disasters caused by MINUSTAH, not even mentioning the rapes of minors and adults," said the group's leader Guy Numa.

By Mersiha Gadzo, CBC.ca, Sept. 4, 2016

Many celebrated ​Justin ​Trudeau's election, thinking the charismatic leader would turn a new page for Canada, especially for Canadian Muslims who overwhelmingly voted for the Liberals in 2015. Yet the Liberals who presented themselves as open and transparent while in opposition have proven to be anything but in government.

While in opposition, the Liberals advocated for three innocent Canadian Muslims tortured in the Middle East with CSIS complicity. One of them, Ahmad El Maati, spent more than two years languishing in Syrian and Egyptian prisons.

The 2008 Iacobucci report found that CSIS agents travelled secretly to Egypt, shared unfounded allegations that the men were al-Qaeda terrorists and provided questions to interrogators. The "confession" obtained through torture was used in Canadian courts to justify search warrants. The three men demanded an apology and filed a $100-million civil lawsuit, which the Liberals supported while in opposition.

But now that he's prime minister, Trudeau and his federal Liberals are continuing Stephen Harper's legal battle against compensation, filing an appeal against the lawsuit and requesting retroactive blanket anonymity for spies in order to protect government officials complicit in torture.

By Jake Johnston, CEPR (Center for Economic & Policy Research), Sept. 7, 2016

“The situation cannot afford Washington to sit on sidelines. They elected him and they need [sic] pressure him. He can't go unchecked,” Laura Graham, then the Chief Operating Officer of the Clinton Foundation, wrote to Bill Clinton in early 2012. Graham was referring to the increasingly erratic, and potentially dangerous, behavior of Haitian president Michel Martelly. When she said “They elected him,” she was referring to the US government, which intervened through the OAS to change the election results of the first round of Haiti, putting Martelly in to the second round. The e-mail, one of many Graham sent to Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff on February 26, 2012, eventually was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aide, Cheryl Mills. The note is perhaps the clearest evidence to date that key officials, even within the Clinton camp, viewed the US intervention in the 2010 Haitian election as decisive.

Recently, a new petition was posted demanding an investigation into the murder of MOLEGHAF organizer Davidtchen Siméon, and to protect other organizers. The petition is endorsed by several organizations and unions based in Haiti. It is directed at the Minister of Justice & Public Security (MJSP), the Inspector General of the National Police (PNH), and the Office for Protection of Citizens (OPC). 

 - CHAN Editors, Sept. 5, 2016

By Kim Ives & Yves Pierre-Louis, Haiti Liberté, August 31, 2016

On Aug. 29, thousands thronged the streets of Pétionville to catch a glimpse of the Lavalas Family (FL) party’s candidate – the one from 16 years ago.

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the FL’s founder and “leader for life” (according to the party’s charter), made a rare appearance in the narrow streets of this tony, small metropolis set in the hills above Port-au-Prince. He was accompanying Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the party’s presidential candidate in the rerun elections scheduled for Oct. 9. The official 45-day campaign season opened on Aug. 28.

CHAN editor's note:

Last week, David Oxygene, a Haitian revolutionary leader and organizer was threatened at gun point by a police officer. The same police officer is one of the individuals accused of murdering  Davidtchen Siméon, an activist of the popular progressive organization MOLEGHAF. MOLEGHAF is dedicated, in part, to removing the UN's occupying force known as MINUSTAH from Haiti. 

The original description of events can be found on David Oxygene's Facebook page in Kreyol. It was posted on August 22, 2016. A copy of the original message is available below the following article. 

 

Call to trade unions, popular organisations, and political parties dedicated to democracy and the defense of human rights

Published in Haiti Liberté, August 24, 2016

On Sat., Aug. 13 at 3:30 p.m., in the popular district of Fort National, as he was leaving a meeting of the Movement of Liberty, Equality of the Haitians for Fraternity (Mouvement de Liberté, Égalité des Haïtiens pour la  Fraternité) (MOLEGHAF), a group of armed men cowardly assassinated Davidtchen Siméon, a young 23 years old activist of the popular progressive organization MOLEGHAF, deeply engaged in the fight against the occupying  forces of the UN (MINUSTAH), imperialism and the oppression of workers by transnational capital.

It is important to point out that a few days before this despicable killing, on Wed., Aug. 8 and Thu. Aug. 11, Davidtchen had been violently attacked and threatened by police officers.

By Kim Yves, Haiti Liberté, August 24, 2016

UN officials are frantically fending off questions about their organization being to blame for importing cholera into Haiti following the leak last week of an internal Special Rapporteur draft report which slams their “existing approach of simply abdicating responsibility [as] morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.”

On Aug. 18, the day after freelance reporter Jonathan Katz (the AP’s former Haiti correspondent) leaked excerpts of New York University law professor Philip Alston’s draft report in the New York Times, a New York State Appeals court upheld a lower court decision granting the UN “immunity” from a class-action suit being brought on behalf of Haitian cholera victims. (Alston’s full report was published in the New York Times Magazine on Aug. 20).

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq stated that the UN “needs to do much more regarding own involvement in the initial outbreak," stopping short of admitting responsibility or specifying what exactly “much more” is.

By Makini Brice, Reuters, August 19, 2016

A Haitian Senate report has called for charges to be brought against two former prime ministers and several ministers for alleged embezzlement, abuse of authority and forgery stemming from the use of funds in a Venezuelan oil loan program.

The executive summary of the report, dated Wednesday, said heads of ministries granted multimillion-dollar projects to firms while bypassing the public bidding process and signed contracts that were not under their authority. The full report has not been released.

The Senate report will add to concerns about billions of dollars of aid promised to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Much of the money went to directly to aid organizations, with results on the ground mostly unimpressive. Aid flows have slowed as memories of the devastation fade.

Venezuela's PetroCaribe program, by contrast, funneled money directly to the Haitian government’s coffers. The program, which Haiti joined in 2006, allowed Caribbean nations to pay low prices for oil from Venezuela, part of which would be financed upfront, with the balance put in a fund to finance social and economic projects.

By Stefan Labbé, OpenCanada, August 18, 2016

Canada’s military exports have come under increasing scrutiny over the past year, with criticism of the Canadian government’s rewording of human rights checks and, more recently, questions over deliveries to South Sudan and Libya.

As The Globe and Mail reported late last month, the Trudeau government recently released two years of data outlining the export of Canadian military goods to foreign buyers and, in a series of edits, quietly thinned its commitment to avoid deals overshadowed by shady human rights records.

New wording states Global Affairs Canada “may include” a previously required step of “wide-ranging consultations” meant to address human rights, international security and defence on any given deal. “The devil is in the details,” said Cesar Jaramillo, executive director of Project Ploughshares, a non-government organization that promotes disarmament and peace-building. “Every word matters in these things.”

The report follows the controversial $15 billion sale of over 900 light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia — a country with an abysmal human rights record aggravated by evidence suggesting it has used LAVs to not only quash dissent at home but in neighbouring Bahrain and Yemen as well.

By Jonathan M. Katz, New York Times, August 18, 2016

A United States federal appeals panel has upheld the argument that theUnited Nations cannot be sued in American courts, dealing a setback in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of thousands of cholera victims inHaiti.

The ruling by the three-judge panel in New York was released on Thursday, a day after a spokesman for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged for the first time that the United Nations played a role in the outbreak, which killed thousands of people.

In the decision for the panel, Judge José A. Cabranes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit wrote that the United Nations did not lose its legal immunity even if it failed to give the plaintiffs a chance to seek a settlement, as required by an international convention.