This is the 187th diary on the earthquake disaster in Haiti. The first diary was by Dallasdoc and previous diaries are linked below. This is the Justice, Not Charity edition of the diary.
"The Haitian people are asking not for charity, but for justice."
The Uses of Haiti last paragraph pg. 307
This is where Paul Farmer's book The Uses of Haiti ends. This is where our new diary begins. Farmer answers our question- what to do first, "The first order of business, for citizens of the United States, might be a candid and careful assessment of our ruinous policies towards Haiti." that is what this diary will attempt to do (mainly through the discussion that takes place in the comments). Many of us are new to learning about Haiti. But we really want to help. This diary is a place to learn about Haiti, about US policy towards Haiti, and to advocate for Haiti.
Please take a couple of minutes to see/complete (takes 5 minutes) today's action alert directly below today's topic. Join us for today's news discussion and more.
LATE UPDATE: MUST LISTEN KPFA, Brian Concannon Discusses Haiti’s Upcoming Elections on KPFA’s Flashpoints It starts at 40 minutes into
lash points on KPFA Paci fica Radio
A special report from Kevin Pina on the deci sion by Wyclef Jean to run for pres i dent of Haiti.
Listen to the report that begins at 40:00 min utes into the program.
Brian Concannon, Director, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Andre Joseph, Miami-based radio producer and political commentator
Wadner Pierre, Haitian Journalist in Haiti
I hope I am completely wrong.
Just days after President Preval confirmed that Haiti is excluding it's most popular political party Lavalas Fanmi (FL), Wyclef throws his hat into the race. How can the Provisional Electoral Council (Conseil Electoral Provisoire, or CEP) approve Wyclef's candidacy, that has legitimate constitutional issues, and at the same time exclude the Famni Lavalas Party for nonsense, made up, "technical reasons?" The CEP will approve Wyclef's candidacy (if they don't I will be truly surprised) because he is a strong supporter of former President Clinton and neoliberal policy. Another strike against Wyclef is his NGO's misuse of some money that was donated help Haiti. On top of that he does not speak fluent French and Haitian Creole is "rusty."
Imagine a person running for US President that did not speak English well?
One good thing is that Haitians are not as easily fooled as US citizens. They are politically informed and if given a fair election are more than capable of deciding who they want. My issue is the exclusion of the Lavalas Party and Wyclef's backing of the coup and the elite.
Wyclef is a member of Haiti's elite. He produced a pro - Elite propaganda film. He is a backer of the 2004 ousting of Haiti's democratically elected President, Aristide.
MUST READ: SF Bay View, Wyclef Jean for president of Haiti? Look beyond the hype:
Fanmi Lavalas has already been banned from the next round of elections, so enter Wyclef Jean. Jean comes from a prominent Haitian family that has virulently opposed Lavalas since the 1990 elections. His uncle is Raymond Joseph – also a rumored presidential candidate – who became Haitian ambassador to the United States under the coup government and remains so today. Kevin Pina writes in “It’s not all about that! Wyclef Jean is fronting in Haiti,” Joseph is “the co-publisher of Haiti Observateur, a right-wing rag that has been an apologist for the killers in the Haitian military going back as far as the brutal coup against Aristide in 1991.
“On Oct. 26  Haitian police entered the pro-Aristide slum of Fort Nationale and summarily executed 13 young men. Wyclef Jean said nothing. On Oct. 28 the Haitian police executed five young men, babies really, in the pro-Aristide slum of Bel Air. Wyclef said nothing. If Wyclef really wants to be part of Haiti’s political dialogue, he would acknowledge these facts. Unfortunately, Wyclef is fronting.”
As if to prove it, the Miami Herald reported on Feb. 28, 2010, “Secret polling by foreign powers in search of a new face to lead Haiti’s reconstruction …” might favor Jean’s candidacy, as someone with sufficient name recognition who could draw enough votes to overcome another Lavalas electoral boycott.
Wyclef Jean supported the 2004 coup. When gun-running former army and death squad members trained by the CIA were overrunning Haiti’s north on Feb. 25, 2004, MTV’s Gideon Yago wrote, “Wyclef Jean voiced his support for Haitian rebels on Wednesday, calling on embattled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to step down and telling his fans in Haiti to ‘keep their head up’ as the country braces itself for possible civil war.”
He produced Ghosts of Cite Soleil which is pure right wing propaganda. Producing this film means that Wyclef is either a pro - elite, neoliberal pawn for the US, or he knows nothing about the history of the country he wants to lead. Either one makes him a bad choice, imo.
Jean also produced the movie, “The Ghosts of Cite Soleil,” an anti-Aristide and Lavalas hit piece, which tells us that President Aristide left voluntarily, without mention of his kidnapping by the U.S. military, and presents the main coup leaders in a favorable light. It features interviews with sweatshop owners Andy Apaid and Charles Henry Baker without telling us they hate Aristide because he raised the minimum wage and sought to give all Haitians a seat at the table by democratizing Haiti’s economy, a program opposed by the rich in Haiti.
It uncritically interviews coup leader Louis Jodel Chamblain, without telling us he worked with the Duvalier dictatorship’s brutal militia, the Tonton Macoutes, in the 1980s; that following the coup against Aristide in 1991, he was the “operations guy” for the FRAPH paramilitary death squad, accused of murdering uncounted numbers of Aristide supporters and introducing gang rape into Haiti as a military weapon.
Damming The Flood (Pg. 43)
A different sort of threshold was crossed when in September 1993 Constant's deputy Jodel Chamblain himself reportedly killed, in broad daylight, one of the few prominent Aristide supporters who had not gone into hiding - the well - connected bussinessman and philanthropist Antoine Izmery. Aristide's Justice Minister Guy Malary was killed in similar circumstances the next month; Father Jean-Marie Vincent's turn would follow in August 1994. "Haiti's 'old guard," noted the US Department of Justice in 1993, "appears to have united behind the de facto government to brutally punish not only those who work to return Aristide to power but also anyone engaging in even the most basic kinds of political activity."
The US and International Community do not like the Lavalas Fanmi and have gone to great lengths to exclude FL from participating in the elections. Wyclef may be the perfect candidate for the US and Haiti's small ruling class, the elites. He will happily enact Clinton's failed neoliberal Plan known the Death Plan in Haiti. I hope I am wrong.
The CEP has a history of excluding the Lavalas Party from elections for made up reasons.
The IJDH's report is helpful:
A. April 2009 Elections
On April 19, 2009, Haiti held elections for 12 of the 30 seats in the Senate. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) originally approved FL as a party, but excluded every FL candidate from taking part in the April 2009 vote. Two separate groups of FL submitted lists of candidates, as representatives of separate FL factions, but the CEP rejected the submissions. When the factions then jointly submitted one list of candidates, the CEP further required an original signature (non-facsimiled) from party leader former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The CEP created this new requirement knowing that President Aristide was
Africa and would be unable to deliver it.>
The CEP’s exclusion of FL was not justified under Haitian law. The CEP’s mandate does not give it authority to exclude legally recognized political parties, such as FL. Moreover, if the two groups claiming to be FL tried to register for the elections, a more fair remedy would have been for the CEP to decide which groups was the representative of the party the Council had accepted for registration, rather than excluding both groups.
Otherwise, any party could get pushed off the ballot by a group of people filing a duplicate set of candidates.
Instead, the CEP effectively silenced Haiti’s largest political party that was critical of President Préval’s government. FL has won every election it has contested, including 90% of the seats in the 2000 parliamentary elections.
FL challenged the CEP’s exclusion in court. The leader of the UN Security Council delegation, Jorge Urbina, applauded FL’s legal challenge to their exclusion and stated that, “All members of the council were glad to hear from (Lavalas) that they are using every legal instrument in their power to reverse this decision” and warned that, “The country cannot allow a political crisis.”
So they exclude the FL from the election because a document was faxed with sworn affidavit from President Aristide that is banned from Haiti so he can not deliver it personally and that was not the law until he faxed the document and the CEP could not think of a valid reason to exclude him. But they won't exclude Wyclef for lacking one of Haiti's Constitutional requirements. Now there is an obvious issue here.
Article 135 of the Constitution states that the president must be at least 35 years old; a native-born Haitian and have never renounced Haitian nationality; the owner in Haiti of at least one real property and have his habitual residence in the country; have been relieved of this responsibilities if he has been handling public funds; have resided in the country for five consecutive years before the election; and have never been sentenced to death, personal restraint, or penal servitude or lost of civil rights for a crime.
Wyclef appears to meet at least five of the six requirements, according to the Haitian Ambassador to the United States, who also happens to be Wyclef’s uncle.
Potential roadblock: residence
However, one category may throw a wrench in any potential run for Haiti's highest office.
Wyclef spends much time in the United States, and it is unclear if his stints living in Haiti will qualify him for having resided in the country for five consecutive years before the election.
The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) will rule on this if Wyclef decides to run for president,...
The US and International Community (IC) are funding the upcoming election in Haiti despite their earlier objection to the unconstitutional way Preval appointed the CEP. After their initial objections, the US and IC have been silent since Preval's refusal to appoint new members to the CEP and the CEP's refusal to allow all legitimate political parties to participate in the election. The CEP excluded Haiti's most popular party, Lavalas Famni, and 14 other parties for "technical" (made up) reasons. It is said that Preval did this so that his party would have the upper hand in the election. In my opinion, that may be true but the US and IC are calling the shots from behind the scene. Preval handpicked the people on the board. One of the members is currently facing criminal charges for corruption and Preval even refused to replace him.
The CEP suffers a credibility crisis because a) the CEP was established through a process not recognized by the Haitian Constitution; b) a predecessor CEP, including a majority of the current members, improperly excluded all candidates presented by Haiti’s largest political party, Fanmi Lavalas, from 2009 Senatorial elections; and c) before the elections scheduled for February 2009 were postponed, the CEP announced the exclusion of 14 political parties from the elections. The current CEP is also involved in corruption scandals, with one member facing criminal charges.
Jean insists he's not playing "the naive idealist." He gets much of his platform, he says, "right out of the playbook" of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the U.N.'s special envoy to Haiti, whose pragmatic vision of bringing business, government and civil society together for development ventures was bearing fruit on the island before the earthquake hit.
Damming The Flood (Pg. 48)
To induce Aristide to accept these things and to placate the army that had overthrown him the Bush and Clinton administrations had an equally simple strategy - they colluded in the killing of his supporters. All through the interminable negotiations between Aristide and Cedras, explains Allan Nairn, "the US had a very clear, systematic policy of supporting the forces of terror in Haiti while at the same time, back in Washington, twisting Aristide's arm. He had a gun to his head, figuratively, just as his supporters had guns to their heads literally. It was outright political extortion."
Jeremy Scahill on Democracy Now! responds to Clinton being appointed as UN envoy to Haiti. Must See!
tout moun se moun —
983 signatures the goal is 1000. This is to stop Haitian's from being evicted from homeless camps. The Petition to stop rape got results, see UN Human Rights Council Resolution: Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women: ensuring due diligence in prevention.
Additional Action Alerts:
Stand up and be counted (Partners in Health)
We want to hear from you.
If you have general questions or comments, please email us at: email@example.com
For press inquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number: (509) 25 19 31 31
Damming The Flood, (pg. xxxiv): Mantra from Aristide's 1990 campaign:
"Alone we are week, together we are strong; all together we are Lavalas, the flood [yon se`l nou feb, ansanm nou fo, ansanm nou se Lavalas]."
Join us Thursday's for book day : Current book is Damming The Flood: Haiti, Aristide, And The Politics Of Containment, by Peter Hallward: Chapter 3:
This is our book list so far:
Isabel Allende (h/t Deoliver47): Island Beneath the Sea
Jean-Bertrand Aristide: In the Parish of the Poor; Eyes of the Heart
Beverly Bell: Walking on Fire
Edwidge Danticat: Brother, I'm Dying; The Farming of Bones; Krik? Krak!; Breath, Eyes, Memory
Paul Farmer: The Uses of Haiti; Partner To The Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader; Getting Haiti Right This Time: The U.S. and the Coup
Peter Hallward: Damming The Flood (2010 updated edition will be out soon. You can pre-order it now. h/ty NY brit expat published date is 9/6/10)
C.L.R. James: The Black Jacobins, (h/t Deoliver47)
Tracy Kidder: Mountains Beyond Mountains
Maurice Lemoine: Bitter Sugar: Slaves Today in the Caribbean 
Paule Marshall: The Chosen Place, The Timeless People
Timothy T. Schwartz: Travesty in Haiti
Amy Wilentz: The Rainy Season - Haiti after Duvalier
PIH has a new website. They have recommended reading, a book list, links to websites with action alerts, and articles.,
Any suggestions? We are looking for books, articles, websites where we can get accurate information about Haiti. Please share any information.
I found one. The World Traveler - Haiti page.: This website has links to articles about Haiti and it has excerpts from books including The Uses of Haiti and Damming The Flood.
Past diaries in this series:
The World Traveler - Haiti page.: This website has links to articles about Haiti and it has excerpts from books including The Uses of Haiti and Damming The Flood.
Deadly Force, Deadly Fears: How Many More Oscar Grants? this is not a diary about Haiti. But it does shine a light on racist policies affect on communities.
Be sure to also see diaries by Bev Bell for informed ground-level information on Haiti's needs.
FishOutofWater takes a moment to explore the benefits of Partners in Health's commitment to solar powered health centers.
Meteor Blades points the way to a better and more sustainable future for Haitians in Haiti Could Use a New Deal.
As the MSM (in the United States) turns attention away from Haiti, Deoliver47 reminds us that things are not suddenly all better: Raining Disease and More Deaths.
For some good pre-earthquake background on Haiti, see Daisy Cutter's Book Review: "Damming the Flood" by Peter Hallward, pt 1. This diary was published in July 2008 and presents a history of Haiti up to 1999 using Hallward's book as a reference. Excellent.
ShelterBox:carolina stargazer is still watching the store. The next ShelterBox diary is planned for Tuesday morning, but activity in diary will be monitored until then. Matching funds are available.
Thursday is Haiti diary book day. Here is the Book List
Tuesday: allie123 (this week Wednesday)
If you would like to volunteer to contribute a diary to continue this series, please volunteer in the comments below. Norbrook has created a Google documents file with the source code for the first version of the diary with the NGO list. allie123 created a Google doc for the new series Justice, Not Charity. However, because we are cutting back to 2 or 3 diaries a week we will be adding a focus and new information to each diary now.
The icons and March 13 formatting revision of this diary series are courtesy of the html artist known on Daily Kos as Pluto. The "Help Haiti" image at the top of the diary that has become the "logo" of this series is courtesy of AuntKat. Big thank you to swampus for maintaining the google doc for months.