Haiti: Five Facts and One Urgent Appeal


Richard Moore

Delivered-To: •••@••.•••
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 12:05:39 -0400
From: Aaron Koleszar <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Haiti: Five Facts and One Urgent Appeal

From: Dru Oja Jay <•••@••.•••>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 00:43:29 -0400
Subject: Haiti: Five Facts and One Urgent Appeal

Five Facts about Haiti:

1. The US Government Backs the Haitian Opposition Financially
2. The US is Integral to Economic and Humanitarian Disaster in Haiti
3. The Haitian Population Continues to Support Aristide
4. Canada Supports US Aspirations for Regime Change in Haiti
5. Disputed Election are Now Referred to as "Flawed"

Elaborations and extensive documentation of these are available


An Appeal:

After a good deal of research, we have come to the following

Haiti is in crisis, and an entire society stands on the brink of
economic and humanitarian disaster. This disaster is *not* the product
of some unfortunate circumstance, but the direct result of policies
carried out by our governments.

Paramilitary groups now control Haiti's second largest city, and are
currently threatening to take over the capital. Meanwhile, humanitarian
groups are not being allowed the access that they need, and untold
thousands are starving. A democratic government is in peril of being
subject to US-sponsored "regime change".

As those in whose names this state of affairs was created, we are best
positioned to change it.

For there to be any hope in Haiti, the paramilitary groups must be
stopped. After creating this horrible situation, our governments have
refused to do anything to reverse it, preferring to blame Jean Bertrand
Aristide, the elected president.

Meanwhile, the media spreads blatant disinformation about the situation.
To use a less delicate term: lies.

We have compiled five documented facts, listed above. We ask that you
take a moment to read some of the material we have compiled, do your own
research, draw your own conclusions, and take appropriate action.

The decision to "let Haiti live" can only be made now, and the impact
will be felt for decades. We think that's worth your time.


Anthony Fenton and Dru Oja Jay

. . . . . .

Five Facts about Haiti (full version):

[1] The US Government Backs the Haitian Opposition Financially

Between 1994-2002, "Washington has funnelled some $70 million to fund
and organize an opposition to President Aristide." [1] This opposition
goes under the broad name of Democratic Platform, which is made of
various elite-led opposition groups such as Democratic Convergence and
The Group of 184. These groups are frequently cited by international
media with no mention of their affiliation with the US government and
the Brookings Institution (a right-wing think tank), USAID, and the
International Republican Institute. [2]

Beginning before the election of Jean Bertrand Aristide (with 92% of the
vote), the opposition (whose support is estimated at between 8% and 12%)
has called for Aristide's resignation, demanding that he share the
presidency with them. [3] More recently, they have refused to negotiate
with the elected government [4], continuing to demand Aristide's
resignation. They have also called for the reinstatement of the Haitian

Not coincidentally, US officials have repeatedly hinted that Aristide
must be replaced. [5]

Instead of condemning the opposition--which, given their sources of
funding, would undoubtedly have a profound effect--the US and Canada
have placed the blame on Aristide. [6] The US may also be supporting
paramilitary groups operating in Haiti. More than one comentator has
pointed out the uncanny timing of a  military aid shipment of US-made
M-16s to the neighboring Dominican Republic and the simultaneous
appearance of new M-16s in the hands of paramilitaries. [7]

[2] US is Integral to Economic and Humanitarian Disaster in Haiti

As recently as 1991, the US is known to have supported a military coup
to overthrow a democratically elected government in Haiti. Former
Paramilitary leader Emmanuel Constant told 60 minutes that the CIA
supported the coup, during which over 5,000 Haitians were murdered. [8]
Constant, who has been convicted of murder in Haiti, is one on many
international terrorists being harboured by the US. [9]

Since 2000, the U.S. has withheld over $500 million in direct economic
aid to Haiti and has persuaded lending institutions, such as the
Interamerican Development Bank and the World Bank to deny
previously-approved loans, in excess of $150 million. [10]

By contrast, aid money and loans flowed freely from the US when the
murderous "Papa Doc" Duvalier was in power, and during the rule of the
military junta between 1991 and 1994, when 5,000 Haitians were murdered
and thousands starved. [11]

Haiti's annual budget in 2001 was $361 million. [12]

Numerous aid organizations have called upon the international community
and the United Nations for assistance, as the humanitarian situation in
Haiti is reaching crisis levels. [13] Thus far the Canadian government
has pledged to send $1 million, while the US has offered only $500,000.

Repeated requests by Aristide for emergency military aid have been
denied by the US, Canada and the international community, who have all
refused to intervene "until a political situation is reached." [14] The
denial of financial or military support by the US continues while
reconstituted Haitian paramilitaries continue to ravage the population.

[3] The Haitian Population Continues to Support Aristide

In one of the largest protests in recent years, over 100,000 Haitians
demonstrated in Port-au-Prince on Feb. 7, demanding that Aristide
complete his five year mandate, which ends in 2006. The day also marked
the anniversary of the fall of the US-supported Duvalier dictatorship in
1986. [16] The New York Times described a similar demonstration of tens
of thousands on Jan. 1 as a "small but enthusiastic crowd". [17]

Numerous parties that oppose Aristide in principle are supporting his
five year mandate, describing the possibility of an "opposition"
government as potentially horrific. [17.1]

The apparent misdeeds most frequently attached to President Aristide are
a case of disputed legislative election results in 2000 (which the
opposition used to call for his resignation) and the violent actions of
"pro-government gangs" against the opposition. Minimally, it should be
pointed out that in what was described as a move to placate the
opposition, Aristide immediately called on the relevant legislators to
resign and for new elections to be called. [18] This did not stop the US
from withholding aid for the next three years (see above). Aristide has
in many cases condemned and arrested government supporters who have
acted violently against opposition members. [19]

While the media continues to condemn Aristide for transgressions that
remain vague, Aristide's Lavalas party has accomplished much in the few
years that it has held office. Since Aristide was first elected in 1994,
more schools have been opened than were opened between 1804 and 1994.
The military has been disbanded, health care systems have been expaned,
the minimum wage has been doubled, a major successful AIDS education
campaign was conducted, provision of anti-retroviral treatment has
begun, and progress has been made in increasing literacy. [20]

These gains, however, have been *in spite* of the dictates of the US. In
particular, the US put pressure on Haiti to not increase the minimum
wage. [21] The US government and corporate media have also actively
disregarded Haiti's achievements in all areas. Documentary filmmaker
Kevin Pina quoted a "prominent reporter" whom he spoke with in Haiti:
"Hey, I am sorry but they are not interested in positive stories about
Lavalas. I wrote it, submitted it and they told me they were not
interested." The story in question was about the government's conversion
of a Duvalier-era drug dealer's villa into a school for poor children.

[4] Canada Supports US Aspirations for Regime Change in Haiti

The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) has said that Canadian Foreign
Affairs Minister Bill Graham is "closely aping" the US line on Haiti,
which "seriously distorts reality". COHA criticized also criticized
Graham for failing to publically recognize that Haitian opposition "has
obdurately refused in any way to join in a process of reconciliation".
"The root of the opposition's strategy is the need to create the very
chaos that Mr. Graham somehow appears to attribute to Aristide," the
COHA statement said. "There is where Mr. Graham's outrage appropriately

"Bill Graham's recent remarks yesterday on Haiti indicates that he is
depending upon U.S. policymakers to orient Canada while not having a
clue as to what is really happening there." [23] There is, however, a
great deal of evidence that suggests that Graham isn't "clueless", but
rather implementing Paul Martin's new policy of "deep integration" with
US policy. Since he became PM, Martin has pledged close cooperation with
the US, and appointed a Defense Minister who supported the war on Iraq.

Journalist Michel Vastel pointed out Canada's complicity in Washington's
plans for regime change in l'Actualite in January. The Canadian
government carefully denied it. [25]

[5] Misrepresentation: Disputed Election is Now Referred to as "Flawed"

The 'platform' for Haiti's opposition and U.S. policy has been the
disputed elections of 2000, which saw 7 senate seats (out of a total
7,500 government positions involved in election) challenged over alleged
vote-rigging. [26] By all official accounts, this dispute was rectified.

However, the U.S. and the mainstream press have continued to grant the
opposition legitimacy on these grounds. This, despite the fact that the
opposition is largely responsible for stalling the democratic process:
President Aristide has repeatedly asked the opposition to sit down at
the table and set a date for elections, and they have repeatedly
refused, creating the so-called "political stalemate". [27]

With U.S. support, the opposition has built a disinformation campaign as
well as an Aristide "demonization campaign" which has made Aristide
appear as the antagonist. [28] A familiar tactic finds
opposition-controlled media feeding falsehoods to the international
press (primarily AP and Reuters), which are picked by national and
regional dailies throughout the world, and then recirculated as
'international' news by the same opposition-owned media in Haiti. Kevin
Pina, US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and others, refer to this as "the
disinformation loop". [29] This way a disputed and resolved political
problem is able to become "flawed elections" and Aristide can be
characterized as a "heavy-handed dictator", while the bleeding of the
Haitian economy can be falsely attributed to Aristide's failure as
leader. The "flawed elections" are still the official reason for the
contined withholding of aid to Haiti. The people most affected by this
are the impoverished Haitian majority. [30]


[1] Kim Ives at: "US policy towards Haiti promotes economic instability"

[2] On Democratic Platform and its connections to Haiti Democracy
Project see: "Anti-Aristide Groups split threat to future"


http://www.haitipolicy.org, the website of the Haiti Democracy Project,
and specifically a telling transcript of their position as stated in a
National Public Radio broadcast:

Also see IRI's website for general information:
http://www.iri.org/countries.asp?ID=7826537582 see also their
Haiti-specific website http://www.haitigetinvolved.com.

[3] See Stan Goff, http://counterpunch.org/goff02142004.html For a
discussion of the elections, see


[5] Congresswoman Barbara Lee asks Colin Powell for clarification

Council on Hemispheric Affairs describes Washington's "option zero"

Also see a Feb. 11 statement and interview with US Congresswoman Maxine
Waters http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/02/16/1746202

Stan Goff: Bush administration is preparing to declare Haiti a "failed
state" http://www.blackcommentator.com/78/78_haiti.html


[7] See Tome Reeves's "U.S. Double Game in Haiti at:
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=2&ItemID=4997, and
Anthony Fenton's "Media vs. Reality in Haiti:

For more on the possibility that the US is funding Haitian "Contra", see

[8] On Constant, see under "1996":
http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/constant.htm. Constant admitted
in a 1995 interview with 60 Minutes, that he was on a CIA payroll.

An eyewitness says the US and UN failed to act to prevent the coup:

[9] See Chomsky's "Who are the Global Terrorists?" at:

[10] See Tom Reeves's "Still up against the death plan in Haiti", on
economic sanctions at:

[11] http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA%20Hits/Haiti_CIAHits.html

[12] For economic data see:

[13]See "Caribbean Nations Appeal for Aid in Haiti" at

[14] See "Canada assists the people of Haiti," press annoucement Feb.
17th, 2004 at:

[15] On health and general crisis, see Paul Farmer's "Haiti: Unjust Aid
Embargo during Health Emergency" at:

[16] See Haiti-Progres' English coverage:

[17] Haiti Action has the Times article and photos of the demonstration:

[17.1] The Jamaica Observer, Feb. 23 2004



[19] One example of Aristide condemning violence which has gone

[20] See Haiti Action's "Hidden from the Headlines:"

Also see a Feb. 11 statement by US Congresswoman Maxine Waters

[21] See the National Labour Committee's "How to Get Rich on 11 Cents an
Hour" http://www.nlcnet.org/campaigns/archive/Haiti/0196/index.shtml

Also: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/43a/307.html

[22] http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Feb04/Pina0212.htm


[24] http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2003/12/13/286297-cp.html

[25] Canadian Journalist Michel Vastel has said that Canada is complicit
in the US plan for "regime change" in Haiti. (Originally appeared in
l'Actualite) http://www.radiohaitifocus.com/new36.htm

The official denial:

"Mais enfin, en quelle annee et sur quelle galere vivons-nous?"

[26] See Randall Robinson's 'global call for action'

[27] See John Maxwell's "Imagine! Nigger's Speaking French!!!" at

See also http://haitireborn.org, especially their section on the aid

"Investigating the Human Effects of Withheld Humanitarian Aid", an
extensive 61 page report:

See: 'Haiti's Humanitarian crisis, $350 million in aid withheld by EU':

[28] For background see Ben Dupuy's "The Attempted Character
Assasination of Aristide":

[29] See Maxine Waters and Randall Robinson at "Haiti Opposition
Attempts Naked Power Grab" at
http://www.blackcommentator.org/77/77_haiti.html and see Kevin Pina at

[30] See Paul Farmer's "Haiti: Short and Bitter Lives",


    "...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the
      suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the
      Reichstag fire."  
      - Srdja Trifkovic

    There is not a problem with the system.
    The system is the problem.

    Faith in humanity, not gods, ideologies, or programs.

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