Peripheral Revision

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Haiti is open for investment: president-elect Martelly meets with Clinton, World Bank and IMF

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+Also check out “Michel Martelly and the US-sponsored electoral coup in Haiti” and “Haiti April Fool’s article sheds light on US’ negative impact, as seen from 2017” for more info about US involvement in supporting Martelly+

Benedict Mander, Financial Times, April 20, 2011

Haiti’s president-elect Michel Martelly, who is visiting the US in an early bid to kick-start stalled reconstruction efforts of the earthquake-torn nation, has won wholehearted backing from US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

“We are behind him, we have a great deal of enthusiasm,” Mrs Clinton said on Wednesday during Mr Martelly’s three-day visit to the US. “I’m very encouraged by the campaign that Mr Martelly ran, his emphasis on the people and their needs, his willingness to be very clear on what he hoped to achieve on their behalf,” she said.

[…]

Mr Martelly, who is expected to take office on May 14, on Tuesday met the heads of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank in an attempt to convince them to embrace his vision for a “new Haiti” and step up reconstruction efforts, with more than 750,000 people still homeless.

The 50-year-old leader is also trying to woo the international business community with the message that “Haiti is now open for investment”, promising to improve investment conditions by restoring security and offering tax benefits.

[…]

He has also promised to engage the Haitian diaspora, many of whom are in the US, in rebuilding the hemisphere’s poorest country and favours the reinstatement of an army that could replace United Nations peacekeeping forces.

Earlier this week, he said he was considering granting amnesty to Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and ex-dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, both of whom returned home from exile this year and are accused of human rights violations.

Last week, Human Rights Watch said that Haiti should prosecute Mr Duvalier, arguing there was enough evidence. He currently faces charges of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and criminal association.

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04/20/2011 at 11:04 pm

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Michel Martelly and the US-sponsored electoral coup in Haiti

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Roger Annis, Green Left, April 17, 2011

Haiti finds itself with a president-elect with ties to the extreme right — thanks to a concerted effort by foreign powers to continue thwarting the social justice aspirations of the Haitian people.

President-elect Michel Martelly is closely associated with the forces that overthrew elected governments in 1991 and 2004.

He told Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Radio’s The Current on April 7 that Haiti has been “going in the wrong direction for the last 25 years”.

This corresponds to the time during which the Haitian people have been trying to overcome the legacies of impunity, dependence, and underdevelopment left to them by the tyranny of the Duvalier dictatorships.

Martelly has vowed to reconstitute the notorious Armed Forces of Haiti (FAdH), which former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded in 1995 due to its role in coups and human rights abuses.

Former and would-be soldiers are already training in camps around Haiti and waiting for their call to service, a March 27 CanadaHaitiAction.ca article said.

Martelly also says Haiti’s economic and social development depends on convincing more foreign investors to set up shop in Haiti, sweatshops in particular.

The two-round election that landed him in power was foreign-funded and inspired. The United States, Canada and Europe paid at least US$29 million to finance it.

The victor acknowledged that his campaign costs — $1 million in the first round and $6 million in the second round — were largely covered by “friends” in the United States. He refuses to say who they are, the March 18 New York Times said.

His campaign was run by the same Spanish public relations firm — Osto & Sola — that managed the fraudulent election of Felipe Calderon as Mexico’s president in 2006.

Haiti’s largest political party, Fanmi Lavalas, was excluded from the elections. It was arbitrarily ruled off the ballot by Haiti’s unconstitutionally-formed Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).

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04/18/2011 at 9:43 am

Posted in Haiti

Aristide returns as Haiti engages in “sham” election

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“Now whether or not, at some point in time, they can elevate themselves off of this NGOrepublic, or this new Duvalierist who is about to be given five years off of this sham election, the struggle continues.

Askia Muhammad, The Final Call, April 3, 2011

In defiance of the U.S. government, Jean-Bertrand Aristide—the fi rst popularly elected president of Haiti in 1991, and the only person deposed from that position twice—went back to Haiti March 18 for the first time since being overthrown in a 2004 U.S.-backed coup.

With the support of the South African government, Mr. Aristide boarded a plane in Johannesburg March 17, joined by his wife, Mildred Aristide, their two daughters, and a delegation which included actor Danny Glover.

In Port Au Prince the next day, thousands of jubilant supporters mobbed the former president when he arrived, chanting his praises and waving his portrait and Haitian flags as if he was a candidate in the presidential runoff election held March 20, just 48 hours later. Final election tallies are due on April 16.
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04/04/2011 at 7:59 pm

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Haiti April Fool’s article sheds light on US’ negative impact, as seen from 2017

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Clinton apologizes for U.S. role in destroying Haitian democracy
1 April 2017
Not By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti –Decades of political imports — especially top officials and policies from the U.S. — punctuated with abundant aid to repressive regimes have destroyed local political culture and left impoverished countries such as Haiti unable to govern themselves.

While those policies have been criticized for years by voters in poor countries, world leaders focused on fixing Haiti are admitting for the first time that imposing policies and top leaders has only exacerbated repression in Haiti and elsewhere.

They’re led by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — now U.N. special envoy to Haiti — who publicly apologized this month for championing policies that destroyed Haiti’s democracy. Clinton in the early 2010s encouraged the impoverished country to eliminate political parties with demonstrated popular support, then selected the candidates for a presidential run-off election, bushing aside the objections of Haiti’s electoral council, leaders, media, political parties, human rights groups, electoral code, constitution and voters.

“It may have been good for some of my friends in Petionville, but it has not worked. It was a mistake,” Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 20. “I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of basic civil and human rights in Haiti because of what I did; nobody else.”
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04/02/2011 at 8:04 pm

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Haiti postpones preliminary results of runoff vote as count drags on amid fraud allegations

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AP, Trenton Daniel, March 29, 2011

Haitians will have to wait at least a few more days to learn the preliminary results of their presidential election because of alleged irregularities and fraud uncovered at the vote-counting centre, officials said Tuesday.

While not disclosing specifics, Gaillot Dorsinvil, the president of the Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, issued a brief statement saying officials found a “high level” of fraud and irregularities of various kinds at the tabulation centre in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
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03/29/2011 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Haiti

Haiti’s movement from below endures

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Even with a resource-starved state his administrations launched a steady stream of social investment programs [PDF]: building more schools than in any time in the country’s history, a national literacy ALPHA campaign, constructing and refurbishing medical clinics, the hospital of La Paix, and a university training doctors with the help of Cubans.

The poor have not forgotten this. Even under intense pressure from foreign powers, Aristide was able to disband Haiti’s brutal military and refuse to go forward on privatisation sell-offs of state institutions that René Préval, his technocrat predecessor, took up…

…The Michel Martelly campaign, one of two candidates now running for the presidency, has sought to tap into apathy and disillusionment with a massive text and voice message cell phone campaign, propelling a corporatist project through hip rhetoric…

…Martelly’s advertising campaign has been intense. But unknown to many he has also found allies amongst death squad leaders who reliable sources allege have cut deals with the DEA.

Despite those in power trying to keep him out, the return of Aristide to Haiti has rekindled hope among the poor.
Jeb Sprague, Aljazeera, March 27, 2011

As twice ousted former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family were escorted out from the airport tarmac in Port-au-Prince, loud chants of “Titid, Titid, Titid” rose from an ecstatic gathering that filled every space of a causeway leading out from the airport.

Sitting on walls, a few climbing a telephone pole, rows of youth jumped in excitement at the return of Aristide from exile in South Africa – a heroic figure for the people whose history is one indelibly rooted in resistance.
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03/27/2011 at 2:50 pm

Haiti election: Michel Martelly, Aristide’s weak imitator

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‘Sweet Micky’ Martelly is tipped to win a presidential vote the majority of Haitians boycotted. Aristide’s return is the real story

Kim Ives, guardian.co.uk, March 22, 2011

Former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide greets followers on his to his home in Port-au-Prince on 18 March. Photograph: Andr S Mart Nez Casares/EPA

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was the real winner of Haiti’s 20 March presidential and deputy runoffs as the majority of Haiti’s 4.7m voters shunned choosing between a vulgar pro-coup konpa musician, Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, and a professorial former First Lady, Mirlande Manigat, for president. Both candidates share rightwing histories (supporting the 1991 and 2004 coups d’état against Aristide) and programmes (most tellingly, reactivation of the Haitian army, which Aristide demobilised in 1995).

Most polling stations had only light turn-out. Any voting lines observed around the capital, Port-au-Prince, and its tent-strewn suburbs were due to administrative delays and irregularities (which were widespread), including a lack of ballots, finger-marking ink or poll workers. One station had ballots for a 2009 senate race delivered. Some polls opened up to four hours late.

Our random sampling of final vote tallies at four polling stations (each composed of several “voting bureaus”) in Cité Soleil, Delmas and Lalue revealed that only 17.7% of their registered voters turned out to vote. That participation rate is well below the almost 23% rate of the dramatically flawed 28 November first round, which already marked a record low for Haiti, and all Latin America, since such record-keeping began over 60 years ago.

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03/23/2011 at 3:11 pm

Posted in Haiti